United Youth

Manchester United Reserves & Academy News

WBA 2 United 3: Academy back to winning ways at West Brom

Posted by nickogs20 on November 2, 2008

West Bromwich Albion Man Utd
West Bromwich Albion U18s 2-3 Manchester United U18s
Worrall Macheda
Wood James

After being left to stew for a fortnight on the disappointment that was the home draw against Liverpool, United returned to winning ways this morning in Walsall as they recovered from going a goal behind early on to beat West Bromwich Albion by three goals to two. Kiko Macheda, Matty James and Oliver Norwood were all on target for the Reds in the first half as they overcame a side managed by former United academy player Michael Appleton.

Paul McGuinness had pretty much a full-strength squad to choose from, bar long-term injury absentee Scott Moffatt and the absent-for-unknown-reasons Conor Devlin. Joe Dudgeon continued his comeback from injury at left-back alongside the other three-quarters of the back four that has been almost a permanent fixture this season so far – Reece Brown, Kenny Strickland and Scott Wootton. The imposing trio of captain Matty James, Oliver Norwood and Davide Petrucci formed the central midfield, flanked by two wingers making their first starts of the season – Robbie Brady on the left, and – making his U18 debut – Ra’vel Morrison on the right. Kiko Macheda returned from injury to resume lone striker duties.

One other item of note regarding the team news – the substitute goalkeeper was a youngster who MUTV only identified as having the surname Chapman. No further word yet on his full identity or background.

As far as match reports go, this isn’t going to be great, simply because a) the game wasn’t shown live, b) none of United Youth’s regular correspondents attended the fixture and c) it doesn’t appear like anyone from the official site attended the game either, as the match report on manutd.com contains only brief information (hence the lack of timings for the goals and substitutions). What I can do is briefly describe the match events shown in MUTV’s highlights package…

West Brom took the lead around the ten minute mark, their right-winger beating Scott Wootton for pace as he perhaps committed himself a little too early. He then fired across a low centre that should have been knocked in by the centre-forward – he instead contrived to barely make contact, the ball slicing comically off the outside of his boot. Unfortunately for the Reds, it then fell to Baggies left-winger Worrall, who made no such mistake.

United’s response was emphatic – three goals in the space of ten minutes. First Robbie Brady hassled and harassed the West Brom defence into giving up possession, his low cross then deflecting into Petrucci’s path. The young Italian skipped past one challenge before toe-poking the ball to his compatriot Macheda, just inside the penalty area and just left of centre. With no challenge forthcoming, the Roman striker was never going to miss – he duly curled the ball cool as you like into the bottom right-hand corner to draw United level.

If that goal was a bit scrappy until the finish, there was nothing scrappy about the next two, both coming at the end of typically slick passing moves. First up Petrucci found Brady who, in turn, played in Dudgeon on the overlap – his low cross found James bursting into the area from midfield and guiding the ball home left-footed on the volley. Then came the goal of the game – more crisp passing between Petrucci, Brady and Morrison eventually saw the ball at the feet of Norwood some 25 yards out. One quick look up later and the Burnley-born midfielder was curling the ball exquisitely into the top corner and leaving the Baggies keeper motionless and powerless.

3-1 at half-time then. The second half appeared to be a tale of missed chances on both sides, United not quite managing to kill the game off and West Brom not quite managing to get back into. They did eventually reduce the arrears to just the one goal with twenty minutes to go, catching the Reds out with a swift counter – substitute striker Wood finishing smartly after a clever throughball put him in behind the defence. This prompted a late siege on the United goal, with Gary Woods required to make one blinding save with his feet to help ensure his side closed out the game and took all three points back up the road to Manchester.

1. Gary Woods
2. Reece Brown
3. Joe Dudgeon (12. Oliver Gill)
4. Kenny Strickland
5. Scott Wootton
6. Matty James (c)
7. Ra’vel Morrison
8. Oliver Norwood
9. Federico Macheda (14. Nicky Ajose)
10. Davide Petrucci
11. Robbie Brady (16. Cameron Stewart)

Subs not used
13. Chapman
15. Chris Curran

12 Responses to “WBA 2 United 3: Academy back to winning ways at West Brom”

  1. Phil said

    Slack reporting imo.

  2. PK said

    Aw, common. It clearly says more details to come. Usually, the full report takes a couple of days to come anyway. Be patient ’cause Nick always comes up with good reports when gets ’em done. This one should be no different.

    I’m just as eager to know what happened as the next guy but I can wait as long as it’s worth the wait. Usually, it is. No need to complain about it.

  3. martini said

    i no kiko, james and norwood scored,

  4. nickogs20 said

    PK – don’t worry, that was just a mate of mine having a laugh. Cheers anyway though!

    Martini – cheers.

  5. Barry said

    Showed the highlights on MUTV at 5.30. Norwood’s goal was an absolute peach. Ravel Morrison and Brady were on the wings, Petrucci was just off Macheda

  6. PK said

    Aha, apologies then.

  7. nickogs20 said

    No need to apologise!

  8. PK said

    I was made to look like a fool! (*sob* *sob*)

    Nah, it’s all good. Like the atmosphere of the site. Nothing too big and quite suitable for youth and reserves coverage. Unlike some of the other places I’ve been to where people get flamed for fun.

    Great job.

  9. Weuji said

    Totally agree with u PK! Nick, u have been doing an excellent job! Btw, is Ravel Morrison a new chap? Havent heard of him before!

  10. LouisRocca said

    Ra’vel Morrison is a U16 player, quite promising, good speed, skills and courage, he’s not afraid to take on players. He played and scored in England U16s 7-0 trashing of NI last month.

    Great job Nick, not the easiest job keeping updated about our youngsters!

  11. ross said

    Devlin was injured apparently, Chapman a trialist goalkeeper, u-16 i think. Good to see Brady get a run in the team now, reckon he has potential, hopefully will do well and get a chance in reserves. The Insiders on MUTV this Sunday night is doing a focus on the academy.

  12. PK said

    Great to see, IMO, the best 3 Academy players we have at the moment (outside Welbeck maybe), all chip in goals. Good to see the lads back to winning ways :D

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