Two goals in added time from Mason Greenwood saw Manchester United beat Wolves in a keenly-fought contest to stretch our lead our lead at the summit of the Premier League Under-18 North table.
Kieran McKenna made six changes to the starting line-up that scorched to a 6-1 win over West Bromwich Albion at the Aon Training Complex on Saturday morning. That convincing victory over the Baggies put our Under-18s four points ahead of second-placed Liverpool in the league table with the Merseysiders having one game in hand.
The Reds’ recent form has been exceptional and McKenna's men were certainly hoping to maintain that level of performance at The Jack Hayward Training Centre, Wolves’ well-appointed facility just a couple of miles from the club’s famous Molineux Stadium.
Both teams made a lively start to the game, but there was very little in way of goalmouth excitement during the first 15 minutes. Wolves looked to have made an opening for themselves when striker Astin Samuels broke free with United’s goal in his sights, but rapid reactions from Matej Kovar saw the young keeper sprint from his goal to clear the danger.
Kovar was in action again a few minutes later to comfortably collect Owen Otasowie's long-range shot, while both James Garner and Greenwood had near misses as the half-time whistle approached.
Dion McGhee was inches from giving his side the lead, in the 55th minute, when his beautifully hit free-kick struck the crossbar.
The game took a dramatic turn with six minutes remaining when Wolves’ central defender and skipper Dion Sanderson was sent off following a foul on Brandon Williams. The referee, Blake Antrobus, consulted one of his assistants before directing Sanderson to the dressing room.
United hadn’t failed to score in all of the previous league games this season and with the seconds flying by that excellent record looked set to fall. Then in the second minute of added time Lee O’Connor crossed from the right and Greenwood rose above the rest to head past Jackson Smith in the Wolves goal.
United were unsurprisingly delighted, but there was more to come when less than two minutes later Greenwood found space in the area before firing home the second goal for his fourth brace in five matches.
Under-18 Premier League | Sir Jack Hayward Training Ground | Scorer: Greenwood (90+2, 90+4)
United: Kovar; Laird, O’Connor, Bernard, Williams B.; McGhee (Levitt 71), Galbraith (Puigmal 71), Garner, Barlow; Mellor (Burkart 71), Greenwood. Subs not used: Tanner, Fojticek.