Trafford 0 Manchester United Under 18’s 1

MARCUS Rashford scored the only goal of the game as Manchester United Under 18’s won a keenly contested affair at Shawe View on Tuesday night.

Hot conditions did not help either side find their flow but Rashford, the liveliest performer in the second half, struck on 49 minutes to settle a game watched by just under 400 spectators.

The Reds traded early efforts that were comfortably saved with Jordan Thompson's header easily caught by Tom Read and the confident Dean Henderson making a comfortable stop from Shelton Payne.

Demetri Mitchell provided flashes of inspiration and swept a free-kick wide after being brought down around 25 yards from goal. Callum Gribbin replaced Thompson when he hobbled off after half an hour and almost made an instant impression. A quickly-taken set-piece allowed Joe Riley to cut in and feed Gribbin, who should have scored, but was thwarted by a superb close-range save by Read.

Charlie Scott soon offered a more menacing attempt than he mustered from long range earlier, hammering a drive just too high before Chris Palmer planted a header wide at the other end after a promising build-up. United hit back with Riley firing a fierce strike straight at Read and Scott firing over the bar on the stretch following a neat one-two with Gribbin.

The winner arrived four minutes after the interval when Rashford was left in the clear as Trafford tried to push up and he whistled a supreme finish past Read in emphatic fashion. Despite a number of substitutions for both sides, United continued to hold the upper hand with Scott stooping to head wide from a corner and Rashford having a penalty appeal waved away by the referee after being sent tumbling inside the area.

The home side pushed late on for an equaliser but substitute keeper George Dorrington stood firm, despite spilling a Rees Welsh drive, and a good work-out yielded a victory for Paul McGuinness' young charges, who fielded a couple of trialists in Oscar Borg and Ogo Obi.