Last night, the Manchester United youth team met Stoke City in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup in defense of their title.
United captain Dan Gore seemed to set the tone for the match in the opening minutes as he ran into a serious problem late on and was very lucky to be let off with only a stern talk.
The initial exchanges were in favor of United, but the young Reds could not find the finishing element in the last third.
Jack Moorhouse caught a few spikes on the top of his foot, and he had to come off in the half that our mark replaced to become Adam Berry.
At the end of the first half, the ball from the loop into the back post from Louis Jackson’s head at the goal of Viktor Musa fell directly into the hands of the goalkeeper.
Stoke tested United with a header of their own in the 39th, when Nathan Lowe dropped to the back post and rose above Sam Murray, but Eli Harrison rejected it.
The biggest chance of the half came in added time when Ethan Williams shot low to Musa in the center eight yards from a side kick that was blocked by a defender.
Shortly after the break, Berry shot from the right corner of the penalty area, and Musa was able to land a header at the back post, but the winger could not get on target.
Eventually, Stoke will break the deadlock in the 57th minute. Josh Bickerton’s free kick on the edge of the penalty area was deflected off the wall, but unfortunately, due to a reflection from Williams’ back, the ball hit the corner of the goal, away from Harrison’s reach.
Five minutes later, Maxi Oyedele’s excellent rushing shot deflected the challenge in midfield and opened up space for a long-range shot that seemed intended to hit the top left corner, but for a fantastic save, knocking the ball past the post.
In the 68th minute, Gore went through a group of Stoke defenders into the penalty area and shot past the near post.
Soon after, Gore forced another save with a header from a corner that almost caught the goalkeeper with a deflection.
Stoke were still threatening themselves with a low kick that forced Harrison to save with his feet.
At the last stage, when United were chasing the opponent, Oyedele sent a long ball into the penalty area, which was knocked down by Jack Kingdon, who hit the crossbar when the defender was in a rare attacking position.
Despite all efforts, United could not win back, and when the final whistle sounded, passions flared up in a melee led by skipper Gore.
The disappointing result led to the young Reds dropping out of the historic competition early, having gone all the way and won the trophy last season.
United: Harrison, Nolan (Lacey, 85), Jackson, Aljofri, Murray, Oyedele, Gore, Williams, Moorhouse (Berry, 31), Musa, Norkett (Kingdon, 70)
Unused substitutes: Wooster, Fitzgerald, Scanlon, Munro.