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

by Colm Murphy

Manchester United u21s hosted Tottenham Hotspur at Leigh Sports Village on Friday night in their penultimate match of the season.

The first shot of the match came after the 10 minute mark when Jamie Donley shrugged off Maxi Oyedele nipping at his heels to turn in the box and test Radek Vitek with low-driven shot.

In the 13th minute, a cross field ball over the top from Charlie Wellens was brought down by Noam Emeran, who showed great strength to hold off the defender before lashing past the keeper with his left boot to give United the lead.

The lead was short lived though, after good play from Vitek and Teden Mengi to play out of pressure, Willy Kambwala played a pass straight to Tottenham’s Romaine Mundle who curled beautifully into the bottom right corner from the edge of the box.

Mundle looked to repeat his feat just minutes later with another curling effort, but Vitek had sight of it this time to palm down and smother.

Omari Forson then had a chance to curl a shot of his own after cutting in from the right but was stopped by a fantastic save from Josh Keeley.

Mundle was causing trouble again this time with quick feet that sent Kambwala tripping over his own legs, opening the space for Mundle but the winger couldn’t beat Vitek again.

A good spell of possession late in the half for Tottenham ended with Damola Ajayi cutting in from right and forcing a save from Vitek with a low shot that was held onto by the Czech keeper.

Tottenham scored early in the second half from another turnover at United’s end. Sam Murray played Isak Hansen-Aaroen into trouble and the Norwegian couldn’t hold off the pressure, allowing Tottenham to win the ball and quickly play centrally to Nile John, who picked out the bottom corner from 20 yards, leaving Vitek no chance.

Just like United’s lead in the first half, it was over within five minutes as Joe Hugill quickly made it level. Dan Gore turned and drove through the midfield before splitting the defence to find Hugill running into the box. He made no mistake, finishing past the keeper first time.

In the 68th minute, Murray curled a ball in for Gore towering up in the box despite his short stature to win the header downwards and into the keeper’s arms.

A few minutes later, Emeran used the afterburners to get away down the left wing and centre for Joe Hugill, whose shot was stopped by a lunging last-ditch block from the Tottenham defender.

Mateo Mejia’s change of pace opened space to play the ball out to Emeran who crossed first time, flashing across the goal. It was begging to be tapped in by Hugill sliding in at the back post but the striker was just inches away from reaching it.

Spurs hit the back of the net late on but Brooklyn Lyons-Foster was miles offside, meaning the match finished equal at 2-2.

The point for United sees them secure safety from relegation and destined for another year in the first division of Premier League 2.

United: Vitek, Jurado, Kambwala, Mengi (Murray 46), Hardley, Wellens (Collyer 54), Oyedele (Gore 46), Forson, Hansen-Aaroen (Mejia 65), Emeran, Hugill

Unused subs: Wooster

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