Subs: Ridge; Sutherland, Gorre, Wilkinson; W. Keane
1-0, Lawerence pen. Will Keane has returned.
2-0, Will Keane. Full time.
Great to have Keano back in time for the FAYC tie and already back amongst the goals, close followers know that he's a bit like Rooney, he can go without a goal for ages and then when he gets one he can't stop so for him to be back in the goals so soon after his return is a big boost.
Rafael Leao, despite being a DM played as a lone striker today, seems a tad unfair, must have been weird, he'd have been facing the different direction to normal for the most of the game.
On-lookers seemed impressed by Daehli. Watched the Newcastle highlights last night and didn't get to see much of him but he's tiny. Looks like he's got good ball control can't say anything else as I haven't seen enough.
2-1 final score. A young U18s team. First defeat in eight games. A further 45 minutes for Keane is a positive. Very good to have him back. Very good to see Lawrence scoring again. Very good to see the U16s getting a chance.
EDIT: Leao played as a lone striker again and barely touched the ball. Very odd to play a DM upfront alone...
The 2nd leg is sandwiched between the final league game with Blackpool and GNev's testimonial with Juve. Hope people don't get put off about going 2/3 days in a row. Great 3 days of football at OT, it'll be like a Football Fest, hopefully weather's good and there'll be 3 days of celebration. No U18s in the final league game if title is already sewn up though, may be a chance for reserve/fringe players there. Don't know much about Sheff Utd's U18s but I can't see this United side losing to anyone unless they get complacent.
The U18s and U16s played a friendly vs Rochdale U17s tonight. They drew 2-2 and ended the game with 9 men. Ben Pearson got sent off the other reason they ended with 9 was because of injuries. Goals from Gorre and Pritchard.
Good to see other lads get a chance despite the result. The first 11 of the team have learnt a lot from the big defeats they took early on in the season, hopefully these lads can too. Think it will be a big boost to their FAYC hopes if they can get Byrne playing to this level. If they can get someone else to partner McCullogh at CB so Blackett can be played at LB that will also be a boost, as Blackett is a bit wasted at CB.
United's youngsters were beaten 3-1 against neighbours Manchester City at Platt Lane extending the winless run at league level to five games despite the impressive FA Youth Cup run.
Again without influential players such as skipper Luke McCullough and Belgian import Adnan Januzaj, the Reds were undone by some misfortune and loose defending at times. Nicolas Ioannou turned the ball past Jonny Sutherland to register an own goal with only seven minutes on the clock and it was always going to be an uphill battle after that setback.
Sutherland made one top-drawer save to keep United in the game but he had little chance when Albert Rusnak latched onto a Devante Cole pass to double the hosts' lead on 35 minutes.
Some marvellous work from Jack Barmby teed up Luke Hendrie to pull one back but any hopes of a stirring rally were dashed when Cole, Andy's son, claimed the third as he fought with Ioannou to squeeze in a cross by Adam Drury at the near post.
Mats Daehli fired wide and Liam Grimshaw, who returned from injury to make his first start of the season, was desperately unlucky to hit the woodwork but there was to be no late drama despite a much-improved second half display.