Manchester Senior Cup
Moss Lane, Altrincham
MANCHESTER UNITED 4
(King 40, Lingard 50, Vermijl 60, Macheda 70)
Report: United 4 Bury 1
United had to come from behind to start the defence of the Manchester Senior Cup with a resounding 4-1 success against Bury in front of 283 fans at Moss Lane.
The holders’ greater class, fitness and stamina told in the end with the goals coming in 10-minute intervals after Joshua King levelled before the break. Jesse Lingard, Marnick Vermijl and Federico Macheda also got on the scoresheet as the sustained pressure paid off.
The Reds suffered a shock start when a lapse in defence allowed Lateef Elford-Alliyu to calmly place his finish wide of Sam Johnstone and the visitors defended the lead with plenty of spirit.
Admittedly, the Bury goal led something of a charmed life with Davide Petrucci clipping the outside of a post from a Vermijl pass and then having the ball in the net but only after Robbie Brady had carried it out of play before crossing.
Tom Rouine escaped punishment for a risky challenge on Macheda but referee Paul Graham did point to the spot on 24 minutes when the Italian striker did superbly to dribble through, only to be pulled back by Rouine. Unfortunately, the penalty jinx that seems to be engulfing the club continued when Petrucci’s spot-kick was excellent pushed wide by Christian Dibble.
Dibble, watched by his father Andy, the former Manchester City keeper, made another fine stop to frustrate Ryan Tunnicliffe and the energetic midfielder could not profit from a tremendous pass by Vermijl even though Dibble had raced way out of his goal.
With an equaliser looking increasingly certain, Macheda’s dipping drive was inches too high and Brady fired narrowly wide following a one-two with the former Lazio youngster. Against the run of play, the Shakers almost grabbed a second when Max Harrop drifted easily past Brady to slip in Tom Pratt but the forward’s effort was met with a good stop by Johnstone with his foot.
United capitalised to deservedly level before the break as a lung-busting run by Tunnicliffe allowed him to to feed King inside the box and the Norway international buried an emphatic finish past Dibble. Petrucci really should have scored soon afterwards, following an electrifying run by King that started inside his own half, but the captain was unable to scramble the ball home despite having two bites of the cherry.
The second half followed a similar pattern but with Warren Joyce’s side displaying more composure in front of goal. Jesse Lingard tucked home clinically to earn Tunnicliffe another assist and then saw his driven cross evade Petrucci at full stretch. When King twisted and turned to blast in another shot, Dibble managed to deflect it onto the woodwork.
Lingard and Macheda whistled attempts off target but a third goal duly arrived courtesy of Marnick Vermijl, who won possession high up the right flank and despatched an unerring finish past Dibble to hand the Reds some breathing space. Another example of King’s exceptional acceleration allowed Brady to steer wide but the Norwegian was guilty of a wasteful finish after being set clear by Petrucci.
King had another attempt parried away by Dibble but the keeper was under siege and had little chance when Petrucci did well on the left to tee up his pal Macheda and a low shot found the back of the net. Lingard stung the hands of Dibble as the keeper continued to do his best to repel the threat, King dragged wide of the far post and Jordan Melia hacked a Petrucci shot off the line as United continued to dominate and were good value for the four goals.
United: Johnstone; Vermijl (Thorpe 79), M.Keane, Wootton, Blackett; Brady, Tunnicliffe, Petrucci, Lingard; King (James 90), Macheda. Subs: Veseli, Gollini, Fornasier.