Manchester United’s u18s were in action on Wednesday away to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Just 16 hours after their match against Blackburn, Travis Binnion was forced to field a completely new starting XI to handle the extreme fixture congestion.
The rotated side looked to get on the front foot early as Isak Hansen-Aaroen feinted and charged through the midfield before laying it out wide for Sam Mather but the winger’s cross was too close to the keeper who was able to collect.
It was Hansen-Aaroen leading the charge again moments later when intercepted in the midfield and drove at the Wolves defence to set up Charlie McNeill for a shot on the right side of the box which was tipped over the bar.
The in-form Ethan Ennis joined the action looking to score one of these trademark goals as he cut in from the left and rifled an effort just inches wide.
Just before the break, a great counterattack looked to give United the lead after Ennis bundled home the rebound from Mather’s attempt with a clever backheel but the ref was to call it off due to offside.
Despite being the more dangerous side in the first 45, United had to settle for going into the half at 0-0.
The second half saw Wolves come out with a new lease of life almost taking a quick lead when Nathan Fraser played a teasing ball across the six-yard box which only needed to be tapping into the open net but the sliding Owen Farmer couldn’t get enough contact on it to guide it towards goal.
Seconds later, Fraser wouldn’t make the same mistake though and gave Wolves the lead. Tom Wooster came charging out of his goal to close down Farmer on the wing but couldn’t get there in time allowing Fraser to receive the cross and slot it into an open net.
After playing through United’s press Fraser was played in behind the backline to run in and finish past Wooster to double the Wolves lead in the 53rd minute.
It was almost another immediately after when Fraser held off Marc Jurado and turned to set up Farmer but a big save from Wooster kept United in it.
The 75th minute saw the introduction of Toby Collyer for his first appearance with the club after his signing in March.
United pulled one after Hansen-Aaroen slid in to win back possession at the edge of the Wolves area and the ball was played out to James Nolan who slid in a low cross for McNeill to take with a brilliant turn before smashing into the bottom corner with his left boot.
Chasing the equaliser until the dying moments it was in injury time when McNeill popped up again to save the day with his second on the day. A perfectly weighted through ball from the u16 Adam Berry allowed McNeill to come onto the ball in stride and finish into the left corner.
A late winner was almost on the cards as well when Nolan crossed for Mather to hit but he couldn’t keep the ball down as it soared into the stands.
The match ended 2-2 leaving United tied for third place with two matches left in the season.
United: Pye, Aljofree, Jurado, Lawrence (Nolan 62), Oyedele (Collyer 75), Curley, Ennis (Berry 62), Hansen-Aaroen, Mather, McNeill
Unused Subs: Hanbury