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Birmingham 1-3 U23s - report

21 February 2017

United's U23s moved a step closer to qualification to the last 16 of the Premier League Cup with a deserved victory against Birmingham City on Monday evening.


First-half goals from Marc McNulty, Regan Slater and striker Jake Wright meant the Blades destiny remains in their own hands, although they could be assured of qualification as early as Saturday if Stoke don't beat Reading. Should the Potters beat the Royals, then United would need a point from next week's clash against the Blues.


United were positive from the off at Solihull Moors and went in front in the 21st minute. Reed's pass found the run of MCNULTY and from just inside the penalty area the Scottish marksman fired home past Trueman into the top corner.


McNulty then went from scorer to provider in the 36th minute, wriggling free before teeing up SLATER, who smashed home a rising effort that again gave Trueman no chance.


City gave themselves hope from the restart though
as Hale found space down the flank before sending over a cross that was deflected into the path of STORER, who side-footed past Eastwood.


But before the interval, United regained their two-goal advantage, this time it was WRIGHT with the clinical finish.


The second-half saw the home side produce a much better showing, but the Blades defended in resolute fashion and limited the Blues to only a handful of chances.


On the hour, McCoy won the ball of Mallon and curled in an inviting cross, but Hale headed wide under pressure from Graham. Then with ten minutes remaining, Eastwood had to be alert to divert a shot from Storer over the crossbar. From the resulting corner, Swift missed a free header with the goal at his mercy.


The final action of note, saw Graham clear Popa's shot off the line after Eastwood failed to take Storer's deep cross cleanly as United made it consecutive wins in Group H.