Manchester United will face French side Vendee in the final of the Dale Farm Milk Cup Premier Section after they beat Partick Thistle at the Coleraine Showgrounds.
United won 4-0 thanks to goals from Ogochukwi Obi, Demi Mitchell, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Northern Irish lad Jordan Thompson.
United will play the tournament’s surprise package in today’s final at the Ballymena Showgrounds (8.15pm).
French side Vendee shocked Russian giants CSKA Moscow with a 1-0 win at the Riada Stadium in Ballymoney. Winger Arthur Durousseau grabbed the goal for the French club.
Vendee coach Fredéric Péquin said: “We are very pleased with our performances at the Milk Cup and we are delighted to make the final. We have had a fantastic time at the Milk Cup, as everyone has been very friendly. This is the only youth tournament we go to each year as it is of a high quality.”
At the Coleraine Showgrounds, United recorded a relatively comfortable win but Kevin Nisbet had a chance to get Thistle the lead in the 20th minute when he connected with a James Penrice corner. Unfortunately for Nisbet his shot flopped over the bar after he failed to make proper contact with it.
Ogochukwi Obi gave Manchester United the lead in the 23rd minute. United’s top goalscorer Demi Mitchell caused Partick all sorts of problems in the box before laying it off to Obi, whose weak shot wrong footed Matthew Kerr in the Thistle goal.
Obi almost got a second in the 28th minute when he curled the ball over the cross bar from 20 yards after his mazy run had left the Thistle defence baffled.
Thistle almost equalised on the half hour mark when Michael McMullan headed James Penrice’s corner towards goal, by United keeper George Donnigton pushed it over the bar.
United’s Northern Irishman Jordan Thompson had a chance five minutes into the second half when he drilled a low shot, just past the post. A minute later the Glengormley lad made a little space for himself in the box with a nice touch, but again he failed to find the target.
The second goal arrived in the 48th minute in rather scrappy fashion. Midfielder Cameron Borthwich-Jackson headed home from 10 yards after he anticipated a sliced clearance from a Thistle defender. The crucial goal essentially killed the game as a contest. By this stage United’s five man midfield were dominating proceedings and the Glasgow club were seeing little of the ball.
Dimi Mitchell added the third goal of the night and his sixth of the tournament in 62nd minute. The England Schoolboy international displayed a lovely touch before skipping past a Scottish defender and placing the ball into the bottom corner from 20 yards. The Manchester United fans in attendance will be hoping they’ve witness the next big thing at Old Trafford, and it appears he posses all the attributes.
Glengormley man Thompson scored the fourth goal of the game with practically the last kick of the match. The Northern Ireland Under 17 international hit a sweet low shot from 25 yards that the hapless Matthew Kerr could do nothing to stop.
While Manchester United will go into today’s final as favourites, Vendee should not be underestimated.
The French side have proved themselves to be worthy finalists by defeating quality opponents on the way to the final.