Good to catch up with the kids at United having not seen them for a while, what with the Christmas break and then the recent weather. Burnley had done a grand job in ensuring that Turf Moor was clear of snow and ice for tonight’s game, which turned out to be something of a procession. Burnley’s kids seem to play at a lower level than ours do, with fixtures against the likes of Morecambe, Chester and Port Vale on their books whereas our U18’s take on the likes of Wolves, Liverpool and Bolton. So, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that United dominated this game for most of its duration, scoring 3 goals before half time and spurning numerous other chances, then adding two more in the second half; again, it could have been several more and the Burnley keeper McDonald must take some credit for keeping the scoreline respectable.
This United team are now looking like a powerful force with Paul Pogba and Ryan Tunnicliffe running the midfield and Joshua King , Davide Petrucci and Will Keane creating havoc further forward. At the back, too, they look extremely secure, with Connor Devlin a strong organising goalkeeper behind Scott Wooton and Sean McGinty at centreback. Skipper Petrucci set things in motion after about 10 minutes, driving home from the edge of the area after Josh King’s shot was blocked. King did get on the scoresheet soon afterwards, curling the ball home from the left of the area and the increasingly deadly Will Keane made it 8 goals in 9 games for him by lobbing the advancing McDonald to give United a 3-0 interval lead that didn’t flatter them at all. Keane seems to have that priceless ability of being completely nerveless in front of goal and he looks more like a real prospect every time I see him.
Will Keane; another baby-faced assassin, but from Stockport this time around….
Despite his English-sounding game, Josh King is actually Norwegian by birth and he scored his second of the night early in the second half and like his first, this one was pretty much all his own work. Charging down an attempted through ball inside the United half, King’s pace ensured that he was first to the loose ball and he set off for the Burnley goal at a rate of knots, got a lucky ricochet as a tackle came in, then drilled home for his second and United’s fourth. Like Keane, King has the look of a player who could go all the way and has indeed already played in the Carling Cup against Wolves. He has a very direct style that terrifies defenders and a strong eye for goal that will stand him in good stead in the future.
Josh King; a direct approach and two excellent goals against Burnley
Burnley made some changes which freshened things up for them – a double substitution introducing the twin musical talents of Joe Jackson and James Taylor….actually these lads had considerably more hair than their namesakes, but a more spirited display in the final quarter at least produced a scrappy consolation goal for Joe McKee, who was probably Burnley’s best player on the night. That only seemed to irritate United further though and the impressive Pogba and substitiute John Cofie combined to send through Will Keane for his second and United’s fifth.
The youngsters will be away to either Blackburn or Leyton Orient in Round 5.