United Youth

Manchester United Reserves & Academy News

City 1 United 0: U18s succumb to late strike

Posted by nickogs20 on February 14, 2009

Manchester City Man Utd
Manchester City U18s 1-0 Manchester United U18s
Benali 84

In a very tense derby match at Platt Lane this morning, very little separated the two teams until City snatched a late goal to win the game and complete the double over their United counterparts. The Reds largely matched their table-topping local rivals but couldn’t find a way past Clegg in the City goal, the hosts ultimately making Paul McGuinness’ side pay with the only goal of the match from Ahmed Benali, a strike that ended United’s impressive unbeaten away record.

As has generally been the case of late, the side McGuinness named had a youthful look about it – Tom Thorpe returning to the starting lineup after a couple of games away and boosting the number of U16s in the team to three (Ravel Morrison and Ryan Tunnicliffe the other of course). Up front, Josh King was handed a first competitive start for the academy, while Davide Petrucci was brought back in to support the Norwegian. With Matt James on the bench (along with Kiko Macheda), Oliver Norwood continued to wear the captain’s armband.

Joshua King - a long overdue first U18 start

Joshua King - a long overdue first U18 start

United had the best of the first half without really putting the City keeper under any pressure. The approach play was of the usual class but with Macheda watching from the sidelines, the cutting edge wasn’t quite there – one goalline clearance from Cunningham aside, the Reds never really looked like taking the lead. Indeed, the best chance of the half probably fell to Cunningham, who spooned a shot wide when well-placed inside the United area.

The second half belonged to City and it felt just a matter of time before they created something concrete.
Their breakthrough came with ten minutes to go, when a cross from the left found Benali, and after controlling the ball, he beat Joe Dudgeon and put the ball past the despairing Conor Devlin.

United upped the tempo in a bid to get something from the game and nearly equalised with a fine volley from Norwood, Clegg making an outstanding save from the Reds midfielder. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be for McGuinness’ men, and defeat not only ended the Reds’ impressive undefeated away record but also effectively put paid to any slim hopes of mounting a challenge for the Group C title – City’s nine-point lead surely too much now to overhaul.

Regardless, this was a strong showing by the young Reds. Deserving a point and feeling extremely unlucky to lose is in stark contrast to the 5-0 hammering City dished out in the equivalent fixture last season, and – coming on the back of the 2-0 reverse at Carrington in December where the Reds again were probably worthy of a share of the spoils on the balance of play – matching Jim Cassell’s significantly older and more physical Blues side is greatly encouraging.

1. Conor Devlin
2. Ryan Tunnicliffe
3. Joe Dudgeon
4. Tom Thorpe
5. Scott Wootton
6. Oliver Norwood (c)
7. Nicky Ajose
8. Ravel Morrison
9. Joshua King (15. Federico Macheda 73)
10. Davide Petrucci
11. Robbie Brady (14. Chris Curran 77)

Subs not used
12. Oliver Gill
13. Gary Woods
16. Matt James

6 Responses to “City 1 United 0: U18s succumb to late strike”

  1. Did oliver nicholas [CB] started this game for Man City and if so, how did he do?

  2. nickogs20 said

    According to this site – http://mcfcreserves-academy.blogspot.com/2009/02/manchester-united-lose-tight-junior.html – he didn’t.

  3. Marcus said

    Did Josh King play well?

  4. Tone said

    He played alright, definitly has some potential. But we weren’t exactly awsome going forward…

  5. philiprolfe said

    The official site’s report looks very similar to this one, which was posted well earlier…

  6. […] looked set to be enough to earn at least a point, a late goal for the boys in laser blue earned City a somewhat fortuitous 1-0 derby win – the Reds would have to wait until later in the year to settle that score. This game also […]

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