Manchester United Under-23 team-mates congratulate D'Mani Mellor after his goal against West Brom

United Under-23s claim thrilling comeback win

Goals from Largie Ramazani, D’Mani Mellor and skipper Angel Gomes ensured Manchester United’s Under-23s beat West Brom 3-1 on Monday evening and maintained our winning streak in Premier League 2 Division Two.

Jamie Soule had given Albion the lead, during an impressive first half for the West Midlands side at Leigh Sports Village, but the second half belonged to United with those three goals and a penalty save by Matej Kovar securing all three points.   

The draw of Christmas parties, festive films on TV and chilly conditions must have contributed to the smaller than usual turn-out of 819 to watch Neil Wood’s lads. At least it was dry as the game got under way with both teams wearing their traditional shirts and shorts, red and white for United and Albion’s blue and white stripes.
Quinton Fortune and Neil Wood
Our Under-23 coaches Quinton Fortune and Neil Wood watch from the technical area.
This could almost have been billed as a ‘top of the table’ fixture with United starting the game in second place and Albion just one berth below and the opening stages of the match most definitely reflected the current status of the teams as they both set off at a breathless pace.

With the prize of promotion to the top division up for grabs at the season’s close, it was clear that this was to be an interesting and entertaining spot of early Christmas fayre.
United had chances to open the scoring but both D’Mani Mellor and skipper Angel Gomes were starved of good fortune in front of goal. The visitors were also finding openings and in the 16th minute, a rapid attack instigated by senior professional Chris Brunt bore fruit when striker Soule tucked the ball home from close range.

The goal added to Albion’s confidence and on several occasions they looked like increasing their lead in the run-up to half-time, only to be denied by Kovar in the Reds' goal. 

Just before referee Lewis Smith blew his whistle to end the first half, Reds striker Mellor blasted a shot from fully 25 yards which gave Albion ‘keeper Brad House something to think about as well as warming his hands.
Angel Gomes battles for the ball with Chris Brunt
Angel Gomes had to battle with a senior professional in West Brom's midfield, Chris Brunt.
The fifteen minutes back in the dressing room appeared to have invigorated United for in the opening moments of the second spell, Wood’s men pressed forward with increased regularity. One move which involved an exchange of passes between Ethan Laird and Tahith Chong had the Albion defence scrambling to clear.

The Reds continued to enjoy a more generous share of the attacking opportunities and, in the 55th minute, this was rewarded when Albion’s defence failed to clear a Chong corner and the ball fell to Ramazani who made no mistake with a sizzler.
Video
Largie Ramazani scores United's equaliser against West Brom Under-23s
Watch how Ramazani scored an excellent equaliser.
Albion were presented with a quick route to regaining the lead, when Ramazani brought down Chris Willock in the box, but Kovar came out on top in a penalty duel with the player who had been fouled.

Let off the hook, United took full advantage seven minutes later when Mellor struck to put his side into the lead. Then, with seconds of normal time remaining, United wrapped up the points when Gomes capitalised on a great cross from Chong to fire home his side’s third goal.
Angel Gomes scores the third goal for United's Under-23s against West Brom
Gomes sidefoots the ball home at the far post to make the final score 3-1.
MATCH DETAILS

United: Kovar; Laird, Taylor, Bernard, Mengi; Garner (Puigmal 64), Gomes, Galbraith; Chong, Mellor, Ramazani.

Substitutes not used: McGhee, Carney, Traore, Helm.

Goals: United - Ramazani 58, Mellor 68, Gomes 89 | West Brom – Soule 16.

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