United Reserves are up and running in the Lancashire Senior Cup after winning a lively tie against Bury at Gigg Lane.
Five well-taken goals represented a great response from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side to last week's 4-1 league reverse against Aston Villa. The line-up was much changed, however, with a number of reserve-team regulars possibly in line for senior involvement at Scunthorpe in Wednesday night's Carling Cup tie.
Robbie Brady provided the breakthrough for United after almost half an hour of resolute defending by the home side, curling a left-footed free-kick through the wall and in via the goalkeeper's hands. The Irishman netted again in the 34th minute with a toe-poke, after Scott Wootton's flick from a Magnus Eikrem corner ricocheted his way off an opponent.
Bury pulled a goal back seven minutes before half-time when Kyle Bennett intercepted a Reece Brown pass in the centre circle and raced away to feed Danny Carlton for a low finish. But although the Shakers came flying out of the traps for the second period, with a shot from dangerman Bennett deflecting wide only 20 seconds after the restart, United's abundance of young talent eventually told.
Granted, England Under-19 goalkeeper Sam Johnstone had to be alert to keep Bury at bay - his best save coming when another Bennett effort bounced up off the turf just inches in front of him - but the Reds always looked the more likely victors.
Nicky Ajose almost made it 3-1 when he struck the post from a tight position on the byline; eventually it was Marnick Vermijl who restored the Reds' two-goal cushion, a minute shy of the hour, with a goal that will haunt Richie Branagan. The Bury keeper beat two United players to meet Brady's ball over the top but he spilled it horribly, enabling Vermijl to tap into the unguarded goal. It was a fitting reward for the Belgian debutant, who'd launched some promising raids from right-back.
Second-half substitutes John Cofie and Ryan Tunnicliffe - both of whom featured in the Under-18s' draw at Sheffield