Manchester United U18’s played their first official pre-season fixture against Trafford FC at Shawe View on Tuesday evening. Marcus Rashford scored the only goal of the match in the 1-0 victory. Dry conditions and a warm evening were not ideal for both teams but Rashford was the liveliest player during the second half, scoring just four minutes after the break. The match was closely contested, which will go down as good practise for the U18 side ahead of their forthcoming season where they will look to do better than the last.
United were playing in their training kit with no number attempted shots early into the first half with Jordan Thompson’s header caught by the Trafford FC goalkeeper and at the other end of the pitch, United goalkeeper Dean Henderson thwarted an effort by Shelton Payne. Demetri Mitchell showed his class on the pitch as he swept a free-kick wide after being fouled 25 yard from the Trafford goal. Callum Gribben replaced Thompson after he hobbled off after around 30 minutes of the match, almost making an immediate impact. Joe Riley cut in and fed Gribben from a free-kick, he should have scored but his effort was thwarted by Read.
Charlie Scott also seemed menacing after an attempt he missed from long-range earlier in the match, he hammered his drive, which was just too high, moments before Chris Palmer headed wide of the target. United piled the pressure on the home side with Riley firing a fierce shot, which unfortunately was straight at the keeper, Scott followed by firing over the crossbar after a decent one-two with Gribben. The winning goal, scored four minutes into the second half was scored by Rashford after he was clear on the left, pushed up the pitch and slotted a sublime finish passed Read.
Both teams made a number of substitutions, but it did not make much difference. United continued to dominate the match. Scott stooped to head wide from the corner and Rashford was denied a penalty after being taken out inside the box. Trafford did try and take advantage late in the match as they were looking for the equaliser, but substitute goalkeeper George Dorrington held his area well, but did spill an effort by Rees Welsh. Paul McGuinness will have been happy with his sides performance which also saw trialists Oscar Borg and Ogo Obi make appearances for what could be their new club.
Manchester United: Henderson (Dorrington 69′); Riley (Reid 76′), Tuanzebe, Williams, Borg (Borthwick-Jackson 57′); Rashford, Scott, McTominay (Kehinde 64′), Thompson, Mitchell (Dearnley 76′); Croskery (Obi 57′)