THE ACADEMY

Barclays Under-18 Premier League
Aon Training Complex

MANCHESTER UNITED 4
(Fletcher 4, 63; Goss 31; Willock 48)

WEST BROM 2
(McKenzie 25, Nabi 86)

12/10/2013 13:47, Report by Nathan Thomas
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U18: United 4 West Brom 2

United's Under-18s returned to winning ways on Saturday morning after an Ashley Fletcher brace, allied to two superb strikes from Sean Goss and Matthew Willock, proved enough to earn the Reds a 4-2 over West Bromwich Albion. 

Despite the blustery conditions, the 90 minutes yielded a game played at frenetic pace. United darted out of the traps and the early pressure reaped instant dividends as the Reds took the lead within four minutes.

Callum Evans was brought down illegally on the right and, from the resultant free-kick, Goss curled in beautifully for striker Fletcher to stab home. The in-form frontman, who brought his goal tally for the season up to eight, peeled away gleefully as the young charges celebrated the early lead.

However, the set-back seemed to barely trouble West Brom who responded extremely well. The Baggies maintained possession in midfield and forced the likes of Goss, who impressed throughout, and Willock to provide extra support for United's back four. 

It seemed the United rearguard had stemmed the tide, but on 25 minutes West Brom caught United on the break by launching a long ball deep into their opponents' half. Reds skipper Evans misjudged the bounce, allowing Reece Greenridge to play in McKenzie for the equaliser.

United were not to be deterred and within only five minutes the lead was restored. After excellent work from Thompson on the left, the Reds' no.10 swept a ball back to Goss who was perched on the edge of the area. 

Expertly controlling the ball, Goss then played an exquisite one two with Ashley Fletcher before ruthlessly smashing home United's second goal of the game. Having regained the advantage, the home side found renewed impetus, finishing the half strongly as the midfield three of Willock, Goss and Harrop stamped authority on proceedings. This control almost gave way to a third United goal as ever-involved Goss clipped the crossbar after an opportunistic shot from the edge of the area.

The Reds started the second period with similar purpose, switching the ball relentlessly and stretching the Baggies defence. With only two minutes gone a third goal arrived. After

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