Under-21s edged out by Ipswich in 3-2 defeat...
United team: Grimes, Booker, Vann (Coyle), Skelton, Denton, Phillips, Thompson, Purver, Dawson, Adryan (Crouz), Parkin (McDaid).
United’s Under-21s suffered their first defeat of the new season as they were edged out in a 3-2 loss to Ipswich at Thorp Arch on Monday.
New arrival from Flamengo on a season-long loan, Adryan, started in a United side overseen by a combination of Neil Redfearn and Jason Blunt and captained by Alex Purver as they looked to build on their unbeaten start to the campaign.
The hosts saw a lot of early possession with both Adryan and Chris Dawson heavily involved as the latter had United’s first sight of goal, firing over the bar after a smart exchange with Luke Parkin.
Adryan looked to thread Dawson through on goal but Ipswich goalkeeper Michael Crowe was quick off his line to smother, before the visitors came closest to breaking the deadlock through Ben Wyatt’s left-wing cross which cannoned back off the woodwork.
Parkin and Dawson then both threatened inside the Ipswich box as United probed for a breakthrough. Neil Redfearn’s men had the better openings and Parkin saw his strike cleared off the line after Adryan’s corner had fallen kindly for him.
Ipswich’s main threat appeared to be their height and that provided their route for the first goal as big centre-back Omar Sowumni rose to meet a Jack Hillbye corner and send a towering header beyond Grimes.
United were behind for little more than three minutes, though, as the lively Dawson stole the ball from Ipswich captain Matt Clarke and raced through on goal to slot calmly beyond the onrushing Crowe.
However, the hosts were soon pegged back again as Gem Ramadan tapped in a low cross from Darren McQueen.
United had a flurry of chances in the dying stages of the first half as Jack Vann nodded an inviting Adryan corner inches wide before Zac Thompson was thwarted by Crowe from close-range following some great footwork and a low cross from Tyler Denton.
Both sides came out from the break unchanged but United soon found themselves under pressure as Ipswich were awarded a penalty after Grimes was adjudged to have fouled the advancing number Ramadan. McQueen then stepped up and sent the Irish goalkeeper the wrong way to make it 3-1.
But United looked to respond almost immediately as a flowing move involving Adryan and Dawson culminated in Parkin firing into Crowe’s arms keeper.
Ipswich were fortunate to maintain their two-goal lead just two minutes later as Thompson latched onto Kalvin Phillips’ flick-on header and whacked the foot of the post with a ferocious half-volley.
Phillips was at the heart of a lot of United’s opening and he tried his luck from range after more good build-up play from Adryan and Denton down the left.
With around half an hour remaining on the clock, United introduced summer signing Robbie McDaid and young full-back Lewie Coyle, who made his first appearance since an injury at the start of pre-season, as they sensed a way back into the game.
Coyle wasted no time in causing problems down Ipswich’s left and he set Thompson through on goal with a smart ball over the top, but the midfielder was unable to find the target as he blazed an effort over the bar.
Adryan’s first appearance in a United shirt then drew to a close and he made way for winger Piteu Crouz with just over 10 minutes remaining.
Looking to reduce the deficit, the hosts continued to push for a second goal and it came through Coyle as he capped an impressive cameo with a fine strike into the bottom corner after surging into the area.
Luke Booker ended the game in a more advanced role down United’s right and he had what proved to be the final chance of the afternoon with a powerful strike shortly before the final whistle.
Neil Redfearn, who will now turn his attentions to first-team matters ahead of Saturday's trip to Birmingham was full of praise for his young side and felt they unfortunate not to come away with at least a point.
Redfearn said: "I thought we were excellent to be honest, from start to finish. Obviously the goals are disappointing. To concede three goals - that's a problem - but I thought the attitude and application of the kids was fantastic.
"We played some great stuff early on and I thought we showed a lot of bravery and strength of character to get it back to 3-2 so, overall, I'm pleased."