Toby Collyer and Harrison Parker make first Manchester United under-18 starts
Manchester United’s youth sides have been the highlight of the club’s season, given the way the first team has totally imploded.
Fresh after the uplifting FA Youth Cup victory in midweek, United went head to head with Nottingham Forest again in the league, for the final match of the season.
United’s under-18s entered the game in third place, needing a draw to secure the position ahead of Forest.
Duo make first Manchester United under-18 starts
United made 11 changes to the team which won the FA Youth Cup at Old Trafford, with Marc Jurado, Dan Gore and Sam Mather coming off the bench in the second half.
The rotated XI meant to players made their first Manchester United under-18 starts, after joining the club over the past season.
Also in the starting line-up was defender Harrison Parker. The centre-back signed from Arsenal last September, and has been part of United’s under-16s side.
He made his under-18s debut in March as a substitute against Blackburn, before being handed his first start this past weekend.
Parker, still just 15, played all 90 minutes and acquitted himself well alongside Sonny Aljofree in central defence.
United also selected Ruben Curley in midfield, with the 16-year-old making just his fourth under-18 appearance, as part of a trio with Maxi Oyedele and Collyer.
Norkett earns 1-1 draw
The game ended 1-1 with striker Manni Norkett scoring United’s goal a minute into the second half. He lashed home an effort from a tight angle after being put through after a good run and pass from Marc Jurado, on in midfield as a substitute for Collyer.
Norkett had missed a penalty at the end of the first half, so he will have been glad to make up for it. He finishes the season on a respectable 13 goals.
Forest had a chance to win the game themselves after being awarded a penalty, only for United goalkeeper Tom Wooster to rescue a draw with a good low save.
Third place in the league is a good result for this young United side, even though it is a step back from finishing second last season.
United brought through a new group of players, who were well beaten in their opening two games of the season, before getting to grips with the task and then kicking on, and the FA Youth Cup final victory made the league placing far less of a priority.