U23s' epic win over Derby increases their lead at the top

Monday 13 March 2017  41 Comments  [Jump to last]

Everton U23s got their Championship charge back on track with a 3-2 win over Derby County under the lights at Pride Park tonight.

Manchester City, who had closed the gap at the top of Premier League 2 to just three points, traveled to Arsenal and were involved in a similarly thrilling contest but were pegged back to 3-3 at the last by the Gunners' second string.

David Unsworth's charges took the lead through Bassala Sambou but conceded two quick goals just before half-time to go into the break in arrears.

Liam Walsh restored parity from the penalty spot, though, and after Kieran Dowell had rattled the woodwork with a free kick, David Henen stepped off the bench to score what could prove to be a priceless winner.

The two results means Everton's U23s now head the Premier League 2 table by five points.

Everton U23s: Hewelt, Kenny, Robinson, Walsh, Holgate, Pennington, Dowell, Williams (66' Banningme), Duffus (75' Henen), Sambou (86' Fenney), Charsley.
Subs not Used: Hunt, Broadhead.


Reader Comments (41)

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Jon Withey
1 Posted 13/03/2017 at 18:36:45
Not a great showing against Man City; hopefully they can find some rhythm against Derby.
John Francis
2 Posted 13/03/2017 at 19:33:39
1-0 up coyb
David Hallwood
3 Posted 13/03/2017 at 19:38:08
Any links??
Brian Wilkinson
4 Posted 13/03/2017 at 19:55:47
2-1 down! City winning 2-1... squeaky bum time.
Frank Wade
5 Posted 13/03/2017 at 20:25:58
Arsenal back to 2-2 v Man City from 2 down.
Frank Wade
6 Posted 13/03/2017 at 20:37:18
Penalty to Everton. Foul on Sambou. Liam Walsh, top corner... 2-2!
Frank Wade
7 Posted 13/03/2017 at 20:40:48
Henen scores – 3-2 for the Blues!!!
Frank Wade
8 Posted 13/03/2017 at 20:44:42
Man City score v Arsenal to lead 3-2...
Frank Wade
9 Posted 13/03/2017 at 20:55:54
Game finished 3-2 to the blues at Derby.
Brian Wilkinson
10 Posted 13/03/2017 at 21:03:05
Man City drew 3 all.
Frank Wade
11 Posted 13/03/2017 at 21:03:50
Happy days. A late equaliser for Arsenal for 3-3 v City.
Liam Reilly
12 Posted 13/03/2017 at 21:18:26
Well done lads, sounds like a good game.

It's a strong league with all the major teams having development squads in it, so would be a real coup to win the league.

Patrick Murphy
13 Posted 13/03/2017 at 23:01:34
A link to highlights of tonight's match at Derby.

U23s highlights

Paul Thompson
14 Posted 13/03/2017 at 23:18:26
Thanks, Patrick. Looked like a good game. Derby striker scored two well taken goals, but Sambou also looked lively.
Martin Nicholls
15 Posted 13/03/2017 at 23:22:25
Well done, lads, COYB!
Peter Gorman
16 Posted 13/03/2017 at 23:25:04
I'm investing into this Premier League 2 bid for the title to a weird degree.

It can only be a good thing that these young players learn how to see out a title run (if they do).

Joe O'Brien
17 Posted 13/03/2017 at 23:25:37
Cheers for the link, Patrick, mate.
Dave Williams
18 Posted 13/03/2017 at 23:34:45
Some well-taken goals there – thanks, Patrick, much appreciated.
David Hallwood
19 Posted 13/03/2017 at 23:50:21
Ta for the link, Patrick (#13) – looked a good game, 2 good goals by their No 9. Also, their No 7 is the weirdest looking Under-23 I've seen – must've had a hard life.

But great win, with some nice quality passes/crosses coming into the box. They've got a hard last 3 games but it's ours to lose. COYB.

BTW I wonder if they're thinking of putting Tom Davies back into the Under-23s for the run in?

Kieran Kinsella
20 Posted 14/03/2017 at 00:32:37
I'm keen for the U23s to get a title – not just for the players but for Unsy. I'd like to see him get the top job whenever Koeman moves on.
Dave Abrahams
21 Posted 14/03/2017 at 00:37:10
Thanks, Patrick, for a great link, and Frank Wade plus other posters for your information, it's great that we are all following the future players of the Blues.

Come on, lads – lift that title for yourselves and us supporters. Football is now a great future for all you lads, keep working hard and you can be a part of the club's success.

Hopefully some of you will run out for the first team; three or four of you have already had that great feeling, others will follow... You will remember the thrill of it for the rest of your lives. I will be there cheering you on with thousands of other fervent Blues.

Daniel Lim
22 Posted 14/03/2017 at 01:39:13
Anyone know who the player is on the home page?
Andrew Keatley
23 Posted 14/03/2017 at 02:03:22
Daniel Lim (#22) – I believe it is David Henen.
Mohamad Haryan
24 Posted 14/03/2017 at 03:17:25
They have three more games with Spurs, Chelsea and Liverpool left. Minimum 2 wins needed to be Champions. COYB.

Link: https://www.premierleague.com/fixtures?team=U21

Mike Gaynes
25 Posted 14/03/2017 at 04:28:14
Cheers, Patrick, for the link. Great to see our lads getting it done. Good work by Sambou and an excellent assist by Dowell.

