D'Mani Mellor on the ball against Derby County

United's Under-18s exit FA Youth Cup on penalties

Thursday 14 December 2017 09:33

Manchester United were beaten in the FA Youth Cup third round at Derby County, with the Rams winning a penalty shoot-out 3-1, following a 2-2 draw.

The Rams got off to the perfect start in front of the Pride Park fans with a fortunate early opener. The ball was cleared to Connor Dixon, who unleashed a hopeful volley that took a double deflection before finding its way past "Alex Fojticek".

United's response to the setback was a positive one as Mason Greenwood, in for the injured Angel Gomes, did well on the right to set up Aidan Barlow for a clipped effort that struck the bar. Undeterred, Tahith Chong collected a stray pass in the Derby half, embarked on a purposeful run and finished clinically with his left foot.
Derby took the lead through Connor Dixon but United made it 1-1 through the impressive Tanith Chong
Greenwood flashed a free-kick wide as Kieran McKenna's side looked in control, only for George Tanner to concede a set-piece that led to the Rams' second goal. Jayden Bogle whipped it in towards the near post and it evaded Tanner's lunge and deceived Fojticek to provide a real blow.

Fojticek saved from Jason Knight and Barlow sent an attempt over the bar as the Reds went in a goal behind at the break. As snow started to fall, conditions became more and more difficult but Barlow levelled matters after a brilliant move. The England Under-17 international was heavily involved in the build-up and arrived on cue to net with a stooping header, when substitute Millen Baars's cross flicked off a defender's head.

Lee Buchanan hit the bar for the Rams as both sides created chances with the hosts pressing but risking being caught by United's fluid football on the break. 
The FA Youth Cup tie was played in difficult conditions, with heavy snow and rain falling throughout
Extra-time was required to separate the two sides, who dealt with the wintry weather admirably, but the additional period turned into a real challenge for United.

Substitute Aliou Traore was shown a straight red card and, with Dylan Levitt already struggling to make any contribution due to an injury, Chong was taken off after lengthy treatment towards the end. Effectively with eight fit men, the Reds managed to gamely hold out but the shoot-out went all the way of the hosts.

Fojticek did save the first Derby attempt but skipper Lee O'Connor had already missed, and only the impressive Jimmy Garner managed to find the net as United exited the competition on a freezing evening in the East Midlands. 


FA Youth Cup third round | Pride Park | Scorers: Dixon 3, Bogle 24 | Chong 13, Barlow 57 | Derby win 3-1 on pens

United: Fojticek; Tanner, Ercolani, O’Connor, Laird; Levitt, Garner; Chong, Greenwood (Baars 46), Barlow (Traore 62); Burkart (Mellor 70).  Subs not used: Carney, B. Williams.