United crowned U18 Premier League Cup champions

Tuesday 23 April 2024 21:45

Manchester United's Under-18s were crowned U18 Premier League Cup champions following a 2-1 victory over crosstown rivals Manchester City in front of a sold-out Leigh Sports Village crowd on Tuesday evening.

We got off to the dream start in the first half courtesy of a James Nolan and Ethan Wheatley link up with just seven minutes on the clock, opening the occasion and extinguishing any pre-game nerves.

Our opposition worked valiantly to try and regain a footing in the game following our first, but their defence was unlocked once more on the break by the same pair, with Wheatley this time shuffling around the on-rushing goalkeeper before claiming his second of the game.

It was a more muted affair in the second half, with City defender Stephen Mfuni providing a late scare with a header in the 84th minute. 

A scare is all it would prove to be, however, and our young Reds emerged victorious with the U18 Premier League Cup in hand.

U18s lift the Premier League Cup! Video

U18s lift the Premier League Cup!

TROPHY LIFT! We are so proud of our exciting Under-18s, the new Premier League Cup champions...


The game started calmly over the first five minutes, with both Manchester sides using the opening moments to try and assess the challenge ahead.

However, the young Reds would not allow the visitors much thinking time. In the seventh minute, James Nolan lofted a free-kick from the halfway line over the Blues' backline that was deftly controlled by Ethan Wheatley with his first touch. His second touch was a strike that rocketed past City goalkeeper Spike Brits and into the far corner, providing Lawrence's side the lead.

The visitors took much of the initiative following the opener, but our defensive line held strong in the face of the pressure and then hit the Blues on the break midway through the half.

It was the duo from the opener that combined once again for the second, when Nolan picked up the ball on the left flank and fed a pass into the path of Wheatley in the middle. He coolly rounded Brits before powering a shot into the back of the net, despite defender Kian Noble's best efforts to keep it out on the goal line.

That was the last big chance from either side in the half, and United returned to the dressing room with the advantage in our favour.

It was a tough battle in the middle of the LSV pitch on Tuesday evening.


There was a refreshed look to our side following a triple substitution just after the interval, with Gabriele Biancheri, Bendito Mantato and Habeeb Ogunneye replacing Wheatley, Louis Jackson and Harry Amass.

Chances were scarce for both sides in the second period, despite the Blues' best attempts to find a route back into the game.

They did provide a late scare through a Stephen Mfuni header with just minutes of normal time remaining and the pressure was back on for United heading into injury time.

Late heroic stops from Elyh Harrison ensured the young Reds went home with the trophy.

A last-gasp effort from City with just seconds left of the clock produced the save of the game from Elyh Harrison, who got his fingertips to chance to send it wide and ensure the lead held.

That was the last big chance in the game and not long after the referee's final whistle sounded, with a sea of Reds flooding on to the pitch to congratulate their colleagues.

Just days after securing the U18 Premier League North title, they backed that up with the U18 Premier League Cup to round off an incredible season for Adam Lawrence's side.

A team effort rounded off a fantastic campaign for our Under-18s.


United: Harrison; Nolan, Jackson (Mantato 46), Kingdon, Amass (Ogunneye 46); McAllister, Curley (Devaney 64); Scanlon, J.Fletcher (Lacey 72), Williams; Wheatley (Biancheri 46).

Goals: Wheatley 8, 25 | Mfuni 84.