Under-23s: United take a point from 10-man test

Manchester United's Under-23s put in a tremendously determined and battling performance to claim a point against Brighton & Hove Albion on Friday afternoon, after being reduced to ten men just seven minutes into the game.

United captain Will Fish was sent off for a clumsy foul with the game barely ticking over but Neil Wood's remaining players regrouped magnificently to get at least a share of the rewards from a difficult situation.  

Wearing a smart yellow and blue change kit, Brighton started the game in a style to match their bright and cheerful strip on a cold and blustery afternoon at Leigh Sports Village.

The Seagulls' hopes of taking at least some of the spoils on the long journey back to the south coast received a huge and unexpected boost in the seventh minute when the Reds were reduced to ten men.
It was the skipper, Fish, who was shown the red card after referee Andrew Miller adjudged he had committed a professional foul in stopping Brighton winger Ayo Tanimowo advancing into the United penalty area. 

The official in charge consulted his assistant before confirming his decision by brandishing the card and directing the Reds centre-back to the dressing room.

It was a severe blow to be contemplating virtually the whole game with a depleted team, but after a slight personnel reshuffle, United set about their now more difficult task.
Not surprisingly, it was Brighton who enjoyed the bulk of possession and time spent in attacking areas but United were well marshalled defensively and anything that managed to get past them was more than efficiently dealt with by ‘keeper Matej Kovar, who had an excellent game.

Albion did capitalise on their advantage of the extra man in terms of fashioning more attempts on goal with their skipper Teddy Jenks and Jack Wakely both going close to finding the target.

After the break it was much the same with United’s remarkable work-rate and resilience proving to be an impenetrable barrier against the dominant Seagulls.

Reds coach Wood replaced Shola Shoretire with Dillon Hoogewerf midway through the second half and within seconds of taking the field, the Dutch youngster had gone agonisingly close to putting United in front with a shot that was well saved.

U23S Highlights: United 0 Brighton 0Video

After that, it was Kovar who was again the busier keeper, with one save in particular catching the eye when he dived right to deny Evan Ferguson four minutes from full-time.

That almost gave United a platform to go on and win the game. Just seconds from the end, Charlie McCann was within a fraction of connecting with a Joe Hugill pass. Had he done so, the midfielder who scored twice in our last PL2 outing at Southampton could surely have sealed it.

MATCH DETAILS

United: Kovar; Neville, Taylor, Fish, Devine; Galbraith, Svidersky (Fernandez 65); Helm, McCann, Shoretire (Hoogewerf 64); Hugill.

Substitutes not used:
Vitek, Savage.

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