Ioannou (og, 8), Rusnak (35), Cole (65)
Man Utd 1
- Match reports
- Sat 18 Feb 2012, 12:58PM
- Posted by Tim Oscroft
City’s Under 18s bounced back from their exit from the FA Youth Cup in perfect style with an accomplished 3-1 win over Manchester United at Platt Lane.
The Blues took an early lead when, in the eighth minute, Nick Ioannou turned an Alex Henshall cross into his own net past a helpless Sutherland. It could have been 2-0 shortly afterwards when another testing Henshall cross just eluded Devante Cole, and the winger went close himself when he shot just over the bar on 20 minutes.
Henshall’s good morning's work ended early when he limped off with what looked like a hamstring strain, but his display had showed why he has been sounded out over his availability for the GB Olympics squad this summer.
City missed out on going even further ahead around the half-hour mark when Cole and Glendon saw successive close-range efforts blocked, and seconds later Sutherland was equal to a curled effort from Rusnak with a fine one-handed save.
It was not all one-way traffic, with van Velsen forcing Lawlor into a save from a tight angle, but City were in charge and they went further ahead on 35 minutes. Devante Cole’s defence-splitting pass gave Albert Rusnak a great chance which he did not pass up, slotting home to make it to 2-0.
The Slovakian playmaker bravely played on after dislocating a finger just after half-time, and City needed him having used up their allotted substitutions. The Blues were down to 10 men for around five minutes while Rusnak was treated, and he had just returned to the action when Luke Hendrie pulled one back for the visitors, despatching a cross from the right from six yards out.
United’s goal changed the complexion of the game for a short while, but City steadied themselves before restoring their two-goal lead on 65 minutes. Skipper Adam Drury made a telling run to the by-line before pulling the ball back to Devante Cole, who nipped in at the near post to squeeze the ball home. Father Andy, watching from the sidelines, would undoubtedly approve.
United went close with a couple of minutes when Daehli rolled a shot wide, and they had their best spell late on as they chased the game, with Grimshaw striking the post from just inside the area. But City were good value for their win, and they can look back with some pride on doing the double over their local rivals in 2011/12.