United's youngsters recovered from conceding a 31-second goal to register a 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough at Carrington.
It was probably a fair result in the end but, after the setback of losing Tom Lawrence to injury before the game, the Reds were stunned by the first move of the match when Jordan Jones converted a Charlie Wyke knock-back to a Lewis Sirrell cross.
Gyliano van Velzen and Declan Dalley spurned gilt-edged openings but Wyke remained a threat at the other end as neither side gained the upper hand. Soon after the break, the excellent Tyler Blackett's cross found van Velzen, whose header came back off an upright. The danger looked to have passed but Joe Rothwell was gifted possession on the edge of the box and rocketed a drive past Luke Coddington for the equaliser.
Coddington palmed away a Sam Byrne shot on the turn and Mats Daehli fired wide but Boro had chances too with Wyke off target on a couple of occasions and Curtis Edwards forcing a brilliant, diving stop out of Liam Jacob.
Wilson Kneeshaw also tested Jacob's reflexes and the keeper was grateful to see a Jones curler bounce back off the woodwork as the scoreline remained 1-1.
United: Jacob; Hendrie, Dalley, McCullough, Blackett; Van Velzen, Weir, Rothwell, Barmby (Pearson 54), Daehli; Byrne. Unused Subs: Coll, Gorre, Ekangamene.