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Return of the Yak

By Tom Owen :  25/08/2009 :  Comments (18) :

By Tom Owen

Everton Reserves 3 Burnley Reserves 0

It’s the scoreline we were hoping for on Sunday.

Everton Reserves's 2009-10 league campaign got off to a flyer when Yakubu scored in the opening minute. A long ball from James McCarten floated into the path of the Nigerian international while the Burnley centre half stumbled; Yakubu took it under his control and slotted it past the advancing keeper.

Yakubu was making his first competitive start since injuring his Achilles back in November against Spurs. He was partnered up front by Kieran Agard who was lively throughout. In a four-man midfield were Dan Gosling, Hope Akpan, James Wallace and Jose Baxter, who all worked tirelessly. We also saw new signing Shkodram Mustafi make his debut at right back. Shane Duffy partnered James McCarten in the centre of defence. Moses Barnett was at left back while Ian Turner wore the number 1 jersey.

Everton went two up inside 7 minutes when Gosling scored from close range after clever work from the Yak. Fed by a throw-in from Barnett , Yakubu turned his marker and squared the ball along the penalty box to Gosling who took his chance well.

It wasn’t until the 29th minute that Burnley threatened the Everton goal when Wes Fletcher broke into the Blues’ box but was outmuscled by Mustafi amid Burnley claims for a penalty. The first Burnley shot at goal came a few minutes later when Fletcher fed Alex-Ray Harvey but he side footed the ball high and wide of the goal.

Burnley had their second chance of the game in the 42nd minute when good passing ended with Fletcher snatching at his shot from 15 yards and firing over when he should have at least hit the target.

Everton were largely in control through the first half and Turner did not have a save to make on the Stobart Stadium pitch which still bore the rugby league markings from Widnes Vikings’ last game of the season last weekend. But the pitch looked in a decent condition although the ball did seem to bobble during several back passes to Turner.

David Moyes, Steve Round, Chris Woods and Baz Rathbone were all in attendance. Among the 1,000 Evertonians sitting in the one stand that was open was Victor Anichebe. The players came out for the second half with Adam Forshaw replacing Gosling.

Burnley continued to battle gamefully but again it was Everton in control. The Blues nearly added a third in the 67th minute as Forshaw and Yakubu cleverly exchanged passes in a move which ended with Jose Baxter’s shot being well saved by Daniel MacDonald. From the resulting corner, Duffy rose high but headed over.

A minute later, Yakubu was substituted to a standing ovation, and replaced by young American Cody Arnoux. Yak had looked sharp on the ball, however he did fade in the second half.

Everton’s third substitution saw Wallace, the hard-working team captain, replaced by our other young American summer acquisition, Anton Peterlin. He did not look out of place when he came on and looked hungry for the ball. Well, I think I got those substitutions right, as they did not wear the numbers printed on the official teamsheet. Certainly, the stadium announcer was wrong when he said that the third goal had been scored by Connor Roberts (the sub goalkeeper).

In the 81st minute, Arnoux got on the end of a Forshaw cross to score his first goal for Everton to make it 3-0. Baxter then had a volley saved in the last minutes of the game. The final whistle was blown to end a convincing win.

At right back, Mustafi the new signing from Hamburg was very solid at the back and did everything that was asked of him to a good standard. He also looked good going forward and put in some testing crosses. Duffy and McCarten looked solid defensively and in the air. Barnett, at left back, looked very good going forward.

Everton: Turner, Mustafi, Duffy, McCarten, Barnett, Gosling, Akpan, Wallace, Baxter, Agard, Yakubu

Burnley: MacDonald, Hoskin, McEneaney, T. Anderson, Duff, C. Anderson, Wilson, Harvey, Fletcher, Knowles, King

Attendance: 1,080

Man of the Match: Hope Akpan

Reader Comments

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Barry Bragg
1   Posted 26/08/2009 at 08:02:21

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Hey Tom, thanks for the match report. We don’t get enough coverage of how the ressies are doing and how individuals are shaping up so its good to get an opinion.

Everyone focusses on the first team, especially the local press so keep up the good work.
Dave Brierley
2   Posted 26/08/2009 at 08:35:31

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Yeah thanks Tom. Sounds like a lot of positive stuff not just the return of the Yak but a lot of potential from some of the youngsters.

