Under-18s: Resolute Reds see off Man City
Manchester United Under-18s claimed the bragging rights in the ‘mini-derby’ against Manchester City with a thrilling 2-1 win at the Etihad Complex on Saturday afternoon.
The Blues commanded the first period and could have been in possession of a decent lead by the break but in the second half, Neil Ryan's side were the dominant force and goals from Hannibal Mejbri and Teden Mengi saw us streak into the lead. City grabbed one back through Liam Delap with fifteen minutes remaining but it wasn’t enough to prevent this being United's day.
Prior to kick-off, there was a perfectly observed minute’s silence ahead of Sunday’s Remembrance commemorations. Shortly afterwards, the old adage of ‘no quarter asked, no quarter given’ came to mind as ferocious challenges from both sides began to stack up inside the first 60 seconds.
Russ Hayes, the Reds' physiotherapist, was briefly covering the welfare of both teams when his opposite number, City’s Patrick Keeling, was called away to attend a spectator who had fallen.
Half-time was reached with neither side having found the net, but City must have been wondering what they had to do to rectify that situation.
Declan Brown, the referee, had barely taken the whistle from his mouth having restarted the game when United full-back Reece Devine raced down the left wing before crossing into the middle where Mejbri instantly redirected the ball past City ‘keeper Gavin Bazanu.
It was a truly astonishing start to the second period and the goal acted as a welcome boost to United’s confidence following the earlier tribulations.
The Reds were looking comfortable with a two-goal lead but ten minutes later, some confusion in United’s penalty area allowed City substitute Liam Delap to halve the visitors' advantage.
That moment gave City fresh hope of securing something from the game and the during last few minutes they did their level best to find the equaliser but United stood firm to record a memorable victory.
United: Mastny; Bejger (Hardley 86), Fish, Mengi, Devine; McCann, Helm, Mejbri (Wellens 69); Shoretire (Sotona 90+2), Hoogewerf, Elanga.
Substitutes not used: Hockenhull, Mee.
Scorers: United - Mejbril 46, Mengi 65 | City - Delap 75.
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