By Russ Vernon
Our Under-18s bowed out of the FA Youth Cup at the Third Round Stage despite a great effort against Chelsea.
The young lads started brightly and had early sights on goal through a Robbie McDaid header and a strike from Piteu Crouz from inside the box but Chelsea threatened through Dominic Solanke's deflected effort.
Chelsea took the lead on 20 minutes through a dubious penalty decision as United youngster Jack Vann was adjudged to have fouled Tammy Abraham as he went towards goal and replays showed the ball had gone away from Abraham and was heading out of play.
Isaiah Brown took the penalty and score to put Chelsea in the lead.
United went in search of a quick reply as Crouz fired over and Frank Mulhern almost got the ball under the body of Chelsea keeper Bradley Collins but it just went wide for a corner and McDaid had another header that went wide.
Collins then produced the save of the game saving a curling effort from Mulhern on 32 minutes, before Bailey Peacock-Farrell made his first save of the game.
Chelsea skipper Charlie Colkett struck the bottom of the post with a low drive from 20-yards as they took the lead at half time.
The sides returned for the second half and our young lads found themselves on the front foot as McDaid was brought down by Collins and the Chelsea keeper saw a straight red for his foul.
Captain Mulhern failed to take any advantage from the free-kick which followed the sending off and fired over, but the youngsters didn't give up and substitute Tyla Bell scuffed a shot into the arms of Jared Thompson who was the substitue keeper for the visitors.
McDaid almost connected with a brilliant cross from Bell before the same pair tried to combine moments later.
Chelsea decided to sit deep and soak up the pressure from United but the visitors were the ones who grabbed the second goal of the night 10 minutes from time after Solanke squeezed the ball under Peacock-Farrell after making his way into the box.
United may have gone out but they can hold their heads up high a great performance from the Youngsters.
United U18s: Peacock-Farrell, Taylor, Vann, Bennett, Pearce (Wilks 76), Assenso, Berry, Lyman, Crouz (Bell 63), McDaid (Mbanje 86), Mulhern. Subs: Molloy, Croft.
Chelsea U18s: Collins; Tomori, Aina, Clarke-Salter, Dasilva; Colkett, Musonda (Thompson 49), Scott; Abraham (Palmer 79), Solanke, Brown (Sammut 63). Subs: Christie-Davies, Wakefield.
Ref: D Benton
Goals: Brown pen 20', Solanke 80'.
Booked: Abraham, Brown, Dasilva, Colkett (Chelsea)
Sent Off: Collins (Chelsea)
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