Manchester City's U18s got back to winning ways thanks to a convincing 3-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at the City Football Academy.

Jacob Wright‘s free-kick opened the scoring in the first ten minutes before Matthew Henderson-Hall doubled our lead with a tidy finish just before the half-hour mark. 

Alfie Harrison made it three before the break, securing the points for Ben Wilkinson‘s side as we moved above our rivals in the U18 Premier League North table. 

WHAT HAPPENED

Following a draw and a defeat in our previous outings, Wilkinson would’ve been keen to see us get back to winning ways against tough opposition, and he couldn’t have been happier as City made a bright start to the game.

The spritely Harrison kept picking up the ball in space and driving towards the Wolves defence, drawing the foul that would set up our opener. 

Set on the left-hand side of the box, 20 yards from goal, defender Wright stepped up and struck a clean, low ball around the wall and into the bottom corner, giving us the lead with eight minutes gone. 

City continued to assert their dominance over the opposition, with most of the action happening towards the visitors’ penalty area. 

And this control over the game was soon reflected in the scoreline when a misjudged header from Wolves’ Hayden Carson set Ashton Muir free down the left wing. 

He cut inside and while it looked as though he would feed Jaden Heskey, he found the onrushing Henderson-Hall entering the box, who duly slotted home low to give us daylight over the opposition with less than half an hour played.

Two became three just six minutes later and while Henderson-Hall was unlucky not to add to his personal tally, hitting the crossbar from close range, Harrison was on had to fire home the rebound with a well-taken volley, putting City out of sight as we headed into half-time. 

With a comfortable lead, City were able to keep control of the game, with the opposition not having a clear effort on goal. 

City were denied a penalty when full-back Rhys Thomas was judged to have dived by the referee although it looked as though there was contact. 

A well-worked ball released substitute Christian Dunbar-McDonald down the right-hand side, the winger picked out Harrison at the far post to stick the ball away, only for the offside flag to deny the City no.10.  

Another penalty shout was waved away, this time from Harrison who had sprinted into the box, the referee again judging that the midfielder went down too easy, brandishing a yellow card in the process. 

The fourth wouldn’t come for City, but that is unlikely to dampen their spirits as they saw out the game to secure the points.  

 

HOW WE LINED UP

Manchester City U18s

XI: Jack Wint, Rhys Thomas, Ezra Carrington, Jacob Wright, Seb Naylor, Charlie Gray, Matthew Henderson-Hall (Christian Dunbar-McDonald 46’), Michael Okeke (Dan Batty 65’), Jaden Heskey (Femi Fapetu 65’), Alfie Harrison, Ashton Muir

SUBS: Kian Noble, Max Hudson. 

Wolverhampton Wanderers U18s

XI: Lewys Benjamin, Brayden Clarke, Hayden Carson, Luke Rawlings (Alfie White 63’), Caden Voice, Testimony Igbinoghene, Fabian Reynolds (Daniel Angel 57’), Makenzie Bradbury, Fabian Salmon (Tom Edozie 57’), Fraser Harper (Lennon Patterson 46’), Conor McLeod. 

SUBS: George Hardy, 

WHAT IT MEANS 

The win sees City rise to third in the U18 Premier League North table, going above Wolves in the process.

Wilkinson’s side still have two games in hand over second-place Liverpool, sitting five points behind, while we trail Manchester United by eight points with one game in hand.

 

Premier League u18
1 Manchester United FC Manchester United Man United 21 18 2 1 72 23 49 56 WLWWW
2 Manchester City Manchester City Man City 19 14 1 4 58 21 37 43 WWWLW
3 Derby County Derby 20 9 4 7 47 42 5 31 WWLDW
Last updated: 14 April 2024

UP NEXT

The U18s have a Premier League Cup tie against West Bromwich Albion, with kick-off scheduled for  11:30 GMT (UK) on Saturday 25 November. 

Wilkinson’s side will return to league action with an away tie against Liverpool the following week. 

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