Lord knows we could do with some competition for places in the first team and it would seem there’s one or two here who are not that far away.
Tom Brown
3   Posted 26/08/2009 at 08:43:40

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Likewise, thanks for the report.

Any thoughts on Hope Akpan? I see he got man of the match but couldn’t find a mention of him in your report.

Tom Owen
4   Posted 26/08/2009 at 10:43:19

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Sorry, thought there was something I may have missed.

Why was Apkan man of the match?

Well because Ian Turner and the Everton defence didn’t have much to do and the Yak faded away in the second half.

The game was won in midfield, and Hope was breaking up play and looking creative going forward. He also showed some clever touches.

James McCarten looks very reassuring at the back and I think Moyes, if not already, will be looking at him carefully. Maybe its too early for him just yet but who knows.
Sean McKenna
5   Posted 26/08/2009 at 13:19:43

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Thank god for the Yak!! For one, he is lazy but he always takes his chances; and two, with the yak in the team maybe hoofball will slowly go away!!!
Ciarán McGlone
6   Posted 26/08/2009 at 13:57:11

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I thought Mustafi was a centre half!

Well done to the yakety yak...however I’d stil have a fit Saha on ahead of him anyday!
Geoff Edwards
7   Posted 26/08/2009 at 14:17:20

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How did Jose Baxter do?
Sean McKenna
8   Posted 26/08/2009 at 14:37:13

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Ciaran, are you serious? I do believe that the Yak is a better finisher than saha, also yak has a better alround game. ok saha my run his socks off, but if you look at the stats the Yak has a much better goal ratio than saha even when was in his pomp. Feed the Yak, mate.
Kurt Knight
9   Posted 26/08/2009 at 14:56:48

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Seamus Coleman ? Any word on this lad? I thought he had a decent run in a preseason game and then I can’t find his name on any of the squads.

Dan Brierley
10   Posted 26/08/2009 at 15:07:10

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The Yak will be travelling to Olomouc for the away tie. This is very good news indeed!! Its going to make a huge difference to have 4 senior players back, with the addition of some new faces. It will give everyone a big dose of confidence to see the Yak, Mikky and Jags back on the pitch...
Ste Lewis
11   Posted 26/08/2009 at 15:16:13

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Seamus Coleman got infected blisters pre-season I think and still isnt fit. I thought Duffy looked a better prospect than Mccarten at centre back last night - much more comfortable on the ball. Hope Akpan was full of energy and did catch the eye - very raw, something great followed by something awful -but looks a prospect. Mustafi looked lost at times, very quiet although solid enough when called upon. Cody Arnoux stood out for me, looked really confident and sharp when he came on - seems to have goals in him.
Mike Johnson
12   Posted 26/08/2009 at 15:40:32

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I was really impressed with Agard, he was fast skillful, and didn't back out of any challenges like a lot of strikers do. I think he could be apearing in the first team in the next few seasons.
Tom Brown
13   Posted 26/08/2009 at 16:25:56

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Thanks for views on Hope Akpan, Tom Owen.

Love to hear good stuff about the lads coming through... helps keep my dreams alive....
Tom Owen
14   Posted 26/08/2009 at 18:38:03

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Hope Akpan as travelled to Sigma! Great news for him. As well as Wallace, Baxter, Agard, Duffy, Turner and Gosling who played lastnight. Maybe some will get a run out.
Danny Jones
15   Posted 26/08/2009 at 19:04:09

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Is this young lad Hope Akpan the boy who scored in the "milk cup"? final a few weeks ago, or am i getting mixed up.
Glad to see the yak back to his old ways, the start of things to come. Also nice to read a reserve report on here, as a kid I alwats went to goodison to watch the reserves for free on my season ticket.
Chris Leyland
16   Posted 26/08/2009 at 19:36:11

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Jeffers just been transfer-listed by Sheff Wed after his sending-off last night. Everton are monitoring the situation
Mike Oates
17   Posted 26/08/2009 at 20:39:02

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The Milk Cup lad is Hallam Hope, a couple of years younger than Hope Alkpan.
Paul Kersha
18   Posted 27/08/2009 at 00:46:39

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I heard the Yak is looking a lot leaner nowadays, which can't be a bad thing. Let's hope he gets back to his best and not the way he was playing pre-injury — which, if you can remember, was SHITE!!!!

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