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U18 Premier League: Top performers from 30th September 2023

Shea Lacey (Left) in action against Newcastle United in the U18 Premier League [Credit: Manchester United]

A full weekend of fixtures took place in the U18 Premier League this week. In the south, Fulham still lead the way but Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and West Ham United are breathing down their necks. In the north, Manchester United and Manchester City maintained their 100% win records with impressive victories. Here are the standout stars from another thrilling week of academy football.

Shea Lacey, Manchester United

Shea Lacey bagged two goals and an assist as Manchester United thrashed Newcastle United 5-1 to stay top of the table in the U18 Premier League North. The England U17 international netted United’s third goal of the game in the first half. The midfielder set up Ruben Curly shortly after the break before capping his superb display with his second goal late on. Lacey is off the mark for goal contributions this season after a very impressive pre-season.

George Morgan, Everton

George Morgan netted a brace as Everton picked up their first win of the season by beating Sunderland 3-0. The Wales U17 international doubled the Toffees’ advantage shortly before half time and then tucked away a penalty late in the game to make sure of the points. Despite featuring 10 times from the bench this was the forward’s first ever start at U18 level and he certainly made the most of the opportunity.

Ajay Matthews, Middlesbrough

Ajay Matthews scored twice as Middlesbrough came from behind to win 4-2 away at Leeds United. The England U17 international twice gave Boro the lead in the second half. Firstly, from the penalty spot before Leeds levelled the game at 2-2. The forward tucked away his second of the match with five minutes to go to win it for Boro. Matthews now has four goals and an assist in four league games this season.

Charlie Tasker, Brighton & Hove Albion

Charlie Tasker netted twice in Brighton & Hove Albion’s 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace. The 17-year-old opened the scoring after 10 minutes before doubling the Seagulls’ advantage 15 minutes later. Layth Gulzar salvaged a late point for Brighton after Palace turned the game on its head. Tasker has been in incredible form at U18 level this season, scoring three goals in six appearances. The defender had one goal in 34 appearances before the start of the campaign!

Jesse Derry, Crystal Palace

Jesse Derry scored two goals and provided an assist as Crystal Palace came from behind to draw with Brighton. The midfielder pulled a goal back for Palace in the first half before setting up George King’s equaliser late in the second half. Just two minutes later he completed the turnaround for Palace scoring his second goal of the game. Derry has hit the ground running with six goals and three assists in what is his breakthrough season at U18 level.

Donnell McNeilly, Chelsea

Donnell McNeilly bagged a brace as Chelsea beat Arsenal 3-2. The 17-year-old opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the first half before doubling the Blues’ advantage shortly after the break. The forward is having an incredible start to the season with six goals and two assists in four league matches. He has also made an impression in Premier League 2 this season with two goals in three game despite playing just 50 minutes combined.

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