Academy League
Carrington, 7 May 2011

(Thorpe 7, Tunnicliffe 14, W.Keane 54 69, Van Velzen 61)


07/05/2011 11:37, Report by Joe Asbridge
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U18: United 5 Leeds 0

A powerful United Under-18 side finished the league season on a high with a 5-0 demolition of Leeds at Carrington.

Paul McGuinness' team showed the sort of form that has carried them all the way to the FA Youth Cup final with a perfect run-out ahead of the ties with Sheffield United. There were no red cards and didn't appear to be any injury scares, although two-goal Will Keane was withdrawn soon after grabbing the final strike.

Tom Thorpe, Ryan Tunnicliffe and Gyliano van Velzen, with his first goal for the club, were also on the scoresheet while there was a debut at this level for keeper Jonny Sutherland and a return from injury for striker John Cofie.

The Reds were too good for their rivals from across the Pennines and soon took the lead when Van Velzen's shot was tipped over by Alex Cairns and the corner was eventually nodded in by centre-back Thorpe.

The inspirational Tunnicliffe doubled the advantage when his thumping free-kick curled around the wall and past Cairns for number two.

Will Keane came close on a number of occasions before adding a third with a low drive after the break and there were congratulations from every player for Van Velzen when the Dutchman broke his goalscoring duck seconds after Cofie came off the bench.

A sloppy backpass allowed Will Keane to nip in and poach his second to continue his fine run of form but Leeds at least kept the hosts out for the final 20 minutes or so and created chances of their own, without working Sam Johnstone or Sutherland enough in truth over the entire match.

So the Reds finish fifth in their division but the fight for the most prestigious silverware in youth football now takes centre stage after this facile victory.

United: Johnstone (Sutherland 60); M.Keane, Blackett, Thorpe, McGinty; Tunnicliffe, Pogba, Lingard, Morrison

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Premier League