17/01/2009 19:11, Report by Nick Coppack
U18s: United 4 WBA 1
A hat-trick of wonder goals helped United’s youngsters to a comprehensive 4-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion in the Premier Academy League.
Italian Davide Petrucci, who joined the Reds in the summer, opened the scoring with a delightful curling shot from the left-hand angle of the penalty area on 28 minutes.
Two minutes later, Baggies goalkeeper Ryan Allsop was picking the ball out of the net again, this time after Oliver Norwood unleashed a rocket from 25 yards.
West Brom pulled a goal back just after the break when they were awarded a penalty for handball, but Nicky Ajose restored the Reds’ two-goal advantage on 55 minutes with a smart strike on the half-volley.
Petrucci then scored his second spectacular goal of the day when he fired through a crowd of players from 20 yards to send United 3-1 up.
The Italian was then given the opportunity to claim his hat-trick when Ajose was brought down in the area, but this time it was Ryan Allsop’s turn to shine. The England youth goalkeeper flung himself to his left to keep out Petrucci’s penalty and spare West Brom from further embarrassment.United: Devlin; Strickland, Dudgeon, Thorpe, Wootton;