A Loughborough team containing eight former apprentices went down 2-0 to a Manchester United Youth XI last night.
Goals from Sean Goss and Ashley Fletcher ensured the visitors were victorious against a Loughborough outfit heavily populated by players who were previously on the books of Football League clubs.
Theo Brown (Leicester City), Sam Downey (Lincoln City), Max Herbert (Wycombe Wanderers), Jack Poxon (Oldham Athletic), Kurtis Revan (Derby County), Callum Williams (Walsall) and Charlie Musselwhite and George Carpenter (both Shrewsbury Town) were all included the Loughborough squad for the match played in memory of their former coach Mike ‘Doc’ Holliday.
However they were powerless to prevent United forging ahead in the 8th minute after fine work from Marcus Rashford which allowed Goss to fire past Jack Howard and in off the far post.
Loughborough hit back and Alun Webb went close to restoring parity after charging down United keeper Dean Henderson’s clearance.
Spurred back into life the visitors had several chances to extend their lead. Rashford, Devonte Redmond and Joe Riley spurned opportunities from promising positions.
Matthew Willock then saw his fine effort bounce back off the woodwork before Fletcher finally doubled United’s advantage in the 57th minute.
Loughborough were down but not out and to their credit they responded with some incisive football of their own that should have produced a goal by Webb.
Poxon then went close to reducing the arrears twice. The former Oldham midfielder saw his first effort well saved by substitute goalkeeper George Dorrington and his luck was out again minutes later when his attempted drive deflected beyond Dorrington but cannoned against an upright.
While the visitors were good value for their win this represented a significant step forward for Stuart McLaren’s Loughborough team, defeated 6-2 by the same opponents 2 years ago.