Manchester United U18s lost their first home game of the new season with a 1-3 defeat to Everton.
A penalty from Nathan Broadhead in the first half followed by second half strikes from Daniel Bramall and Michael Donohue won it for the Toffees, despite Callum Gribbin opening the scoring with a stunning free-kick.
This follows a 1-1 draw away at West Bromwich Albion last weekend, with a first win of the new campaign still alluding this young crop of players.
United came out of the traps quicker, with DJ Buffonge finding Marcus Rashford, who skipped past Everton skipper Josef Yarney, but saw his powerful effort beaten away by Ciaran O’Loughlin.
The visitors then grew into the game, with James Yates venturing into the penalty area and teeing up Nathan Holland, but he scuffed his shot wide.
Broadhead’s shot was tipped wide by George Dorrington, and the resulting corner from Holland was met by the head of Jack Bainbridge, but held with ease by the United keeper.
Broadhead found the side netting before a surging run from Donohue led to Broadhead taking aim from off his teammate’s toe, as his shot was deflected wide.
Buffonge saw his left-footed effort parried by O’Loughlin before the opening goal arrived.
After seeing a free-kick strike the bar last week away at West Brom, Gribbin went one better this time around, with his effort finding the top corner in style, after taking it slightly right of the centre of the penalty area, thus suiting his favoured left foot.
It took Everton less than five minutes to get back on level terms, however, as Jimmy Dunne brought down Donohue inside the penalty area, and Broadhead converted the penalty despite Dorrington going the right way and getting a fingertip on the ball.
Rashford’s speculative low drive from range fell wide as Yates’ cross at the other end ended up with Jack Kiersey, only for his effort to be blocked by United captain RoShaun Williams.
Holland took on a swerving shot, and it forced Dorrington to initially parry the ball, before holding on at the second attempt.
Another shot from distance from Rashford, this time with his left foot, was well saved low down to O’Loughlin’s left, and he grabbed the loose ball after his save, preventing Zak Dearnley from nipping in.
Most of Everton’s attacks came down United’s left, but that changed less than two minutes into the second half, with Broadhead feeding Bramall down United’s right, and he slotted the ball underneath Dorrington to turn the game on its head.
Things went from bad to worse for United, as Donohue’s brilliant run led to him cutting inside from the right, and finding the back of the net with his left foot effort.
Rashford’s deflected shot awkwardly bounced up at O’Loughlin, but nobody was there to follow in and capitalise on the loose ball.
A poor throw from O’Loughlin straight to Dearnley saw the latter attempt to lob the Everton keeper, but his rushed effort fell well wide.
Dearnley was also next to take on a shot, but his weaker foot effort flew over the bar.
Holland struck the post for Everton, as Dorrington somehow saved the rebound from Broadhead.
The resulting corner was taken short, and Bramall saw his effort palmed over the bar by the busy Dorrington.
The lively Holland set up Broadhead, and the latter shifting onto his right foot to get a shot away, and the ball fell just over the bar.
At the other end, Rashford’s cross struck the right arm of Yarney as he leant into the ball with purpose, but no penalty was awarded by Keith Martin of Preston.
Rashford saw a tame shot held as United couldn’t find a way back into the game.
A disappointing result to open with at home, as Paul McGuinness’ side threw away a one goal lead in what was Everton’s first game of the season.
United will get a chance to rectify this result next Friday, when they return to the same venue, when Derby County will be the visitors, with a 7pm kick-off time (BST).
Manchester United: Dorrington; Reid, Williams, Dunne (Scott 55), Hamilton; Kehinde (Warren 76), Whelan; Dearnley, Gribbin, Buffonge (Kenyon 76); Rashford.
Subs: Scott, Byrne, Warren, Kneyon, Diedrick-Roberts.
Manager: Paul McGuinness
Everton: O’Loughlin; Yates, Bainbridge, Yarney, Mellen; Baningime, Kiersey; Donohue, Holland (Lees 86), Bramall (Morris 73); Broadhead (Feeney 89).
Subs: Pierce, Feeney, Morris, Lees, Myers.
Manager: Paul Tait