Barclays Premier League Under-18s
Manchester United vs. Chelsea
Venue: J. Davidson Stadium
Date: Saturday, 2 May 2015
Kick-off: 11:00 BST
Manchester United’s U18s succumbed to a 1-2 defeat at home to Chelsea, despite taking the lead at the J. Davidson Stadium.
Marcus Rashford gave the hosts a seventh minute lead from the penalty spot, before Cameron Borthwick-Jackson scored an own goal, and saw the ball deflected off him for the Blues’ winner in stoppage time, courtesy of Miro Muheim’s shot.
Chelsea began the game brightly, with Mukhtar Ali seeing a shot from distance bouncing towards goal but comfortably held by Dean Henderson.
However, against the run of play, United took the lead from the penalty spot, after Josh Grant brought down Rashford after his bursting run into the box.
Rashford took the kick, sending Jared Thompson the wrong way, firing into the bottom corner.
Tyler Reid’s low cross found Ruairi Croskery at the near post, who saw the ball flick of Grant, only for the officials to award a goal kick rather than a corner.
Reid was at it again down the right-hand side, and his surging run and pull back after a give-and-go with Rashford found Croskery once more, only for his first time effort to produce a fine save from Thompson’s right foot.
Ali again tried his luck from distance with a speculative shot falling wide of Henderson’s goal, before Borthwick-Jackson produced a fantastic block to thwart Isaac Christie-Davies’ shot, after he was played in by Hubert Adamczyk’s back heel.
Borthwick-Jackson himself saw a shot held after cutting inside from the left and striking the ball with his weaker right foot.
Some neat passing and possession from Chelsea led to Muheim’s turn and shot being held, before Rashford laid off Jordan Thomspon on the edge of the area at the other end, but the latter saw his shot held by his namesake.
Chelsea’s front three of Adamczyk, Faiq Bolkiah and Christie-Davies combined well to set up Ali, but his shot from the edge of the box fell wide of Henderson’s right-hand post.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah played a one-two with Callum Gribbin, but the former’s shot flew over the bar from distance, as a keenly-fought first half drew to a close.
Into the second half and Christie-Davies saw a free-kick fall just wide, so much so that half of the J. Davidson Stadium thought it was in.
Gribbin’s drifted corner from the left towards the near post was met by captain RoShaun Williams, but his flicked header towards the back post was left unmet, as the ball fell wide.
Gribbin found Rashford who decided to drag the ball back past Trevoh Chalobah – brother of Nathaniel – but his shot hit the side netting.
Christie-Davies saw a wild shot fly both high and wide, as Gribbin’s relatively tame shot fell wide at the other end.
Muheim’s corner was met by substitute Mason Mount, but his side-foot volley was held by Henderson.
It was déjà vu as once again Henderson held Mount’s shot, this time on the turn.
Chelsea did get back on level terms, the least that they deserved, as Dujon Sterling beat Joe Riley inside the box and his low cross was turned into his own net by Borthwick-Jackson.
Rashford and substitute Cole Dasilva saw shots held at either end, before a neat United move led to Gribbin getting the ball onto his weaker right foot, and also seeing his shot held.
Christie-Davies was next to see a shot held; likewise Reid was at the other end, as plenty of chances began to fall for both sides, just not any clear cut chances.
This all changed a minute later as Muheim expertly flicked the ball over Borthwick-Jackson, prompting Henderson to rush off his line, and see the ball canon off his legs from Muheim’s effort.
Mount then lacked composure as he fired the ball over the bar from Christie-Davies’ lay off, as Wakefield’s attempt to catch Henderson out at his near post backfired, with the ball striking the side netting.
But in cruel fashion, Chelsea won it in the third minute of stoppage time, as Muheim’s shot deflected off of Borthwick-Jackson, and the ball looped over Henderson and in.
A crushing blow in the final home game of the season, but on merit, this result was probably fair.
United’s unbeaten record in the J. Davidson Stadium ends, with Paul McGuinness’ side unable to hang on to their one goal lead, and then fail to hold on for a point.
Still, plenty of positives to take from this season for the U18s, as the campaign draws to a close next week, with a trip to the northeast to face Middlesbrough.
Manchester United: Henderson; Reid, Williams, Fosu-Mensah, Borthwick-Jackson; Redmond, Thompson; Gribbin, Croskery, Riley; Rashford.
Subs: Scott, Dorrington, Rathbone, Whelan.
Manager: Paul McGuinness
Chelsea: Thompson; Sterling, Grant, Chalobah; Wakefield, Sammut, Ali (Mount 46), Muheim; Christie-Davies, Adamczyk; Bolkiah (Dasilva 63).
Subs: Mount, Cumming, C. Dasilva.