United U23s claim first win in dramatic fashion
Manchester United’s Under-23s were celebrating our first Premier League 2 Division One victory of the season after Ethan Galbraith's 97th-minute penalty sealed an impressive performance from the Reds.
The win was marred to some degree when Reds goalkeeper Ondrej Mastny was taken from the field on a stretcher, after receiving treatment for several minutes. Happily, his coach Wood later confirmed the shot-stopper was up and about in the dressing room and showing no serious effects from his heavy collision with team-mate Will Fish.
Two away trips in Premier League 2, against Blackburn Rovers and Arsenal, ended with the Reds sharing the spoils, whilst the results of the previous couple of home games, when we welcomed Leicester City and Liverpool, had left us still searching for our first victory at Leigh Sports Village.
United, who trailed Everton by five points at the start of the game, were bolstered by the inclusion of three first-team players - defenders Marcos Rojo and Brandon Williams, whilst recently acquired 18-year-old Uruguayan winger Facundo Pellistri was also on the team sheet.
Sadly the stands were once again deserted as the match got under way with both teams displaying a high level of energy and adventure.
Williams went close to grabbing an early goal but just failed to connect with a slick Galbraith pass into the area.
Rojo fancied his chances on a couple of occasions, firing one wide from well over thirty yards and later grazing the post with curling free-kick.
Pellistri, who made something like thirty appearances for Penarol’s first team, back in his native Uruguay, started to show his pedigree as the game wore on and he was frequently involved when United threatened.
Everton moved in front, on the hour, when striker Simms found the net after Ondrej Mastny had made a terrific save to block the first attempt.
Paul Woolston took over from the injured Mastny between the sticks and he was just in time to see his side level the scores with Elanga swapping passes with Joe Hugill before lashing the ball home.
Neil Wood’s lads certainly enjoyed the best of the closing stages and at times the Everton goal was virtually under siege. Only a brilliant save from the visitors' 'keeper Joao Virginia prevented Mark Helm from giving United the lead from open play.
United: Mastny (Woolston 70); Williams, Mengi, Fish, Rojo (Hugill 46), Fernandez; Hannibal (Helm 68), Galbraith, Pellistri, Elanga, Shoretire
Substitutes not used: Ercolani, McCann.
Goals: Elanga 75, Galbraith pen. 90+7 | Simms 60.
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