Home ยป Academy Match Report: Salford City 4-3 Manchester United u21s

Academy Match Report: Salford City 4-3 Manchester United u21s

by Colm Murphy

Manchester United u21s took on Salford City in their final group stage match of the EFL Trophy on Tuesday night with a win required to have any chance of advancing.

The home side continued some familiar faces for United youth followers with former u21s manager Neil Wood leading the charge for the Class of 92 club and on the pitch Kelly N’Mai and Jacob Lara have both appeared in the red of United in the past year on trials.

Both sides exchanged corners early on but it was United who took advantage when Willy Kambwala’s header was spilled, allowing Kobbie Mainoo to flick to Shola Shoretire to dispatch through the crowd to give United an early lead.

United were producing some enigmatic football in the middle of the park which Salford couldn’t keep up with, drawing a number of fouls at the edge of the box but United could not capitalise.

In the 24th minute, Salford hit on the counter against the run of play to level the score with Willy Kambwala backing off from Conor McAleny until the forward struck from 25 yards into the bottom right corner.

Just three minutes later and it was an episode of deja vu. A sloppy pass from Toby Collyer in the midfield kickstarted the counter for Salford and again Kambwala was left jockeying too far back, allowing a clear run for Matty Lund to the edge of the box to place into the bottom right corner again to give Salford the lead.

United continued to dominate possession for the rest of the half but were unable to equalise before the break.

The young Reds came out after the restart on fire though and pulled it level within a minute. Fabulous hold up play from Mainoo at the edge of the box allowed the midfielder to turn and lay off to Omari Forson who’s shot was deflected past the keeper.

A minute later, Mainoo weaved through the Salford backline before being taken down in the box but his protests were waved away as Shoretire’s low placed effort was parried out of danger by the Salford keeper.

United then retook the lead in the 51st minute as Dan Gore was taken out while taking the ball on the turn inside the box but it didn’t matter as Shoretire was on hand to strike home with his weaker foot.

United continued to dominate proceedings into the closing stages with Gore, Mainoo, Shoretire, and Forson combining throughout with fluid attractive football but they could not extend their lead.

The youngsters would rue their lack of killer instinct in the 86th minute, when Salford were awarded a penalty after a cross cannoned off the hand of Ethan Ennis. Lund dispatched to draw it all level.

Into the dying minutes of injury time, Salford were awarded another soft penalty when Rhys Bennett challenged for a cross in the centre of the box and was adjudged to have fouled the Salford attacker. Lund stepped up to score again to complete his hattrick and earn the home side a 4-3 win.

A disappointing end to what was a fabulous night of football, unfortunately the result sees United crash out of the EFL Trophy at the group stage.

United: Harrison, Nolan, Kambwala, Bennett, Murray (Mejia 88), Collyer (Ennis 67), Gore, Mainoo, Forson (Huddlestone 82), Hugill, Shoretire

Unused subs: Wooster, Aljofree, Hansen-Aaroen, Mather

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