Manchester United's youngsters missed out on a seventh consecutive win on Saturday, instead slipping to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of a well-drilled Aston Villa side at Bodymoor Heath Training Ground.
The two sides traded chances early on - for the Reds, Ashley Fletcher came close to grabbing his eighth goal of the season when Ben Barber’s low cross narrowly evaded the big striker. Villa then took the lead, shortly after the half hour mark, when their goalkeeper Aiden Grant claimed a United corner under pressure and immediately put the Villans on the counter attack. The move ended with Ryan Strain turning home Jerrell Sellars' low cross.
Paul McGuinness’ United players are no strangers to coming from behind this season and they hit back just seconds into the second half with Devonte Redmond’s left-footed shot finding the corner of the net. Parity at 1-1 was to last only seven minutes however. Thomas Strain, brother of first goalscorer Ryan, restored the home side's lead from another neat pull-back by Sellars.
Thomas Strain was to finish the scoring in Villa's favour with just under 20 minutes to go, finding the corner of Dean Henderson’s net with a low right-footed drive.
After this rare loss, United's youngsters will have the perfect chance to bounce back next weekend, with a trip to Manchester City’s Platt Lane Academy in the 'mini-derby'.
United: Henderson; Barber, McConnell, Borthwick-Jackson, Thompson (Reid 76); Harrop, Goss, Willock, Redmond (McTominay 85); Mitchell (Croskery 76), Fletcher. Subs not used: Rashford, O.Byrne.