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Reserves Report

By Tom Owen :  30/03/2010 :  Comments (12) :

Everton 0-0 Manchester City

Premier Reserve League North Halton Stadium, Widnes Tuesday 30th March 2010

Everton: Turner, Nsiala, Duffy, Mustafi, Bidwell, Craig, Akpan, Wallace, Forshaw, McAleny, Arnoux

Man City: Neilsen, Vidal, Cunningham, Kay, Boyata, Mee, Trippier, Ibrahim, Nimely, Tutte, Mak

Heavy rain in the hours before kick-off meant that the two teams were faced with playing on a very heavy pitch. But the game started off at a quick tempo. City had two corners inside the first two minutes and both teams were looking to pass the ball about in the early stages.

The back four consisted of Aristote Nsiala, Shane Duffy, Shkodran Mustafi and Jake Bidwell who have been consistent performers in the defence this season for the reserves. Hope Akpan and James Wallace took the central midfield roles with Nathan Craig on the right and Conor McAleny on the left. Adam Forshaw seemed to be behind the striker, similar to the ‘Cahill role’. Cody Arnoux was the lone striker.

On 5 minutes, Arnoux had a slight penalty appeal waved away after Gunnar Neilsen, the City goalkeeper, fumbled Bidwell’s long ball through. Cody had picked up the loose ball and as he went to shoot, the goalie seemed to take the ball as Arnoux went to ground. Four minutes later and after a slip from Bidwell on the wet surface, Kieran Trippier was given the chance to put over a cross which was met with a rather disappointing header by Alex Nimely. City full-back Greg Cunningham then unleashed a shot from 30 yards which went over. City were having the better of possession and looked more like scoring.

Everton’s best chance came on 20 minutes as Craig whipped a cross into the box which was met with the head of Arnoux, but was palmed out by City’s goalkeeper. Arnoux then came off injured and on came Thomas Donegan who went into midfield. McAleny took over the striker role. There were a few decent opportunities for both sides but none really troubled the keepers.

The first half ended 0-0.

The teams came out second half but it was a very quiet first 15 minutes to the second half. Maybe the pitch was playing its part as it was quite hard for the players to play good football. A driving run from Bidwell down the left flank sparked the game into life as Everton had a few opportunities to take the lead. City then went down the other end as Trippier exchanged clever passes inside and unleashed a fierce shot which went closely over. Another City corner resulted in Duffy heading on to his own bar for another corner.

On 70 minutes McAleny was replaced by Anton Peterlin who went into midfield, as Wallace was told to take the lone striker role.

Then Forshaw broke free down the Everton right and put in a cross which hit the outside of City’s post. The game was starting to open up a bit as both sides looked for a goal.

But both teams’ defences were looking fairly solid and when Iain Turner was called upon in the Everton goal he was responding well with minimum fuss. Duffy was heading everything away that came his way. Forshaw, Everton’s attacking midfielder stood out the most for the Blues with his tireless desire to win the ball. The majority of Everton’s attacks involved the clever thinking of Forshaw and even when the Blues squandered possession, he was chasing down the City back line, making them play the ball, which sometimes resulted in Everton winning back possession.

Duffy then came to the rescue for the Blues by clearing Robert Mak’s effort on goal after Mustafi gave away possession which resulted in a City counter attack with Mak receiving the ball in the box and firing past Iain Turner. Duffy was making key interceptions in the Everton defence as City looked dangerous.

In the last 5 minutes Everton had two great opportunities to take all three points. On 85 minutes, Forshaw broke free inside the box after a sublime ball down the left flank by Bidwell. Forshaw looked to shoot but instead chose the option of passing to Wallace whose shot was blocked.

Towards the final whistle, Everton broke free on the right with Craig unleashing a curling effort to Neilsen’s right side in the last minutes of the game. It looked destined for the back of the net but the City keeper made a springing fingertip save to put it out for a corner. The corner came to nothing and the referee blew for the final whistle. The game ended 0-0 which seemed a fair result.

Man of the Match: Shane Duffy

Duffy along with Mustafi, Bidwell and Nsiala were very strong at the back for the Blues and in particular Duffy who made key interceptions throughout the game. He headed away most balls that came his way and City found it hard to get beyond him. Forshaw was in with a strong shout of getting the award due to the incredible amount of ground he covered. But the game was more of a defenders’ match as both teams had to defend well to stop attacks.

From a City’s perspective, Dedryck Boyata looked a promising player. The City defender has already made his first team debut and looked strong and composed at the back. Winger Trippier looked threatening down the right but faded in the second half.

Overall it was a good performance by both teams, given the conditions, and a draw seemed to be the right result.

Attendance: 284

Reader Comments

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Rafizi Ariffin
1   Posted 31/03/2010 at 04:39:54

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Sorry for asking... not familiar with reserves: Erm.. who's our the right back? Nsiala or Mustafi?
Graeme Hodgkinson
2   Posted 31/03/2010 at 08:57:22

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I thought Arnoux was at Motherwell?!
Tony J Williams
3   Posted 31/03/2010 at 08:56:53

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I take it Peterlin is a no-hoper then? Can't even get into the reserves. I remember watching his interview on Evertontv and he seemed pissed but talked a good game.
Adam Fenlon
4   Posted 31/03/2010 at 10:05:44

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Wow — never been to a ressies game but didn't realise the crowd would be as low as 284.
Kevin Gillen
5   Posted 31/03/2010 at 12:29:03

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Brilliant report! Thanks it's great to hear about the reserves.
Ajay Gopal
6   Posted 31/03/2010 at 18:35:22

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Thanks, Tom. OK, so in your opinion based on what you have seen this year, who is likely to be the next Rooney?
Steve Jones
7   Posted 31/03/2010 at 23:12:38

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Rafizi - Toto Nsiala plays right back, Mustafi centre half.
I believe Toto has been selected for the England U17s, but is another local lad who I think could play for Nigeria, big strong player, good future ahead.
Rafizi Ariffin
8   Posted 01/04/2010 at 02:09:35

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Thanks, Steve. Actually, I'm from Malaysia. I know that Mustafi plays centre half... But I dont know much about Nsiala. He looks big... I thought that he played as center half and Mustafi had been moved to the right.
Richard Parker
9   Posted 01/04/2010 at 11:11:59

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A question for anyone who sees the reserves regularly: Is Mustafi as good as he was supposed to be when we signed him?
Russell Smith
10   Posted 01/04/2010 at 12:15:18

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Do you think Jake Bidwell is ready/good enough to be our back-up left-back next season?
Rafizi Ariffin
11   Posted 01/04/2010 at 14:54:56

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Who's better between Bidwell and Garbutt? Since we are short of wingers (as LD, Gosling, and Anichebe are unavailable) can we trust youngsters such as Forshaw & Orenuga?
Peter Anthony
12   Posted 01/04/2010 at 15:27:50

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Thanks Tom, great to read of the progress of the young lads trying to forge a career with the mighty blues.

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