James Garner celebrates with Brandon Williams

United Under-23s triumph again on Tyneside

Friday 23 August 2019 21:28

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.

We have now won our opening four games at this level, but it wasn’t just the two goals from Tahith Chong and one each from Largie Ramazani and James Garner that caught the eye; it was also the style and commitment that ran like a thread through the entire team.

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.
Friday feeling! It was another night of joy for our exciting Under-23s.
Last season’s corresponding fixtures between these two sides produced ten goals and a couple of remarkable results. The Magpies took the points with a 4-1 win at Leigh before the Reds gained more than adequate revenge later in the campaign, winning 5-0 at St James’ Park.

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.
Garner blazed an early shot over the bar while Chong threatened to open his under-23 scoring account for the season.

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.
Chong lashes home our first goal with a lethal left foot.
The Reds taking the lead didn’t really come as a shock, but few would have predicted that within two minutes we would have doubled the lead.

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.
Ramazani roars after rapidly doubling the Reds' advantage.
The visitors began to pile up the chances, with Turner’s fine save thwarting Garner and Williams narrowly missing the target in the very next minute.

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. 
Garner made it 4-0, with his fourth goal of the season.

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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