Joshua Bohui in action against Norwich City Under-23s

Under-23s: Bohui's beauty proves in vain

Joshua Bohui's first-day contender for Manchester United's March Goal of the Month award arguably merited a better outcome than the eventual 2-1 home defeat to Norwich City on Friday night.

Ricky Sbragia’s Under-23 side looked to be well en route to claiming a first win in five Premier League 2 Division 2 games when Bohui put the Reds in the lead shortly before half-time at Leigh Sports Village Stadium, but two goals from the rejuvenated Canaries after the interval gave the visitors all three points.

United’s starting line-up showed just one change from the side that was on duty against Reading in the Premier League International Cup at Leigh on Monday evening. George Tanner was drafted into the team at right-back with Lee O‘Connor moving into midfield in place of Aidan Barlow. O’Connor, who has shown his versatility in recent weeks having turned out at full-back and centre-back, was also handed the captain’s armband for this game against the lads from Norfolk.

Norwich were kitted out in their instantly recognisable strip of yellow shirts and green shorts, which of course why they are universally known as the Canaries.

Video
Lee O'Connor wearing the captain's armband for Manchester United's Under-23s against Norwich City
Watch the highlights from the match here.
The thermometer was showing a good few degrees lower than Monday’s decidedly balmy feel as the game commenced with United attacking the only standing terrace inside the fine stadium.

The Reds enjoyed the better of the early exchanges and Nishan Burkart, Dylan Levitt and skipper O’Connor all chanced their luck from distance, albeit without really testing Jon McCracken in the Norwich goal.

At the other end, the Canaries' front two, Adam Idah and Gassan Ahadme, combined well to give United a nervous moment midway through the first half, but the Reds did well to clear the danger.
It was beginning to look like it would take something special if the deadlock was to be broken and, in the 37th minute, that’s just what was delivered when Burkart fed Bohui and United's no.9 raced into the Canaries' area before unleashing a totally unstoppable shot across McCracken into the far corner.

It was nothing more than United deserved because Sbragia's players had been taking the game to the visitors for most of the half. However, the first period would have ended with the score level if, in the very last action before the break, Reds goalkeeper Matĕj Kovář hadn’t pulled off a tremendous save from Norwich full-back Bilal Kamal’s point-blank attempt.
Josh Bohui celebrates with Largie Ramazani after scoring against Norwich City Under-23s
Bohui celebrates with Largie Ramazani after breaking the deadlock.
Norwich opened the second half displaying more adventure in their play and with six minutes having elapsed, they had conjured up an equaliser.

Canaries’ half-time substitute Anis Mehmeti was floored in a clash with United’s Luca Ercolani and referee Declan Bourne wasted no time in pointing to the spot. TV replays suggested the Reds defender was in fact the player who had been fouled but Ercolani received a yellow card and Norwich striker Idah made no mistake with his penalty to put the visitors on level terms.

Whatever words of wisdom Norwich coach David Wright had given to his charges during the break there is no doubting that they had done the trick. The visitors were a completely different outfit in the second half and they put themselves in sight of only their second win of the season when, with twelve minutes remaining, Ahadme got above the United defence to head home Thomas Scully’s corner.
Nishan Burkart shoots against Norwich City Under-23s
Burkart posed a threat to the Canaries by cutting inside from the right.
Again, the Reds arguably had cause to feel aggrieved, as just before Levitt conceded the set piece he seemed to be pulled back by Scully as the pair raced for the ball towards the byline. But the corner, rather than a free-kick, was awarded and Norwich's winning goal was scored to leave United on the wrong end of another unfortunate result at this level.

MATCH DETAILS


United: Kovář; Tanner, Ercolani, Bernard, Williams B.; Levitt, O’Connor, Traore (Galbraith 71); Burkart, Bohui, Ramazani (Olosunde 67).

Substitutes not used: Woolston, Warren, McCann.

Scorers: United - Bohui 37 | Norwich - Idah pen. 51, Ahadme 78.

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