One of the most iconic stadiums in world football awaited our Football Aid players on Sunday 29th May as Old Trafford hosted our annual Manchester United event. Played in lovely sunny weather throughout, the hugely entertaining, end-to-end game saw the Home side just hold on for an 8-7 win.
Date: Sunday 29th May 2016
Venue: Old Trafford
Man Utd (Home) vs Man Utd (Away)
Kick Off: 12:00 pm
Match Officials: Andy Winnard, Gavin Brewer, James Madine & Michael Trevethan
It was a beautiful sunny morning at the “Theatre of Dreams” as our Manchester United players made the spine tingling walk out of the tunnel onto the famous Old Trafford turf (watch a video of them walking out here).
The Home team kicked the game off in perfect playing conditions and the 1st chance of the game fell to their No 11 Andrew Roylance when he latched on to a short back pass, but Away No 1 Carl Wallis was alert to the danger and quickly met the oncoming striker.
The chances kept coming for the Home side, this time a free header in the box by Home No 9 Mitch While went marginally wide.
The Away team’s 1st chance came and went when it hit the wrong side of the goal roof after No 9 Matthew Hudson tried his luck from outside the box.
Back came the Home side and our 1st goal of the game arrived in the 9th min when Home No 8 Anthony Williams fired a great low shot into the left hand side of the goal to put the Home side into an early lead (1-0).
The Home team were buoyed by their opening goal and an amazing solo effort from Home No 9 Mitch While saw him double the Home side’s lead in the 11th min (2-0).
It was a very bright start from the Home side and it continued in the 15th min when Home No 11 Andrew Roylance saw his wonder strike from 25 yards find the top corner of the net (3-0). What a strike it was from the forward!
A great Away No 1 Carl Wallis save denied Home No 9 Mitch While from another solo goal as he broke free from the halfway line.
The Away side hit back quickly though and they found a way back into the game in the 20th min when No 7 Jamie Jordan scored with a great strike from 20 yards which beat the low diving keeper (3-1).
Penalty! An impressive passage of play continued for the Away team and a skillful run into the penalty area saw Away No 8 Scott McQueen taken out. The referee didn’t hesitate before pointing to the spot and Away No 8 Scott McQueen stepped up and fired the ball low into the right side of the goal (3-2).
It was a fantastic end to end game now and with 30 mins on the clock the Away side brought the game back to all square! The goal came after a thunderous low strike from Away No 10 Jon Dixon arrowed into the bottom corner, bringing his side level at (3-3).
The Away side were on fire now and when a well-timed pass by No 9 Matthew Hudson found No 11 William Williams in space he took the ball in his stride and dinked it over the keeper to make it (3-4) in the 33rd min.
The Away side continued to press forward and No 11 William Williams nearly had his 2nd of the game soon after, however Home No 1 Mustapha Pour Dara was alert to the danger and tipped the ball brilliantly over the crossbar.
And that was the end of a fantastic, action-packed 1st half; both teams scoring some brilliant goals but it was the Away side playing in the White change strip, who after going 3-0 down, had engineered and incredible comeback and they went into the break leading 3-4.
Half Time: Man Utd (Home) 3 - 4 Man Utd (Away)
The Away team kicked off the 2nd half looking to add to their 1st half lead and a smart turn in the box by Away No 9 Matthew Hudson’s completely confused the Home defence, but the striker’s shot was well held by Home goalkeeper Mustapha Pour Dara.
The Away side continued to press forward and they increased their lead with 55 mins on the clock. The elegant midfielder Jon Dixon was enjoying a great Old Trafford debut and he bagged another fantastic goal to add to his 1st half strike when his unbelievable dipping volley flew into the net, giving Pour Dara no chance in the Home goal (3-5)!
The Home team weren’t discouraged though and a fantastic turn and run by No 9 Mitch While saw him finish coolly past the keeper to keep the Home side in the game in the 62nd min (4-5).
2 mins later and the Home side equalized after quick thinking from No 11 Andrew Roylance saw him intercept a back pass before smashing home from close range (5-5).
It was difficult for the fans to keep up with the scoring and incredibly the Home side took the lead again in the 66th min after another fine finish from Home No 9 Mitch While saw him score his hat-trick goal and make it (6-5).
The pacy forward simply couldn’t stop scoring now and goal No 4 duly arrived for Home No 9 Mitch While in the 70th min and it looked like giving his side breathing space from their opponents (7-5).
Less than 5mins later a loose ball in the Away defence was picked up by Mitch While and the on form striker sprinted through on goal and scored his 5th goal of the day, making it (8-5).
The Away side responded immediately though and a well struck free-kick from No 10 Jon Dixon wasn’t held by the keeper and quick reactions saw No 14 David Large fire home the rebound on 75mins (8-6).
With tired legs on both sides the breathless pace slowed slightly, and the Home team were content to try to take the sting out of the game and hold onto their 2 goal advantage.
However the Away side were determined to get something for all their efforts and they threatened a late, late comeback when their hugely influential MOTM No 7 Jamie Jordan threaded a great ball through to No 9 Matthew Hudson. The striker duly fired it past the keeper to reduce the deficit to just the one goal with 88 mins on the clock (8-7).
However time ran out for the Away side and the Home team survived the late surge to sneak an 8-7 victory in an end-to-end spectacle. Both sides showed impressive attacking intent throughout and those fortunate enough to be watching the game were treated to some special goals, some great saves and a definite contender for game of the season!
A huge thank you to Manchester United for their continued fantastic support of Football Aid and for allowing us access to the world class facilities at Old Trafford. Many thanks also to all the Football Aid players involved and to the spectators who made it a brilliant event as always.
Full Time: Man Utd (Home) 8 - 7 Man Utd (Away)
Man of the Match Home: Mitch While
Man of the Match Away: Jamie Jordan
Moment of the Match: Jon Dixon
Home Team: Mustapha Pour dara, Ian Leader, Shahin Chamanzar, Mark Feehan, Scott Riddell, Raden Yaakob (C), Anthony Williams, Mitch While, Andrew Jones, Andrew Roylance, Ian Richard Morgan, Thomas Eaton, Ian Leader (H2), Jay Eaton
Home Mascot: Ava Williams & George Eaton
Away Team: Carl Wallis, Paul Jolleys, Craig Brown (C), Issa Berjaoui, Dharmendra Solanki, Jamie Jordan, Scott McQueen, Matthew Hudson, Jon Dixon, William Williams, David Large, Issa Berjaoui (A5), Ian Prevett, Ted Smith
Match Report written by Matt Annis