Manchester United’s U18’s played their second game of the season on Saturday morning as they took on Everton at Altrincham’s J. Davidson stadium. United were looking to build on last week’s 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion in which Zach Dearnley scored United’s goal and made two changes to the team with George Dorrington and Tyler Reid replacing Oliver Byrne and trialist Thomas Sang. United were again without a number of players with Axel Tuanzebe, Faustin Makela and Travis Johnson injured and Angel Gomes on International duty with the England U16’s.
United began the game impressively controlling possession in the opening minutes and almost went ahead in the third minute as Marcus Rashford worked a yard of space in the box and fired a powerful shot towards goal which the Everton keeper did well to push away. His save was bettered a couple of minutes later as Dorrington brilliantly pushed a curling effort around the post. It was real end to end stuff in the opening stages with both teams throwing players forward in search of the opening goal.
Having already shown some impressive touches it was the trialist DJ Buffonge who had United’s next attempt but his shot from the edge of the box was pushed away by the Everton keeper. A couple of minutes later United took the lead as Buffonge was fouled on the edge of the box and Callum Gribbin stepped up to fire a brilliant strike into the top corner with the aid of a touch from the Everton keeper. United’s lead didn’t last long as Jimmy Dunne slid in dangerously in the box and Broadhead scored from the resulting penalty to make the score 1-1 in the 27th minute.
Having missed all of last season it was good to see Tosin Kehinde impressing in the midfield with a number of good runs and passes and it was him that was in the right place at the right time to deny Everton as he cleared the ball over his own crossbar from a dangerous cross in the 40th minute. The end to end nature of the game continued as United went close to taking the lead a couple of minutes later with Rashford firing a powerful low shot from the edge of the box which the Everton keeper got down well to push away. It was the last effort of the half as the sides went in level at 1-1 at half time.
Within a minute of the restart Everton went 2-1 ahead as they won the ball in midfield and Broadhead’s through ball sent Bramall clear and he kept his composure to slip the ball under Dorrington after United left themselves completely open at the back. In the 51st minute it was 3-1 to Everton as Donohue picked the ball up on the right-wing and was allowed to continue his run the whole way into the box as United backed off before finishing well into the bottom corner.
Everton were really on top now and could have been further ahead but for some impressive defending from RoShaun Williams who used his pace and power well on a number of occasions to keep Everton at bay. United went close to going further behind in the 68th minute as a long ball again left United exposed at the back and the ball was pulled back for Holland who saw his shot come back off the post with Dorrington making a good save from the rebound. United made a double change in the 74th minute with Warren and Kenyon replacing Kehinde and Buffonge.
Following an impressive run and cross from Rashford there were claims for a penalty from United as an Everton player looked to have handled the ball in the box but the referee waved away the protests and awarded a corner kick instead. With that went United’s last real chance to get back into the game as Everton ran out 3-1 winners in a match which was decided by some poor defending from United and Everton taking their chances when it mattered. Next up for United’s U18’s is a game against Derby County on Friday night.
Manchester United: Dorrington; Reid, Williams, Dunne (Scott 54′), Hamilton; Dearnley, Kehinde (Warren 74′), Buffonge (Kenyon 74′), Whelan; Gribbin; Rashford Substitutes Not Used: Byrne, Diedrick-Roberts.