Home » Academy Match report: Everton u21s 2-2 Manchester United u21s

Academy Match report: Everton u21s 2-2 Manchester United u21s

by Colm Murphy

Manchester United u21s were in Premier League 2 action last night as they travelled to Southport to take on Everton.

The talk before the match was centred on the surprise inclusion on United’s bench of an unknown Oliver Bray. Reportedly a new signing, Bray joins from non-league outfit Holsworthy AFC.

The match started at a high pace with Everton’s pressing causing troubles as Nathan Bishop’s clearance was blocked but Tyler Fredricson was able to mop up the danger.

A poor pass from Rhys Bennett back to Fredricson saw possession turned over and Everton’s Tom Cannon raced in and rounded the keeper but hit the side netting from a tight angle.

In the 11th minute, some good passing play opened space down the left for Bjorn Hardley to cross to back post which was knocked down by Omari Forson for Marc Jurado to run onto and slot into the bottom left corner to give United the lead.

United almost doubled the lead minutes later after Dan Gore won possession high up the pitch to play through Charlie McNeill on the left but his cut back couldn’t find a teammate.

Immediately after, Gore intercepted the keeper’s clearance and quickly teed up Forson for a curler from 18 yards that was only denied by a good save.

The match was starting to flow through Gore as he picked up the ball in the half space and turned through two Everton players before gliding past another for what would have been a sensational goal, but the recovering tackle blocked his effort.

It was becoming all United and Forson looked to Link up with McNeill to create space at the edge of the box for a curling effort that was blocked out for a corner.

In the 25th, Everton hit on the counter though, the through ball was just out of grasp from Fredricson’s diving interception attempt, giving the Everton striker a free shot at goal which he soared over the bar.

Two minutes later, United doubled the lead with a perfectly weighted ball over the top from Kobbie Mainoo that was taken down by Isak Hansen-Aaroen on the chest and calmly dinked over the charging keeper.

There was an immediate response from Everton as they raced down the right and centred for Cannon to acrobatically redirect towards goal, forcing a fantastic save from Bishop.

The Everton man couldn’t be stopped a minute later though, as he forced his way through United’s backline before rifling past Bishop with extreme power.

In the 34th minute, Cannon looked to add another as he crept in behind Bennett unmarked and was found by the chipped pass, but Bishop did well to save with his feet.

Three minutes later, the Everton number 9 would grab his second as he rose above Fredricson to head home from close range from the left sided cross.

It was a feisty affair and tempers were flaring late in the half when Gore came in late over Everton’s Joe Anderson who was lucky to stay in the pitch as he reacted by pushing the United skipper in the face while he was getting up off the ground.

The ref was glad to blow the half time whistle shortly after to cool down proceedings.

The second half started with a big mistake from Fredricson, immediately turning over possession which gifted a chance for Sean McAllister to force another great save from Bishop.

The match turned into a scrappy affair with neither side able to maintain possession, with many sloppy passes coming from both sides.

Everton troubled United with a string of crosses in immediate succession until Bennett put his head where it hurts and cleared while being fouled.

In the 74th, Gore’s clearance ricocheted off an Everton player and almost caught Bishop off guard as it cannoned back towards goal, but luckily it went inches over the bar.

A minute later, Everton should have taken the lead from a cross that found a man open at the back post but he somehow managed to head over from just five yards out.

The second half was all Everton in terms of possession although they couldn’t create many clear cut chances, with a late long range effort that soared over the bar capping off the action.

The final whistle blew at 2-2 to give United the first point of the season after a disappointing first two matches.

United: Bishop, Jurado, Bennett, Fredricson, Hardley, Mainoo, Savage (Oyedele 78), Forson (Bray 64), Gore, Hansen-Aaroen (Pye 64), McNeill

Unused subs: Wooster, Mather


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