Manchester United recovered from conceding two early goals to take the spoils in the first U19 STATSports SuperCupNI Challenge match at a packed Coleraine Showgrounds on Monday evening.
The Old Trafford youngsters were stunned as Gerard Lyttle’s side rushed into a 2-0 lead with just 17 minutes played. However, United bounced back in the second half with three unanswered goals to claim a 3-2 win.
Northern Ireland started the strongest and Glenfield was leading by example from the front and early pressure saw him pick up a loose ball but his looping long range effort was well held by Myles in the United goal.
It wasn’t long until Northern Ireland’s dominant start was rewarded with a goal. Manchester United were punished for some sloppy play and Scannell had time to drive forward and hammer a low dipping effort which deceived Myles and nestled into the net with just six minutes played.
Glenfield was at the heart of everything Northern Ireland were doing well and he glanced over after a great cross from Reece Jordan. With 17 minutes played NI had doubled their lead.
Everton’s latest recruit Jack Patterson stole the ball and drove forward on the half way line. He slid the ball to Glenfield, who slotted in Trickett who poked the ball past the advancing Myles.
It took United until the 22nd minute to have their first effort on goal and Mather couldn’t find the target with his powerful free kick.
James Nolan was at the heart of Manchester United’s revival as they looked to grab a lifeline and grab a goal. His mazy run down the right saw him twists inside and fire an inviting cross across the box but Brown did well to clear his lines at the back post.
On the NI right hand side, Wightman was troubling Murray with some direct running and Jackson had to be on his toes inside the box as he cleared a low cross aimed at Scannell.
Whatever was said by Travis Binnion at half time had its desired effect and some incredible footwork from Gore down the left saw him wriggles past several challenges before poking a shot at goal. Charles did well to save the initial effort but Williams was on hand to slam home after the parry from the ‘keeper.
Sean Brown was driving Northern Ireland forward in the early stages of the second half as they looked to grab a third and his inviting cross from the right just missed substitute Evans in the centre.
On 68 minutes the Red Devils were level. A short corner saw Aljofree keep the ball in at the back post and Jack Kingdon slammed the ball into the goal from inside the six yard box.
With just 10 minutes left United should have gone ahead for the first time as Ennis did well down the left and scooped a cross to the back post but Norkett could only direct his header wide.
Just when it looked like both teams were going to settle for a share of the spoils, United took the lead for the first time on the night. Scanlon intercepted a pass from McCart on the by-line and slid the ball into the box where Ethan Ennis was on hand to fire past Charles to secure the win for the Old Trafford youngsters.