U23s: West Brom 1 United 1

Friday 23 November 2018 21:11

Josh Bohui came off the bench to earn a Premier League 2 point for Manchester United against West Brom at The Hawthorns.

The forward earned and converted the spot-kick in the final few minutes of a game played in foggy conditions in the Black Country as the home side looked set to inflict a third successive defeat on the Reds.

The deadlock had been broken by a man whose surname conjures up images of United's distant past, as Daniel Meredith headed the Baggies into the lead.

DJ Buffonge tries to spark the Reds into life in gloomy conditions.

The hosts carved out the first opening when Jonathan Leko combined nicely with Kyle Edwards, only to fire his shot way off target, but little else of note was created until Aidan Barlow drove through the middle, taking allcomers on, until being crowded out and going to ground inside the box. Replays suggested he was perhaps tripped but may have already over-run the ball.

An enterprising dribble by DJ Buffonge, again down the centre of the pitch, led to him scooping a shot wide of Alex Palmer's goal before Barlow was unable to connect properly with a cross as United threatened. The first shot on target arrived on 27 minutes when a patient move, following a corner, ended with Zak Dearnley collecting a Buffonge pass but his finish lacked power and Palmer dived to save pretty comfortably.

Matej Kovar was even less troubled by an Oliver Burke effort and the Reds pushed for a breakthrough as the first half wore on. Tahith Chong showed great acceleration to motor into the box and tee up Ethan Hamilton, but the Scot could only fire against the legs of Palmer from an inviting position. Although Callum Whelan had to make a decent block to frustrate Leko, Hamilton had another clear sight of goal in stoppage time but volleyed a clever chip by Barlow over the top.

United were unlucky not to break the deadlock in the opening minute of the second half but Whelan's fine effort came back off the woodwork. However, the Baggies began to ask questions of the Reds' defence, with substitute Callum Morton lashing a Nathan Ferguson through ball just wide.

The hosts were getting closer as Edwards forced Kovar to get down to his left to pull off a smart save and, after a Chong free-kick flew narrowly off target, Edwards turned well to rattle a post with a powerful strike that had beaten Kovar. Hence, it was no great surprise when a looping cross from the left was met by Meredith, who attacked it impressively to divert a header into the net.

Kovar thwarted Morton as Albion looked to wrap up the points so head coach Ricky Sbragia introduced George Tanner and Bohui in an attempt to turn things around. The double change certainly had the desired impact as the Reds built up a head of steam, with Dearnley's deflected drive flashing into the side-netting. From the corner, Whelan flicked Barlow's pass into the path of Bohui, who was tripped by Finn Azaz. Up stepped Bohui to send Palmer the wrong way and make it 1-1.

George Harmon's free-kick forced a stop out of Kovar but the best chance of the closing stages fell to United, with Hamilton's teasing centre from the right begging to be finished off, only for Tyrell Warren to prod it the wrong side of the far post.

Tahith Chong tries to get away from his marker.

United: Kovar; O'Connor (Tanner 81), Poole (c), R. Williams, Warren; Whelan, Hamilton, Buffonge (Bohui 81); Barlow, Dearnley, Chong.

Subs not used: Woolston, Ercolani, Stanley.

Goals: Meredith 69 | Bohui 87 (pen)

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