Reserves: Curzon Ashton 0 United 4 – Reds cruise through pre-season opener
Posted by nickogs20 on July 12, 2010
July 12th 2010, 7.45pm
Tameside Stadium, Ashton-under-Lyne
|Curzon Ashton||0-4||Manchester United Reserves|
United’s Reserves got their pre-season programme off to flying start with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Curzon Ashton at the Tameside Stadium.
The last encounter between these two sides ended in a resounding 8-0 victory for the Reds, and with goals from Magnus Eikrem, Ravel Morrison and Nicky Ajose giving Ole Solskjaer’s side a 3-0 lead at the break, a similar scoreline looked on the cards. United – showing off the club’s new home kit for the first time – laid siege to the Curzon goal in the second half and the brilliant Robbie Brady added a fine fourth, but the woodwork, several near misses and some profligate finishing meant that the non-leaguers kept the scoreline respectable.
Solskjaer’s line-up was built around the core of the side that won the national Reserve League title last season and bolstered by the returns from injury of centre-back James Chester and playmaker Magnus Eikrem. 17 year-old Ravel Morrison – so impressive for the U18s before the summer break – was given the chance to step up, while a number of his fellow second-year academy scholars were among the substitutes. With last season’s skipper Corry Evans away with the first-team in America, Cameron Stewart assumed the captaincy.
Just as in that 8-0 demolition back in September 2005, the Reds took the lead inside the first ten minutes. Nicky Ajose’s clever through ball allowed Joshua King to outpace the Curzon backline, and while his shot was parried by the home side’s keeper, fellow Norwegian Eikrem was on hand to tap home the loose ball from close range. King was involved in the second goal as well, finding Morrison with a pinpoint pass. It’s hard to credit the striker with an assist however, such was the quality of the impudent chipped finish from the young Mancunian.
A third United goal wasn’t long in coming, and it was brilliantly crafted by Joe Dudgeon. The Northern Ireland U21 international rampaged forward from left-back and sent across a tricky low centre which found its way to Ajose, who finished smartly from an acute angle. The game well and truly in the bag by half-time, Solskjaer used all seven substitutes at the break, leaving just Chester, Scott Wootton, Oliver Gill and Cameron Stewart to complete the full ninety.
Robbie Brady was among those half-time replacements and immediately set about stamping his mark on the game. The Irish winger went agonisingly close with a 35-yarder that flew narrowly over the bar and soon went even closer, rattling the bar with a rasping effort from distance. The Northern Premier League outfit couldn’t handle the 18 year-old and he soon got the goal his efforts deserved, cutting in off the flank and curling a brilliant strike past the helpless keeper.
The floodgates looked all set to open, especially after Brady went close once again, but the scoring was completed for the evening. That wasn’t for lack of trying on United’s part – Stewart hitting the woodwork and seeing two shots deflected narrowly wide, Brady going close once again and subs Zeki Fryers and Ollie Norwood both skying over the bar when well placed – but 4-0 it ended. Still a more than satisfactory first run-out, and to cap off an enjoyable night, Curzon president and member of the 1948 United FA Cup-winning side Jack Crompton presented the Reds with a trophy named in his honour. 2010/11 is underway, and next up the second string head to Scotland, where they take on Dunfermline this coming Saturday.
1. Conor Devlin (13. Sam Johnstone 46)
2. Scott Wootton
3. Joe Dudgeon (12. Zeki Fryers 46)
4. James Chester
5. Oliver Gill
6. Rodrigo Possebon (14. Oliver Norwood 46)
7. Cameron Stewart (c)
8. Ravel Morrison (15. Ryan Tunnicliffe 46)
9. Joshua King (18. Will Keane 46)
10. Magnus Eikrem (17. Jesse Lingard 46)
11. Nicky Ajose (16. Robbie Brady 46)