Barclays Premier League Under-18s
Manchester United vs. Stoke City
Venue: AON Training Complex
Date: Saturday, 13 September 2014
Kick-off: 11:00 BST
Manchester United under-18s scored their first home goal of the season, as they saw off Stoke City 1-0 at the AON Training Complex.
Demetri Mitchell scored the only goal of the game and in doing so, he has now scored all four of United’s league goals this season, adding to the hat-trick he scored at Newcastle a couple of weeks back.
He also scored for England’s under-18s during the international break, a free-kick against Holland, and his great start to the season continued again today.
The opening chance of the game came inside the third minute.
Callum Gribbin’s pull back from the by-line on the right found Devonte Redmond, whose first time effort flew just over the bar.
Daniel Jarvis nearly tapped in a deep corner to the from post for the visitors before Gribbin was involved again for United, threading a superb through ball into the right channel, but Joe Riley’s shot was saved by Daniel Gyollai.
Julian M’Goy teed up Kelvin Douglas on the edge pf the penalty area, but his shot was deflected over before the opening goal came just after 25 minutes.
Tyler Reid played a simple pass out wide to Mitchell on the right-hand side – switching from the left in an attempt to find more joy. The confidence in his game was there for all to see as he ran into the box, cutting back onto his left foot and wrong-footing Lee Pickerill in the process, and firing a composed finish into the far corner.
A flurry of Stoke chances occurred however, as they looked for an immediate response and way back into the game.
Charles Weston-Hayles seemed to shove RoShaun Williams off the ball but the referee deemed it fair, and his run inside the area ended with his shot being deflected over, much to the frustration for the number 10.
Pickerill then picked out Oliver Roberts with a neat through ball into the left channel, but the latter’s ball across the six yard area was met by no-one and fell behind for a goal-kick.
George Dorrington then failed to deal with a deep cross from the right, but as the ball fell to M’Goy, he was off-balance, allowing Dorrington to recover and hold the tame shot.
A much better attempt from M’Goy came after his mazy run gave Axel Tuanzebe a lot of trouble, weaving in and out and eventually surpassing United’s skipper, but his left foot shot over blazed past the post.
The final chance of the half fell to Rashford, but his free-kick was rash and wild, sailing over without harming Gyollai’s goal.
The opening five minutes after the interval saw Michtell’s run end with a shot flying over before Riley came closer to doubling the lead, with his shot falling just wide of the right-hand post after picking the ball up on the edge of the box.
Just as Redmond looked like losing possession of the ball, he managed to poke it through to Mitchell whose first time effort was heading goalwards, until a great save by Gyollai denied him a second of the game.
Liam Edwards saw his header from a corner deflected wide before Yusuf Coban’s header from the resulting corner could only find the top of the net.
The ever-lively and impressive Mitchell took on the Stoke defence once more as he ran into the box after receiving the ball on the left-hand side, but his shot was deflected into the side netting.
The move of the game followed.
Gribbin was unable to find room to get a shot away as he ran inside the penalty area so he gave the ball to Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, who found Redmond lingering on the edge of the box, who moved the ball over to the right to Riley, whose forward pass found Mitchell, whose inside pass found Gribbin, who gave it back to Mitchell, but his first time effort was parried by Gyollai, in what would have been one of the goals of the season.
The United pressure continued with Riley shooting over before Reid, Riley again, and then Gribbin all seeing their shots saved by the busy Gyollai, in the space of three minutes.
Just two minutes later Riley’s through ball into the right-hand channel found Redmond whose first time ball across the box as Gyollai committed himself, was heading for Rashford for a tap-in, only for right-back Lewis Banks to clear the ball behind for a corner.
An overlapping run by Riley on the left-hand side allowed Rashford to outwit the Stoke defence and come inside, and his curling effort fell just wide, in what was the last real chance of the game.
United’s first home win of the season flattered Stoke in the end, as the 1-0 scoreline could and probably should have been so much more, despite an even first half.
The Manchester derby awaits these United youngsters next week, away from home, as the Red Devils draw level on points with the visitors from today with this win.
Manchester United: Dorrington; Reid, Tuanzebe, Williams, Borthwick-Jackson; Riley, McTominay, Redmond, Mitchell Dearnley 83); Gribbin; Rashford.
Subs: Warren, Henderson, Croskery, Dearnley, Johnson.
Manager: Paul McGuinness
Stoke City: Gyollai; Banks, Edwards, Williams, Pickerill; Coban, Roberts, Douglas (Yao 67), Jarvis (Shepherd); M’Goy, Weston-Hayles.
Subs: Shepherd, Marques, Yao, Brierley, Smith.