Pre-season friendly | PTS Academy Stadium | Scorers: Walters 73, van Veen 84.
Manchester United's Under-23s lost 2-0 to League Two side Northampton Town in a pre-season friendly, with Billy Walters and Kevin van Veen scoring in the second half.After a low-key opening, Regan Poole, who spent last term on loan with the Cobblers, misjudged a pass back to Kieran O’Hara but the keeper saved well when Walters tried to round him. Poole deflected a van Veen shot over the bar before the Reds’ first real effort on goal arrived 10 minutes before the interval.
Aliou Traore squared the ball to Zak Dearnley but he dragged a low shot from distance wide of James Goff’s right-hand post, with the keeper having it covered. Dearnley had an even clearer sight of goal following fine work by Poole and James Wilson but he scuffed his finish and the Town defence cleared.
The second half failed to spark into life and a triple change for United provided a reminder of the key purpose of pre-season friendlies as more players got minutes under their belts. Soon afterwards, Wilson was provided with a real opportunity to break the deadlock when latching onto a poor backpass by Jonjo O’Toole but, although his header looped over Goff, it was cleared by Jay Williams as it approached the unguarded net.
Instead, Northampton drew first blood when Walters lashed a left-footed drive past O'Hara after United failed to clear the danger and the ball was laid back to him. The lead was doubled, six minutes from time, when van Veen was allowed to dive to head in from close range, with substitute Millen Baars ruthlessly punished for losing possession in his own half on the left flank.
United: O’Hara (Kovar 74); Warren, Poole, Ercolani (Dunne 74), O’Connor (Tanner 68); Traore (Whelan 68), Barlow, Buffonge (Sang 68); Dearnley, Wilson, Burkart (Baars 74). Subs not used: Fojticek.