Match report: Waud U23s double denied victory by added-time shock equaliser

Reggie Waud’s double was minutes away from earning the U23s a win in their opening first pre-season friendly on Monday until a goal from the half-way line equalised for Settle United in added-time.

Kadeem Morton marked his non-competitive debut with an assist, joined by Jacob Smith who also played his first u23s minutes, starting the match.

Captain Keanan Mannings, Mitchell Fox and Reggie Waud all returned to U23s duty after assisting the first team’s victory vs Colne last Saturday.

Settle took the lead in the 10th minute from a first set-piece.

A deep free-kick from the right into the ‘corridor’ was met at back post, headed down, inside the post.

Keanan Mannings equalised just two minutes later.

A corner from the left was flicked by the head of Mannings, inside the far post.

Ayrton Stewart-Savory’s goal came just another six minutes later.

Ben Henderson, just inside his own half, passed over the top of the Settle defence and started a race between Stewart-Savory and his marker. Shoulder to shoulder inside the box, Stewart-Savory was the correct side, leaning into the defender to create space for a shot, right-footed, placed under the ‘keeper.

Jacob Smith found his passing range on 20 minutes, finding Stewart-Savory on the right who controls well with the out of his foot, knocking the ball ahead of his path but this allowed the defender to cover and clear.

Settle almost equalised on 25 minutes, with space on the edge of the box to shoot, hitting the right post.

Instead, Waud scored in yet another consecutive u23s match, making the run now at seven matches

After he himself was fouled, 20-yards out to the left of centre of the pitch, the forward took the resulting free-kick, curling over the wall and to the left of the ‘keeper.

His strike partner, Stewart-Savory, held the ball up with his back to goal before passing to his left and Kadeem Morton just inside the right of the box, shooting over the near post.

Waud almost claimed an assist on 38 minutes to couple his goal, flicking a long-ball forward, into the path of Stewart-Savory, one on one inside the left of the box but his first-time half-volley went wide of the near post.

Settle tested again just before the break from the edge of the box on 39 minutes, chesting to control, setting the ball away from his body and turning 90 degrees to face goal while swinging a right-footed half-volley but it’s not far enough to Toft’s right and is saved low

Smith again played his forward in-behind, Waud this time, twisting and turning in front of the eventual covering defender, finally deciding to go right-footed, shooting low to the near post but saved.

Settle pass their own long-ball forward a minute later. It’s read by smith but not cleared far enough, the forward shooting on the second-chance, over the bar.

Rhys Toft was aware when for a rare shot on his goal on 52 minutes. His own clearance was weak, meeting a Settle forward 20 yards out who passed left across the edge of the box, the recipient shooting first-time high at tofts right corner but the ‘keeper tipped wide.

Settle did capitalise with a goal from the resulting corner.

From the left, it’s met at the back post and headed in from close range.

The visitors tested again 7 minutes later with a long-ball flicked on into the left of the box followed by a first time shot low across goal but wide.

Another set-piece from Settle, deep from the right, flew to the back post, heading back across goal but too far ahead of the sliding attacker who directed the ball into the near side netting.

Smith found Stewart-Savory once more over the Settle defence, the recipient one on one but adjudged to be offside the officials.

Settle hit another piece of woodwork after yet another set-piece, a corner from the left met just across the penalty spot but the attacker is under the header, skimming the top of Toft’s bar.

Ben Henderson’s deep cross on 71 minutes found Waud at the back post who’s attempted first-time volley was mis-hit wide of the right post.

Waud’s second goal came just a minute later, however, with Morton earning a debut assist.

The right wing-back, inside the right of the box, cut the ball back to a central area where Waud was waiting to place, first-time, inside the far-left post.

Settle got a goal back on 84 minutes from a third set-piece.

A deep free-kick from the left was flicked at the near post, deftly enough not to take any pace off the ball, guiding it inside the far post.

Waud had another free-kick, from a position mirroring the one he converted in the first-half but he chose the opposite corner to aim at the second-time, curling round the right of the wall but inches wide.

Duncan Dike had space on the edge of the box with a minute left of normal time, but he shot over.

Substitute ‘keeper Ethan Cotton saved at his near post from a shot from close range, pushing wide.

But Settle did equalise in added-time with what appeared to be a cross, launched from near the half-way line.

Setting off from the deep position on the right, the ball continued over Cotton, dropping under the bar into the far top corner.