Full-time report in the FA Youth Cup as United beat Swansea
United's under-18s enjoyed a superb 3-1 win at Premier League Swansea City tonight in the FA Youth Cup. Having fallen behind, and having had their keeper stretchered off, Chris Allen's youth team showed great character to hit back thanks to a Josh Ashby penalty and goals from Jamie Calvin and Robbie Cundy as The Swans ended the game with ten men.
The U’s overcame an injury after just five seconds when goalkeeper Barney Martin collided, accidentally, with Swans top scorer Kyle Copp and left the field on a stretcher to be replaced by Rory Golden. After a lengthy delay the U’s soon found their rhythm and striker Calvin headed over from a Greg Hackett cross from the right in the sixth minute as they created the first opening.
Their Premier League hosts had three or four efforts go well wide but on 30 minutes went in front as the dangerous Copp fired a fine strike home from a free-kick on the edge of the box to make it 1-0.
However, United were level on 38 minutes as Josh Ashby scored from the spot. The non-stop running of James Roberts created the chance as he bustled past the static Swansea back line and was upended by home keeper Lewis Thomas. It was a blatant penalty which Ashby expertly tucked away, with Thomas perhaps fortunate to receive only a yellow card for the foul. Luckily it didn't matter.
United grew in confidence from that goal and ended the half on top, with Ashby and AJ George dominating the midfield and winger Sam Humphreys going close with a powerful shot from the edge of the area which was deflected just over the top by a brave defender. Calvin then saw a shot blocked on the line as United pressed.
They were not to be denied though and in the fourth minute of time added on for the foul to the keeper United went 2-1 ahead. The excellent Humphreys wriggled past two challenges to reach the line on the left and cut the ball back for Jamie Calvin to sidefoot home.
With the back line of James Clarke, Robbie Cundy, Cian McCormack and captain Freddie Grant doing well - Clarke exemplifying this with a superb block on the edge of the area shortly after the break - United looked strong at the back and might have been 3-1 up on 52 as Roberts ran clear and passed the ball beyond the keeper but saw it clip the inside of the post and run clear.
The Swans had barely had a look in and on 74 minutes were down to ten men as Keston Davies took a wild swing at the flying Greg Hackett and was sent off for his second yellow.
United cleverly used the extra space and on 76 sealed their place as commanding centre-half Robbie Cundy powered into the box to thump his header past the keeper from a well-flighted Ashby corner.
A thoroughly deserved win with every player giving their all against a talented Swansea side, United now play Cardiff City at home in the next round.
See a special report in Yellow Player very soon.
United: Martin (Golden 1), Clarke, F Grant ©, Ashby, Cundy, McCormack, Hackett, George, Roberts, Calvin (Jeacock 89), Humphreys
Subs: Conte, Humphries, Welch-Hayes