By Nathan Youd.
Manchester United reserves needed penalties to overcome a spirited Bury reserves side after an absorbing 3-3 draw at Gigg Lane.
United twice came from behind and showed good character after being matched by their Bury counterparts throughout the game.
Two goals from Will Keane and one from the prolific James Wilson cancelled out a double from John Rooney and one from Anthony Dudley to ensure the game ended all square after 90 minutes, before United held their nerve in the shootout.
The home side started the brighter of the two teams and settled into their stride quickly, with John Rooney, brother of United’s Wayne Rooney stinging the palms of Sutherland from 18 yards.
Reece James flashed a shot wide of goal and Harrad wasted a good chance for Bury as the game began to open up.
Bury took the lead after 22 minutes, and it was a name that United fans would recognize on the score sheet who got the goal. Sutherland’s poor clearance fell to the feet of John Rooney, who finished with aplomb from 18 yards.
United struggled for fluidity throughout the first half as they struggled to link play between midfield and attack without influential midfielders Lingard and Januzaj.
United in fact rarely threatened the Brian Jensen in the Bury goal in the first half and Bury almost doubled their advantage five minutes before half time as Steve Jennings volleyed wide after being left unmarked at the back post.
United started the brighter in the second half, probably with Warren Joyce words still ringing in their ears as they looked to get a foothold back in the game.
Andreas Pereira fired wide when he could have slipped in Varela as United began to look lively.
United got the equaliser moments later and it was no surprise that James Wilson was once again on the score sheet as he poked Varela’s perfectly weighted through-ball past Jensen to level the scores.
Rooney gave United a reminder that Bury were still very much in the game with a powerful drive that forced Sutherland into a good stop on the hour mark.
And ten minutes later, Rooney punished United win a fantastic strike. The forward was left with far too much space outside the area and unleashed a left footed pile driver into the top corner.
The lead however would last just two minutes as Will Keane fired United level after good work down the left hand side by Tyler Blackett, who vindicated Warren Joyce’s decision to push him further forward in the second half.
Blackett’s persistence paid off again on 76 minutes as he set up Will Keane this time for United’s 3rd. The versatile defender stole the ball in the box and unselfishly squared for Keane who put United into the lead for the first time in the game.
But this time it was Bury’s turn to bounce back moments later as substitute Anthony Dudley latched onto a neat through ball to fire past Sutherland and level the scores once again.
Scores stayed level until full time and under the format of the Manchester Senior Cup, both teams received a point and the other two would be decided by the lottery of penalties.
And it would be United who prevailed 4-2 in the shoot-out after Holden and Harrad failed to hit the target. Keane, Pereira, James and Thorpe all scored to ensure United left Gigg Lane with three points.
Bury Reserves starting XI: Jensen, Potter, Holden, Poscha, Hinds, Jennings, Navas, McDermott, Rooney, Harrad, Obedayi.
Substitutes: Charles-Cook, Cliffe, Cook, Dudley
Manchester United Reserves starting XI: Sutherland; Varela, Thorpe, M. Keane, Blackett; Cole, Ekangamene, Pereira, James; W. Keane, Wilson.
Substitutes: Henderson, Grimshaw, Barmby, Love, McNair