Under-23s beaten by senior Hull side
Manchester United's Under-23s gained more valuable pre-season minutes but were beaten 2-0 by Championship side Hull City at the MKM Stadium.
Paul McShane and Zidane Iqbal went close for the young Reds either side of half-time, but the senior outfit prevailed, courtesy of two goals in the space of three second-half minutes, the first of which was scored by Tom Huddlestone, shortly before the hour.
Moments later, Tom Eaves doubled the lead and it was enough to ensure that the Tigers would come out on top on their home patch as United finished with 10 men with keeper Ben Mee sent off.
Off the back of a successful training camp in Scotland and a high-scoring victory over Stalybridge Celtic in midweek, the Reds arrived in East Yorkshire to continue preparations for our upcoming Premier League 2 campaign.
United took the lead after a quarter of an hour in that win on Tuesday and nearly repeated the feat in the opening stages at the MKM Stadium, after a defensive miscommunication in the Championship outfit's defence. Zidane Iqbal took a corner from the left that was flicked on to find McShane unmarked at the back post. The former Tigers defender stooped low but nodded his effort over the crossbar.
The home side's first real opportunity at the other end came courtesy of a familiar face. Di'Shon Bernard, who signed a new deal with United before joining Hull on a season-long loan on Friday, volleyed narrowly wide on the turn, after the ball had dropped to him following a blocked free-kick.
Moments later, Mee was forced into action for the first time in the United goal, keeping out James Scott's low effort while Tigers captain Andy Smith fired just off target in the minutes that followed.
In the closing stages of the half, the Reds again eyed an opener through Dillon Hoogewerf. The Dutch forward showed some neat footwork to get past a defender on the left flank but, after entering the box and closing in on goal, his strike was charged down to ensure the deadlock would remain intact at the break.
Having been forced to show defensive resilience for much of the closing stages of the first period, the Reds began the second half with more of the ball, just as they had done in the game's opening stages. That possession translated into chances for Iqbal, who curled over, and then Isak Hansen, who saw his low, drilled effort take a deflection on its way through to being gathered by Hull keeper Nathan Baxter.
The hosts had also had a sighter or two in search of the game's first goal, with George Moncur going closest but ultimately placing his effort off target. The Tigers utilised their experience shortly before the hour however, to not only break the deadlock, but develop a quickfire two-goal lead.
First, former Tottenham Hotspur and England midfielder Huddlestone found the bottom corner with a left-footed strike from a central area on the edge of the penalty area on 58 minutes, before Eaves met a cross from the right at the near post to power home the Tigers' second goal in the space of less than three minutes.
As overcast skies turned to Yorkshire showers for most of the game's final half-hour, the young Reds attempted to rally and find a way back into the contest. Iqbal, who had found the target in midweek, again tried his luck, but could only sting the palms of Baxter in doing so.It was United's final opportunity of the encounter, as Mee was red-carded for pulling down Eaves with minutes left. The home side saw out the remaining minutes to come out on top but this was another productive exercise for the youngsters in the Reds' side. Next up for the Under-23s is a final warm-up match against Kidderminster Harriers on Friday (6 August) before the Premier League 2 campaign begins just over a week later with Leicester City visiting Leigh Sports Village.
United: Mee; Wellens, McShane (Pye 75), Hardley, Fernandez; Hansen (Jurado 59), Savage; Hoogewerf (McNeill 59), Iqbal, Forson (Garnacho 75); Hugill (Vitek 81).
Scorers: Huddlestone 58, Eaves 60.
Sent off: Mee 81.