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Under-23s: United 1 Fulham 3

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The game started at a healthy pace with both sides putting the emphasis firmly on the hunt for goals. The hosts went close, in the 15th minute, when Nishan Burkart crossed from the right, but Chong narrowly failed to make contact. Two minutes later, Gomes was at the hub of another promising attack which came to an end when Fulham keeper George Wickens did well to block Aidan Barlow’s close-range strike.

These early chances for United suggest that Fulham were only busy in defence, which is far from the truth for the lads from west London were also making openings – most notably when a timely challenge from Lee O’Connor prevented Harvey Elliott, Fulham’s 15-year-old winger, from finding the net.

Sbragia's side moved into the lead after 27 minutes thanks to a blistering free-kick from Chong, United’s latest senior Academy debutant, which found the target from fully 25 yards out, before Wickens had the chance to move.

Seven minutes later, Fulham were on terms when Matthias Kait glanced his header home from Matt O’Riley’s corner. And, in the 37th minute, Fulham shocked United by taking the lead with a well-worked goal as Elliott threaded a glorious ball through to striker Elijah Adebayo, who instantly fired his shot under Matej Kovar’s diving body. The Reds were forced to make a change to  our line-up, seconds before half-time, after the injured Barlow had been stretchered from the field to be replaced by Dylan Levitt.

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