Under-18s: Stoke City 1 Manchester United 0

Sunday 05 November 2017 14:35

Manchester United’s Under-18s were beaten for the first time since the opening day of the season when Stoke City snatched a home win at Clayton Wood on Sunday afternoon. The lone goal that separated the teams at the end was scored in the 38th minute by Kristoffer Szereto.

There was plenty going on at Stoke's training ground with teams from Augsburg (Germany) and Derby County as well as United playing against the Potters' various junior sides. The weather was reasonably kind to spectators as the game got under way with the early morning rainclouds having moved on, but there was certainly an autumnal chill in the air.

United, who were kitted out in all black to avoid a clash with Stoke's red and white stripes, started brightly and were soon giving the home goalkeeper, Mate Deczki, some employment. Aidan Barlow fired over from outside the area and Mason Greenwood also chanced his luck with a long-range effort.

The visitors looked the more threatening of the two sides in the early stages of the first half, but several raids into the hosts' half ended abruptly after the lineman’s flag had been thrust into the air.

Stoke were by no means inactive in the attacking phase of their game and seven minutes before the break they captured the lead with a fine goal from Szereto, who found the top corner of the net with a smart curling drive.

United continued to push forward after the break, with Ethan Laird’s charging runs down the flank giving the Stoke defence some nervous moments. His crosses found Arnau Puigmal and Greenwood on separate occasions but neither could put the finishing touch to what seemed like promising moves.

Millen Baars looked to have grabbed a late equaliser with a towering header from Greenwood’s corner, but the match officials ruled that the ball hadn’t crossed the line.

There were numerous injuries to the players of both sides in the second half – United finished with ten men after Barlow limped off – and the referee consequently extended the half with seven minutes of stoppage time.

This was United's second game in the Under-18 Premier League Cup, following that thrilling 4-3 win over Arsenal at The Cliff back in September. The club's next fixture in the competition, at Wolves's training ground on Saturday 2 December, follows two away games in the league against Blackburn Rovers on 18 November and arch rivals Manchester City seven days later.

United: Fojticek; Laird, Dunne (Baars 55), Barratt, Williams B.; Tanner, Garner, Barlow, Puigmal (Mellor 66); Greenwood, Burkart (McGhee 76). Substitutes not used: Bernard, Thompson.