United 3 Accrington Stanley 0: Youthful reserves get LSC defence off to a comfortable start
Posted by nickogs20 on January 23, 2009
|Manchester United Reserves||3-0||Accrington Stanley Reserves|
Yes, you’re not seeing things – United’s reserve side actually took to the field yesterday afternoon, for the first time in a month, and just the third time in the last 9 weeks. Accrington Stanley were the visitors to The Cliff, United’s famous former training ground in Salford, for this Lancashire Senior Cup first round tie as the Reds began the defence of the trophy they won in manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first competitive match in charge, back in July. Early goals from Kiko Macheda and Febian Brandy effectively killed the game off as a contest before the game was twenty minutes old, and a deserved gloss was added to the scoreline early in the second half when Davide Petrucci – fresh from a stunning brace for the academy last weekend – curled home a sublime free-kick.
Solskjaer’s starting line-up saw Ritchie de Laet make his first competitive reserve appearance since joining the club earlier this month and Petrucci making his first start at this level, while two familiar faces made a welcome return – Richard Eckersley after a long lay-off through injury and Brandy after returning from his loan spell at Swansea City. Macheda and Matt James again stepped up from reserve level, something we can expect to be a permanent feature in the second half of the season, while Corry Evans skippered the side with regular captain James Chester being saved for first-team duty on Saturday.
The Reds seized immediate control right from kick-off and were on the scoresheet before the visitors really had chance to catch breath. Petrucci’s clever reverse pass put his compatriot Macheda clean through on goal and the big striker showed typical composure to beat Speare in the Accrington goal. Fifteen minutes later the United lead was doubled, Speare making an almost Taibi-like mistake to allow Brandy’s relatively tame strike to creep through his hands and underneath him into the net. Constant forays into Accrington territory followed for the rest of the half and the visitors will have been delighted to get to half-time only two goals in arrears.
Eckersley and Fábio departed at half-time, Sir Alex Ferguson today confirming they will be part of his squad for the FA Cup game against Spurs tomorrow evening. The two young full-backs had both showed their versatiity in the first-half, switching from left to right and vice versa. Jimmy Derbyshire came on at right-back with Joe Dudgeon taking up the left-back position.
Only six minutes had passed in the second half before the tie was well and truly put to bed, and what a way to do it. Petrucci scored two fantastic goals in the academy’s 4-1 thrashing of West Brom on Saturday and added arguably an even better strike here, stepping up to curl a peach of a freekick from 25 yards out that couldn’t have been placed any further into the top left corner.
Solskjaer then brought on Norwood for Brandy, the little forward having picked up a knock after starting to look a little weary, unsurprisingly after seeing so little action at Swansea. Further chances came and went for the Reds, Bryan forcing a fine save from Speare, de Laet having a debut goal chalked off and Derbyshire and Macheda both coming close to adding to the Reds’ tally. 3-0 it finished though, job done as United move on to an away tie with Rochdale next.
You can see brief highlights of the three goals here, and see an extensive gallery of pictures here, courtesy of KIPAX Sports Photography. The reserves are next in action on Monday (weather permitting of course), when they take on Blackburn Rovers at Morecambe FC’s Christie Park.
1. Ben Amos
2. Richard Eckersley (12. Jimmy Derbyshire 46)
3. Fábio da Silva (14. Joe Dudgeon 46)
4. Corry Evans (c)
5. Ritchie de Laet
6. Matt James
7. Febian Brandy (15. Oliver Norwood 56)
8. Danny Drinkwater
9. Federico Macheda
10. Davide Petrucci
11. Antonio Bryan
Sub not used
13. Gary Woods