Everton U23s 4 - 2 Hull City

Saturday, 22 July, 2017 21comments  |  Jump to most recent
Everton Under-23s rounded off their pre-season training camp in Spain with a 4-2 win over Hull City on Saturday morning.

The Young Blues had been in the La Manga region since Sunday evening as they looked to reach peak fitness after early summer games against Flint and Accrington Stanley.

And courtesy of goals from Nathan Broadhead, Conor Grant, David Henen and Anton Donkor, a deserved victory showcased they were looking in great shape ahead of their Premier League 2 title defence.

In sweltering conditions that offered no clouds or breeze for shelter from the glaring sun, David Unsworth's side sustained an electric tempo from the first whistle to the last.

The opening chance came as early as the second minute as Calum Dyson played a precise reverse pass to put Antony Evans through on goal, but the keeper was out fast and able to block his shot.

Evans, impressive throughout his 50-minute outing, then turned architect as the Blues went 1-0 up. Receiving the ball on halfway, his cutting pass brought Broadhead in off the right and the Wales youth international slotted low into the far corner.

A deserved lead after a fast start of intent pressing and intricate play. Midfielder Grant then saw a shot saved before another deflected wide, but he would have the ball in the net on 13 minutes.

A short corner was eventually floated in and after Hull were unable to clear it out of the box, the ball dropped to Grant to drill home.

Dyson and Broadhead were then involved once more to help tee up Evans but again the goalkeeper was alert. A further save denied Harry Charsley, while Dyson headed narrowly over from an Evans cross.

Shortly before the interval, Evans was brought down inside the box but the referee waved play on. In truth, the Blues could have been ahead by far more than just the two goals after 45 minutes.

The second half started with the same veracity and Evans spurned a chance from close range, before he expertly found Gethin Jones surging forward on the right. The full-back's cross was an inch too high for Dyson.

Charsley then found the net with a calm finish but was adjudged to have been offside, but it wouldn't be long before a third goal was given. Donkor passed to Henen outside of the box and the Belgian's low drive had too much pace on it for the Tigers' stopper to keep out.

Bassala Sambou then headed against the post from a Luke Garbutt cross, before Grant seized possession and played a neat through pass to the Germany-born striker but his shot found the wrong side of the net.

Hull, who did not give Mateusz Hewelt a single save to make, were gifted a goal with 23 minutes left to play after a mix-up at the back.

Josh Bowler showed his threat by winning a free-kick. Grant's delivery went towards Sambou and Morgan Feeney at that back post but neither could convert.

The Tigers then saw a long-range drive hit the angle of crossbar and post before Hewelt was unable to hold on to a low cross and the loose ball was struck into the back of the net.

Moments before the end, the on-loan Donkor intercepted a pass, charged forward with the ball at speed and scored with a powerful drive.

A well-earned victory in tough conditions. The Young Blues will head home in 24 hours before looking to continue their unbeaten summer run with upcoming friendlies against Bangor City and Brentford.

Everton U23s: Hewelt, Jones (64' Bramall), Denny, Foulds (64' Feeney), Garbutt (64' Robinson), Baningime (61' Markelo), Grant (76' Byrne), Broadhead (55' Bowler), Evans (50' Henen), Charsley (55' Donkor), Dyson (50' Sambou).

Reader Comments (21)

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Jon Withey
2 Posted 22/07/2017 at 17:14:38
Still winning, great stuff.
Kevin Prytherch
3 Posted 22/07/2017 at 17:24:51
Was this against Hull Under-23s or Hulls first team?

It's a good result against the Under-23s but brilliant if it was against the first team.

Dave Abrahams
4 Posted 22/07/2017 at 17:38:08
I thought Liam Walsh had travelled to Spain, no sign of him in the team or on the bench.
Harry Wallace
5 Posted 22/07/2017 at 17:43:41
Was that Hull under 23s or Hull first team?
Bill Griffiths
6 Posted 22/07/2017 at 17:50:33
Dave, read something on the official site that he is out there and is having one-to-one training after his injury.
Dave Abrahams
7 Posted 22/07/2017 at 17:56:43
Bill (6), thanks Bill.
Colin Glassar
8 Posted 22/07/2017 at 18:06:53
So David Henen does really exist?
Michael Kenrick
9 Posted 22/07/2017 at 18:26:43
Hull City are apparently playing Benfica this evening, so this must have been their U23 side.
Bill Griffiths
10 Posted 22/07/2017 at 19:13:41
Colin, I went to watch them against Flint a couple of weeks ago when they won 6-1. I've seen Henen a few times previously and have never been impressed and thought he would never be a Premier League player in a million years.

