U18s: Stoke 0 United 4 – Class from Keane as Reds cruise past Potters
Posted by nickogs20 on October 10, 2010
October 9th 2010, 11am
Clayton Wood Training Ground, Stoke-on-Trent
|Stoke City U18s||0-4||Manchester United U18s|
|–||W.Keane 14 (pen), 40|
A first-half double from Will Keane helped United’s U18s extend their unbeaten start to the season to eight games with a convincing 4-0 win over Stoke City.
Making their first visit to the Potters’ newly-revamped Clayton Wood training complex, the Reds got off to a fine start as Keane netted from the spot to hand Paul McGuinness’ side an early lead. Leading scorer John Cofie grabbed the second goal ten minutes before the break, and with Keane netting a classy third just minutes later, United had all but secured the points by half-time. A brilliant long-range strike from Paul Pogba just before the hour mark made completely sure, the Frenchman’s third goal in as many games capping another fine win and sending the Reds top of Premier Academy League Group C.
International call-ups deprived McGuinness of the services of a number of players, with Sam Johnstone, Zeki Fryers (both England U19), Sean McGinty (Ireland U19) and Etzaz Hussain (Norway U19) all away representing their countries in European Championship qualifiers. Skipper Tom Thorpe was also expected to miss out after withdrawing from the England U19 squad with an injury, but a rapid recovery meant he took his place at the heart of the defence and maintained his ever-present status for the season so far.
United almost literally picked up where they left off against Blackburn last week, starting the game well on top and opening the scoring in the exact same manner they finished off Rovers – via a Will Keane penalty. Jesse Lingard controlled a long pass from Ryan Tunnicliffe and rolled the ball into the path of the onrushing Keane, whose run was abruptly and unfairly halted by a Stoke defender. While Potters’ boss Adrian Pennock protested the penalty award so vehemently that he was ordered from the dugout by the referee, there really seemed little to complain about as Keane picked himself up and tucked the penalty away to give the Reds a deserved early lead.
A Keane was at the main architect behind United’s second goal as well, although this time it was the more unexpected figure of Will’s twin Michael. The 17 year-old right-back has impressed with his attacking contributions this season and made a telling one here, bursting into the box with great pace and cleverly beating his man to the byline, leaving him unopposed to pick out John Cofie six yards out with a low cut-back that was just begging to be tapped in.
The focus swung back to Will moments later as the Reds essentially killed the game off five minutes before the break. The Stockport-born forward had been struggling somewhat to reproduce the form that won him Player of the Year and Leading Goalscorer honours last term (his only competitive goals to that point coming from the penalty spot), but he produced a real moment of brilliance to grab his second and United’s third goal of the game. Tunnicliffe was involved again, once more displaying his underrated range of passing with a raking ball out to Cofie on the right-flank. The big striker looked up and picked out Keane on the edge of the box, where a sublime touch allowed him to escape the close attention of his marker and fire into the bottom corner.
With Stoke unusually passive, the Reds’ comfortable stroll through what had promised to be a tricky away game continued unabated in the second half, with Paul Pogba adding his name to the scoresheet in impressive fashion just before the hour mark. The French midfielder kept up his run of scoring in every game since his return from injury, latching onto Keane’s lay-off some 25 yards out and unleashing a fearsome strike that dipped viciously and left the Stoke keeper with no chance.
The game well and truly won, McGuinness handed run-outs to Tom Lawrence, Luke Hendrie and Luke Giverin and took the opportunity to rest Cofie and Tunnicliffe, who have both already played a significant amount of football this season. The changes predictably led to things becoming more disjointed, and with neither side having too much incentive to take a stranglehold on proceedings, the game drifted somewhat listlessly to its conclusion, United more than content with a day’s work that took them back to the top of their group and left them as one of just two teams who remain unbeaten in academy football. The Reds will put that unblemished record on the line once again next Saturday as they make the trip to Merseyside to face an Everton side who have started the season in similarly impressive fashion.
1. Liam Jacob
2. Michael Keane
3. Tyler Blackett (14. Luke Giverin 66)
4. Michele Fornasier
5. Tom Thorpe (c)
6. Ryan Tunnicliffe (16. Luke Hendrie 66)
7. Jesse Lingard
8. Paul Pogba
9. John Cofie (15. Tom Lawrence 61)
10. Will Keane
11. Charni Ekangamene
Subs not used
12. Alberto Massacci
13. Joe Coll
Ref: M Duncan