United Youth

Manchester United Reserves & Academy News

United 2 Oldham 1: Reds make it 6 from 6 in the MSC

Posted by nickogs20 on October 14, 2008

Man Utd Oldham Athletic
Manchester United Reserves 2-1 Oldham Athletic Reserves
James 13 Alessandra 3
Hewson 28

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reserve side put themselves in prime position to qualify for another Manchester Senior Cup Final with a hard-fought win against Oldham’s second string at a rain-lashed Marstons Arena this evening. Goals from Matty James and Sam Hewson, the latter an absolute screamer, earned the Reds all three points after the visitors had briefly threatened a shock by taking the lead in the first five minutes.

With numerous United players away on international duty or recovering from knocks, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer once again elevated players from the Academy side to bolster the reserve squad. So in came Oliver Gill, Scott Wootton, Matty James and Cameron Stewart, while Oliver Norwood and Kenny Strickland were named as subs. There was also a welcome return to action for Ben Foster, after injuring his ankle against Blackburn Rovers just under a month ago.

Finally, lining up for Oldham Athletic at right back was Kieran Lee, an ex-Red who joined the Latics last season. Lee had been out with groin and hamstring injuries all season and this was his comeback match.

In the opening few minutes both teams were coming to terms with the slippery conditions and Oldham took an early lead when the ball came into the area and looked as though it took a deflection and bobbled past a surprised Foster. It could hardly have been a worse start for the Reds but we soon got into our stride and put some passes together. Hewson, James and Cleverley looked good in central midfield while Derbyshire featured on the left and Stewart on the right. It was down the right hand side that United equalised on 13 minutes when a good passage of play led to Matthew James striking a beauty past the keeper from just on the edge of the box. Oldham had their moments but didn’t really test Foster as Wootton and Gray in the centre of defence held firm.

Then on 28 minutes, Sam Hewson struck an absolute peach of goal from more than 35 yards that screamed past the keeper! It was a cracker and in typical fashion MUTV were not there to capture it live. Let’s hope we see some highlights because it has goal of the month/season written all over it!

United continued to keep possession throughout the first half without really testing the Oldham keeper.

Half-time: Manchester United 2 Oldham Athletic 1

The second half saw United make an immediate substitution with Eikrem coming on to replace Jimmy Derbyshire who had a quiet first half. The Reds took control and began to dominate midfield with James and Hewson excelling. It was good to see Sam Hewson back in good form and he had a great game. Cameron Stewart also caught the eye as he beat his man on the outside on at least a dozen occasions. It was exciting wing play at its best so it was a real shame that his final ball was often so disappointing. Even so, he did have one cracking shot on goal that the keeper did well to palm away.

However, without a doubt it was Richard Eckersley who was ‘Man of the Match’ as he bombed up and down the wing to not only ably perform his defensive duties but to support Stewart at every opportunity.

With ten minutes to go Oldham started knocking some high balls into the box and, although Foster was in control, there were a few tricky moments for the defence to deal with. By hook or by crook they did so as the Reds held on for the win – overall, a really good team performance.

Final Score: Manchester United 2 Oldham Athletic 1

1. Ben Foster
2. Richard Eckersley
3. Oliver Gill
4. David Gray (c)
5. Scott Wootton
6. Matthew James
7. Cameron Stewart
8. Tom Cleverley
9. Federico Macheda
10. Sam Hewson
11. Jimmy Derbyshire (14. Magnus Eikrem)

Subs not used
12. Antonio Bryan
13. Ron-Robert Zieler
15. Oliver Norwood
16. Kenny Strickland


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9 Responses to “United 2 Oldham 1: Reds make it 6 from 6 in the MSC”

  1. Tone said

    Is there any info on how the England lads are doing on international duty? It’s great for them and all, but we’ve now missed out on their services for three matches, and the three of them are arguably some of our best players and prospects…

  2. nickogs20 said

    Being without those guys for a couple of games every so often isn’t that big a deal ultimately. There’s lots to gain for them in terms of experience and confidence when representing their country and it allows other players to get some matches in their absence – Matty James for example has stepped up and got two starts, the likes of Ollie Norwood, Scott Wootton, Oliver Gill, Cameron Stewart etc have got their chances in the reserve setup and done well, and we’ve won both the last two games.

    I’ll have a big international roundup up this evening after the Ireland game (which Darron Gibson should play in) covering the U19s, U21s and some senior stuff.

  3. Tone said

    As much as I love to see Matty taking a step up and playing well, he’s still an academy player and I would rather see Danny Drinkwater in the reserves for now. But at least I hear he played very well for England, scored a goal and very possibly was not involved at all in the last match where they got trashed.

  4. nickogs20 said

    But there’s no harm done at all by Drinkwater testing himself on the youth international stage for a couple of weeks while someone like James steps up. It will only be beneficial for the development of both players, which ultimately is more important than results at reserve/academy level.

    When it comes to senior internationals I dread them as much as any United fan due to the tendency to receive our players back in less than one piece, but the more of our young players that get called up the better.

  5. norries said

    i’m with Tone on that one, if both matty and danny a available i’d like to see DANNY get the nod before Matty.

    but since Danny has done well enough to be called to the national team i wont mind Matty standing in.

    p.s: anyone else see the similarities or common thread between Hewson,Drinkwater, James – central midfielders who were probly first on Paul Mcguiness’s team sheets in each year they were in the under 18s… dont know about hewson (but very likly), then last year drinkwater – this year James

    love them all so much – cant wait to see them all make it into the first team.

  6. Tone said

    I certainly see a personal red line. Didn’t see much of Sam in the academy, but he was the first player I noticed below first team squad. Danny was my favorite in the academy for 1,5 season and now Matty is up there, although I have taken a shine to Kiko more than anyone this year. I really, REALLY hope at least one of them can come through and actually make it, we are in desperate need of local lads and players who have grown up with the club and therefore don’t want to leave it at first opportunity. It’s just such a shame we only seem to produce midfielders, as that is the department we already have too many players in…

  7. nickogs20 said

    I’d certainly agree Drinkwater should be ahead of James when both available Norries, my point is that reserve/academy football is a very ‘safe’ environment for these lads – there’s not much travelling involved, the quality at reserve level especially isn’t what it was and they’re facing the same sort of opposition every week.

    International football is a huge thing for kids at this age – going abroad and playing what is effectively tournament football against different countries, different styles of play, in different conditions – it’s worth literally months of reserve/academy football.

    Look at Petrucci – 16 years old, fast-tracked to the U19s, ends up playing in Moldova against the likes of Latvia, Russia and the Moldovans. Infinitely more beneficial to his development than a couple of academy games against the likes of Crewe, Stoke and Derby.

    I’d be happy to see our best players playing for their countries even more than they do now as it’s so beneficial. If that means not seeing as much of them personally for the reserves and a bit of a decline in results for the reserve side, that’s a price well worth paying.

  8. PK said

    I really like James. He looks to have bucket loads of potential. The chances that the academy guys get in the reserves every so often should be welcomed in my opinion ’cause inevitably, these kids are gonna fill up the bulk of the reserves next season. Ultimately, all of this is done for the development of the young lads and nothing else.

    On a side note, great win. I was able to find a video of that Hewson goal. Absolute scorcher that one was.

  9. martini said

    On the discusion of Hewson, Drinkwater & James – It has been mentioned that Drinkwater has played for England which is fantastic but can i also point out that Matty James has also played for England U16 & U17 many times. On my views they are both good players but i do think James has more potential. No one deserves the right to play in any team it should be picked on performance regardless of age.

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