United down arch-rivals Liverpool in Cup Final thriller
Posted by nickogs20 on July 31, 2008
|MUFC Reserves||3-2||Liverpool Reserves|
|Cleverley 28||–||Eccleston 40|
|Gray 51||–||Brouwer 72|
A late, late goal from Danny Drinkwater decisively swung a topsy-turvy match in United’s favour and, in doing so, secured the Lancashire Senior Cup for the Reds and a first trophy in management for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
With David Gray captaining the side, the team lined up with Zieler in goal, his first game back after his success in the European U-19 Championships, and a back line of Simpson, Cathcart, Chester and Eckersley. In midfield, United played a 4-5-1 formation with Gray wide on the right and Cleverley on the left with Gibson, Possebon, Hewson in the middle, leaving Campbell up front. However, when we attacked it was a more fluid 4-3-3.
United started the brighter with some really good team play. Gibson was booked early on for a rash challenge but it was Gray and Cleverley who looked the most likely to open up the Liverpool defence. In fact Gray set up our first chance with a great cross that Campbell should have scored with from close range. Then on 28 minutes, Tom Cleverley gave United the lead shooting from just in the area after Liverpool failed to clear.
Liverpool hardly threatened but got an undeserved equaliser when one of their players scored with a terrific strike from outside the box giving Zieler no chance.
United upped the tempo in the second half and started playing some real quality football. After Gibson intercepted a stray Liverpool pass, he played an exquisite slide rule pass through the defence which Campbell ran onto, before crossing to the far post and Gray slid in to give United a deserved 2-1 lead. The Reds started creating numerous opportunities and it could have been 3-1 when Campbell hit the bar after good work from Simpson and Gray. On 56 minutes Possebon was replaced by Drinkwater – perhaps he was being saved for an appearance on Saturday? – but almost immediately Liverpool equalised with a header at the near post with only their second shot on goal.
United continued to press and with three minutes to go, Drinkwater won the match for United after some good play across the pitch with numerous players involved. It was a totally deserved winner as United had dominated the game from start to finish. He lifted the trophy as captain, with both Ole Solskjaer and Alex Ferguson looking on.
Corry Evans replaced Hewson on 90 minutes. The crowd of 660 then took great delight in watching United lift the trophy for the first time since 1969!
The MOM was given to Darron Gibson, and although he played well, Richard Eckersley was in fine form, Tom Cleverley impressing all over the pitch and Fraizier Campbell’s running off the ball a delight to watch. But the real star was David Gray who set up two goals, scored one and was outstanding from start to finish.
1. Ron-Robert Zieler
2. David Gray (c)
3. Richard Eckersley
4. Craig Cathcart
5. James Chester
6. Danny Simpson
7. Rodrigo Possebon (14. Danny Drinkwater ’56)
8. Darron Gibson
9. Fraizer Campbell
10. Tom Cleverley
11. Sam Hewson (16. Corry Evans ’90)
12. Jimmy Derbyshire
13. Ben Amos
15. Magnus Eikrem
Huge thanks to Mr MUJAC from RedCafe for the report. The official site has a report of its own up here.