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Nicky Butt, the U23s’ interim manager, led Manchester United’s U23s to a 3-1 defeat against Brentford B as Chris Mepham scored twice.

Mepham, who celebrated his 19th birthday on Saturday, netted a first-half wonder strike in the Griffin Park friendly as United allowed a 2-0 lead to slip away.

The game seemed lost after Mepham scored again in the second half but The Red fought back to win.

Goals from Joe Riley and defender Sean Goss added extra excitement to the game but in the end, it wasn’t enough for United to pick up a draw.

Former Arsenal left-back Ilias Chatzitheodoridis caused several problems for United’s defence in the first half.

Mepham’s 12th-minute goal was a 30-yard outside-the-box strike that showcased the Bees’ lead.

Brentford continued to break with pace, with Alves scoring ten minutes later with a header from Reece Cole’s cross.

Willock’s shot had been 20 yards away from goal when it was blocked by Kurasik.