Manchester United’s under-23 side were narrowly beaten in the EFL Trophy opener.

United were beaten 3-2 by Lincoln City after a late fightback after going 3-0 down.

This was the first of three group stage games United will play, with matches against Sunderland and Bradford City to follow.

Lincoln took a lead after a hat-trick from former West Ham youth striker Anthony Scully.

United had lined up with a side packed with talent, with Hannibal Mejbri starring along with Shola Shoretire.

Both players were involved as United began a second half fightback.

Derby County v Manchester United - Pre-Season Friendly
(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Shola Shoretire’s quality assist

Shola Shoretire set United’s comeback on the way with a moment of magic.

The 17-year-old received a ball from Charlie Savage 25 yards out, before beating one opponent and feinting before laying off a pass for Charlie McNeill.

Shoretire looked one direction to his right and played a disguised pass the other way to his left, fooling the defence.


Charlie McNeill struck the ball first time with his left foot across the goalkeeper into the bottom corner for his second under-23 goal of the season.

Hannibal’s good and bad

United followed up McNeill’s goal by adding a second, with defender Bjorn Hardley heading in from a pinpoint Hannibal cross.

It was an important moment for Hardley after he had made an error to lead to United conceding a penalty in the previous under-23 game with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, a 1-1 draw.

Hannibal’s assist backed up a strong performance before his over-enthusiasm at the end backfired.

As the game became a little frenetic in the dying stages and United pushed for an equaliser, Hannibal committed a foul after he was brought down, trying to win the ball back.

Lincoln City v Manchester United U21 - EFL Trophy Northern Section Group F
(Photo by Chris Vaughan – CameraSport via Getty Images)

This was his second yellow and just a minute after his assist, he was sent off.

United will be disappointed not to have salvaged a draw and taken the game to penalties, but some poor defending left them with too much to do.

It is always a learning curve for the youngsters playing against senior sides, and United’s players showed they can be competitive.

There were plenty of reasons to be encouraged, with Shoretire’s excellent assist the highlight.

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