U23s lose at home to Leicester City

Friday 19 August 2017  33 Comments  [Jump to last]

Everton Under-23s suffered their first Premier League 2 defeat of the season, beaten 1-0 by Leicester City at Haig Avenue in Southport.

The young Blues struggled to impose themselves on the game before half-time but threw everything they had at rescuing something from the contest after the break.

One of the changes David Unsworth made was to bring on Jose Baxter as a second-half substitute, who has not played for Everton for 5 years, as a significant step in rebuilding the player's career after a 12-month drug ban ended this summer.

Bassala Sambou came closest with a header that narrowly missed the target — but Leicester clung on, with goalscorer Knight capping a fine personal display with a brave block on substitute Jose Baxter's penalty-box drive in the game's final knockings.

Everton U23s: Gray; Kenny, Foulds, Baningime, Connolly; Gibson, Charsley, Walsh (62' Feeney), Sambou, Evans (55' Baxter), Donkor (55' Jones).
Subs not Used: Renshaw, Bowler.

Match Report at EvertonFC.com

Reader Comments (33)

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Dave Abrahams
1 Posted 18/08/2017 at 16:41:24
I thought the U23's were playing this Goodison Park but the game was at Southport Mersey Rail Park.
Brent Stephens
3 Posted 18/08/2017 at 23:49:04
Well, a good game. I'm biased when it comes to Liam Walsh but loved him again tonight. Jonjoe solid as ever, as was Callum. I like the way Baningime played in midfield.
Dave Abrahams
4 Posted 19/08/2017 at 09:33:47
Brent, how did Dixie Dean play, he's the young lad we signed from Tranmere recently.
Brent Stephens
5 Posted 19/08/2017 at 09:52:28
Dave, I rate that Dixie fella. Going places.
Dave Abrahams
6 Posted 19/08/2017 at 13:45:58
Sorry Brent, thought you were taking the piss because there was no mention of the game on ToffeeWeb. They lost 1-0 to Leicester City with Jose Baxter playing his first game for Everton in five years.

There is also a report in the Liverpool Echo about the game.

If you did go fill us in about the game.

Chris Williams
7 Posted 19/08/2017 at 13:52:14
Unsworth singled out Baxter for how well he played when he came on second half. Very good apparently.
Dave Abrahams
8 Posted 19/08/2017 at 14:05:45
Thanks Brent.

What did you make of Gibson? He is the lad from Newcastle who is very highly rated. Also Sambou a striker who was bought last year from Coventry I think?

Brent Stephens
9 Posted 19/08/2017 at 14:09:02
Dave, I thought Gibson and Connolly were very tight together and seemed to have a good understanding between them. Sambou was okay but as I say up against a physically strong defence.

I think it was Sambou who failed to jump with the man at the far post when we conceded.

Minik Hansen
10 Posted 19/08/2017 at 14:37:16
Are they doing a Leicester? Hopefully not. I wish for them to continue the great work they did last season.
Colin Glassar
11 Posted 19/08/2017 at 15:07:34
I've just read Unsy's comments re: Jose Baxter. Sounds like he was the best player on the pitch and Unsy is all enthusiastic about him.
Alan J Thompson
12 Posted 19/08/2017 at 15:26:52
As Niasse isn't named in U-23s is he again being cold shouldered?

Nobody deserves such treatment, do unto others

Brian Williams
13 Posted 19/08/2017 at 15:28:03
Niasse is a member of the first team squad.
Alan J Thompson
14 Posted 19/08/2017 at 15:29:11
Just doesn't travel with them then?
Brian Williams
15 Posted 19/08/2017 at 15:31:38
Travel to where Alan?
Alan J Thompson
16 Posted 19/08/2017 at 15:36:41
Where the first team travel, Brian, like Africa or Holland for friendly games or away legs of Europa League games. Where were you thinking, Brian?
Colin Glassar
17 Posted 19/08/2017 at 15:40:04
We need to sell Niasse asap. It's not doing him, or us, any good this situation.
Charlie Lloyd
18 Posted 19/08/2017 at 15:49:42
Colin. I agree.

I have a feeling that Niasse will go nowhere till deadline day then it'll be another loan.

Ian Bennett
19 Posted 19/08/2017 at 15:58:32
Add Robles and Garbutt to Niasse. Possibly McCarthy or Besic, Lennon and Barkley still as outs. And the young Suisse striker another if Bobby's duds.
Brian Williams
20 Posted 19/08/2017 at 16:11:23
Alan (#9).

I was thinking away games where the whole of the first team squad don't normally travel.

Did he not travel to Africa or the Netherlands?

Tanvir Akram
21 Posted 19/08/2017 at 18:05:44
The team has lost 6 players on loan. Some of these kids are in their first season with U23s. Will take time.

