United moved into the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup with a dramatic 3-2 victory against Charlton in a pulsating encounter at Old Trafford.
In what was a tremendous advertisement for football at this level, goals from Jack Barmby, maintaining his record of scoring in every round, Gyliano van Velzen and James Wilson handed the Reds a splendid success. But that does not begin to tell half of the story.
We were deep into 10 minutes of stoppage time, following an injury to Harry Gerard that left the Addicks down to 10 men, when schoolboy substitute Wilson fulfilled every United fan's dream by tucking in the winner - at a time when the Londoners were looking far more likelier winnners, even despite their numerical disadvantage.
The Addicks appeared the bigger side beforehand and tried to impose their physical advantage early on with Luke Hendrie hurt by a first-minute challenge that probably contributed to his withdrawal in the second half. Luke McCullough, back from injury to skipper the side, and Sam Byrne had early efforts before Jonny Sutherland needed to pull off a marvellous stop to tip Callum Harriott's drive onto the bar. Sutherland also thwarted Oliver Muldoon, the visitors' hero from the previous round's win at Tottenham, and Tobi Sho-Silva after Jack Rudge should have opened the scoring at the other end from a Tyler Blackett cross.
It took a strike out of the blue to break the deadlock as Barmby lashed in a ferocious drive from the left that skipped past Dillon Phillips' despairing dive. The lead was short-lived, however, as Charlton levelled three minutes later. Sutherland pulled off another fine stop to deny Harriott but Sho-Silva was on hand to head into the top corner of the net from the rebound. There was still time in the first half for Harriott to snatch at a clear opening from McCullough's loose clearance but a draw was a fair scoreline at the interval.
United settled into a decent rhythm after the break with Byrne forcing Phillips to palm away his cross-shot and Wilson heading a Barmby cross over the bar soon after replacing Hendrie. Although Nicolas Ioannou escaped with a sliced clearance that cleared his own bar, the Reds carried the greater threat and the ever-dangerous Barmby won the ball to force a flying save out of Phillips with a trademark blaster.