United Under-23s held by Harriers

Friday 06 August 2021 22:39

Manchester United Under-23s helped to serve up some Friday-night entertainment for more than 3,000 fans in the Midlands, drawing 2-2 with the senior side of non-league club Kidderminster Harriers.

Neil Wood's Academy outfit were comfortably ahead at half-time; Omari Forson broke the deadlock in the fifth minute when he converted Alvaro Fernandez's left-wing cross and Hannibal went close to grabbing a second goal soon afterwards.

Kidderminster strived to find an equaliser but were kept at bay by Ondrej Mastny and his defenders, enabling Shola Shoretire to eventually double our lead on 33 minutes with Charlie McNeil registering an assist from the right.
Forson celebrates with Hannibal after scoring United's opener.

As is usual with summer warm-up games, Wood made multiple changes at half-time and it was one of his first three substitutes, Dillon Hoogwerf, who nearly notched the next goal in the contest when he headed just wide after another fine Fernandez delivery.

At the other end, Kidderminster sub Amari Morgan-Smith looked set to pull a goal back for his side with a curling effort but Mastny denied him with a superb stop, palming the ball over the crossbar when at full stretch.

Mounting pressure from the home team eventually paid its first dividend when Reds left-back Fernandez, a regular threat in attack, unfortunately headed into his own net from a dangerous cross by his opposite no.3, Caleb Richards, in the 72nd minute.

The best goal of the night, certainly as far as the Harriers fans were concerned, was saved until last as Sam Austin, the no.7 who began the game on the bench, beat United's sub keeper Dermot Mee with a brilliant half-volley from outside the area with two minutes remaining.

That strike cued jubilation for the majority of fans among the crowd of 3,218 but there was also much for the 626 travelling United supporters to enjoy too.
Shoretire made it 2-0 to the Reds by half-time, before the Harriers hit back.

United: Mastny (Mee, 80); Laird (Wellens, 46), Olowu (Iqbal, 57), Hardley, Fernandez; Levitt (c) (Savage, 66), Galbraith (Svidersky, 66); Shoretire (Meija, 68), Hannibal (Mellor, 68), Forson (Hoogewerf, 46); McNeill (Hugill, 46).

Goals: Forson 5, Shoretire 33 | Fernandez own goal 72, Austin 88.

Additional reporting by Steve Bennett.