Under-18s: United v Sunderland

Saturday 27 April 2024 15:10

Manchester United's Under-18s suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Sunderland in our U18 Premier League North fixture at Carrington on Saturday afternoon.

It was a rapid start from Adam Lawrence's champions. With barely 30 seconds on the clock, Malachi Sharpe received the ball on the right flank and raced towards the byline before his smart cut-back left Bendito Mantato with a simple finish to open the scoring.

The lead would only stay intact for a matter of seconds, when Sunderland's Rhys Walsh raced down the left side and rolled the ball into Aaron Chungh in the centre to fire home the equaliser, creating a near mirror-image of the opener.

It looked like the beginnings of an eventful half to come but the game settled into a calmer flow following that early burst of action.

United, fielding a very youthful line-up, dominated the ball following the initial flurry, with both sides finding chances but Reds' attacking duo Gabriele Biancheri and Sharpe coming closest to finding the second.

Malachi Sharpe created the opener with barely 30 seconds on the clock.

Chungh would prove his worth to the visitors once more in the 56th minute, setting off on a run from deep in midfield and fashioning himself an angle to notch the Black Cats' second, establishing their lead for the first time in the game.

The gap was widened less than 10 minutes later, when Sunderland's Fin Geragusian picked up the ball on the left flank before finding substitute Joseph Neild in the middle who fired a first-time shot beyond United goalkeeper William Murdock.

Now two behind, the young Reds cranked up the pressure in an attempt to find a route back into the game.

Sharpe came close in the final minute of regular time, receiving the ball just outside the six-yard box following some rapid and intricate build-up play from Lawrence's side, but the winger's shot was tipped just wide by Daniel Cameron between the Sunderland sticks.

Two minutes later, and now into stoppage time, a scramble inside the opposition box lead to the ball falling to Gabriele Biancheri, ready to poke home a late United second, but the visitors' Ben Kindon appeared from nowhere to clear the effort off the line, holding on to his side's two-goal advantage until the referee's final whistle.

The young Reds battled hard at Carrington.


United: Murdock; Nolan, Mills, Armer, Plunkett (Kukonki 82); Baumann, J.Fletcher; Sharpe, Thwaites, Mantato; Biancheri.

Subtitutes not used: Myles, Kingdon, McAllister, Barbosa.

Goals: Mantato 1 | Chungh 3, 56, Neild 65.