United win U18 PL National final

Tuesday 14 May 2024 21:14

Manchester United's Under-18s were crowned U18 Premier League National champions following a 2-1 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Ethan Wheatley handed our young Reds a first-half lead after he tucked home past Max Merrick to score the opener in West London.

Josh Acheampong then equalised for Chelsea at the start of the second half, heading home at the back post to restore parity in the game.

Ethan Williams' strike after 55 minutes proved pivotal, however, as he smashed an effort into the back of the net from close range to score and in turn, capping off a superb season for our Under-18 side.
Ethan Williams registered a goal and an assist in an impressive showing at Stamford Bridge.

Fletcher was presented with an early effort after United won a free-kick 20 yards from goal. His effort was blocked well by the Chelsea wall, but showed early promise from Adam Lawrence's side.

Wheatley's first opportunity of the game came soon after, after a long ball from the back found the 18-year-old in hoards of room. His shot came back off the post before Max Merrick held on to keep the Reds at bay.

It didn't take Wheatley long, however, to make amends, as he opened the scoring after 22 minutes played. Played through on goal by Williams, the Stockport-born forward neatly placed his effort past Merrick sparking wild celebrations.

Louis Jackson's terrific block kept our slender first-half lead intact as we approached the interval, bravely blocking a Tyrique George drive that looked destined to find the back of the net.

As the second half began, Chelsea hit back with just 90 seconds played. Acheampong was found unmarked at the back post, as his header trickled past Elyh Harrison to restore parity for the Blues.

Just ten minutes later, Williams made it 2-1 after a neat move from United in attack. Wheatley's clever footwork allowed Fletcher to get his shot away before the ball fell kindly to Williams who smashed home before being mobbed by his team-mates.

Wheatley could have had a second as we reached the hour mark, with his dribbling abilities fooling Kaiden Wilson, before he saw his shot saved by Chelsea goalkeeper Merrick.

Harrison was then called upon to make a great save from George, getting down well to his right to prevent the Blues another equaliser.

The final stages were played at a nervy pace but Wheatley could have sealed the deal with just seconds remaining, only to curl his effort wide of the mark.

But jubilation swarmed the Stamford Bridge soon after, as our Under-18s capped a wonderful season by winning the U18 Premier League National final.
Just look what it means to our young Reds!

Harrison; Amass, Kingdon, Jackson, Ogunneye (Nolan, 46); Curley, McAllister (Devaney, 54); Fletcher, Scanlon (Sharpe, 73) Williams (Biancheri, 83), Wheatley.

Subs not used: Myles.

Bookings: Ogunneye, Wheatley

Goals: Wheatley 21, Williams 54.