Warren Joyce’s young Reserves side booked a place in the Lancashire F.A. Senior Cup final following this stroll in the sun against neighbours Oldham at The Cliff.
The Reds remain in line to sweep the board, for the second successive season, with qualification for the Barclays Under-21 Premier League knockout stage and a place in the Manchester Senior Cup final already assured.
United, with several Under-18 regulars drafted in, took control of the game early on and rarely loosened their grip against a visiting side that sported no fewer than five trialists in their ranks.
Gyliano van Velzen and Tom Lawrence were presented with decent chances to open the scoring soon after the start, but the visitors defended well to prevent any concessions. However, the feeling was that it was only going to be a matter of time before United would strike.
And so it was, in the 26th minute, that the home side moved into the lead with Lawrence firing home from the penalty spot after being fouled by the Latics’ Jack Truelove.
United were on their way, and five minutes before the interval the lead was extended when van Velzen capitalised on lapse of concentration in the Oldham defence to round the keeper and net. Mats Daehli also found the net, following a session of neat passing football, in the 62nd minute, to put the game well and truly out of the visitors’ reach.
United introduced three young substitutes during the second half of the game, but it did little to change the pattern of the game.
On a slightly brighter note for Oldham, they did have something to celebrate with four minutes to go when Carlton McIntosh, one of three Latics’ substitutes, claimed a consolation goal. James Wilson could have restored the three-goal advantage in final seconds, but he pulled his shot wide from a favourable position.