By Aaron Flanagan
A late equaliser resulted in Manchester United drawing 1-1 away in a swiftly arranged match to celebrate Curzon Ashton FC’s 50th anniversary.
United opened the scoring with the first attack of the game. Curzon goalkeeper Josh Ollerenshaw could only push the ball into the path of the prolific Jack Barmby, who calmly dispatched the ball into the roof of the net.
Curzon were only limited to long-range shots in the first 45 minutes, due to the solid defending of the United backline. Lee Blackshaw threatened to cause problems for home side but the impressive Frederic Vesseli was able to deal with everything put in front of him.
It took 25 minutes before United could threaten the Curzon goal again. Gyliano Van Velsen could only scuff his shot past the near post after a neat one-two took him past the Curzon back line.
Tom Lawrence tried to follow suit in spectacular fashion but his curling effort couldn’t dip in time to trouble Ollerenshaw.
Leading up to half time, Gladstony drove through the Curzon midfield in powerful fashion but could not send his shot out of reach of the busy Curzon keeper.
United started the second half the brighter team as Gladstony continually opened up Curzon. He fired an ambitious 25 yard effort, which only just missed the target. Adnan Januzaj followed by putting a similar effort past the same post, after the determined Jack Barmby found a way into the area.
Curzon found a new gear on the hour mark and had a sustained spell of pressure. Former City youngster Brad Robinson vollied just past the near post as space appeared on the right-hand side. The home sides Scott Metcalfe made Jonathan Sutherland spill an effort, before the United keeper grasped the ball as it trickled towards the line.
Lawrence came close for United on 76 minutes as he curled an effort past the far post. Both teams were only reduced to long distance attempts on goal throughout the course of the second period.
The space allowed for a long range shot proved to be United’s downfall on 87 minutes as Curzon substitute Kristian Dennis hit a powerful effort from the edge of his own box past a helpless Sutherland. This was a goal that, on the basis of chances created, Curzon deserved.
The honours were shared in a close encounter, but United can take positives from the match after mainly reducing Curzon to hopeful shots from distance.
Full time: Curzon Ashton 1-1 Manchester United Reserves.
Curzon Ashton: Ollerenshaw, Bowyer, Hunt, Hampson, Mather, Summerskill, Walker, Kay, Purcell, Blackshaw, Robinson. Subs: Green (on 68, for Ollerenshaw), Evans (on HT for, Kay), Neequaye (on 65, for Purcell), Lakeland (on HT, for Bowyer), Cook (on 43, for Summerskill), Dennis (on 68, for Robinson), Goodeve (on 68 for Walker), Metcalfe (on HT, for Blackshaw).
United Reserves: 1. Jonathan Sutherland, 2. Frederic Vesseli, 3. Reece James, 4. Luke Givern, 5. Luke McCullough, 6. Charni Ekangamene, 7. Gyliano Van Velsen (replaced by Barmby on 76), 8. Gladstony, 9. Jack Barmby, 10. Adnan Januzaj, 11. Tom Lawrence. Subs: 12. Luke Henry (on 55, for Barmby), 14. Mats Daehli 15. Kieran O’Hara
Referee: Mark Ackerman.