Pre-season friendly | The Cliff | Scorers: None
Manchester United’s Under-23s completed the pre-season warm-up programme with a friendly against Everton at The Ciff in Salford.
Neither side managed to breach their opponents’ defence but there was no shortage of good football and goalmouth incident, particularly in the first half. As the new season looms large, this was always going to be a competitive contest as both sets of players put the final touches to their preparations in readiness for the challenges ahead.
The match opened in lively fashion with both teams putting the emphasis on the search for goals and it meant that neither goalkeeper, United’s Kieran O’Hara and the Toffees’ Joe Hilton were given much time to gauge the game’s early tempo.
The first real chance arrived when James Wilson hit a grass-cutter from outside the area, in the 12th minute, but his goalbound effort brought a fine save from Hilton. Shortly afterwards, Everton got themselves into a terrible tangle which looked to have allowed Wilson the opportunity to take maximum benefit but the visitors recovered their composure just in time. At the other end, Nathan Broadhead and Fraser Hornby linked up well to give United’s back-four a nervy moment.
The pattern of the game continued to produce chances at both ends but the scoresheet remained blank. Four of United’s players, Ro-Shaun Williams, Ethan Hamilton, Joshua Bohui and Angel Gomes, were members of the squad which had just returned from the first team’s US tour and they were all given a run-out at The Cliff.
There was less activity in front of goal after the interval, but the pace of the contest was unrelenting despite the searing conditions. Everton’s Matty Foulds was responsible for not taking advantage of the half’s best opening when he narrowly headed wide from Broadhead’s free-kick.