Marc Skinner’s first game in charge ended all square as Manchester United Women drew 2-2 with Liverpool in their first pre-season game at Carrington.
The visitors went ahead as new signing Leanne Kiernan slotted her shot past Mary Earps against the run of play. United responded, drawing level when Kirsty Hanson crossed the ball to Leah Galton who was waiting to tap it in on the six yard mark.
It was the team work between two familiar faces again that set up the Red Devils’ second goal; Lucy Staniforth picked out Kirsty Hanson with a brilliant cross which Hanson fired past the Liverpool keeper.
Unfortunately in the second half Liverpool upped the intensity and drew level with the Reds in the 81st minute when Carla Humphrey tapped the ball home from close range past Sophie Baggaley.
For Skinner, it was a chance for him to set his stall out and see exactly what his side had to offer. New signings Hannah Blundell and Vilde Bøe Risa got their first start for United whilst Aoife Mannion, Martha Thomas and Sophie Baggaley all got game time for their new side in the second half.
Bøe Risa impressed as she provided plenty of opportunities for her team mates who couldn’t quite bury their chances. Meanwhile, Baggaley aims to challenge Earps for the number one spot as she pulled off a number of good saves in her first appearance.
▪ Reaction to his first game in charge
▪ The mix of youth and experience
▪ Intensity levels from both sides
— Manchester United Women (@ManUtdWomen) August 8, 2021
Skinner instantly wrote his name into fans’ good books after his post match interview as he started off by saying “We want to continue the Manchester United way of bringing young players through.” He backed this up on the pitch by bringing several academy players on throughout the 90 minutes.
17 year old Carrie Jones started the game whilst 16 year old Jess Simpson came on at the break. Under 21-players, Rebecca May, Annie Hutchins, Tara Bourne and Niamh Murphy also made appearances for the reds.
— Charlotte Healy (@Charlotte_Healy) August 8, 2021
Though it wasn’t the result United were chasing, it was a good indication of the depth and strength that the squad currently has, the mix of youth and experience and where improvements are needed.
United have two pre-season games left before they face Reading on the opening weekend of the Women’s Super League campaign.