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U18s: Manchester United 1-1 Everton

by Tracey Germaine

Kieran McKenna’s side were in action against Everton at the Aon Training Complex in the first league game of 2017 for the u18s. Leading goalscorer, Angel Gomes scored his first league goal of the new year after 20 minutes with a lovely strike just under the crossbar. Gomes later missed a penalty before Everton substitute Charlie Ball equalised. The game finished in a 1-1 draw.

The Reds were hoping to capitalise on the victory against the odds at the Otten Cup 5-a-side tournament. Ilias Moutha-Sebtaoui missed out on the squad following an injury picked up in that tournament which saw Callum Whelan don the gloves for the tournament. Zach Dearnley returned to the squad following a long-term absence due to an injury picked up back in August.

The opening stages of the first half were dominated by United who showcased some lovely passing and footwork. Tahith Chong was one of those putting pressure on Everton. Nathan Moore decided to take matters into his own hands and went in with a nasty challenge on Chong. The attacking midfielder had to receive treatment but tried to continue, and after a period of limping he appeared to be alright again. He went on a strong run and pulled the ball back into the penalty area but it ended up between Josh Bohui and Indy Boonen and the Everton defence were able to clear.

United deservedly took the lead shortly after. DJ Buffonge picked up the ball in midfield and with a great ball managed to find Gomes. Gomes’ first touch created space for him to take on the shot which he lifted to strike just under the crossbar and into the net.

A second unpunished challenge from Moore on Chong, aggravated the early injury. Chong attempted to continue but unfortunately on this occasion the powers of recovery weren’t there and he had to be replaced after just half an hour by Aidan Barlow. Chong’s departure coincided with Everton increasing their influence in the game, albeit without really troubling Alex Fojticek in the United goal.

United continued to create chances. Buffonge saw an effort deflected wide of the goal. Bohui got a head on a cross from George Tanner which went just wide and substitute Barlow saw a curling effort saved by Ben Pierce.

Fraser Hornby had a couple of chances for Everton at the start of the second half but fortunately he couldn’t direct them on target. Those efforts however did foreshadow an increasing attack from Everton in the second 45 minutes. However, it was United who had the best chance to grab the second of the match. Bohui was brought down by the goalkeeper Pierce in the penalty area. Gomes stepped up to take the spot-kick but his weak effort was saved by Pierce.

United were made to rue that missed penalty when, a quarter of an hour later, Everton substitute, Charlie Ball, found the back of the net to score an equaliser. United continued to search for a winner and came close in the third minute of extra time when the ball was played in from Jake Kenyon to Buffonge but his attempt at an intricate finish flew over the crossbar and the game ended in a draw.

Man United: Fojticek, Tanner, Warren, O’Connor, Kenyon, Chong (Barlow 33′), Whelan, Buffonge, Boonen (Dearnley 69′), Gomes, Bohui (Burkart 78′).
Unused Substitutes: M. Johnstone, Hamilton.
Goal(s): Gomes (20′).
Booking(s): Kenyon (41′).

Everton: Pierce, Baxter, Harrington, Collins, Moore, Bramhall, Denny, Kiersey, John (Ball 60′), Hornby, Mampala (Scully 46′).
Unused Substitutes: Adedoyin, Jones, Ouzounidis.
Goal(s): Ball (68′).
Booking(s): Pierce (51′), Baxter (59′).

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