U23 NEWS

Under-23s Defeated At Old Trafford

Three second-half strikes from Manchester United resulted in a disappointing evening for Everton Under-23s at Old Trafford on Friday.

It was a match of missed opportunities for the Toffees after a strong display in the opening 45, but goals from Charlie Savage and D'Mani Mellor put the game out of reach for the travelling side in a 3-0 Premier League 2 defeat.

Boss David Unsworth said: "It's a disappointing result but I thought we did really well for an hour. We competed with United and went toe to toe with them, creating some great chances. Tom (Cannon) and Dobbs (Lewis Dobbin) were causing them all sorts of problems. We had great shape and it was a great defensive display, but the first goal changed the game.

“It was schoolboy defending and the second goal came when a striker runs off one of our players and the third goal is a poor goal.

“You have to take your chances, especially away from home.

“People have their opinion as to whether Premier League 2 is a good level or not, but that was a good game tonight. It was at Old Trafford, in front of a crowd, against a good team and for an hour we were in it.

“We’ve had to ask McKenzie Hunt to play left-back and I thought he was terrific, we didn’t have Ryan Astley, but that’s not an excuse. It provides an opportunity for other players

“Isaac Price plays half a game tonight because he’s training with the First Team. We’re missing seven players tonight and you can’t carry that."

Unsworth's side began the match well as the young Blues created multiple chances to open the scoring.

Isaac Price displayed Everton’s confidence in the first five minutes with an early shot from 25 yards out however, his effort didn’t trouble Ondrej Mastny in the United net.

Lewis Dobbin had the first chance to put the visitors ahead on 15 minutes after Tom Cannon’s flicked header gave the tricky winger space to run into.

However, United defender Rhys Bennett recovered well to block Dobbin’s effort from inside the box.

Just a few minutes later United midfielder Zidane Iqbal forced Harry Tyrer into making a smart save after a powerful strike from 20 yards out, following a counter-attack from the hosts.

Everton’s number 11 came agonisingly close to putting his side in the lead again in the 18th minute.

This time he saw his curled effort, which looked destined for the top corner, go inches wide of the post.

Noam Emeran’s free kick from just outside the 18-yard box was the closest the home side came to taking the lead in the first 45 minutes, with his shot going narrowly wide of the post.

Dobbin and Cannon’s link up play caused the United defence problems all game.

Mastny was forced into making a great save on the brink of half-time, this came when Everton’s number nine smashed the ball towards goal from point blank range following a through ball by Dobbin.

Despite going into the break without a lead that their performance rewarded, the visitors showed the same swagger going forward in the opening minutes of the second half as Dobbin again came close, this time his effort going over the bar.

Against the run of play, United took the lead on 60 minutes through Savage, the number eight calmly tucked the ball into the bottom corner after finding space in the box.

United doubled their lead 11 minutes later when substitute Alejandro Garnacho slid through Mellor who had a tap in from six yards out.

Mellor got his second and United’s third on 83 minutes after the strikers shot from 10 yards out.

Tyrer was able to get a strong hand on the effort, but the power of the strike deemed too strong and left the ball rolling into the net.

The Under-23s return to action following the international break when Blackburn make the trip to Haig Avenue on Monday 4 April.