U21s: Southampton v Manchester United

Monday 29 April 2024 14:56

Manchester United's Under-21s ended the Premier League 2 regular season in fine fashion by beating Southampton 6-3 at the Staplewood Training Ground.

Having already qualified for the play-off stages of the competition by finishing in one of the top 16 positions, United were dealt a very early blow as the Saints took the lead through Samuel Amo-Ameyaw.

However, Ethan Wheatley, fresh from his first-team debut against Sheffield United last week, then scored twice inside two minutes as our young Reds flipped the scoreline on its head.

Luke Pearce notched an equaliser for Southampton after 59 minutes, before Sam Mather, Ethan Williams (two) and Charlie McNeill all scored inside a 25-minute period.

Will Merry did grab a late consolation for Adam Asghar's side but it was the Reds who ran out deserved winners.
With the game under a minute old, Saints forward Amo-Ameyaw found enough space to tuck his effort beyond Elyh Harrison to notch the opening goal.

Williams's driving run opened up enough space for the attacker to get his shot away shortly after, as his strike cannoned back off the woodwork and back into play.

Omari Forson's neat footwork and resulting pass allowed Wheatley to turn his defender with 21 minutes gone, as the 18-year-old levelled the scoring with a fine finish.

Seconds later, our 250th Academy graduate grabbed his second as Finley McAllister played a well-timed pass for the striker to run onto and finish with aplomb.
As the second half began, Pearce netted to level the scoring with our young Reds once again forced to kick on again on the south coast.

The response was instant, though, as Mather picked the ball up before charging at the hosts' backline, curling in an effort that beat Josh McNamara to make it 3-2.

United then pressed Southampton into another mistake at the back, straight from kick-off, and Williams was on hand to grab his second, sweeping home from close range.
Forson's neat approach work almost resulted in a fifth for United but we didn't have to wait long as Harry Amass's cross was tucked home by Williams at the near post.

Substitute McNeill grabbed a sixth inside the final stages, with Merry scoring the ninth and final goal of the game, as an entertaining encounter finished 6-3.

Wheatley reacts to historic honour


See what 18-year-old Ethan said, after becoming the club's 250th player to graduate from the Academy.


Harrison; Ogunneye, Aljofree, Jackson, Amass; McAllister, Curley (Devaney, 56); Forson, Mather (Scanlon, 81), Williams (Murray, 86); Wheatley (McNeill, 82).

Subs not used: Kingdon.

Booked: McAllister, Amass, Devaney.

Goals: Wheatley 21, 23, Williams 62, 80, McNeill 85, Mather 60.