FA Youth Cup
Huddersfield Town 2 Manchester United 1
United’s faltering progress in this year’s FA Youth Cup came to an end with defeat to Huddersfield, preventing a potential derby against city in the quarter-finals and leaving the rare possibility that the Reds might finish the season without a trophy at any level.
Huddersfield are a lot more notable for rugby league than football nowadays, so it was perhaps fitting that the goal that ultimately won them the game came from an ‘up and under’ ball into the United penalty area. Atkinson had given the home side the lead, fiinding himself through on goal after a series of simple passes had left the United defence ball-watching. Their second came from a penalty after Ben Barber had been penalised for a shirt-pull, following that high ball over the United back-line. James Wilson had scored for United in-between, after using his pace to latch onto a long ball, though overall this had been a scrappy performances from the Reds: while, on the balance of play, you could argue that we were unfortunate to go into the break a goal down, it was nonetheless the case that the Huddersfield game-plan had been more effective and only a couple of smart saves from Joel Pereira had prevented them from establishing an advantage earlier in the half.
The second half continued in the same manner, though Wilson’s powerful running again almost brought a goal in the 72nd minute: his shot was blocked at the near post by Guthrie in the Huddersfield goal. This was to prove to be United’s last chance of saving the game. As the Reds pushed players forward, the home side threatened on the break and Jake Charles, grandson of the illustrious John, went closest to extending Huddersfield’s lead ten minutes from time when he found himself in a position to test Joel Pereira, but his shot went tamely wide; another shot from the same player two minutes later went closer, but still failed to work the United keeper.
United spent much of the last ten minutes in the opposition half, but failed to test Guthrie any further and Huddersfield went through to face the winners of city and Fulham in the last eight.