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YOUTH: United 3 - 0 Workington

Report from the Wednesday evening friendly

5 July 2023

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United's U18 squad kicked off their pre-season campaign with a home game against local rivals Workington on Wednesday evening.

And a well executed Romeo Park hat-trick was the highlight of an entertaining game that was full of energy and commitment from both teams.

It was Workington who created the first chance of the evening with an incisive move which left the home back line exposed. Jacob Barry stayed big to make an excellent save with his leg when the driven effort came his way.

United picked up the pace and there was an element of luck for the first goal as Park pulled wide with the ball at his feet. A deep, looped cross bent wickedly and the stopper stood no chance as it dipped over his head before smashing into the corner of his net.

Barry had more work to do between the sticks as he got down to save from a volley from the edge of the box, but it was the home side who started to edge on they top as they controlled the pace in the middle of the pitch.

The hosts almost doubled their lead on the half hour when a cheeky clip off the heel from Fitzpatrick sent Park on a run. O'Donohue took over, and he looked up to see Swinburn on the move. A snapshot beat the dive but it rose agonisingly over the bar.

The Blues used the flanks well and Nicholson clipped a beauty of a cross into the mix after Allan had played him on the overlap. Chapman was interested but he was crowded out before he could finish it off.

A whipped corner from Murray was met on the leap by Walsh moments later and he was set to celebrate as his header angled towards the target. An alert red shirt stepped across smartly to make the block.

It was a short-lived reprieve when a delivery from the right wing found Park with time and space. He took two touches before he picked his spot off the inside of the upright.

Hard work was to thank for the third goal of the night as Chapman showed real tenacity deep inside the Workington half. He robbed the ball and put it on a plate for Park to strike. A bullet of a shot bulged the roof of the net.

Allan rattled the outside of the woodwork and there was an almighty scramble from a Murray corner as the now confident home side looked to add more to the tally.

And they thought they'd done just that when Atkinson put his laces through one from 19-yards. Chapman leaned to his right to get the deftest of touches but the keeper somehow readjusted to pull off a magnificent save.

United's starters - Barry, Hopper, O'Brien, Walsh, Nicholson, Murray, Allan, Fitzpatrick, O'Donohue, Swinburn, Park. Subs used throughout - Chapman, Fleming, Porter, Atkinson, Hodgson, Rigby, Penny.

Goals - Park (11, 49, 54)

Referee - Scott Henry


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