Manchester United U18s were in action today as they took on Burnley in the Premier League North. Coach Travis Binnion fielded this XI as follows: Vitek; Ogunneye, Fredricson, Aljofree, Bennett; Gore, Oyedele; Ennis, Moorhouse, Mather; Norkett. And, on the bench were: Hanbury, Nolan, Kingdon, Mainoo, Berry.
The game started in high intensity as both Burnley and Manchester United were fighting for the ball. Burnley started the game with an early challenge on Vitek, with the referee booking Leckie in the process. In the following minutes, United were clearly putting their dominance on display as Norkett, Ennis and Mather were quite active in the opponent’s box. Norkett’s powerful shot was met by a save from the goalkeeper, with Ogunneye fires the ball away in the rebound. The game was weighing in United’s way as Ennis’ interception was followed by a ball forward towards Mather, however the flag was up much to our disappointment.
It was all United at that point of the game as Ogunneye in an attempt to break in the box clashes with Burnley’s McCulloch with both of the player down receiving treatment. A few moments, Daniel Gore took matter in his own feet to break the Burnley defence, but was met by a well organised setup. Well, it was clear as day that Burnley would finally start moving forward and make some of the chances matter.
United were cautious in the back and left Burnley with little space to act on. Vitek was called in action a few times and the keeper showed some brilliant skills of goalkeeping while being a bit adventurous in a few moments. While so far the refereeing was up to the standards, a strange outcome was noted when United’s Ogunneye was kicked in the head (unintentional from McCulloch), Burnley were awarded a free kick. Moorhouse benefitted from confusion created on Burnley’s box and he hit it well to make it 1-0 for United. As we approached the end of the first half, Vitek was again a protagonist, and it has to be noted that while United were the better side, things weren’t always clicking.
Footage courtesy of MUTV.
Burnley equalised early in the second half through Ratchford as United’s defence looked disjointed. Manchester United made a substitution in their ranks as Moorhouse left the pitch for Mainoo. United managed to get themselves in a lot of trouble during this half, as they had been inviting pressure early on and the players were clearly facing trouble on moving forward. The young Reds were in need of a wake up call and they managed to fix things later on with Ethan Ennis doing some brilliant runs and then passing at Norkett who was quite unlucky not to score as Burnley cleared the line once more.
Sam Mather then from a United corner found Burnley’s first line of defence, but the ball is back to his feet and his brilliant cross finds Norkett who makes no mistake, scoring his sixth goal of the season.
More footage courtesy of MUTV.
In what seemed to be a narrow win for the U18s, Burnley had something else in mind as a swinging cross left United a bit stunned only a few minutes from the last whistle. While this has not been a great performance from the Reds, it has be noted that they have a lot to work on as a team defensively and also finishing their chances.