Date: 06-08-21 A Sammy Screamer gives us the draw

06-08-21 - Friendly - A Sammy Screamer gives us the draw

Report by Harriershane:

A rare offering of Friday night football at Aggborough saw the Harriers face even rarer opposition in Manchester United’s Under 23’s.

What The Red Devils side lacked in age, they made up with pure talent, with future stars such as seventeen year old Shola Shoretire, former Monaco youth product and Tunisian international Hannibal Mejbri (18) and, fresh from Wales’ Euro 2020 squad, Dylan Levitt just a sample of the players on show.

Making an appearance from the bench was Charlie Savage, son of Robbie, himself a former United Academy player. For Harriers Jaiden White was handed a start whilst there was the welcome return of the trialist Geraldo Bajrami, who started the game from the bench.

The first half was barely five minutes old when the visitors took the lead with Harriers barely having touched the ball, and if you blinked, you would’ve missed it. Picking the ball up midway in his own half Ethan Laird cruised forward into the Harriers half before playing the ball out wide to Alvaro Fernandez, whose excellent low cross was turned home expertly by Omari Forson. As easy as that, then.

Whilst United set about making the game look ridiculously easy at times the Harriers were doing their best to try and live with the opposition and with eight minutes played they took their first shot at Ondrej Mastny’s goal; Ashley Hemmings bending an effort wide of the post.

Midway through the first half Harriers thought they had an equaliser when Omari Sterling latched onto a bouncing ball and lifted an effort over the Czech goalkeeper, who got a hand to it but rescued the ball before it bounced over the line.

Just after the half hour mark United doubled their lead with a breakaway goal reminiscent of the great teams of United’s past. A Harriers throw was played to new signing Nathan Cameron who underhit his pass. Forson pounced and drove at the Harriers backline before feeding Charlie McNeil who then played the ball first time into the path of Shoretire who finished with aplomb.

HT: 0-2

As expected the Harriers manager Russ Penn rung the changes at the break and with fifty minutes played Caleb Richards’ cross almost paid dividends, with Sterling and sub Ethan Freemantle both unable to turn the ball home in front of the North Stand.

Just past the hour mark Amari Morgan-Smith let fly with a vicious effort that had Mastny flying at full stretch to palm over the bar in a save that was right out of the top drawer. United manager Neil Wood had rung some changes himself with the excellent Levitt and Hannibal among those to depart.

Harriers were the stronger team in the second half and continued to push forward with Sam Austin among those to see shots miss the target. With seventy two played the Harriers got their goal as a trademark, dangerous, Caleb Richards cross was turned home by Fernandez, who was under pressure from Jaiden White arriving at the back post.

A way back into the match then with the Harriers rabidly searching for an equaliser. It would come, and what a strike it was too.

A long Luke Bastable throw forward was flicked on by Ethan Freemantle, thirty yards from goal, falling right into the stride of Austin. Sammy’s touch was true and the strike as sweet as you would like; a half volley from twenty yards past sub keeper Dermot Mee who had no chance.

And to think we used to employ him as a left back…

FT: 2-2

Harriers: Simpson; Foulkes, Richard, Cameron, Penny, Montrose, Hemmings, Martin, Bell, Sterling-James, White.

Subs: Player L; Austin, Carrington, Morgan-Smith, Freemantle, Bastable, Dutton, Lissimore, Player I.

Man Utd XI: Mastny (Mee, 80); Laird (Wellens, 46), Olowu (Iqbal, 57), Hardley, Fernandez, Levitt  (Savage, 66), Galbraith (Svidersky, 66), Shoretire (Meija, 68), Hannibal (Mellor, 68), Forson (Hoogewerf, 46), McNeill (Hugill, 46).

Subs: Mee; Wellens, Savage, Svidersky, Iqbal, Hoogewerf, Meija, Hugill, Mellor.

Att: 3218 (626 away)