Barclays Premier League Under-18s North Group
Manchester United vs. West Bromwich Albion
Venue: Aon Training Complex
Date: Saturday, 20 February 2016
Kick-off: 11:00 GMT
Building on from last weekend’s 2-0 win over Stoke City and midweek’s comeback draw in the Manchester derby, early goals from Zak Dearnley and DJ Buffonge’s penalty set United on their way.
Tyler Reid rounded off the scoring in the second half, with every player pulling their weight and putting in a shift to produce a comfortable victory.
Despite United’s control on the game, West Brom had the first chance of the match, with Dan Meredith allowed to run through the hosts’ defence, forcing Ollie Byrne to make a low save.
As a quarter of an hour approached, Charlie Scott’s forward pass found Dearnley, who beat Callum Pritchatt before slotting home a neat finish across the goal to give United the lead.
Then came the penalty with Buffonge brought down inside the area by Bradley House, and the former took the spot-kick himself, sending House the wrong way and finding the bottom right-hand corner.
A similar run to that of Meredith, Kane Wilson ventured forward but fired over, with Callum Gribbin’s free-kick held at the other end as half-time arrived at Carrington.
After the break and Chay Scrivens tested Byrne who had to tip a high shot over the bar.
Looking for his second, Dearnley’s first time strike deflected wide before United grabbed their third.
An exquisite drilled pass by Buffonge found Reid on the right, and the full-back ran at Max Melbourne, cut inside, and placed a weaker left-footed finish past House at his near post.
Had he kept his header on target, Jimmy Dunne would’ve made it 4-0 from Gribbin’s out-swinging corner, as Wilson had a shot cleared off the line at the other end.
United kept possession for about a minute before Charlie Scott drilled an effort from distance towards goal, and it needed a fine save from House to tip the ball over.
Callum Whelan was unlucky not to see his attempt find the top corner, as full-time arrived and seven points from a possible nine accumulated under the guidance of Tommy Martin.
A dominant United display sees them leapfrog Stoke into 11th place of the northern group in the final fixture of the regular season.
The U18s will now join Stoke, Derby, Newcastle, Brighton, Norwich, Southampton and Swansea in the next phase.
Manchester United: Byrne; Reid, Warren, Dunne, Kenyon (Makela 72); Scott, Whelan; Dearnley, Gribbin, Kehinde (Boonen 63); Buffonge (Diedrick-Roberts 63).
Subs: Diedrick-Roberts, Moutha-Sebtaoui, Boonen, Makela, Barlow.
Manager: Tommy Martin
West Brom: House; Wilson, Artymatas, Piggott, Pritchatt (Morrison 73), Melbourne; Dool, Meredith (Holsgrove 79); Scrivens, Pierce (Phillips 79), Nabi.
Subs: Wilding, Hall, Phillips, Holsgrove, Morrison.
Manager: Darren Moore & Aaron Danks