We showed plenty of spirit against the champions with the likes of 20-year-olds Ledley King and Alton Thelwell seemingly undaunted in front of a record 67,583 crowd at Old Trafford.
In the end, super-sub Ole Gunnar Solkjaer’s late goal gave United a 2-0 margin of victory, but we pushed them back for a spell in the second half and that later prompted Sir Alex Ferguson to concede that we were as good a side as they have faced at home this season.
Clemence, one of five home-grown players on show, produced a typically gritty display in his new, but still unfamiliar, left wingback role against David Beckham.
He said: "It was tough because United are a great side and you only have to make one mistake and they will punish you. I thought we coped well in the second half and played some descent stuff, but in the first half we let them have too much space and showed them too much respect.
"We had to adjust a few things at half-time, and once that was sorted I thought we did okay. I thought at one stage we might be able to get an equaliser. We had some good possession and it was just unfortunate wee couldn’t start like that.
"It was encouraging in the second half though and we can now look forward to the next game. We haven’t disgraced ourselves at Old Trafford, which means we can go to Bradford and try to get that first win away from, home.
"We’re in the top ten now, only a few points off fourth, so if we can do that hopefully we can push on into the top six."
As for facing Beckham, Clemence added: "I was looking forward to the challenge beforehand and was quite excited. He’s obviously a quality player and you can only learn by playing against players like that. Give him any amount of time and he can punish you. It was a good experience. I’ve played against him before and hopefully I will learn from it."
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Stephen Clemence hopes our battling performance at Manchester United on Saturday will inspire a first away win of the season against the Premiership’s bottom side Bradford City this weekend.