While Flint are of a standard well below Conference level really he was the outstanding player on the pitch. He was totally unrecognisable to me, a totally different player. He looked far bigger, stronger and faster. Don't know if it was because I'm used to seeing players from a distance rather than standing right next to the pitch.

I heard that he had a decent game against Accrington Stanley. Maybe there is a decent player in him ready to emerge.

Peter Gorman
11 Posted 22/07/2017 at 20:59:15
Conor Grant still at the club then? I thought he was off to Doncaster permanently.
Tom Evans
12 Posted 22/07/2017 at 21:16:22
Knowing how small, no, miniscule Hull City's squad is, I wouldn't be surprised if their team wasn't playing again.
Dan Humphrey
13 Posted 23/07/2017 at 08:19:17
A quick Google search shows that Donny pulled the plug as they were disappointed with Grant's second loan spell. Not a good sign?
Trevor McKinlay
14 Posted 23/07/2017 at 17:16:37
I haven't seen mention of Liam Walsh in the Accrington or Flint games either, so yes maybe he's still recovering.

Boris Mathis missed this game too, but was involved previously.

Conor Grant must be nearing the end now – a decent offer from a lower league team and I can see him going, as per Courtney Duffus.

Mark Stone
15 Posted 24/07/2017 at 08:38:21
So this is where Luke Garbutt is hiding. Can't believe he's not with the first team. With Oviedo and Galloway gone to the Mackems, do we have anyone who can fill in for Baines? He did well when called upon.
Steve Ferns
16 Posted 24/07/2017 at 09:00:58
Mark Stone, Callum Connolly has played a part at left back in every pre-season game so far. He's part of the U20 World Cup winning squad and a good 3 or 4 years younger than Garbutt.
Mark Stone
17 Posted 24/07/2017 at 09:28:26
In which case, it must be time for Garbutt to move on? No use playing U23 football at 24 years old, especially for a lad who has already shown he's good enough, at least for the Championship!
Clive Rogers
18 Posted 24/07/2017 at 10:04:55
Mark (#17), Garbutt only made 6 starts for Wigan in the Championship, after which they decided he wasn't good enough and sent him back in the January. Martinez had previously given him a ridiculous five-year deal, so he has a contract until June 2020.
Bill Griffiths
19 Posted 24/07/2017 at 10:12:22
I was at the Flint game and Garbutt had a very good game. Obviously Flint are of a standard a couple of notches lower than the Conference but he did look a lot more like the Garbutt of old.
Kim Vivian
20 Posted 24/07/2017 at 10:35:29
Nice to see Luke Garbutt mentioned.

I saw him play once for Fulham (season before last when he provided the assist for Fulham's goal in a 1-1 draw vs Derby). I watched him pretty closely for the whole game, being an Everton lad, and he looked okay.

Skills wise, he did not set the place alight but was solid, and mentally seemed about two moves ahead of his team mates – intelligent running in to space, overlapping down the left, anticipation, some good passing out of defence etc – but seemed let down by a similar quickness of thought by his colleagues.

I maybe a little biased after that Fulham game (him being my only partisan interest in proceedings) but it's good to see him back with us, and I hope he does not get written off but can step back up to the first team with the help and guidance of Unsy and Co.

Mark Stone
21 Posted 24/07/2017 at 17:51:22
Was he returned by Wigan because he wasn't good enough? Or was it because of the much publicised back problem that kept him out most of the season?

I don't know too much about his back injury but I wonder the extent to which it was down to the horrendous looking clean and jerks (if you can even call them that) he was doing with former Everton fitness coach David Billows at the back end of last year?


I went to great lengths at the time to urge Billows to teach the player how to perform the movement safely before loading him up with weight, and that he was a risk of an acute or degenerative back injury. Coincidence?

It's absolutely disgusting that young players, who are showing the type of commitment needed to take themselves to the next level by paying money for private strength and conditioning, are being subject to such inefficient, unprofessional and frankly dangerous practises.

Rant over.

Liam Reilly
22 Posted 28/07/2017 at 14:27:29
Just looked at that Twitter link, Mark.

If that boy didn't have a bad back before that, then it's only a matter of time.

Horrendous form – and extremely dangerous. I can't believe any trainer would encourage that routine.

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