Seems like Jakobsen is a player worth us keeping an eye on. Only 18, big lad, quick... and dominated our more mature CBs a couple of times.

Michael Kenrick
26 Posted 14/03/2017 at 04:50:32
That was great to watch, Patrick. Much appreciated. Some really nice football again, like when they played Southampton.

That penalty call, though... Sambou is coming in, almost from behind the defender, stretches to dispossess him, and crumbles to the ground in a heap. He never had possession of the ball, did he? How is that a penalty?

Sorry, not wishing to detract from a great win. Well done lads.

Phil Jeffries
27 Posted 14/03/2017 at 05:07:42
It's a penalty because he got kicked up the chuff, Michael (#26)! He nicked the ball and then got fouled. Hard luck on the defender but penalty every day of the week.

I love the way the attacking midfielders linked up with the front two. Koeman is always talking about playing and defending in between the lines. His style is stamped all over this U23 side.

As for Unsworth getting the top job if Koeman does leave, Kenwright in charge then maybe. Moshiri in charge... I doubt it. He would want to replace him with the best possible manager available to take us into the most important time in the recent history of the club.

I just hope Koeman isn't offered the Barcelona job and turns down Arsenal if they came in (we've no hope if Barca did approach us for Koeman). We look strong and have real momentum on and off the pitch. U23s will be the icing on the cake and Bramley Moore the big ripe cherry on the top!

Daniel Lim
28 Posted 14/03/2017 at 05:47:00
Thanks Andrew.
He looks old.

And it's good to occasionally see the pictures of the second team before they break into the first team.

Michael Kenrick
29 Posted 14/03/2017 at 05:49:35
Okay, thanks for that, Phil. My freeze frame on YouTube wasn't helping.

The lads don't play again for nearly a month... perhaps that game (April 10) against Spurs will now be played at Goodison Park? That and the last game – against the Reds! Someone needs to start campaigning for it...

Dave Abrahams
30 Posted 14/03/2017 at 09:10:23
Michael (#29), yes, I hope those games are at Goodison Park, and I hope they are on any day but Monday.
Matthew Williams
31 Posted 14/03/2017 at 12:27:22
Keep it going lads... a couple more points needed for much deserved glory. You're all a great credit to the club... well played!
Andrew Presly
32 Posted 14/03/2017 at 12:42:38
That Derby (#7) looks like Anya, Scotland winger and definitely over 23!

Great result. These boys are having some season. So nice that we only play kids in this side, no first team flops or journeymen like we used to.

Minik Hansen
33 Posted 14/03/2017 at 12:52:10
Michel and Dave, the game against Liverpool is on Goodison Park. Mohamad Haryan put a link up: https://www.premierleague.com/fixtures?team=U21
Michael Kenrick
34 Posted 14/03/2017 at 13:14:02
"So nice that we only play kids in this side, no first team flops or journeymen like we used to."

Interesting comment, when some have observed how rarely our fringe first-team players get any match practice because they turn their noses up at playing for "The Stiffs". So, good to see Mason Holgate turn out for them last night.

Generally, what you say is true, I agree... although there is some irony this season that the leading goalscorer for the U23s remains one Oumar Niasse, the biggest and most expensive first team flop we have ever had. But the bit that caught my eye was "... like we used to".

I've been putting appearance records for the second string up on ToffeeWeb for the last 20+ years... I don't recall us ever doing that on a regular basis. Are you going back to the good old days of the Central League, Andrew?

Michael Kenrick
35 Posted 14/03/2017 at 13:21:43
That's excellent news, Minik. I tried to check on the club website last night but could never get the U23s fixtures to show but it's confirmed in this fine piece that features Unsie's take on last night's proceedings:

Unsie reveals half-time talk

Now I can call my campaign a resounding success!

Jay Harris
36 Posted 14/03/2017 at 14:46:04
Thanks for the link.

Difficult to judge from highlights but I thought Sambou looked classy and the usual "Deulofeu" moments from Kieran Dowell looked good but Holgate looked shaky in one movement and Pennington got run ragged by Jakobsen who looked good for them.

Mike Gaynes
37 Posted 14/03/2017 at 15:03:32
Jay (#36), yes and it was Jonjoe Kenny, I believe, who got overpowered on the buildup to their first goal.
Michael Kenrick
38 Posted 14/03/2017 at 15:36:07
Mike, that was such a wonderful cross, though, from the Derby player, curling away from goal and really difficult to defend, I imagine.

I really see those situations as being a question of player positioning. The one who is right there at the critical point where the trajectory of the cross arrives at headable height has a massive advantage – and they can't both occupy that space. If the defender tries too hard to do so, it's a penalty.

Peter Mills
39 Posted 14/03/2017 at 19:17:45
Thanks for posting that link, Patrick.
Andrew Presly
40 Posted 14/03/2017 at 22:46:31
I am indeed, Michael, and slightly more recently, the likes of Van Der Meyde, Bosnar or Nyarko featuring fairly regularly, on fat contracts and somewhat understandably unwilling to budge, under a manager like Andy Holden! It was all just a bit rubbish really.

This side are young, hungry and under brilliant, ultra professional leadership that has rightly been rewarded with more footballing and financial autonomy than we've ever seen "the ressies" enjoy at Everton.

They're doing great things on and off the pitch and long may that continue.

Peter Mills
41 Posted 15/03/2017 at 22:30:37
5, probably 4, points required from 3 games to win the League.

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