06/05/2009 18:26, Report by Adam Bostock
U18s: United 3 Blackburn 2
United overcame a decent Blackburn Rovers side and difficult conditions at Carrington to sign off the 2008/09 Academy League season with a fine victory.
Nicky Ajose scored with a superb second-half shot to settle an entertaining game for Paul McGuinness' young team, having created goals in the first period for debutant Jesse Lingard and his strike partner Joshua King.
Lingard's goal came after just six minutes; receiving Ajose's measured pass into the area, the new boy wrongfooted two Blackburn players including the goalkeeper Josh Swann before slotting the ball home.
Despite this early setback, Blackburn went on to dominate much of the first half and use the swirling winds to their advantage with some long-range shots testing United keeper Conor Devlin. One such effort from Jason Banton in the 15th minute beat the young Irishman, only to strike the crossbar.
Rovers only had to wait ten minutes longer for the first of their two equalisers, Banton slipping the ball into the box for Tom Hitchcock to finish with a low shot inside Devlin's left-hand post.
The scores stayed level at 1-1 until one minute before the break when Ajose raced to the right-wing byline and