Report from the U18 home victory over Tranmere Rovers
University of Sunderland Journalism student Mark Donnelly covered Friday's home youth game against Tranmere Rovers for the official website ...
United’s youth team continued their unbeaten start to the season with a narrow victory over Tranmere Rovers.
After a closely-fought first half, Max Brown finished off a fine team move to hand United the lead six minutes into the second half.
And it was a lead they managed to hold on to, thanks in part to an impressive save from captain Morgan Bacon in the dying seconds.
Having enjoyed a fine start to the season, Darren Edmondson’s side came into this encounter full of confidence.
And they started brightly - Cameron Salkeld drilling across goal with Max Cowburn unable to turn it home at the far post.
The Blues continued to press forward and Brown, fresh from scoring a hat-trick in the Blues’ last home league game, had a glorious chance when he beat his defender and raced through on goal, only for the Tranmere stopper to block the striker’s effort with his legs.
Tranmere were still looking dangerous and Bacon had to be alert to make a smart save from a drilled effort before he watched two long range shots fly over his crossbar.
Clear-cut chances were few and far between in an evenly-matched first half, but the hosts came racing out the blocks in the second half and took the lead shortly after the restart.
Breaking from the back, Salkeld surged forward before finding substitute Luke Lloyd, with the midfielder prodding the ball to Brown who slotted past the goalkeeper from just inside the box.
It could have been two for United minutes later as Brown turned provider, playing in Salkeld who beat his man with a nutmeg before placing his shot just wide of the far post.
Brown’s goal saw the game open up, with chances flowing for both sides.
The visitors were next to threaten as a cross was diverted into the side-netting at the near post before United’s goal scorer tried to add a second with his curling shot held by the goalkeeper.
Substitute Keighan Kerr then tried his luck with a half-volley from distance only to be denied by an acrobatic save.
United stopper Bacon then had to make a fine save of his own - getting down to claw away a header with the visitors unable to scramble home the rebound.
This proved to be the final action of the afternoon as the Blues kept their unbeaten record intact while picking up another three points.
United: Bacon, Goldthorpe (Kelly-Hodgson), Olson, Taylor, Hutchinson, Watson, Breen (Wells), Salkeld, Egan (Loyd), Cowburn (Kerr), Brown. Subs – Ashton.
Goals: Brown (51)