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Manchester United Under-18s celebrate taking the lead against Wolves

Under-18s: Manchester United 1 Wolves 0

United’s Under-18s maintained a run of encouraging form and a place among the title-chasing group with a hard-fought win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Aon Training Complex on Saturday afternoon.

There wasn’t a great deal to separate the teams throughout the 90 minutes, except for the game’s only goal scored from the penalty spot by Dylan Levitt.

Neil Ryan’s lads were returning to action, following a fortnight’s break, looking to add to an impressive opening streak to the campaign that had seen them win six of the eight games played. The only major blip to date has been the 3-1 defeat on the road at Middlesbrough.

With the previous four outings all ending in victory, with a return of 18 goals scored and just four conceded, the young Reds could look back on a solid foundation ahead of this fixture at the Aon Training Complex.
Ryan’s squad was missing Mason Greenwood, the leading scorer with 11 goals, who had played for the Under-23s on the previous evening against Newcastle United at Leigh. The coach was forced into an early reshuffle of his ranks during the game too, after central defender Teden Mengi was injured inside the opening five minutes and Reece Devine came on as substitute.

Wolves were the first to try their luck in front of goal when winger Theo Corbeanu hit a shot that went close to hitting the target. At the other end of the field, United went close to breaking the deadlock with Charlie McCann and D’Mani Mellor combining well, but the visitors’ goalkeeper Jackson Smith was equal to the threat. Corbeanu, with a touch more luck, could have been celebrating a hat-trick for Wolves, but a further two attempts on United’s goal narrowly failed to find the net.
Then, in the 33rd minute, the Reds were awarded a penalty after referee David Croft spotted that Ethan Laird had been infringed in the area. It came as something of a shock when the spot-kick was awarded, but  Levitt stepped up confidently to place his shot wide of keeper Smith.

There had been very little to choose between the teams during the first half, but at least United went in at the break holding a slender lead.
With an extremely strong, gusting wind blowing across the Aon Training Complex’s wide open spaces, it was most definitely a day for keeping the ball on the ground and both sides were making a sound job of doing just that.

Despite the testing conditions and shortage of genuine goalmouth action, both United and Wolves continued to provide an entertaining and well-contested match.

The Reds asked most of the questions in the final quarter of the game, but Wolves defended with resilience to keep their hosts at bay in open play and limit United to just that match-winning penalty from Levitt.

MATCH DETAILS

United:
Thompson, Laird, Mengi (Devine 5), Bernard (Ramazani 81), Williams B.; Levitt, Traore, Galbraith; Puigmal (McGhee 76), Mellor, McCann.

Substitutes not used:
Carney, Stanley.

Scorers:
United - Levitt 33 pen.

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