United Youth

Manchester United Reserves & Academy News

United 1 Celtic 1: Honours even in Academy friendly

Posted by nickogs20 on October 21, 2008

Man Utd Celtic
Manchester United U18s 1-1 Celtic U18s
James 76 Foley 53

Manchester United took on Glasgow Celtic at the Cliff this afternoon, with each teams Academy battling it out for junior honours before the big Champions League tie between the two clubs takes place at Old Trafford.

There is also a scheduled reserve team fixture pencilled in for the return match in Glasgow. This is not an unusual practice as United have played junior friendlies many times before European Cup ties, notably Bayer Leverkusen, Olympiakos, Sporting Lisbon, Dynamo Kiev and Celtic.

Matty James - the captains fine form continues

Matty James - the captain's fine form continues

United had all the usual suspects starting the game but elevated four youngsters from the U16s to take their places on the bench, including Ra’vel Morrison – who recently starred in England Schoolboys 6-0 drubbing of Northern Ireland – and Sam Johnstone – who has just been called into the England Boys team to face Scotland. The two other faces were local lads Jesse Lingard and Larnell Cole.

In a relatively uneventful first half, both teams looked good on the ball without really creating many chances. Celtic looked a neat outfit so it was a good test for our lads.

In the second half, Paul McGuinness brought on Ajose for Chris Curran, but instead of putting pressure on the visitors’ defence, we conceded at the other end! Celtic took the lead on 53 minutes when a free kick from just outside the area managed to squirm past Conor Devlin at the near post.

United did their best to force the game and Paul McGuinness then brought on Morrison and Lingard for their U18 debuts. The Reds got a well deserved equaliser when Matty James, who has been outstanding all season, scored from the edge of the box. Two minutes later Cole replaced Josh King, and although we had a few chances to sneak a win at the end, a draw was probably a fair result.

MUTV will be showing the highlights from this match on Sunday at 5.30pm (and at various other points in the couple of days after). Thanks again to Mr MUJAC for the match report.

1. Conor Devlin
2. Cameron Stewart
3. Oliver Gill
4. Kenny Strickland
5. Scott Wootton
6. Matty James (c)
7. Chris Curran (12. Nicky Ajose 51)
8. Oliver Norwood
9. Joshua King (16. Larnell Cole 78)
10. Davide Petrucci (14. Ra’vel Morrison 62)
11. Robbie Brady (15. Jesse Lingard 70)

Subs not used
13. Gary Woods
17. Sam Johnstone

9 Responses to “United 1 Celtic 1: Honours even in Academy friendly”

  1. martini said

    There seems to be a lot mentioned about Matty James this season, how good is he? I believe he has played for England youth?

  2. ade beckham said

    Yes sure,and how is my dear ryan tunnicliffe

  3. Tone said

    Matty is looking very solid this year, both in the academy and reserves. He’s a good captain, keeps a cool head and does what he needs to do without drawing too much attention to himself. Perfect. It’s a shame we’re drowning in midfielders at reserve level. He won’t get too many chances there as the older lads can’t play for any other teams. But if he keeps taking the chances he gets, like he has been doing, maybe he’ll be able to edge one of the ones who aren’t playing that great at the moment out. Wouldn’t hold my breath, though, seems to be really hard for the younger ones to do that, no matter how well they’re playing…

  4. nickogs20 said

    I wouldn’t necessarily agree with that, I think the opportunities are there for the Academy lads to push on into the reserve team if they play well enough. Welbeck and Macheda are cases in point recently but there have been a fair few others (Cam Stewart has had plenty of chances already this season) and I’m sure as the season wears on, injuries take hold and players go out on loan, we’ll see more and more of the U18’s stepping up.

    The thing with Matty James in particular is that ultimately, it’s better to have as many of the numerous centre mid’s we have playing games. Like you say, the older lads can’t play for any other teams and so it makes sense to give them the games at reserve level and have Matty play mostly for the Academy. With first-team/international call-ups and possible loan spells for the likes of Gibson, Hewson and Cleverley as the season progresses, he’ll get plenty of chances in the reserves.

  5. martini said

    Hi Nickogos20, i believe the accademy have a friendly tonight (Tuesday 28.10) at Trafford FC from the unibond, do you have any more info on the game and will you be taking the game in giving us a match report??

  6. norries said

    I’m with Tone on the midfielders issue, we are drowning in central midfieldersat this moment, from possebon-hewson-drinky
    -cleverly-gibson-matty-petrucci-norwood etc.

    and it doesn’t seem like any of the older boys are going out on loan any time soon, it’s just how it is – not that want us to get rid of any of the talented mentioned boys. but this seems to cause the problem of having players play in unfamiliar positions and of not getting any quality game time.

    i guess what do i know…

  7. nickogs20 said

    norries – I agreed that we’ve got an excess of midfielders at the moment, but both Cleverley and Hewson have stated they want to go out on loan this season and it’s hard to see Gibson playing a full season of reserve football – I’m certain there will be some loan moves for some of these lads. There’s no rush – James, Norwood and co. have time on their side and playing regularly for the academy won’t do them any harm. It will also help the Academy side gel ahead of starting their FA Youth Cup challenge this season. Patience is key.

    Martini – it’s being billed as a game against our reserves by Trafford but they’re also saying Paul McGuinness will be in charge so it’s unclear exactly what sort of side we’ll be taking. I won’t be there personally but hopefully will be able to get a report from someone who will. It’s a 7.45pm kick-off.

  8. dogtag said

    Reserves V Trafford

    United 2 down in 2nd half, substitution made for Brando after injury. Ajose on. Ajose Laid a ball off to Pettrucio he scored making it 1-2. Morrison on for Brady, Ajose scored making it 2-2 finish. Will post further details later, a very cold damp night.

  9. PK said

    Good to see U16 lads getting opportunities. Matty James has certainly been exceptional this season and guys like him, Norwood and Stewart are guys I’m certain will get more chances at reserve level.

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