U18s keep Wolves from the door after Norwood stunner
Posted by nickogs20 on October 11, 2008
|Wolverhampton W. U18s||0-1||Manchester United U18s|
United’s U18’s got back to winning ways at the Compton Park Campus this morning with a solid 1-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers. Following in the footsteps of the reserves on Wednesday night, Paul McGuinness’ side bounced back from a disappointing home defeat with a great three points away from home thanks to a glorious Oliver Norwood free-kick ten minutes before the half-time interval.
Lining up in the away strip of white shirts and blue shorts, the reds welcomed back Davide Petruuci, Joe Dudgeon, Robbie Brady and Joshua King. Petrucci has been away on international duty with Italy while Dudgeon was fit again after a knee operation had sidelined him for six weeks. Both were named in the starting eleven while Brady (who had been nursing a slight knock) and King (who had recovered from an ankle injury) were on the substututes bench.
United lined up in a 4-5-1 formation with Dudgeon at left-back, Reece Brown at right back and Wootton and Strickland in the middle. After playing full-back himself in recent games it was good to see Kenny Strickland back in his more customary role.
A five-man midfield saw United play with two wingers – Curran on the right and Stewart on the left – allowing Petrucci, Oliver Norwood and Ryan Tunnicliffe to run the midfield. Matty James was named on the bench given his full 90 minutes in the reserves last Wednesday, as was Kiko Macheda – Evandro Brandão started as the lone striker in his absence.
United started the stronger team and as usual tried to take control by playing good passing football through the Wolverhampton midfield. To be fair it was a relatively even game with both Wootton and Strickland strong in defence and our midfield giving very little away. Then on 35 minutes Ollie Norwood stepped up to take a free kick and, in typical Beckham-esque fashion, curled a wonderful strike past the keeper to give United the lead. It stayed 1-0 until half time.
In the second half the Midlands outfit became increasingly more frustrated and as a consequence the game became more physical. Paul McGuinness brought on Matty James for Curran on the hour in a bid to give our midfield a little more bite. It certainly had an impact as Norwood and James started to boss the central areas.
With a little over 20 minutes remaining, Brady replaced Stewart and King replaced Brandão. Both had a good workout in their cameos but the game had turned into a deadlock with both midfields and defences giving very little away. With a few minutes remaining, Norwood had a chance to to get his, and United’s, second when he took a free-kick just outside the box. However, his shot whistled past the post – another super free-kick but just wide.
In the end United just about deserved the victory as we had played the more more open, adventurous football, and with three injured players back in the fold it was a good day all-round – Wolves are a very well thought-of side at this level, the win great preparation for the visit of table-topping arch-rivals Liverpool to Carrington next Saturday.
MUTV will be showing highlights of today’s game at 5.30pm tomorrow (and at various points over the next week). Thanks again to Mr MUJAC for the match report.
1. Gary Woods
2. Reece Brown
3. Joe Dudgeon
4. Kenny Strickland
5. Scott Wootton
6. Oliver Norwood (c)
7. Chris Curran (17. Matty James 60)
8. Ryan Tunnicliffe
9. Evandro Brandão (16. Joshua King 68)
10. Davide Petrucci
11. Cameron Stewart (14. Robbie Brady 68)
Subs not used
12. Oliver Gill
13. No sub keeper named
15. Federico Macheda