Manchester United U18s hit 50 goals for the season in a comfortable away victory against Everton at Finch Farm on Saturday lunchtime.
The Reds were fortunate to keep a cleansheet at times but the game was defined by a first-half moment of quality from Charlie McNeill as United won 2-0.
McNeill and Forson combine to put United ahead
It was Omari Forson, recently returned from injury, who scored United’s opener. The London-born 16-year-old passed to McNeill on the edge of the box, made the move forward and received a wonderful reverse pass back from his teammate. The vision and technique to pull it off was outstanding from McNeill. Forson duly finished.
United had received an early scare from Everton when Garcia struck the post after a quick counter-attack from the Blues. Neil Ryan’s side attacked well and offered great threat from set pieces thanks to Charlie Savage’s consistent deliveries picking up the wind.
Gore and McNeill test Everton U18s throughout first half
A similar chance to Forson’s opener presented itself to the hard-working Daniel Gore after half-an-hour. Goalkeeper Jack Barrett matched Gore’s early, low finish to keep Everton within touching distance.
The Blues’ shot-stopper was let down by his teammates at the other end of the pitch. Barrett’s opposite number Johan Guadagno came out to the edge of his area to deny Garcia but the Anglo-Spanish striker snatched it off him and played it to Whittaker. With only defenders to beat in the United goal, Whittaker leant back and hit over the crossbar.
Will Fish scores header for United U18s on return from suspension
United took full advantage. A well-floated corner from Charlie Savage was headed in by Will Fish. United benefitted from an Everton mishap in defence. Fish’s header was fine but went in as the ‘keeper and defender both thought the other was about to block it.
Ryan’s team sought a quick third in the remaining moments of the first half. A tight-angle strike from McNeill and a good low cross from Gore forced Barrett into action twice in the final minute.
United’s attacking threat in the second half was lesser but they saw the game out well. A cleansheet is fantastic for a side who have scored freely but often concede silly mistakes.
Everton should have been reduced to 10 men when Garcia lunged into a two-footed jumping challenge on Wellens. Only a booking came.
United U18s will be pleased with cleansheet against Everton
Fish’s goal was good and his management of the defence, which included a winger and a midfielder, was excellent. The stand-outs for United were Forson, Wellens and Svidersky, the midfielder who was consistently assured at the back for the Reds.
The win keeps United top of the U18 Premier League. City can cut the gap to two points later on Saturday. Meanwhile, United’s U16s drew 2-2 with Everton thanks to two goals from Manni Norkett who was named on the U18s bench.
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