United see off plucky Fermanagh

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 26th July 2023 Picture by Brian Little/PressEye SuperCupNi 2023 – Boys Premier Co Fermanagh and Manchester United teams during Wednesday’s Boys Premier Group D match at Coleraine Showgrounds during the SUPERCUPNI. Picture by Brian Little/PressEye

Manchester United 2

County Fermanagh 0

Report by Harvey Latimer

Manchester United continued their 100% win record at this year’s SuperCup NI by defeating a resilient County Fermanagh side. This was their third win and they’ve also recorded 3 clean sheets, emphasising their credentials as potential winners of the Premier Section.

The Red Devils were dominant throughout and enjoyed large spells of possession but were restricted to very few clear-cut opportunities. They had to wait until the 20th minute to fashion an opening and it came to Albert Mills as a result of a well worked free kick but Fermanagh shot stopper Alex McClelland denied him with a strong right leg. 

Shea Lacey was lighting up the Coleraine Showgrounds with a number of mazy runs which troubled the Fermanagh backline. McClelland was called into action again when he reacted well to an effort from United striker Siem Abraha. 

Despite their dominance, the Manchester giants had nothing to show for it until they carved an opening from a corner. Majid Balogun got himself away from his marker and lashed home Jim Thwaites’s corner. Fermanagh were hampered just before the corner when captain Adam Armstrong went down injured and had to be replaced. 

The second half followed the same pattern as the first; a dominant United side trying to break down a dogged County Fermanagh. Freddie Freedman freed himself in the box to connect with a corner, which caused panic in the Fermanagh box but Kelan Kernaghan was on hand to avert the danger. 

Balogun was hunting for his second of the game and McClelland had to be alert to deny his speculative bicycle kick. The Ernemen kept battling but substitute striker Callum St.Ledger was feeding off scraps. 

The pivotal second goal came in the final 10 minutes as Balogun turned provider. He latched onto a ball that drew out onrushing keeper Ross Thompson and calmly crossed it to Bendito Mantato to roll into an empty net. A goal that sealed the three points and a place in the SuperCup NI semi final for the talented Red Devils.