Manchester United’s u23s hosted Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday at Leigh Sports Village.
In search of their first win of the season, United were up against a tough test in Brighton who came in unbeaten and second in the league.
Lining up on paper with a back four, United swapped between a back four in attack and a back five while defending with Alvaro Fernandez dropping to a wing-back role.
With two talented sides it made for a hard fought tight fixture which looked like it could go either way.
The experienced Jones, still regaining fitness from a long term injury, almost broke the deadlock early on forcing two quality saves from Brighton’s keeper Thomas McGill.
The action was back and forth but eventually it was Anthony Elanga‘s pace and trickery which was too dangerous for Brighton leading to him being fouled in the box just before the half time break.
The Swedish youth international confidently stepped up to take and hammered it into the top right corner.
The second half was much of the same with end to end action including an impressive drive from Charlie Wellens.
United looked to double their lead at the hour mark but the assistant referee’s flag spoiled their celebrations as Joe Hugill was called offside.
Shortly after Brighton capitalised when Lorent Tolaj found space in the middle of United’s defence and gave Henderson no chance with his finish.
It looked like the match was destined to end in a draw but in vintage United fashion, substitute Zidane Iqbal grabbed the winner late in injury time.
Finding an inch of space in the crowded box, Iqbal fired across the goal through the crowd and into the back of the net earning United a well earned three points.
United: Henderson; Wellens, Mengi, Jones, Hardley; Shoretire (McNeill 82), Svidersky, Savage, Fernandez; Elanga, Hugill (Iqbal 68).
Substitutes not used: Hoogewerf, Vitek, McShane.