United Youth

Manchester United Reserves & Academy News

Five-star U18s continue fine start to the season

Posted by nickogs20 on September 13, 2008

Huddersfield Man Utd
Huddersfield Town U18 0-5 Manchester United U18
Macheda 41
Ajose 49
Askham 59
Stewart 70
James 75


Paul McGuinness’ Under-18 side continued their impressive start to the new campaign with a 5-0 hammering of their Huddersfield Town counterparts at Storthes Hall, in a game that for long periods was a lot closer than the scoreline might suggest. United’s class told as the game wore on, with the Reds bagging four second-half goals.

United fielded the usual suspects but named a triallist, Lee Askham on the right side of midfield. Askham, an 18 year-old former England U17 international, is currently on Sheffield United’s books. Ben Amos donned the number one jersey as an over-age player.

The Reds started brightly but their opponents looked threatening on the break, with both sides having opportunities to open the scoring. Ajose hit the post inside five minutes after outpacing the Terriers’ right-back, and soon after he could only guide a rebound over the empty Huddersfield net after Matty James’ long-range effort had been parried by England youth international keeper Alex Smithies.

Down at the other end Town striker Barlow missed a similarly gilt-edged opportunity and the Reds were quick to make him pay. Ajose broke clear down the right, worked room to cross with his left-foot and perfectly picked out Kiko Macheda at the far post – the Italian made no mistake with a clinical left-foot volley back across Smithies and into the far corner, and the Reds had a lead to take into half-time.

They nearly had a 2-0 lead to take into the interval, Macheda striking the same post that Ajose had hit earlier after a brilliant, mazy run that took his past several Huddersfield defenders.

Half time: Huddersfield 0 United 1

United stepped up the tempo after the break and, with Norwood and James pulling all the strings in midfield, further goals were only a matter of time in coming. Sure enough, just four minutes into the second period the lead was doubled. Macheda and Davide Petrucci linked up and eventually fed Ollie Norwood, who shaped to shoot from range but instead slipped a perfectly-weighted ball in behind defence for the alert Ajose to run onto and fire into the far corner.

Ten minutes passed before triallist Askham capped a decent game with a superbly-taken goal. Norwood’s corner was cleared to him on the edge of the box but as he shaped to shoot with his right foot, the route to goal appeared to be blocked off by swiftly-closing Town defenders. No bother – the midfielder flicked the ball over the advancing defender with his right-foot before beating Smithies at his near-post with a crisp left-footed strike.

Askham and Ajose were replaced by Cam Stewart and Chris Curran with 25 minutes remaining and both had big parts to play as the Reds’ looked for more goals. The lively Stewart was an immediate threat and it was no surprise to see him add his name to the scoresheet five minutes after coming on with a classy finish after James had produced a barnstorming run through midfield and a perfect through-ball.

Curran’s moment came in the form of an assist, after Norwood had expertly found him on the right flank. The Ulsterman looked up and perfectly picked out the lurking James at the far post, the skipper making no mistake with a firm downward header past a demoralised Smithies.

Final Score: Huddersfield Town 0 Manchester United 5

1. Ben Amos
2. Kenny Strickland
3. Oliver Gill
4. Reece Brown
5. Scott Wootton
6. Matty James (c)
7. Lee Askham (12. Chris Curran 65)
8. Oliver Norwood
9. Federico Macheda
10. Davide Petrucci
11. Nicky Ajose (14. Cameron Stewart 65)

Sub not used
13. Conor Devlin


4 Responses to “Five-star U18s continue fine start to the season”

  1. norries said

    what does the back 4 look like?

    i’m taking a guess –

    Brown Gill Strickland Wootton
    (rightback) (centrebacks) (leftback)

    does the academy have natural leftfooted defenders?

  2. Eager Beever said

    Another great performace from the skipper Matty James

  3. nickogs20 said


    Back four has been –

    Strickland – Brown – Wootton – Gill

    All four are naturally centre-backs but Strickland and Gill have done well so far this season at full-back. As for left-footers, we’ve got Joe Dudgeon (currently injured), and Zeki Fryers is capable of stepping up from the U16s.

  4. Mr E said

    askham looks to have the skill alright.

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