Manchester United’s u21s hosted Brighton Hove and Albion this afternoon in search of their first league win of the season.
In the opening minutes a risky pass from Isak Hansen-Aaroen at the edge of box coughed up possession to create a huge chance for Brighton but a remarkable save from Radek Vitek denied the first effort and Andy Moran found himself with an open net on the rebound but couldn’t get his shot off quick enough as the sprawling Vitek flew across to save again.
In the 6th minute, there was a mistake up the other end as the Brighton defender played the ball straight to Charlie McNeill who ran into box but couldn’t get his shot off as he looked to cut onto his right.
Brighton’s danger man Evan Ferguson unleashed a bullet of a shot 10 yards out from the right that was well blocked by Tyler Fredricson.
18 minutes in, United thought they took the lead when McNeill chipped a perfectly placed ball into the box for Shola Shoretire running onto to head at goal but the keeper managed to get behind it and keep the score level.
A minute later Fredricson split Brighton’s backline with a ball over the top to Hansen-Aaroen, who took the ball down well and looked to slide under the keeper but a trailing leg kept the ball out and the follow up attempt was blocked for a corner.
The resulting corner was flicked on by a Brighton defender for the waiting Kobbie Mainoo to volley into the net to give United the lead.
Minutes later, Brighton hit the back of the net through Ferguson off a training ground corner but the celebration was short lived with the flag up for offside.
In the 29th minute, the Brighton left back got high up the pitch to find Ferguson in the box who laid off for Todd Miller to send into the roof of the net and equalise with an unstoppable shot.
United almost immediately responded with a long range effort from Charlie Savage pinging off the left post.
Mainoo was then played into the byline and cut back for McNeill to shoot from 12 yards out but he soared it over the goal.
The last play of the first half saw a good diagonal ball from Savage find Marc Jurado charging down the right but the right back’s stretching effort fizzled wide.
The teams went in level at the break and reemerged with Sam Mather making an introduction for Charlie McNeill who had been dealing with illness in recent days.
Early in the second half a deflected shot from Savage almost caught the keeper out but he recovered well to save.
Down the other end, a cross from the left found Jack Hinshelwood open to head from 6 yards out that was incredibly saved by Vitek to push out for a corner.
But from the corner United couldn’t clear after a number of attempts, allowing Antef Tsoungui to put the ball into the bottom right corner to give Brighton the lead.
In the 53rd minute, United responded from another corner. Shoretire’s ball in was tipped on by Toby Collyer into a crowd and Mainoo was quickest on it to strike into the net, past the flailing bodies toward him.
A good passing move starting off with Mather ended with Mainoo teeing up Shoretire at the edge of the box who looked to curl into the bottom corner but it went just inches wide.
Brighton countered in the 68th minute from a corner and Vitek charged 50 yards up the field for the loose ball but was easily bypassed by Ferguson to slot into an open net.
Mather slipped Shoretire into the right channel who clipped a hanging ball to the back post for Bjorn Hardley to head in from close range to bring the match level again in the 83rd minute.
It was all United in the latter stages and a terrific ball from Savage was taken down on the chest by Mainoo at the back post before squaring it back for Savage arriving late but his strike cannoned off the Brighton defender.
Moments later Savage’s shot was blocked again before it fell to Tom Huddlestone to lay off for Jurado, who cut back onto his left to get past two Brighton defenders and aimed for the far corner, forcing a finger tip save.
A string of three corners saw United coming close with Huddlestone having the best effort that was cleared on the line by the defender.
Despite United dominating the closing stages in search of a winner, the final whistle went 3-3 as United still look for their first league win of the season.
United: Vitek, Jurado, Bennett, Fredricson, Hardley, Collyer (Huddlestone 73), Savage, Hansen-Aaroen, Mainoo, Shoretire, McNeill (Mather 46)
Unused Subs: Mastny, Murray
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