Report: United's Under-18s draw 4-4 with Leicester
There were eight goals and non-stop action during a lavishly entertaining game at the Aon Training Complex on Saturday, as Manchester United drew 4-4 with their Leicester City counterparts in the Under-18s Premier League Cup.
But the Foxes upped the tempo from then and showed admirable fighting spirit to grab three further goals that restored parity, rounding off an excellent afternoon of football between two talented teams.
The weather forecast for Saturday morning was for heavy rain and to say that the meteorology people called it correctly is, to put it mildly, spot on.
Torrential barely describes the volume of water that cascaded from leaden skies was something to behold.
Despite the inclement conditions there was still a good turnout of die-hard fans and parents on station at kick-off time.
United went into this cup-tie hoping to put behind them our patchy league form in order to make progress in this competition. And two goals in the space of four minutes, midway through the first half, was just the tonic was desired.
Helm, who made a 26-minute substitute appearance for the Under-23s against Norwich City on Friday evening, opened the account with brilliant curling free-kick following a foul on Deji Sotona. It was a terrific shot which Foxes’ ‘keeper Oliver Bosworth had little or no chance of saving.
United were celebrating again, in the 26th minute, when defender Hockenhull used his height to good effect to head home the second goal.
The Reds were good value for the lead.
However, with three minutes of the half remaining, Leicester went agonisingly close to pulling one back when they were denied by two fabulous diving saves from goalkeeper Ondrej Mastny. From the ensuing corner, taken by Terrel Pennant, they then halved United’s advantage with a close-range finish from Tom Sams.
The visitors' joy was to be short-lived for barely two minutes later the Reds had restored the two-goal cushion thanks to a great solo goal from Hoogewerf, who rounded Bosworth before firing into an unguarded net.
Leicester were to suffer another blow five minutes into the second half when Shoretire scored to put United 4-1 up.
Neil Ryan’s lads looked ‘home and dry’ but Leicester had other ideas.
In an extraordinary comeback they scored three times through Ethan Fitzhugh, Will Russ and a Shane Flynn penalty to force a remarkable 4-4 draw.
It was a fitting finale to a compelling contest that was a credit to both teams.
United U18s 4 (Helm 22, Hockenhull 26, Hoogewerf 44, Shoretire 50)
Leicester U18s 4 (Sams 42, Fitzhugh 75, Russ 78, Flynn pen. 86)
United: Mastny; Neville (Hughes I. 87), Hockenhull, Fish, Hardley; McCann (Forson 70), Wellens (Savage 83), Helm; Shoretire, Hoogewerf, Sotona
Substitutes not used: Mee, Mejia