FA Youth Cup 4th Round
Manchester United vs. Hull City
Venue: Old Trafford
Date: Tuesday, 13 January 2015
Kick-off: 19:00 GMT
Manchester United booked their place in the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup with a convincing victory over Hull City at Old Trafford.
Three goals inside nine second half minutes secured the win, with Zak Dearnley and a brace from Callum Gribbin getting on the scoresheet.
Louis van Gaal, Sir Bobby Charlton, David Gill, Warren Joyce and Nicky Butt were among the spectators at the Theatre of Dreams, as a dominant performance from the Reds took centre stage.
Early on, Marcus Rashford, who scored twice last time out in the league win at Stoke, had a shot from distance that bounced just wide, before Devonte Redmond’s chested control and volley was saved with ease.
Joe Riley’s first time volley was headed off the line by Harvey Rodgers before Redmond’s volley fell wide of the post.
An innocuous challenge led to the withdrawal of Hull winger Ben Hinchliffe, and his replacement Jake Rose was booked not long after entering the fray, for a nasty challenge on Timothy Fosu-Mensah.
It was the latter who then sparked United’s next opportunity, spreading the ball out to the left for Dearnley, whose pull back found Rashford, only for his first time shot to treacle out for a goal-kick.
Rashford felt aggrieved moments later, as his near post toe poke from Tyler Reid’s low cross should’ve signalled a corner from referee Steve Copeland, but it wasn’t to be, as the frustrated striker shot wide minutes later.
A flurry of snow came from above, as did United’s chances as half-time approached.
Gribbin’s corner was flicked on by Rashford, and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson’s goalbound header was cleared off the line, before the left-back hit the bar after Reid’s cross came back in from the resulting melee, and Fosu-Mensah joined the act, hitting the post from his looping header, this time Redmond with the supplied cross.
After the break, Redmond shot wide, before Gribbin’s dinked pass over the Hull defence found Rashford, but his body positioning was all wrong, as the ball hit his thigh and allowed the Tigers to clear.
Fosu-Mensah saw a shot skim past the post before two goals in four minutes put United in cruise control at last.
Dutchman Fosu-Mensah played a Paul Scholes-esque pass out to the right-hand side, picking out the match winner from the last round Dearnley, and he ran at Josh Tymon, before his attempted cross deflected off the left-back and looped over the helpless Joe Walker and into the net.
If one stroke of luck opened the scoring, it was another that doubled the home side’s lead moments later.
Gribbin won himself a free-kick near the edge of the box, and he took the resulting kick, as the ball flicked off Will Annan in the Hull wall, and found its way into the back of the net.
Rashford curled a shot just over before the contest was put to bed via Gribbin’s second of the game.
Neat interchange between Riley, Rashford and Fosu-Mensah ended with Gribbin’s initial attempt blocked by Tymon, before United’s number 10 composed himself with a touch, before calmly stroking the ball past Walker at his near post.
Gribbin, on course for his hat-trick, unselfishly fed Rashford, but his shot was blocked by the impressive Rodgers, as Rashford’s rebounded volley from a tight angle was held.
Had the game been in the balance, I’m sure everybody inside the stadium would’ve witnessed Rose head down the Old Trafford tunnel early, such was the malice in hacking down Fosu-Mensah, but with the result in no doubt, Mr Copeland let him off with one final warning, opting against showing him a second yellow card.
Rodgers was then booked for a nasty challenge on substitute Ollie Rathbone on the edge of the penalty area: Riley took it; the wall did its job, before another substitute, Charlie Scott, saw his shot deflected wide.
Borthwick-Jackson headed over from close range before Rashford hit the bar, Rathbone forced a brilliant save from Walker from the rebound, and Rashford hit the side netting as the game drew to a conclusion.
Paul McGuinness can be proud of his team’s display tonight, as the U18s confirmed their place in the next round, where they will face Tottenham Hotspur or Wolverhampton Wanderers away from home, who face off on January 22.
The Manchester derby looms large for this side on Saturday, with an 11am kick-off time scheduled at the Aon Training Complex, as 2015 began in style for the youngsters in Red.
Manchester United: Henderson; Reid, Tuanzebe, Williams, Borthwick-Jackson; Fosu-Mensah, Redmond (Rathbone 87); Riley, Gribbin (Hamilton 87), Dearnley (Scott 79); Rashford.
Subs: Scott, Dorrington, Rathbone, Hamilton, Warren.
Manager: Paul McGuinness
Hull City: Walker; Clackstone, Rodgers, M. Hinchliffe, Tymon; Batty (Lofts 78), Barkworth; Buckle (Morton 60), Annan, B. Hinchliffe (Rose 22); Bowen.
Subs: Hirst, Rose, Pugh, Morton, Lofts.