Under-23s come unstuck at West Ham
Manchester United's five-game unbeaten run in Premier League 2 came to an end with a 2-0 reverse for the Under-23s away to West Ham United.
Neil Wood's team were in good form ahead of the trip south but did not get the rub of the green in Romford and were unable to respond to Will Fish's unfortunate own-goal and, at the start of the second half, a contentious penalty by Oladapo Afolayan. Facundo Pellistri was denied a spot-kick at the other end and Hannibal was shown a straight red card in the closing stages.
The youngsters showed much of the artistry and endeavour which had been a feature of recent matches but a mixture of poor luck and stoic Hammers’ defending in front of goal sentenced United to our third loss of the season.
These teams were promoted from Premier League 2's second tier at the end of the close of the truncated 2019/20 season but they have been encountering contrasting fortunes this time around. The Hammers approached this game still awaiting their first win of the campaign after having completed eight games. On the other hand United, who opened the season with a couple of defeats, racked up a sequence of two draws and three victories.
United showed just one change in personnel from the side that took three points off Spurs in our previous outing, Ethan Laird returning after injury to take up the right-back spot with Lukasz Bejger named among the substitutes.
There can be no doubting that this youthful side have been growing in confidence over recent weeks and that was evident from the off in this match against the Irons. The Reds were certainly looking the more likely to open the scoring with Anthony Elanga, Hannibal and Arnau Puigmal looking dangerous each time they went forward.
United: Woolston; Laird (Hugill 58), Fish, Mengi, Fernandez; Galbraith (Helm 58), Hannibal, Puigmal; Pellistri (Bejger 82), Shoretire, Elanga.
Substitutes not used: Carney, McCann.
Scorers: Fish 33 (og), Afolayan 46 (pen).