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Sunday, 5 October 2008

Macheda Magic In Vain As U18s Slump To Their First Defeat

Man Utd - Crewe Alexandra
Manchester United U18 1-2 Crewe Alexandra U18
Macheda 89 - Westwood 53
- - Stair 68

United’s U18s were brought back down to earth with a bang at Carrington this morning as their fine start to the season was stopped in its tracks by an impressive Crewe outfit who frustrated the Reds for long periods before grabbing two decisive goals on the break. Shoddy defending and a poor final ball were hallmarks of United’s play all game and a typically well-taken goal from substitute Kiko Macheda was too little too late for Paul McGuinness’ side.

For once, my wild stab in the dark regarding the starting lineup wasn’t too far wide of the mark. As predicted, Macheda and Gary Woods were restricted to a bench role due to reserve duty past and future, while injury problems deprived McGuinness of pretty much everyone else mentioned in the preview as likely to be absent. There was one notable and significant addition to that - skipper Matty James also missed out, the reason not yet being clear.

What that meant was Conor Devlin continuing in goal, the ‘regular’ back four of Kenny Strickland, Reece Brown, Scott Wootton and Oliver Gill being reunited in defence, Ryan Tunnicliffe stepping up from the U16s to replace James in midfield and Anton Bryan dropping down to partner Nicky Ajose upfront as an over-age player........Read More Here

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