Reserves get MSC defence underway with Gigg Lane stroll
Posted by nickogs20 on September 3, 2008
|Bury Reserves||0-2||United Reserves|
United took all three points at a rain-lashed Gigg Lane in the first Manchester Senior Cup clash of the campaign, goals from Magnus Eikrem and Tom Cleverley either side of half-time earning the Reds’ a deserved win over near-neighbours Bury.
With Danny Drinkwater out with a dead-leg, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer elevated Cameron Stewart from the U18s for his competitive reserve debut and played a midfield five of Jimmy Derbyshire on the left, Cleverley, Sam Hewson and Eikrem in the middle, with Stewart wide right. Danny Welbeck made a welcome return playing as the lone striker.
With many other players away on international duty the bench included three further Academy players in Chris Curran, Reece Brown and Evandro Brandão, while there was also a welcome return for Anton Bryan who has been suffering with an ankle injury for some time.
A watching Alex Ferguson saw the Reds make a bright start in the most horrendous conditions. It has been raining in Manchester all day and the heavens opened up for virtually the whole game. Our midfield three clicked almost immediately making some nice interplays into the Bury defence. It was not a surprise when United took the lead in the 16th minute from an excellent free-kick outside the box by Magnus Eikrem.
United had both full-backs overlapping well and the team was playing some nice football with Eikrem pulling all the strings with some delightful passing including numerous defence splitting balls. Rafael was having a good game defensively and was not getting pulled out of position which has tended to be the case in previous matches. A much better performance I thought from him. The Reds could have scored one or two more before the break but for solid defending by Bury.
Half-time: Bury 0 United 1
Rafael Da Silva was replaced at half-time by Brown and a reshuffle was necessary in the United defence. Gray moved to right-back, Ecks to left back and Brown played next to Chester at centre-half.
United picked up where they left off and continued to run the game. Danny Welbeck looked completely out of the match, not surprising given his time injured. We scored a well deserved second goal on 65 minutes when Eikrem played a super ball down the line for Eckersley who ran on towards goal before squaring it back to the edge of the box…..allowing Cleverley to run onto the ball and smack it into the back of the net. A well taken effort after some great team play.
At this point it has to be said that Magnus Eikrem was having an outstanding game. His selection of passing and distribution was first class. Probably one of the best games I have seen him play and clearly suited to a central midfield role rather than wide right. However he came off with a knock shortly after and was replaced by Brandão.
United changed formation to 4-4-2 and Gray and Eckersley started to bomb down the wings, opening up the Bury defence on more than one occasion – if it wasn’t for some desperate Bury defending we could easily have scored more. With Brandão now supporting him up front, Welbeck started to come into the game and had a couple of decent efforts. With 12 minutes to go, Curran came on for Stewart who had had a good match. Curran played in his traditional wide right role and showed some neat touches as well as an eye for goal, having two shots blocked.
The game ended with United always looking to attack and it will be interesting to see who Ferguson was looking at in order to elevate to League Cup action in two weeks time.
Full-time: Bury 0 Man Utd 2
For me the best players on the pitch were Magnus Eikrem as previously mentioned, David Gray who was solid in defence as always but got forward well and looked in excellent nick, and finally James Chester who for most people was MOM. In central defence he was outstanding, never once losing a header, a tackle or giving the ball away. This boy is a no nonsense traditional centre-half who just gets on with his job.
For others, Foster had nothing to do….Ecks, Cleverley and Hewson all played well in a good team effort.
Now on to the friendly with Birmingham City next week!
1. Ben Foster
2. Rafael Da Silva (12. Reece Brown 46)
3. David Gray
4. Richard Eckersley
5. James Chester (c)
6. Cameron Stewart (14. Chris Curran 77)
7. Magnus Eikrem (15. Evandro Brandão 69)
8. Sam Hewson
9. Danny Welbeck
10. Tom Cleverley
11. Jimmy Derbyshire
Subs not used
13. Ben Amos
16. Antonio Bryan