United U18s got back to winning ways in style with a convincing 6-2 win away at Cheltenham Town this morning.
United youngsters got off to a perfect start away at Cheltenham Town, with two goals in the opening six minutes. Where a clinical edge eluded the side last time out, they were back to their goalscoring selves this morning as they profited from two early corners. Jack Stevens swung in the first and Viktor Milton rose highest at the back post to head the ball back into the danger area. Top scorer Callum Crook was well positioned to flick a header past the goalkeeper for the opener.
A quick start was exactly what the young U’s were after, and it got better for Leon Blackmore-Such and Chris Hackett’s side moments later. Another corner from Stevens troubled the Cheltenham defence, causing a scramble in the area. A trialist for the U’s was alert and finished well to double the advantage. United’s bright start continued on 13 minutes, as the lively Goodrham - who missed last week’s game through suspension - flicked the ball over the head of the defender for Crook to run onto again. The forward, full of confidence, lobbed the goalkeeper for the third of the afternoon and to put the U’s firmly in control.
A lapse in concentration allowed Cheltenham back into the game, as a misplaced pass allowed a forward to get into the U’s area and finish beyond Max Evans, but United responded immediately through Leon Chambers-Parillon, who headed in off the underside of the bar to make it 4-1. United dominated possession and created plenty of opportunities in the opening 45 while sticking to their usual passing game.
United picked up in the second half where they left off. Sam Johnson replaced Jack Gardner at the interval and Michael Elechi burst into the area on 48’ and forced a save out of the Cheltenham goalkeeper, while Fabio Lopes had the ball in the back of the net but was ruled offside as United continued playing with confidence and freedom.
A rare opportunity presented itself for Cheltenham on 55’ as a corner was headed towards goal, but it went narrowly wide of Evans’ right-hand post. The Robins needed no second opportunity as they grabbed their second of the game on the hour mark. Michael Elechi was beaten to the ball on the byline and the ball was played across goal for a forward to place beyond Evans.
Connor Ferguson replaced Crook and United responded well and restored their three-goal advantage through Stevens on 69 minutes. The midfielder profited from another corner routine as the ball fell to him in the area for him to power home.
This prompted another change, as Lopes was replaced by Will Owens as United returned to their passing game. Fabio Sole was composed in the middle of the park while Elechi caused plenty of problems down the left getting forward from defence.
A good run from Ferguson teed up Stevens again who forced another save from the goalkeeper 15 minutes from time, before Tyler Goodrham finished off the scoring with a low drive after a good run into the area.
UNITED: Evans, Gardner (Johnson, 45), Elechi, Sole, Milton, Trialist, Goodrham, Chambers-Parillon, Crook, Stevens, Lopes (Owens)
Unused Subs: Niemczycki, Nosakhare