Fulham’s under 21s were denied a fine win at Manchester United by a stoppage-time strike from Omari Forson at Leigh Sports Village last night.
Steve Wigley’s side twice took the lead through a rocket of their own from Adrion Pajaziti and Terry Ablade, but the visitors were twice pegged back by Forson – whose long-ranger in the fifth minute of stoppage time – meant the Whites had to settle for a point after a professional display in the north west had almost secured all three. The visitors had begun brightly with Ablade, in for Callum McFarlane, getting in behind the United backline within two minutes but the Finnish forward – who made his senior debut at Crawley in midweek – saw his shot deflected past the far post.
United goalkeeper Radek Vitek then denied Ablade with an astonishing reflex save to somehow keep out the youngster’s header, but Fulham’s bright start was rewarded when Pajaziti, who signed a new contract last week, lashed home a fine finish into the top corner after the hosts had only half cleared a cross from Ollie O’Neill. United’s first sight of goal came courtesy of captain Dan Gore, who got on the end of a direct pass from Charlie Wellens, but shot agonisingly wide.
United were level ten minutes before half time after a trialist pinched possession off the Fulham rearguard and Forson fired in a first-time finish of the highest quality to leave George Wickens helpless. Whatever Wigley said during the half-time team talk paid off immediately with Ablade turning home a devilish O’Neill cross to restore the visitors’ lead within sixty seconds of the restart. O’Neill could have extended the Londoners’ lead but the skipper was denied by a smart save from Vittek – and Fulham were quickly under pressure at the other end.
Gore spurned a glorious opportunity to level proceedings when he failed to hit the target after being played clean through on goal and Wickens then made a superb save to prevent Oliver Bray from grabbing an equaliser. In the dying moments, Forson fired an incredible leveller in the top corner to snatch a point for the hosts, which will have left the young Whites feeling hard done by. Wigley’s side will need to pick themselves up before the trip to Aggborough to face Wolves on Monday 5 September.
MANCHESTER UNITED UNDER 21s (4-2-3-1): Vítek; C. Wellens (Pye 87), Hardley, Bennett, Fredericson; Savage, Mainoo (Huddlestone 72); Hansen-Aaröen, Forson; Trialist (McNeill 65). Subs (not used): Mastny, Kambwala.
BOOKED: Forson, Hardley.
GOALS: Forson (35, 90+5).
FULHAM UNDER 21s (4-2-3-1): Wickens; D’Auria-Henry, Araujo (Bowat 90+2), McAvoy, C. Robinson; Pajaziti, Dibley-Dias; S?ekularac, Godo (Williams 66), O’Neill; Ablade (McFarlane 89). Subs (not used): McNally, Okkas.
GOALS: Pajaziti (16), Ablade (46).