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MATCH REPORT: U-18s vs Middlesbrough

Last weekend I attended the U-18 game v Middlesbrough at Carrington. United came into the game in awful form following a run of 5 consecutive defeats including a very poor performance at Huddersfield in the FA Youth Cup where United lost 2-1. Although there was only a single goal in it, United only created 2 chances of note in the whole game, both by James Wilson and were well beaten by the end.

For once, the weather at Carrington was reasonably calm, the previous 3 home games had been completely ruined by horrendous gale force winds and driving rain, conditions that make it impossible to play any sort of decent football and the result becomes a lottery. Of course its the same for both teams but when goal-kicks are being blown back over the keepers head and out for a corner then any sort of passing game is futile.

The line up was a mixture of established U-18 players and a front line that lacked much experience at this age group.

The prolific James Wilson is now being picked mainly for the U-21 because of his goalscoring form deserving it and as the U-21 don’t have a recognised front man now so many have gone out on loan.

The front line was led by Northern Irish youngster Ruairi Croskery alongside Manchester boy, Devonte Redmond so it seemed they would have their work cut out against a strong looking ‘Boro defence

The opening exchanges were very scrappy and largely even with neither side showing much attacking intentions but just under the 20 minute mark United took the lead through Redmond. United won a free kick on the edge of the area but the attempt was cleared out only to returned into the box. The ball broke to Redmond, around 20 yards out and he calmly sidefooted his shot through a crowded area and into the bottom corner, his first goal since October

The goal seemed to give United the impetus they needed and a bit of confidence too as they soon took control of possession and chances created.

On the half hour, United doubled their lead when Redmond fed a ball to Croskery just outside the box. Croskery’s first touch was a good one, getting the ball into his path but his second touch was even better as his low shot found the corner of the net

A few minutes later it was 3-0 as Stockport born Josh Harrop picked up a measured pass from Redmond and ran from the centre circle to just outside the box where his shot beat the keeper and once again found the bottom corner.

Redmond was playing as well as I have seen him play, his passing was very good and he looked a threat either creating, or scoring, every time he had possession in the right areas

on the odd occasion when ‘Boro did break forward, United defenders soon cleared up any threat with Cypriot Centre Half Nick Ioannou looking particularly solid in the tackle and in anticipation.

It was 3-0 at the break and the second half was only 4 minutes old when United were awarded a penalty. Demitri Mitchell came in off the flank and into the box where he was pushed in the back for a clear foul. Mitchell took the spot kick himself but the keeper saved. Fortunately for United the ball came straight back to Mitchell who easily knocked in the rebound to give United a 4-0 lead.

United continued to dominate and to keep attacking and they were rewarded on the 75 minute mark when full back, Riley, went on a run down the right wing, he got to the bye line and played in a ball to Redmond, who capped his fine display with a very clever little dink over the keeper and into the net to make it 5-0

There was still time for Middlesbrough to pull a consolation goal back from a free header but United and manager Paul McGuiness will be hoping this will finally kick start United into a winning run after such a poor run of results.

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ManUtdReserves writes for the United We Stand fanzine. Follow @manutdreserves on Twitter.

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  1. Tommy says:

    I was also at this game, finally the 18s managed a win its been a while

  2. Fletch™ says:

    Well done to the U18 after some bad form. Always good to get a win to right the ship. Always tough when experimental lineups of mixed age are cobbled together. This should be a confidence builder.

  3. Fletch™ says:

    Speaking of “righting” the ship.

    Fred Done’s interview with MEN is worth a read

    Seems that Fred is “Done” with Glazers

  4. Blacksocks says:

    If he is so unhappy with the Glazers, why didn’t he join the ‘knights’ consortium when asked 3 years ago? Would have been very interesting if the interview had focused on that specific point.

    Fred is possibly right about one thing though, unless an Oligarch or oil baron comes up with at least 2 billion we could be in for some very lean times indeed.

    Bill Gates buying United would be nice!!!!!!!

  5. Tommy says:


    While Fred is undoubtably a very rich man, hes not rich enough to own United I dont think. I will give you an example, Peter Coates, who is the Stoke owner is the 25th richest man in the UK, and he owns bet 365, and he does not have unlimited funds and Stoke have a considerably smaller wage bill than United, so while Fred means well, hes probably not quite got the funds to own United

  6. Blacksocks says:

    @ Tommy

    He probably doesn’t have anywhere near the funds to own United outright, which is a shame in some respects, but I would like to know why he didn’t join the Black Knights. It appeared at one point that they weren’t far off from making a formal offer for the club.

    To be fair, it looks very unlikely that the Glazers would ever sell, no matter what the offer unless their other business interests were in serious trouble.

  7. Tommy says:


    I always thought the redknights offer was a bit of a joke to be honest and they were never really going to own United, Im with you, I doubt the Glazers will sell, whilst the football industary is clearly thrieving, its never been a buisiness where you make a lot of money thats why football owners usually have a main business and football as more of a hobby although run as a buisiness, It would probably cost around 2 billion to buy the Glazers out and no one is going to be paying then when their is very little chance of ever seeing their investment again

  8. Tommy says:


    Even these rich oil tycoons only buy clubs that are on the cheap. I remember Abramovich saying he looked at United, but we were too much for him, He approached Spurs but Levy thought he wasnt serious and then settled for chelsea who were skint, same as the one at city, bought them for very little from that dodgy Shinawatra, same for PSG and Monaco, clubs not managing theior debt, so they can buy on the cheap

  9. m09538061 says:

    Off Topic:
    Just confirmed that Nemanja Vidic is joining
    Inter Milan at the end of the season.
    Good Luck ‘The Serbinator’… United Legend.

  10. Blacksocks says:

    @ Tommy

    You’re right, the chances of a) someone with enough money showing an interest in the club are slim

    and b) The Glazers actually accepting the money – virtually nil.

    I think you hit the nail on the head though, United to the Glazers is a way to make money, a business interest. To a lot of these billionaire owners, the clubs are a hobby, something to play with and plough endless funds into.

    That might not be a bad thing, for the Glazers to make money, United HAVE to be sucessful on the pitch. Someone like Abramovich could get bored and lose interest and ultimately stop investing. An unlikely scenario I know, but what if he fell out with Putin and had all his assets seized – he wouldn’t be the first.

    I’m not defending the Glazers, I rue the day they took over and Roy Keane does have a valid point when he accuses Fergies dealings (and fall out) with the Irish racing fraternity playing a part in the sale of the club to the Glazer family. But I do think we are stuck with them unless someone like Gates gets bitten by the United bug, slaps 3 billion dollars on the table and another billion into the transfer kitty. That’s when I usually wake up!

  11. Tommy says:


    In fairness to the Glazers, their not terrible buisiness people not defending them or saying I like them. I just checked Malcolm Glazer is worth $4.5billion apprently so clearly is a wealthy man not like the oil club but wealthy non the less. I have just been reading that when he bought the Tampa bay buccaneers in 1995, they were worth $192million, now they are worth over $1billion so you can really fault them as buisiness man, also its not the first time we have had tight fisted owners, Martin Edwards was known for not liking to stick his hand in his pocket


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