Reserves: Dunfermline 1 United 5 – Reds hit five in Fife
Posted by nickogs20 on July 18, 2010
July 17th 2010, 3pm
East End Park, Dunfermline
|Dunfermline||1-5||Manchester United Reserves|
|Kirk 63||–||King 1, 16|
United’s Reserves made it nine goals scored in their first two pre-season games as they put five past an outclassed Dunfermline at East End Park.
Coming off the back of a four-goal haul against Curzon Ashton on Monday, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side picked up where they left off and blew the Scottish First Division outfit away in the first half. Joshua King grabbed two goals inside the first twenty minutes, those two strikes sandwiching another from Nicky Ajose, and Rodrigo Possebon’s long range effort made it four before the break. While Andy Kirk’s free-kick pulled a goal back for the home side in a quieter second half, Will Keane put some deserved gloss on the scoreline and restored the four-goal cushion with a typical finish five minutes from time.
The same 18-man squad involved in the game against Curzon made the trip north of the border, with just the one change being made to the starting XI – Oliver Norwood replacing Cameron Stewart. James Chester continued his return from a lengthy injury lay-off, while Magnus Eikrem was handed the captain’s armband.
The tone was set for the game very very quickly, within twenty-one seconds in fact. Nicky Ajose’s right-wing cross looked to be relatively harmless but the two covering Dunfermline defenders conspired to take each other out in true Keystone Kops style, leaving the lurking Joshua King with the simplest of finishes.
If that early setback left the Pars reeling, little more than fifteen minutes later they were practically out for the count, and skipper for the day Eikrem was the architect of their downfall. His raking long pass set Ajose clear down the right channel and allowed the 18 year-old to deftly clip the ball past goalkeeper Chris Smith, and the Norwegian playmaker then followed that up with a defence-splitting ball for his compatriot King to latch onto and drill home from the edge of the box.
United continued to pour forward, Norwood and Ajose both going close, and it wasn’t until just before the half-hour mark that the home side had their first real effort on goal. Buoyed by that, Dunfermline then forced a couple of corners in quick succession, but from the second they were to succumb to a typical United counter-attack as Eikrem and Ajose combined to tee up Rodrigo Possebon some thirty yards out. The Italian let fly with a sweetly-struck effort that Smith couldn’t keep out, and the hosts found themselves four goals in arrears heading into the interval.
Half-time brought the usual array of changes, with Solskjaer and Warren Joyce bringing on Sam Johnstone, Cameron Stewart, Will Keane and Robbie Brady for the second 45. Perhaps those changes disrupted the Reds’ rhythm, possibly the United youngsters were guilty of slacking off with the game won or maybe a smarting home side simply raised their game – either way, the match was a much more even contest after the break, and the Pars got reward for their vast second half improvement in the form of a somewhat wind-assisted freekick from striker Andy Kirk.
Both sides made further changes and unsurprisingly the game suffered as a spectacle, although Nick Phinn spurned a couple of fine chances to make the scoreline more respectable for the SFL side. It was United who were to have the last word however, Academy Player of the Year Will Keane collecting a pass from Brady and showing his usual unerring accuracy in front of goal to make it 5-1. That was how it finished, a terrific result for such a young side against a group of experienced senior pros, and Solskjaer will hope his charges can produce something similar next week as they travel south to take on a useful Yeovil Town side.
1. Conor Devlin (13. Sam Johnstone 46)
2. Scott Wootton
3. Joe Dudgeon (12. Zeki Fryers 64)
4. James Chester (15. Ryan Tunnicliffe 64)
5. Oliver Gill
6. Rodrigo Possebon
7. Oliver Norwood (14. Cameron Stewart 46)
8. Ravel Morrison (16. Robbie Brady 46)
9. Joshua King (18. Will Keane 46)
10. Magnus Eikrem
11. Nicky Ajose (17. Jesse Lingard 64)
Dunfermline: Smith (Allison 46); Woods, Dowie, Keddie, McCann (c)(Higgins 46); Willis, Bell (Thomson 76), Mason, Phinn, Graham (Kirk 25), McDougall (Clarke 46).
Not used: McGregor, White.
Referee: Dougie McDonald