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Saints run English giants close in showpiece game

St Johnstone FC 0

Manchester United FC 1

Gomes 31
  • Friday, 17 April 2015
  • McDiarmid Park
  • Under 17´s
  • Challenge Match

Craig Edwards | YFS East Region Journalist
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

Manchester United Youth Academy's visit to Scotland was a good one from their point of view as a solidary goal from Adilson Angel Gomes was enough to beat St Johnstone's Youth Academy in front of over a thousand fans at McDiarmid Park.
The English heavyweights began better and won a penalty after less than sixty seconds. A dazzling run by Gomes enticed the St Johnstone defenders and when a mistimed tackle was made, the referee had no option but to point to the spot. Ben McKenzie the St Johnstone goalkeeper made an instant impact on the game. Gomes took the penalty for the visitors but the keeper dived low to his right to keep the score line level.
St Johnstone replied when Cameron Lumsden made room down the right wing and whipped in a cross. Sean Struthers dummied the ball but Jake Barrett was not going to be tricked and cleared it for the Red Devils. United again were under pressure as Oliver Byrne pulled out a great stop from Paul Simpson after he was played in by Jamie Docherty.
United took the lead on 31 minutes as Gomes and Faustin Makela worked together to create space for a cross which found Callum Whelan on the penalty spot. His shot was cleared off the line by a sliding Lumsden but the clearance only found Gomes. He calmly slotted the ball into the bottom right corner and left the keeper a spectator. The hosts almost replied immediately with Docherty twice being denied by the Manchester United defence.
St Johnstone continued to try and break down the United defence and Struthers had the best chance for the Saints to equalise before half time as he fired over the bar after good work by Docherty to win the ball back and play him through. Manchester United were extremely unlucky not to double their lead as the Saints goalkeeper again came to the rescue as he made a point blank stop to deny Kayne Diedrick-Roberts. He got the better of the defender but his shot was stopped and the lead stayed at the single goal.
  • Half Time:
  • St Johnstone FC
  • 0-1
  • Manchester United FC
As the floodlights brightened up the McDiarmid Park pitch for the second half, it was the class of Manchester United that illuminated that match. They started the better of the two sides and passed the ball around with ease and patience as they tried to carve the Saints defence open. Whelan and Venancio Da Silva Monteiro both had shots blocked as United searched to double their lead. St Johnstone did trouble United twice on the break but lacked the final killer ball.
Manchester United kept piling on the pressure and superb skill from Daniel Butterworth played in Indy Boonen but he couldn’t keep his shot down. Max Dunne was next to try for the visiting side when he dragged his shot wide of the left hand post. McKenzie pulled off another great save for the Saints after Dunne shrugged off a defender to lay it into the path of Whelan to rifle the ball goalwards.
The Red Devils continued to put their hosts under the cosh as more patient build up resulted in a chance for Lewis Thompson but the keeper was able to watch it go wide. Boonen was next to go close for the visitors as he almost connected with Kieran Freemans optimistic cross. More good play by the English side saw Lewis Thompson have a good chance but he couldn’t trouble the keeper.
The final moments belonged to St Johnstone as they gave everything for an equaliser and the 1,057 in attendance thought the Saints had levelled as Euan O’Reilly collected a great through ball. He closed in on Byrne's goal and powered a strike agonizingly wide from a St Johnstone point of view as the crowd rose from their seats thinking they were about to celebrate a very late leveller.
It was Manchester United Youth Academy that returned south of the border with victory but St Johnstone will be very pleased with their performance against one of the biggest clubs in the world.
  • Full Time:
  • St Johnstone FC
  • 0-1
  • Manchester United FC


St Johnstone FC
Manchester United FC
1. Ben McKenzie
2. Cameron Lumsden
3. Gus Mailer
4. Gavin Brown
5. Ben Quigley
6. Nathan Brown
7. Sean Struthers
8. Jamie McKenzie
9. Joe Johnson
10. Jamie Docherty
11. Paul Simpson
12. Blaine Duncan
14. Morgan Miller
16. Marc Gow
17. David Brown
18. Euan O'Reilly
1. Oliver Byrne
2. Kieran Freeman
3. Lewis Thompson
4. Jake Barrett
5. James Dunne
6. Aidan Barlow
7. Faustin Makela
8. Callum Whelan
9. Kayne Diedrick-Roberts
10. Adilson Angel Gomes
11. Jake Kenyon
12. Indy Boonen
14. George Tanner
15. Daniel Butterworth
16. Max Dunne
17. Venancio Da Silva Monteiro
Star Player
St Johnstone FC
Manchester United FC
Paul Simpson - Created problems for the Manchester United defence all match and was St Johnstones biggest threat.
Adilson Angel Gomes - Controlled the game for Manchester United and looks a very promising player for the future.
Magic Moment
St Johnstone FC
Manchester United FC
The penalty save by Ben McKenzie within the first couple of minutes
The tremendous solo run by Adilson Angel Gomes that sliced the St Johnstone defence open resulting in a penalty in the first minute.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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