Manchester United’s U18 played on Saturday as they hosted Derby County at Carrington in their final match before the most important FA Youth Cup Final on May 11th.
United started the game at the top with Joe Hugill leading the channels in the opening minutes and creating a chance for Ethan Ennis to indent from the left, but the winger’s blow flew over the bar.
Ennis and Hugill reunited shortly after Ennis played Hugill on the left to put the striker into the penalty area. A well-timed interception by a defender cut off Hugill’s ball, but sent it back to him for a volley shot on goal, only saved by a phenomenal defense.
Seconds later and another big chance came United as Omari Forson slipped into the box and Ennis hit the goal from close range but failed to slip into the goalkeeper.
On the 21st minute, United’s throw-in from the left kicked Forson, who turned on the edge of the penalty area and looked like he had curled into the far corner, but the goalkeeper parried straight into Mannie Norkett’s path to stick into the open net and fire. Unify the lead.
A few minutes later, Forson jumped in, taking a step forward before playing a reverse pass to Hugill on the right, who fired the side, forcing the goalkeeper to lean over to a corner.
On 32 minutes, Hugill split the defenders to get past Norkett on the right, but his sustained effort passed over the crossbar as he tried to catch the goalkeeper.
Moments later, Kobbie Mainoo did a good job of keeping the ball in the lower left corner, before breaking through two defenders and passing it to Ennis, who struck sideways past the left post.
The first half is over and the score is still only 1-0, even though United could easily have had many more.
In the second half, Ennis was still playing on the left flank as his cross in the center missed everyone, but he fell to Norkett in the back post to crush low, but was defended by de Gea with a goalkeeper foot keeper.
Charlie McNeill came off the bench in the 59th minute with Sam Mather and the duo made an immediate impact.
Mainoo hit the heart of the Derby, holding back a lot of tackles before giving it to Mather who happily bounced off a defender to set McNeill into an easy strike to double the advantage.
Five minutes later Mather was playing delivery again when he turned on the edge of the box and found McNeill open on the right side trying to curl up with the outside of his right shoe but couldn’t get around which led to routine except for the bouncer.
The roles reversed on the 84th minute when McNeill grabbed the long ball in the left channel and leveled, with Mather on the back post five yards away to seal the victory.
The win puts United in third place in the final game of the season in two weeks against Nottingham Forest, but not before the same host in the FA Youth Cup Final.
States: Wooster, Lawrence, Aljofree, Jackson, Murray, Oyedele, Mainoo, Norkett (Mather 59), Forson (Collyer 59), Ennis, Hugill (McNeill 59)
Unused subtitles: Polakowski, Pye