assistant flagged for a penalty having spotted an incident in the area, but the referee would have none of it and he instantly overruled. The game was held up for about five minutes just before half-time to allow City full-back Pablo Maffeo to receive treatment. He was eventually taken from the field by the stretcher team.
The early moments of the second half were played out to the bizarre backdrop of a religious procession, complete with piped music and a pipe-band, passing by in the adjacent Platt Fields Park.
United went close to grabbing an equaliser on the hour when Goss got above the City defence, but his header struck the foot of the post. The game continued to flow from end to end, but neither side could put the finishing touch to their fine approach play.
City were finishing the game the stronger of the two teams, but with two minutes to go United snatched a late goal and a share of the rewards. Demetri Mitchell weaved his way into the Blues area where he was tripped by defender Jose Angelino. The referee pointed straight to the spot and Josh Harrop stepped forward to crack an unstoppable shot past O’Brien.
Remarkably, United almost snatched a winner in added time when Mitchell’s shot thumped against the post. But the Reds can still feel pleased to have forced a draw, the team's first of the season after two defeats and six straight wins inbetween.
United: J Pereira; Evans, McConnell, Ioannou, Barber; Harrop, Willock (Redmond 64), Goss, Mitchell; A Pereira (McTominay 83), Fletcher. Subs not used: Borthwick-Jackson, Henderson.