UNDER-21S

Barclays Premier Reserve League
Monday 12 March, 2012
Leigh Sports Village

BLACKBURN 0

UNITED 1
(M.Keane 65)

 

12/03/2012 20:50, Report by Adam Marshall
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Res: Blackburn 0 United 1

United returned to the top of the Barclays Premier Reserve League with a narrow 1-0 win at Blackburn.

After failing to score for a couple of games, there was relief when Warren Joyce's side found the net when dominating proceedings with Michael Keane appearing to get the final touch after brother Will looked to have ended a personal run without scoring that has now stretched to five games.

Paul Pogba, fresh from another first-team cameo on Sunday, was heavily involved and, after starting a move that involved Ryan Tunnicliffe on the left, he had a deflected shot beaten out by Jake Kean with the keeper also scuppering Davide Petrucci's attempt to convert the rebound.

Pogba went close again after latching onto a wonderful pass by Michael Keane but, although the Frenchman nudged the ball past the advancing Kean, Adam Henley was on hand to touch it wide. Captain Petrucci then mustered a couple of efforts, skewing a shot wide following a lovely piece of skill and then seeing a drive deflect off target after a one-two with Will Keane.

The Reds continued to control matters after the interval with Petrucci clipping a Fabio cross over and those two players were involved again after Blackburn finally had a noteworthy attempt of their own with Ryan Edwards' header unfortunately hitting his team-mate Anthony O'Connor. With 55 minutes gone, some magical work by Petrucci should have led to the opening goal but Fabio inexplicably steered his header wide of an inviting target from close range.

The miss did not prove too costly, however, as United finally broke the deadlock 10 minutes later. Pogba's free-kick deflected off Tunnicliffe into the path of Will Keane, who shot past Kean. After much debate, the goal was credited to Michael Keane instead, who got the final touch right on the line following another deflection.

Matty James made a welcome return for his first action since September after injury, replacing Fabio, while Petrucci continued to pose problems predominantly from the left flank.

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