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Posted on 4 May 2006  - 12:00

Our fantastic reserve season ended in disappointment as Manchester United won the Barclays Premiership Reserve League Play-Off 2-0 at Old Trafford on Thursday night.

Our fantastic reserve season ended in disappointment as Manchester United won the Barclays Premiership Reserve League Play-Off 2-0 at Old Trafford on Thursday night.

Two goals in three minutes midway through the first half were enough for the home side to triumph.

Unfortunately, the evening ended on a sad note as goalkeeper Robert Burch was stretchered off after a 50-50 challenge with United striker Fraizer Campbell and his own defender Charlie Lee eight minutes from time.

There was also controversy surrounding United's opening goal after 24 minutes. The ball appeared out of play on the right flank as Markus Neumayr's attempted cross from the right was handled by Marcel McKie. The linesman didn't spot it, a free-kick was awarded and from the free-kick, the ball was cleared to Darron Gibson whose shot was deflected home by Gerard Pique.

The circumstances of that goal seemed to deflate the lads and United capitalised in some style three minutes later.

This time Kieran Lee broke down the left, fed Rose and his cutback from the byline found Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in space 15 yards out. He controlled, looked up and smashed the ball into the top right corner.

United remained in control for the rest of the half but to their credit, the lads steadied the ship and Burch wasn't really tested further.

Coach Clive Allen made a couple of changes at half-time with the introduction of Joe Martin and Chris Riley and in terms of territory and possession, we pushed United back a bit. United made a change themselves - Solskjaer replaced by the league's top marksman Giuseppe Rossi.

Martin was quickly into defensive duties as Campbell rolled the ball past the advancing Burch in a one-on-one but Martin got back to sweep the ball off the line.

We still found it hard to create chances though - Marney drove into the wall from a free-kick and Simon Dawkins failed to make contact with a sharp headed chance when Pique and Evans missed Kieran McKenna's cross.

Jackson came closest when he curled a free-kick into the side-netting from 25 yards after 75 minutes but United hit back and finished stronger.

Burch made two sharp but routine saves before his night ended in agony, stretchered off after a collision with Campbell and Lee.

It was a sad end in this one-off affair on the big stage but nothing can detract from what has been a season to remember for Clive and his squad.


7mins: Break from Kieran Lee from half-way into our box, tight angle, Burch hesitated slightly, Lee opted to square and ball hacked away.

9mins: Campbell exchanged passes with Fletcher, crossed deflected into side-netting by Bunjevcevic.

12mins: Marney picked up good possession 30 yards out as Maghoma was fouled, tried one-two with Barcham but return pass slightly overhit and United cleared.

13mins: Campbell inches away from Neumayr's cross from right.

15mins: Bunjevcevic played Jackson's deep corner back into danger zone but didn't fall right for Barcham.

17mins: Neumayr floated cross from right, Burch out to meet it but beaten in air by Campbell, headed landed on roof of net.

19mins: SAVE. Burch good hands to hold onto Neumayr's clean strike from 30 yards.

20mins: Marney carried ball centrally for a few yards before skidding shot just wide from 30 yards.

24mins: GOAL. Gibson speculative shot from 25 yards deflected home off Pique. Controversy though as goal came directly from free-kick awarded for handball from an attempted cross by Neumayr when the ball looked out of play for what would have been our throw in. 0-1.

27mins: GOAL. Rose cutback from the left byline to Solskjaer in too much space, 15 yards out, smashed shot into top left corner. 0-2.

Half-time: Manchester United 2, Spurs 0

51mins: OFF LINE. Rose pass inside to Campbell breaking into box, left side, rolled ball across Burch towards far corner but Martin back to make fine sliding clearance.

55mins: Marney drove 25-yard free-kick straight into defensive wall.

59mins: Good work from Riley down the right flank to skip away from two challenges, played back to McKenna who hit first-time cross missed by both Pique and Evans, Dawkins failed to make decent connection with header.

67mins: Burch out quickly to save at feet of Campbell.

75mins: CLOSE. Jackson fine free-kick from 25 yards clipped side-netting with Howard desperately trying to get there.

77mins: Rossi control before feeding Neumayr on right corner of box, decent strike but straight at Burch who saved comfortably.

78mins: Gibson rifled shot in from 30 yards that Burch saved with legs.

79mins: Charlie Lee threw himself in to block Rossi's piledriver, ball deflected wide for corner.

82mins: SAVE. Burch out quickly to save at Campbell's feet as the striker tried to get onto Jones' pass, met the ball 50-50, appeared to take heavy knock.

84mins: Burch unfortunately stretchered off after that challenge. Charlie Lee takes over on goal and we're down to 10 men for last few minutes.

Full-time: Manchester United 2, Spurs 0

Line-ups: Manchester United: Howard, Gray, Lee, Pique, Evans, Gibson, Neumayr, Fletcher (Jones, 69), Campbell, Solskjaer (Rossi, 46), Rose (Mullan, 80). Subs: Steele, Shawcross.

Spurs: Burch, McKenna, McKie (Martin, 46), Marney, Lee, Bunjevcevic, Lewis (Riley, 46), Jackson, Barcham (Hamed, 80), Dawkins, Maghoma. Subs: Forecast, Mills.

Attendance: 2,416