Manchester City produced a stunning second half to beat Stoke City at Clayton Wood Training Centre in the Under-18s Premier League North.

A flat first half from City was capitalised on by the Potters as Adam Watson turned and struck a fine shot to give the hosts the advantage.

City responded well and only one minute into the second half, Farid Alfa-Ruprecht toe-poked at the far post to equalise.

Two goals in two minutes from Justin Oboavwoduo and Joel Ndala cemented City’s lead after a better half - and ensured the win.


In the opening 15 minutes of the match, both teams tested each other’s resolve in possession, with no shots on goal recorded.

But just as City thought they had cleared the ball, it came out to Adam Watson who turned, and his shot nestled into the bottom left-hand corner of George Murray-Jones’ goal to give the Potters the lead.


Stoke nearly doubled their lead, after a give and go between Will Smith and Ali Hayder led to the latter’s spectacular effort being saved comfortably by Murray-Jones.

Our young outfit responded well, with Joel Ndala driving into the box, his low ball was fumbled goalward by Nico O’Reilly before Farid Alfa-Ruprecht’s looped header fell into the gloves of Tommy Jackson.

O’Reilly impressed in midfield with impressive tricks and flicks but on occasions the final product in the final third was not quite clinical enough.

City heeded instructions from the coaching staff to attack the game in the second half.

Joel Ndala burst down the left and found O’Reilly, who crossed the ball to the back post where Farid Alfa-Ruprecht was there to prod the ball into the net.

We increased pressure on the Potters in the second half, after a quick forward passed sequence concluded with Matty Whittingham. He crossed the ball to Alfie Harrison, who slid to meet the ball, but his attempt went wide.

Our improved performance was rewarded further as Whittingham, in an inverted full back role, played a slide through pass behind the Potter’s backline to Justin Oboavwoduo who netted a smart finish into the far corner.

Two minutes later, Whittingham broke Stoke’s defensive line again to set Ndala through in behind, who provided an almost identical finish to give us a comfortable advantage in the game.

Murray-Jones kept our two-goal advantage alive with a stunning save, as Stoke City scorer, Watson, fired an attempt at goal which the City shot stopper threw a glove at to deny the hosts a lifeline.

We sighted a fourth late on as Oboavwoduo finished an electric counter-attack with a fierce strike which was smartly saved by Jackson in the Stoke goal.


George Murray-Jones kept his place in goal, with a back four of Ezra Carrington, Isaac Smith, Jahmai Simpson-Pusey and Matty Whittingham protecting him.

Jacob Wright played as a deep lying playmaker, with Alfie Harrison and Nico O’Reilly playing further ahead in the engine room.

Justin Oboavwoduo played as a sole striker, with Farid Alfa-Ruprecht and Joel Ndala supporting him on the flanks.

Stoke City Under-18s

XI: Jackson, Challinor, Asplin-Rowley, Smith, Griffin, Bickerton, Maskell, Sidibe, Roberts, Watson, Hayder

SUBS: Agina, Brammer, Hyde, Rattray, Kelly

Manchester City Under-18s

XI: Murray-Jones, Carrington, Simpson-Pusey, Smith, Whittingham, Harrison, Wright, O’Reilly (C), Alfa-Ruprecht, Oboavwoduo, Ndala

SUBS: Wint, Naylor, Okeke, Lawrence, Heskey


Victory sees us move above Liverpool into second and only one point behind league leaders Sunderland – at the time of writing.

Premier League u18
1 Manchester United FC Manchester United Man United 24 20 2 2 78 28 50 62 WWLWW
2 Manchester City Manchester City Man City 24 18 2 4 71 27 44 56 WWDWW
3 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC Wolves Wolves 24 12 5 7 43 34 9 41 LWWWW
Last updated: 23 May 2024


City are on the road again next weekend as we travel to the north east to face top of the table Sunderland.

The game will also be made available to CITY+ and Recast subscribers.

Kick-off is scheduled for 11:30 (UK) Saturday 26 November.


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