Manchester United’s U18’s faced Sunderland at the Aon Training Complex on Saturday morning as they looked to build on an impressive start to the season which sees them sitting top of the table. United were without Tahith Chong who is on international duty with Netherlands U19’s but were able to name a strong team with Max Dunne, Angel Gomes, Josh Bohui and Nishan Burkart coming into the side to replace George Tanner, Tahith Chong, DJ Buffonge and Kayne Diederick-Roberts who all started against Middlesbrough last week.
United attacked Sunderland from the kickoff and went close twice in the opening couple of minutes with Gomes cross being knocked away for a corner before Bohui’s close range volley was blocked by a defender. Sunderland replied with an early chance of their own as a fifth-minute free kick was headed over from close range. Sunderland were doing a good job of denying United time and space in the early stages as they closed down well and were quick into tackles.
Sunderland took the lead in the 21st minute as a long kick from the Sunderland keeper beat the defence and Fojticek came out to clear the ball but completely missed it and Sunderland’s striker was left with an open goal to make it 1-0. United went close to leveling a couple of minutes later as the Sunderland goalkeeper kicked the ball to Gomes but he delayed his shot too long which allowed the goalkeeper to get back in goal and make a save. Gomes again went close to equalizing in the 39th minute as he curled an effort narrowly over the bar from the edge of the box. The teams went in at half-time with Sunderland leading 1-0 after a frustrating half for United.
United had their first chance of the second half as Kenyon’s cross found its way to Hamilton who attempted a scissor kick but didn’t connect properly and sent the ball wide. Hamilton again went close in the 56th minute as his low drive from 20 yards flew narrowly wide. United made a double change in the 65th minute with Barlow and Diederick-Roberts replacing Bohui and Burkart. United created their best chance of the 2nd half as the goalkeeper got out to block from Warren and Diederick-Roberts follow-up effort from the edge of the box smashed off the crossbar.
Diederick-Roberts had another chance to level in the 76th minute as Boonen’s corner found him completely unmarked in the six-yard box but he put his free header over the bar. United were extremely dominant in the closing stages as Sunderland began to tire but looked short of ideas with Gomes dropping deeper and deeper in an attempt to get on the ball. United got the reward for their pressure as Hamilton did well down the left and his cross found Diederick-Roberts and after his shot was blocked the substitute Barrett forced the ball in from close range in the 90th minute.
The action wasn’t finished however as Dunne should have scored when the ball dropped to him 6 yards out but steered wide and then Boonen’s strike from 20 yards forced a fine save from the Sunderland goalkeeper. From the resulting corner, United went close again as the ball found its way to Hamilton at the back post but his shot came back off the post with the last effort of the game. United will be disappointed not to have found a winner after creating a number of chances at the end of the game. Next up United face Wolverhampton Wanderers away next Saturday.
Goals: Jake Barrett 90′
United: Fojticek, O’Connor, Kenyon, Warren (Barrett) Dunne, Whelan, Hamilton, Boonen, Gomes, Bohui (Barlow), Burkart (Diederick-Roberts)
Substitutes not used: Johnstone, Spratt