By Nathan Thomas.
Moss Lane 8/9/2011
Manchester United Reserves – 2
Blackett (37) M. Keane (57)
Bury Reserves – 0
A young United reserve contingent plundered their way to a 2-0 victory over Bury in the Manchester Senior Cup on a rain sodden night at Moss Lane despite being well off top form.
Before the game statistics didn’t exactly predict a positive result for Bury who have failed to score against United in eighteen previous MSC ties, however it appeared that the tide may be about to change as the Shakers began brightly and took advantage of United’s poor passing in the middle of the park, which was to become a common feature for the entirety of the ninety minutes.
Within the first five minutes Bury signalled their intentions that they weren’t just there to make up the numbers when Lingard was on the receiving end of a meaty challenge which curtailed the midfielder’s game before the ten minute mark. The Greater Manchester outfit were more than just reckless tackling however and they did pose an attacking threat themselves with Haworth posing a number of problems down the left hand side. Through Haworth Bury almost broke the deadlock after he swung in a cross after getting the better of Michael Keane and Marnick Vermijl. Loftus connected with the cross but could only turn the ball against the post, a lucky break for the stuttering Reds.
Ben Amos was also tested on a number of occasions before the Reds fashioned their first chance of note when John Cofie stole a march on his marker and despite having Will Keane running off him, probably in a better position he elected to shoot but dragged his shot wide. United did increase the tempo as the half drew on and this largely coincided with the introduction of Tyler Blackett, deployed in an more advanced position than normal on the left wing Blackett provided a bit of energy an impetus that was missing from United’s performance.
However despite this United’s performance was still leggy and the cohesion simply wasn’t there. Bury were still making all the running going forward and frequently tested Tom Thorpe who has recently returned from a stint on the sidelines, despite this Thorpe coped well with the physical test imposed upon him. Despite Tom’s valiant defending shortly after the half hour mark Bury missed a great chance to take the lead and enjoy a rarity for the Shakers, scoring against United. Bury won a corner which was delivered into the danger area then cleared away only for it to be whipped back in again but an unmarked Rothwell could only head over when he really should have done better.
This was to be the last let off for United and the Reds began to assert more of an authority on proceedings whilst still flattering to deceive. In spite of all Bury’s first half pressure it was United who took the lead shortly before half time. Larnell Cole won a free kick after a great piece of skill on the right flank, the winger then took his own free kick which was well palmed out by Bury’s keeper Richie Branagan however it fell right to the feet of Tyler Blackett and United’s best player lofted a precise volley into the top corner of the goal. United were one to the good but in truth they largely didn’t merit their advantage.
In the remaining minutes before half time United’s goal seemed to take the wind out of Bury’s sails and United might have gone further ahead were it not for the linesman ruling John Cofie offside when he was through on goal. It wasn’t to be however but the Reds could count themselves fortunate to be ahead at all.
The second half began as the first had ended with yet more mis-timed and mis-placed passes by the men in Red as the young starlets still struggled to become accustomed to a new set up and pretty awful conditions. However despite failing to set the world alight United managed a second goal just before the our mark, it was Giverin this time who crossed from a corner and Michael Keane plundered through the unassembled Bury defence to prod home number two.
The game did appear to be opening up after Keane’s strike with the next goal now crucial; however the longer that goal didn’t come the more the game began to fizzle out. Chances did still emerge though as the lively Tyler Blackett supplied a peach of a ball which neither John Cofie or Will Keane could connect with and then at the other end Pratt’s deflected effort almost beat Amos but the spin on the ball was enough to kill the pace and the England youth international was able to gather comfortably.
This was the last note of any action in what was largely a poor game, however credit must be given to the young United contingent (eight of whom were eighteen) who, despite not playing particularly well dug deep and ground out the result.
United: Amos, M. Keane, McGinty, Cole, Thorpe, Fryers, Vermijl, Lingard, Cofie, W. Keane, Giverin. Subs. Massacci. Jacob (GK). Leao. James. Blackett
Bury: Branagan, Rothwell, Tremarco, Jones, Clarke, Cregg, McCarthy, Harrop, Hudson, Loftus, Haworth. Subs: Toth, Howley (GK), Joyce, Pratt, Jennings
Check the latest Reserve team statistics here.