Manchester United's Under-18s claimed the spoils with a 4-1 win away at Fulham with three quick goals in the second half after the hosts had levelled the score just after half-time.
Coach Paul McGuinness fielded a youthful line-up with one eye on developing the players still at the Academy next season, and they acquitted themselves well in what was an even contest in the early stages at Motspur Park.
After both sides had exchanged numerous chances, McGuinness’ youngsters went close to going behind after 20 minutes. Goalkeeper Dean Henderson had his crossbar rattled by long-range effort from the home side, but this spurred United on to a spell of dominance that ended with them taking the lead four minutes before the break when Marcus Rashford drove in a low shot from outside the area for his second goal in consecutive games.
Fulham nearly scored immediately after the resumption, and they finally equalised after soaking up another long spell of United pressure when a counter-attack caught the Reds out and Aaron Redford tucked away a neat finish.
But United hit back superbly to seal the win with a burst of three goals in six minutes. They retook the lead on 73 minutes when Demetri Mitchell rose to meet a cross at the far post and nod the ball beyond the Fulham keeper and, within three minutes, Rashford had turned provider, pulling the ball back to Ruairi Croskery who coolly slotted home.
An emphatic win against the FA Youth Cup finalists, who also fielded a younger team, was put to bed when Mitchell grabbed his second of the afternoon, drilling the ball in with a good finish similar to Croskery’s earlier effort.
United: Henderson, Scott (Reid 85), Borthwick-Jackson, Williams, Tuanzebe, Kehinde, Riley, Redmond (Thompson 52), Croskery, Rashford (Rathbone 85), Mitchell. Sub not used: Dorrington.
More: U18 fixtures & results