Man United took on Liverpool at the J. Davidson Stadium in the first home fixture of the U18s league campaign. Liverpool capitalised on a dominant first half with two goals from Yan Dhanda. Indy Boonen scored a consolation goal in the second half but it wasn’t enough to prevent all three points going to the visitors.
Following an opening day 4-0 defeat to Derby County, Tommy Martin’s United sat bottom of the U18s Premier League, with Liverpool in second position. Thomas Sang, who was sent off in the previous match, was available for the fixture, but he will serve his suspension next week. Callum Gribbin continued to miss out following a hamstring injury, while Faustin Makela and Kayne Diedrick-Roberts also miss out through injury.
It was the visitors who settled into the match quickest and looked the better of the two teams in the first half. United lost Zach Dearnley after 17 minutes when he pulled up sharply while on a run holding his hamstring. The forward was unable to continue and was replaced by Indy Boonen who had scored 8 goals from 12 starts at this level last season.
Tahith Chong had an early chance when the ball was pulled back to him in the box but his shot was easily saved by Kamil Grabara. Soon after Ilias Moutha-Sebtaoui had to be alive when Toni Gomes attempted an overhead kick. The goalkeeper was unhappy with his defence. The defence didn’t look too sharp when Yan Dhanda gave Liverpool the lead slotting into the bottom corner or the goal.
Not long after Dhanda bagged his and Liverpool’s second, finishing off a team goal by passing the ball into the net past Moutha-Sebtaoui. However, in the final 10 minutes of the first half there were encouraging signs for the home side with Chong having another shot on goal which was also saved by Grabara.
The second half started better for United. Sang took a shot on from outside the box and saw it go just wide. Then Boonen pulled a goal back, with a lovely finish from a very tight angle. Angel Gomes, who received close attention from Liverpool during the match, also saw a shot go wide.
Nishan Burkart came on to make his debut for United replacing DJ Buffonge upfront, and he had a chance blocked when Boonen had played a lovely ball across the face of the opposition goal. United were forced into a final substitution as a result of an injury when captain Ethan Hamilton went down holding his ankle, he was replaced by Joshua Bohui.
In the final stages it was all United with shots coming in from Gomes, Burkart, and Boonen but unfortunately they weren’t able to hit the back of the net to get an equaliser.
United will be hoping to pick up some points in the next match against Everton to be played at Finch Farm on 27th August.
Man United: Moutha-Sebtaoui, Tanner, Warren, Dunne, Hamilton (c) (Bohui 70′), Dearnley (Boonen 17′), Whelan, Sang, Gomes, Chong, Buffonge (Burkart 64′).
Unused Substitutes: M. Johnstone, Kenyon.
Goal(s): Boonen (56′).
Booking(s): Warren (75′).
Man of the Match: Indy Boonen.
Liverpool: Grabara, White, Lewis, Masterson (c), Parker, Coyle, Adekanye, Kane (Hunter 61′), T. Gomes (Camacho 64′), Millar, Dhanda.
Unused Substitutes: Brewster, McAuley.
Goal(s): Dhanda (22′, 30′).
Booking(s): Kane (59′).