United's U18's ran out 4-3 winners in a thrilling game at York City on Saturday morning.The Iron’s youth team looked resplendent in the yellow and navy blue away kit and their initial opening to the game matched the sharpness of their new kit as they dominated proceedings at York City’s training ground.
On 18 minutes, United’s second year apprentice Sonny Shilling was through one-versus-one with the home goalkeeper, who did well to deny the Scunthorpe striker.
Within a minute, the Iron had taken the lead and it was new first year striker Leslie Sackey who opened his scoring account for United.
Sackey moved swiftly on to a long clearance from Ben Ledger, showing good strength and real determination to hold off opponents before unleashing a left-footed strike that flew into the roof of the Minstermen’s goal to give United the lead that they deserved and had been threatening to take since the kick-off.
Minutes later and it was Sackey again showing his potential, this time he was unfortunate to fire over the bar when well positioned.
At this stage United really had their opponents on the back foot and on 25 minutes fellow first year Lewis Butroid rattled the City crossbar with a left-footed drive from 30 yards as the visitors threatened again.
The Iron youngsters extended their lead on 25 minutes and went 2-0 up when Sackey was slid through on the run behind the City defence. Under pressure from opponents, Sackey showed excellent composure to switch the point of attack and unbalance York’s defence before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net to the delight of his team-mates.
City had to respond and they did so by pulling a goal back on 32 minutes. United conceded a throw-in on their left and sloppy defending saw the home team lob the ball over Iron keeper Ben Ledger who, up to this stage, had been pretty much redundant.
Within three minutes, City had drawn themselves level and United were shocked to concede a second goal much against the run of play. The visitors conceded a free-kick on their left side when Matt Stockill fouled an opponent and the resulting free-kick saw City equalise with a free header on the edge of the six-yard box as the teams went in level at half-time.
On 57 minutes, the Iron were forced into a reshuffle and reorganization of the team when Butroid was forced off with injury to be replaced by first year player Sami Ebraheem who was straight into action when he wriggled past opponents and with only the keeper to beat fired straight at the City shotstopper.
Just after the hour, Iron captain Jack Dyche restored the visitors' lead. Dyche started the move, playing a good one-two with Ebraheem and the resulting combination play saw Dyche slotting the cutback home at the near post to put United 3-2 up.
On 68 minutes, Sackey was through but he hesitated and delayed his shot and the chance was lost. Minutes later, Dyche hit the crossbar as United tried to kill the game off and on 74 minutes Sackey turned provider when intelligent play saw him cut the ball across goal for Ebraheem who restored the Iron’s two-goal lead to make it 4-2.
City, to their credit, came back again and pulled a goal back on 77 minutes when Watkiss was dispossessed wide left of the Iron’s box and, as the City striker cut inside, his deflected shot looped over Iron goalkeeper Ledger to make for an interesting final period.
With only 10 minutes remaining, United should have put the game beyond doubt when Sackey was brought down inside the City penalty area as he shaped to shoot. The young first year striker wanted to notch his hat-trick but youth team penalty taker Jack Dyche was entrusted with the responsibility.
However, the usually clinical Dyche saw his penalty well saved by the home keeper as City stayed in the game.
Iron midfielder Matt Stockill rattled the City crossbar in the 90th minute as United made it two wins out of two.
Afterwards, United academy manager Tony Daws said: "At times, the football that our boys produced was of an excellent standard as it was last week too against Chesterfield.
"In both games we have shown that that we have a real attacking threat from all over the pitch and that we will score goals.
"We scored four, missed a penalty and also hit the crossbar four times as well as creating other opportunities, so there are lots and lots of positives to take from the game.
"However, as a group, we all know that have to do better in defensive situations, we conceded two last week and three this week - we have to do better.
"Next week we need to keep a clean sheet and that is what we will be working hard on all week with the boys."
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