Friday evenings game at the Hawthorns saw United u23’s side salvage a point in what was a low-key affair. Manchester United had forward Josh Bohui to thank as he come off the bench to earn and convert a penalty that rescued his side from facing three successive defeats at the hands of the baggies.
United came into this game without star players Mason Greenwood and Angel Gomes, who were injured and were both sadly missed. It took until the 69th minute to get our first goal of the game and this came from Daniel Meredith who put the baggies in the lead.
It was the hosts who created the first chance of the game through Jonathan Leko who combined nicely with Kyle Edwards, only for him to fire his shot wide of the target. Very little came after this until United had appeals for a penalty waved away when midfielder Aidan Barlow drove through the midfield, taking all-comers on until he was crowded out and went to ground inside the penalty area. Replays showed he was tripped but the ball may have been over-run.
United u23’s had other chances but were put down as half chances, DJ Buffonge dribbled through the midfield but his shot went wide of Baggies keeper Alex Palmer’s goal. While Barlow was unable to connect properly with a cross as United tried to gain momentum. United’s first testing shot arrived on 27 minutes when a move, following a corner, ended with Zak Dearnley collecting a DJ Buffonge pass, but his shot lacked any sort of power.
While United goalkeeper Matej Kovar was less troubled by the Albion strike force and was only called upon once in the first half to save a tame effort from Oliver Burke as United looked to try and break the deadlock.
United could have made the perfect start to the second half if only the woodwork wasn’t in the way of a well taken shot from Callum Whelan. However, this seemed to spur the Baggies on as they started to ask questions of the Reds defence. West Brom were starting to test Kovar in the goal, with Edwards being denied by a fine save as well as him having a powerful shot hitting the post.
So, it was no surprise when the Albion took the lead through Meredith, who rose higher and attacked a lovely floated cross to divert the ball into the back of the net.
Ricky Sbragia decided to bring on both George Tanner and Josh Bouhi to change the game and this did have a positive impact on United. The Reds won a corner from a deflected Dearnley shot and from the resulting corner, Whelan flicked Barlow’s pass into the path of Bouhi who was sent tumbling by Finn Azaz. Bouhi stepped up and comfortable made it 1-1.
West Brom had one final chance from a Harmon free kick which was saved by Kovar, but other than that the closing stages were United’s with Tyler Warren missing a big opportunity at the end, which could have seen United gain the three points needed to go back top of the division two table.
United: Kovar; O’Connor, Poole (c), R. Williams, Warren; Whelan, Hamilton, Buffonge; Barlow, Dearnley, Chong.
Subs: Woolston, Ercolani, Stanley, Tanner, Bohui
Goals: Meredith 69 | Bohui 87 (pen)