City’s youngsters slipped to defeat this evening against Manchester United after a battling performance against The Red Devils leaving much to be pleased about for the coaching staff despite the result.
Goals either side of half time from Dillon Hoogewerf did the damage against Tom Shaw’s men who left everything out on the pitch and could be proud of their efforts.
Ben Sault set the tone early in the game bustling into an early tackle on the United winger, Ayodeji Sotona who was looking dangerous for the hosts. The Imps were pressing high, forcing United back and limiting the space for the home side to break into and giving them no option to do something special to get anything like a breakthrough.
Hannibal Mejbri was trying his utmost to bring that touch for United, the number ten showing great skill to body swerve beyond Sean Roughan and Gianluca Bucci down the City left before getting a shot away inside the box which Sam Long was equal to but he had to show quick reflexes to save. The Imps’ keeper throwing out a long left leg to deny the hosts the opening goal.
United were seemingly getting a little frustrated, with The Imps marshalling them well and holding their shape. It took Martin Svidersky marauding forward from full back for United to force the next save from Long, the defender overlapping with Sotona alongside him before shooting low and he was left with his head in his hands as Long saved.
Josh Woodcock was in the thick of the action, denying Sotona down the left yet again before Ziyad Al-Oyouni made a vital intervention to stop a dangerous low centre.
For all the hard work off the ball, City were looking dangerous when they got an opportunity inside the area, Ben Sault picked up possession out on the right just inside the area, his low shot takes a deflection off Teden Mengi but still headed towards goal, Ondrej Mastny had to dive to his right to save,Nathan Odokonyero was lurking for the rebound but was denied the opportunity as the flag went up for offside
With half an hour gone Sean Roughan’s looping free kick caused havoc in the United box, the ball was aloowed to drop and fell to Cameo Scott who tried his luck, the shot looped just over the top via a deflection with Mastny seemingly unable to get anywhere near it.
Woodcock and Bucci combined to deny Hannibal Mejbri space down the right, typifying the effort being put in by the visitors. However, The Imps stubborn resistance was broken just ahead of the break as Sotona fired in a low cross from the left through a sea of legs and it hit Hoogewerf who knew little about it but the ball found its way into the net.
Manchester United 1 The Imps 0
United pressed early for a second goal but were denied by a fantastic stop from Long, Mark Helm smashed a fizzing effort which looked to have the beating of the ‘keeper but the ‘keeper watched the dipping effort before palming away confidently. The City stopper was at it again moments later, this time it was Hoogewerf shaking his head in disbelief as he saw Long dive low to his right to deny the United number nine a second goal.
However, Hoogewerf was to have the beating of the City ‘keeper around the hour mark turning home a right-wing cross with the deftest of touches into the corner of the goal giving Long no chance at all.
The second goal gave the home side an added impetus but The Imps didn’t show any signs of their heads dropping, still working as hard as ever to close down play and hold their shape. Mejbri was looking to open the door for a third goal for United, his low cross couldn’t find a red shirt with The Imps as industrious as ever off the ball.
United were having much of the possession in Imps’ territory but we’re struggling to breach the defence for a third time, which would have been cruel on the visitors. The Imps had a spell of possession making their way into opposing territory down either flank, but the home side were able to clear the danger.
City never stopped running to the last and did themselves proud against their hosts, but it’s Manchester United who progress into the next round of this season’s FA Youth Cup.
Manchester United 2 The Imps 0
Mastny, Bejger, Svidersky (Neville 84’) Mengi ( C ), Fish, McCann, Wellens (Shoretire 71’), Helm, Hoogewerf, Mejbri, Sotona (Forson 78’)
Substitutes: Mee, Hockenhull, Hughes, Iqbal
GOALS: Hoogewerf 41’ 62’
Long, Al-Oyouni, Bucci, Woodcock, Cann, Roughan, Sault, Brown, Odokonyero (Inglis 60), Liversage (Simpson 86’), Scott
Substitutes: Woolley, Flitton, Brooks, Gee, Inglis, Parsons