I wonder what happened to that 16-year-old Dutch striker, Joshua Zirkzee?

Brent Stephens
22 Posted 19/08/2017 at 18:25:28
I did post (on the Everton U23s v Notts County thread) several comments on this match which I attended, in response to Dave Abraham's query on that thread. Seems they gone. Sorry.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
23 Posted 19/08/2017 at 18:44:16
Sorry about that, Brent. They should all be showing now.
Brent Stephens
24 Posted 19/08/2017 at 18:49:57
Thanks, Michael. Appreciated.
Nigel Munford
25 Posted 19/08/2017 at 22:05:54
Need to keep Lennon.
Alan J Thompson
26 Posted 20/08/2017 at 07:45:25
Brian (#20); Going on the travelling squads shown here, T/Web, Niasse was not included which I found puzzling particularly the African game, as Bolasie was taken as some sort of PR exercise despite being unable to play.
Daniel Lim
27 Posted 20/08/2017 at 07:46:00
Oyenkuru not with U23?
Alan J Thompson
28 Posted 20/08/2017 at 07:47:13
Daniel (#27); I think he is on loan for a season with Anderlecht.
Daniel Lim
29 Posted 20/08/2017 at 07:49:49
Oh yes. Forgot about that.
David Chait
30 Posted 20/08/2017 at 10:25:42
Positive is having Walsh back. He needs a break with injuries.. seems to time them very badly. Will struggle to break through without being able to join the first team in a preseason. All the hype is Kenny and Dowell now like he is forgotten. Hope he does even better than last season and can't be ignored! A loan to a championship side would be good I feel to be honest.
Barry Pearce
31 Posted 20/08/2017 at 10:32:46
Walsh is a faboulous little player. Agree with david, he has been extremely unlucky with injuries.
Hopefully he will go out on loan to a decent championship club, and get back in the frame for the first team squad.
Chris Williams
32 Posted 20/08/2017 at 12:04:41
Notts Forest fans raving today about Dowell. 'Something special' one of the comments. Another great display in the first half yesterday apparently.
Dennis Stevens
33 Posted 20/08/2017 at 12:42:19
Notts Forest?? No such thing, Chris.
Gary Edwards
34 Posted 20/08/2017 at 19:32:58
Little match report.

Venue must have been a late announcement as like others I thought it was either at FF or Goodison, lucky for me it was in Southport. Lovely evening, pitch in good condition and a decent crowd for Southport.

4-2-3-1 formation with Beni & Walsh the "2". Leicester's physicality and energy seemed to put us off our game, especially in the first half. Apart from Leicester's goal there was nothing much of note in the first half, lots of frenetic footie and not a lot of quality.

First half - Walsh did his usual midfield general but not a lot worked for him. Beni had one particularly impressive mazy run stopped at the edge of the box. Kenny was unusually quiet by his standards and frankly would not have impressed any of the watching grown-ups. Connolly at CB seemed to struggle with Leicester's physical approach, Gibson alongside looked like the kind of lad you pay big bucks for what is he 17 ? not a big lad but he's got something about him.

Throughout the first half I noticed this slightly older, physically stronger looking sub warming up constantly. He also showed great enthusiasm during the half-time kick about shaking everyone's hand before the second half kicked off. He genuinely looked happy to be there and it was nice to see. Turns out its Jose Baxter.

Second half was a lot brighter, Unsie had obviously had a word and we were constantly attacking with a lot more purpose and shape. Walsh had a cracking free kick from 25 yards tipped over. The substitutions made a big difference.

Those that left: Donkor - disappointing, did very little of note and lost possession. Evans - has rarely impressed me and was disappointing too. Walsh - was really starting to run the game at the time he was taken off.

Connolly moved into central mid, Feeney slotted in alongside Gibson (that pairing looked solid), Jones added 'presence' on the right of midfield, put himself about and this brought Kenny into the game more and Baxter seemed to have a roaming role. Connolly moving into mid gave Beni more free rein too.

Despite constant attacking and coming close on many occasions, Baxter coming closest, we couldn't score.

Other mentions:

Gray in goal stayed on his line too much for my liking. didn't command his box.
Charsley - got booked midway through the 1st half slightly below par thereafter.
Sambou - first time I've seen him and based on what I saw he is way off the 1st team.

We were nowhere near as good as we were in the corresponding fixture last year (3-1), we just couldn't overcome their energy and physicality. The ref allowed them to get away with lots of 'dirty football' which threw us off our game.

Niasse would have been a lot more effective than Sambou, MoM, Beni, Jones and Kenny on the right works well, left mid / attacking mid - hope to see Baxter start.

Leicester had no 'names' in their team, though are coached by the aptly named Steve Beaglehole.

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