Date: 20 November 2010
Venue: Trafford Training Centre
Kick Off: 11am
Manchester United U18’s sealed a 3-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion, with John Cofie grabbing his first brace of the season.
Paul McGuinness’s team started brightly, opening the scoring as early as the third minute when a jinking Jessie Lingard was fouled inside the penalty area. West Brom Captain, Liam O’Neil was the culprit. Lingard stepped up and placed the spot kick to the left corner, goalkeeper Shane Lewis guessed correctly, but was unable to prevent the United man from scoring his first goal of the season for the U18’s.
After the goal United continued to push forward, Sean McGinty came close to adding a second, but his goal bound effort was blocked. Luke Hendrie then found Cofie with a delightful chipped pass; the young striker controlled via his chest; through on goal his scuffed shot was saved by Lewis; the rebound fell to Cofie, but an excellent goal line block prevented the striker from adding to his seven goals for the U18’s.
For thirty minutes United goalkeeper Liam Jacob saw little action, this however was soon to change when the influential Saido Berahino showed his class. His first major involvement was to test the United defence with a mazy dribbling run, skipping past several would be tacklers. It took a strong shoulder barge from right back Michael Keane (inside the penalty area) to knock the striker off the ball. Moments later Berahino hit a stunning 20-25 yard free kick that Jacob could only palm onto the crossbar. On 40 minutes Berahino was not to be denied; on the edge of United’s penalty he turned McGinty with ease and fired past Jacob to make the score 1-1. Berahino looks a real prospect.
United responded positively to the setback – with a nice piece of skill, Lingard beat two West Brom defenders and fed a through ball to the unmarked Tom Lawrence. Inside the penalty area Lawrence opted for power, but could only direct his shot straight at Lewis, who in turn deflected the effort onto the crossbar. Just before half time United re-established their lead; with Cofie showing a real glimpse of his talent and showing that Berahino wasn’t the only exciting forward prospect on show. At full pace he chased down a long punt forward, stopped suddenly in his tracks and a trick later caused defender Jordan Tunnicliffe to slip to the floor creating space. From the edge of the D Cofie precisely placed his effort into the bottom left hand corner. Lewis dived in vain, but had little opportunity; such was the quality of the strike from Cofie.
The second half started in a similar manner to the first; United were awarded a penalty when Luke Connelly handled inside the penalty area. On this occasion Cofie was the designated penalty taker; he converted the spot kick sending Lewis the wrong way. Cofie now has twelve goals in total for both the U18’s and reserves. At 3-1 United began to dominate with Gyliano van Velzen and especially Tyler Blackett causing problems down the left flank. However, there was the ever present threat from the dangerous Berahino, who further tested Jacob with another free kick. The impressive Lingard was denied a goal when his attempt was cleared off the line.
The game fairly petered out with United running out comfortable winners; a much need win for McGuinness’s team.
Team: Jacob; M Keane (Massacci, 80 minutes), Blackett, McCullough, McGinty; Pogba, Lawrewnce (Giverin, 66 minutes), Hendrie (Ekangamene, 66 minutes), Cofie, Lingard; van Velzen