United Under-23s triumph again on Tyneside
Manchester United Under-23s’ storming start to the season was extended on Friday night, courtesy of an impressive victory over Newcastle United in front of 904 spectators at St James’ Park.
There can be little doubt that the future looks encouraging and that if this admittedly early form is maintained, we will be in with a terrific chance of gaining promotion back to the top division of Premier League 2 in the months ahead.
In keeping with all home fixtures at Gallowgate, the teams emerged from the tunnel to the rousing strains of Dire Straits’ ‘Going Home’ from the film Local Hero, a tune composed by celebrity Magpies fan Mark Knopfler, who was born in Glasgow but raised on Tyneside.
St James’ Park is without question one of football’s great arenas and even with the vast stands sparsely populated it is still marvellously atmospheric and it provided a wonderful experience for the players of both teams.
Neil Wood’s team started this game on the back of three straight wins in Premier League 2 and the Leasing.com Trophy, scoring nine goals without reply.
Newcastle, by stark contrast, had failed to win either of their opening two league matches against Reading and West Ham United, losing 6-0 and 2-1 respectively.
And that was reflected, to some degree, straight from the kick-off as the Reds took the game to the hosts.
Dylan Levitt, who scored our final goal in the 5-0 rout over West Bromwich Albion two weeks ago, tried without success to find the back of Jake Turner’s net.
Newcastle gradually gained a foothold in the game but their improvement was halted in the 38th minute when Brandon Williams and D’Mani Mellor combined to tee up Chong who rifled home a left-foot shot.
The home side hadn’t really had time to regroup after conceding the first goal when Ramazani weaved his way past the Magpies’ defence, after taking a pass from Levitt, before firing past ‘keeper Turner.
The Reds were now looking supremely confident and it was only a matter of time before the score was added to and sure enough, on the hour, Chong received a pass from Williams before lashing home his second goal of the evening.
Garner rounded off the scoring and a highly commendable night for his side when he cracked the ball home from the edge of the area with six minutes remaining.
United: Kovář, O’Connor, Ercolani (Traore 65), Mengi, Williams; Garner, Galbraith (Puigmal 65), Levitt; Ramazani (Elanga 76), Mellor, Chong.
Substitutes not used: Woolston, McGhee.
Scorers: Chong 38, 60; Ramazani 40, Garner 84.
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