City’s Under-18s roared back to winning ways in the Under-18 Premier League North with an impressive 5-1 win over Derby at the CFA.

Ben Wilkinson’s side responded in fine fashion to last weekend’s narrow 1-0 derby loss at leaders Manchester United by putting an impressive Derby to the sword in clinical fashion.

Skipper Ashton Muir led the way with a deserved brace with Matty Warhurst also on target before strikes from subs Alex Alcala and Luca Fletcher then rounded off victory late on. 

What happened

Third placed City came into the game seeking to bounce back from last weekend’s derby loss at United.

However it promised to be another tough test against a Derby side lying just a place below City in fourth and who arrived at the CFA chasing a third straight league win.

And it was the visitors who created the early initiative with their energy and high press harassing City.

The Rams came close to making a fifth minute break through when the dangerous Cruz Allen saw his 15 yard shot cannon back off the post.

City keeper Oliver Whatmuff then had to be alert to keep out a goalbound shot from Tristan Gill.

LEADING MAN: Ashton Muir grabbed a fine brace
LEADING MAN: Ashton Muir grabbed a fine brace

Gradually though City’s technique and tenacity began to open up space at the other end with a dangerous Divine Mukasa cross just evadIng the City attack.

On 17 minutes Matty Warhust then latched onto Derby error but could only fire his shot straight at keeper in what was the best chance of game.

Wilkinson’s side were not to be denied though and we took the lead on 27 minutes.

Mukasa was the architect, opening up space on the left flank before then finding onrushing skipper Muir who drove the ball home for his third league goal of the season.

However the young Rams then served up an instant response as they drew level within two minutes.

Niall McAndrew fired home from 25 yards with an impressive left foot curling effort that wen in off the post which gave Whatmuff no chance in the City goal.

Yet again though in what was an absorbing encounter, City then regained the lead in almost instant fashion.

Christian Dunbar-MacDonald’s 32nd minute through ball found the onrushing Warhurst who calmly took his time before  guiding a low shot into the bottom corner for his 11th league goal of the campaign.

ON TARGET: Matty Warhurst added to his tally for the season
ON TARGET: Matty Warhurst added to his tally for the season

City then stepped up the intensity as we started the second half in superb fashion.

And we further strengthened our lead with Muir getting his second of the game and our third on 49 minutes, the skipper firing home from Warhurst’s assist.

The introduction of subs Luca Fletcher and Alex Alcala added further cutting edge to City’s attack and the pair almost immediately combined to great effect on 62 minutes with only a superb save from Derby keeper Harley Prince denying Alcala.

There was then a lengthy delay to proceedings after the CFA water sprinkler system inadvertently came on but once play restarted, City stretched our lead again.

The impressive Fletcher beat his opponent down the right flank before firing in a fine cross which Alcala rifled home via a superb finish.

And Fletcher then rounded off a fine afternoon’s work for City by claiming our fifth seven minutes into stoppage time to set the seal on solid afternoon’s work.

How we lined up

Oliver Whatmuff was in goal for City and shielded by a back four of Matty Henderson-Hall, Leke Drake, Harrison Parker and Seb Naylor.

Charlie Gray was the holding midfielder with Ashton Muir and Dan Batty also in the City engine room.

Meanwhile, Matty Warhurst, Divine Mukasa and Christian Dunbar-McDonald formed City’s attacking triumvirate.

CITY XI | Whatmuff, Henderson-Hall (Fletcher 45), Drake, Parker, Naylor, Gray, Muir, Batty (Fapetu 83), Warhurst (Nfonkeu 72), Mukasa, Dunbar-McDonald (Alcala 60).

Subs: Hudson.

DERBY | Prince, Gordon, Gill (Agustein 55), Eames, Banks (Canoville 85), Osayande, Osong (Green 77), McAndrew (Tola 55), Oguntolu, Allen, Gough

Subs: Hardy.

THE BOSS: There was much to be pleased about for head coach Ben Wilkinson
THE BOSS: There was much to be pleased about for head coach Ben Wilkinson

What it means

With Liverpool losing to Nottingham Forest on Saturday, the victory moved City up into second place in the Under-18 North table.

Manchester United lead the way with 39 points from 13 games while we are now on 25 but with a game in hand.

What’s next

City’s Under-18s are next in action on Saturday when we play host to West Ham in the quarter-final of the Under-18 Premier League Cup.

Kick-off at the CFA is slated for 11am (UK). 

Premier League u18
1 Manchester United FC Manchester United Man United 22 19 2 1 74 24 50 59 LWWWW
2 Manchester City Manchester City Man City 20 14 2 4 59 22 37 44 WWLWW
3 Derby County Derby 21 10 4 7 49 42 7 34 WLDWW
Last updated: 22 April 2024

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