Everton U23s got their season back on track following last weekend's disappointing loss to Liverpool, with an important win on the road, this time in the Premier League Cup at Sheffield United.
Antony Evans's brilliant free-kick was the decisive moment. The 21-year-old curled in a sumptuous 20-yard effort midway through the first half as the young Blues made it three wins from three in Premier League Cup Group B.
Everton were indebted to a stunning save from Joao Virginia at the death, though, as the Portuguese ‘keeper tipped a shot onto the crossbar in added time.
Everton almost got off to the perfect start at the Look Local Stadium, home of Stocksbridge Park Steels FC. With just a minute gone, Josh Bowler hurtled forward down the right before fizzing an effort just wide.
The young Blues continued to press and Tyias Browning was next to threaten, with his header from Bowler's cross going inches past the post.
Everton would make the breakthrough on 26 minutes through Evans — but mention must be made of Dennis Adeniran's role in fashioning the opportunity for the talented forward. The powerhouse midfielder won the ball just inside the Blades' half before driving at the heart of their defence, beating two men before he was scythed down on the edge of the box. The referee awarded a free-kick and Evans did the rest, curling his shot into the top corner, leaving Blades ‘keeper grasping at thin air.
The young Blues continued to look dangerous, with the pacey Bowler providing a constant threat on the right flank and Evans and Bassala Sambou linking up impressively in attack.
The home side had a guilt-edged chance to snatch an equaliser just after half-time but Browning was there to make a vital block. Everton soon regained their composure and, after playing a devastating one-two with Sambou, Evans forced a terrific stop from the Blades' 'keeper.
Bowler then had an opportunity to extend the Toffees' advantage, but his low drive after a mazy dribble was again well saved.
And there was almost a sting in the tail for Everton, when a Blades forward fired at goal from no more than 12 yards out in stoppage time. Virginia pulled out a sensational stop, though, to preserve Everton's lead and, ultimately, secure victory for Unsworth's side.Everton U23s: Virginia, Ouzounidis, Charsley, Markelo, Browning, Feeney, Bowler (85' Lavery), Adeniran, Sambou, Evans (80' Mampala), Broadhead.
Subs not Used: Hilton, Mathis, Phillips.
Reader Comments (2)
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1 Posted 02/12/2018 at 00:47:21
2 Posted 02/12/2018 at 12:52:06
I expect he may well be second fiddle to Pickford next season and get some first-team time in the Carabao/Europa(?). Either that or maybe a loan to Championship or League One.
Still very young at only 19 but could be challenging Pickford in a few years time (or maybe even replacing him if Jordan decides he needs to move).
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