U23s lose at Leicester but still lead PL2

Monday, 7 January, 2019 14comments  |  Jump to last

In their first game of the New Year, Everton U23s lost 1-0 at Leicester City on Monday night. A close-range finish from a corner delivery just after the half-hour mark proved decisive at Holmes Park.

David Unsworth made two uncharacteristic changes at half-time, replacing Makelo and Simms but it did not affect the final result.

Substitute Fraser Hornby - in his first game back after almost three months out with an ankle injury - came closest to grabbing an equaliser, but the Foxes keeper made a fine stop from the Scot in the dying moments.

Everton remain top of the Premier League 2 table, with Leicester now closest in pursuit, just one point behind in second place.

Everton U23s: Virgínia, Astley, Browning, Feeney, Gibson, Markelo (45' Bowler), Evans (63' Hornby), Adeniran, Broadhead, Simms (45' Sambou), Charsley.
Subs not Used: Hilton, Gordon


Reader Comments (14)

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Dave Abrahams
1 Posted 08/01/2019 at 01:03:14
We lost our top-of-the-table game versus Leicester City tonight 1-0, but remain top of the league.
Dave Abrahams
2 Posted 08/01/2019 at 15:45:50
Nice to see Astley getting a game but surprised Gordon stayed on the bench... saving him for the FA Youth Cup game at Stoke?
Justin Doone
3 Posted 08/01/2019 at 17:54:45
I know Leicester produce a few good players but I don't recall them ever having a top youth system. Surprised they're our nearest rivals.

I wonder if the Leicester youth system is beginning to blossom from the good work of our former head of recruitment?

I haven't seen Hornby in action; is he any good and what type of player is he?

John Williams
4 Posted 08/01/2019 at 18:10:41
I watched this match on LCTV (had to register, missing the first 15 minutes or so). Difficult conditions, really strong wind blowing down the pitch.

In the first half, Everton had the wind at their backs, had most of the possession but created little and Simms ineffective against a very experienced centre half. Leicester scored from a corner, Virginia didn't come off his line and the ball was scrambled in.

In the second half Everton were on top for the last 20 minutes or so, trying to play on the ground against the wind, but couldn't equalise. Some chances created but let down by poor shooting. Hornby had the best chance, nicely created, but credit to their goalie, off his line really quickly to block the shot, rather than criticise Hornby.

Overall, a disappointing performance, the current team is not a patch on the Kenny, Walsh, Joe Williams, Dowell etc team of a couple of years ago. But it's all about developing individual players.

I was very impressed with Ryan Astley at right back, very composed and confident on the ball. Adeniran was the pick of the midfielders and Bowler improved things in the second half. Otherwise, as well as Hornby, good to see Gibson back But I thought that Feeney, one of my favourites, was a bit tentative and guilty of a number of misplaced passes. Everyone else pretty ordinary on the night.

The thought did strike me during the game that maybe the Under 23 set up is a bit stale and could do with some fresh faces and thinking in the coaching staff.

Dave Abrahams
5 Posted 08/01/2019 at 20:37:53
Who was the third substitute? Simms didn't come on for himself, did he?
John Williams
6 Posted 08/01/2019 at 20:47:09
Dave, it was Sambou. He had one good chance, saved by the goalie. Not just on the basis of this one game, but I don't see him, Evans, Charsley and Broadhead having a future at Everton, and surely Browning should go out on loan this window.
John Dean
7 Posted 08/01/2019 at 20:48:01
Bassala Sambou replaced Ellis Simms at half-time.

I missed the first half but thought we edged the second. Leicester defended their flanks very well and we weren't inventive through the middle. Seeing the way Antony Gordon is developing his passing game to add to his finishing skills, I hope to see him feature as a No 10 soon.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
8 Posted 09/01/2019 at 03:50:14
Ooops! Thanks for spotting that. Fixed now.
Dave Abrahams
9 Posted 09/01/2019 at 15:05:42
John (6), Browning's contract is up at the end of this season; I doubt if he will play for Everton after that.
Jay Harris
10 Posted 09/01/2019 at 16:08:02
Thanks for the feedback guys.

I am always interested to see how they're doing, especially Astley and Hornby.

Kieran Kinsella
11 Posted 09/01/2019 at 16:21:36
Joe Williams 4

"Overall, a disappointing performance, the current team is not a patch on the Kenny, Walsh, Joe Williams, Dowell etc team of a couple of years ago. But it's all about developing individual players."

I think you are spot on with both statements. It is well and good having enough decent players to make a solid u23 team but ultimately, I would forego the occasional epl2 trophy if we produced a legit star.

Kevin Prytherch
12 Posted 09/01/2019 at 16:52:33
From the snippets I've seen this season...

I wouldn't pin too much hope on anyone other than Feeney and Adeniran.

Granted I've not seen Gibson, who was injured for a while, but was apparently very good last season. Astley and Simms are just starting to acclimatise themselves at this age group.

Credit should go to Unsworth for getting this crop to the top of the table and embedding a winning mentality – something the first team lack. As Joe (4) said, they aren't a patch on 2 years ago individually but are still up there.

Dave Abrahams
13 Posted 09/01/2019 at 21:47:21
Kevin (12),

Lewis Gibson is a very good prospect, signed from Newcastle. The more he plays for Everton and the higher grade team he plays for, the more he will cost the Blues, up to around £6M.

Michael Kenrick
14 Posted 10/01/2019 at 01:25:49
Good to see Lewis Gibson back and getting a full game. It's unclear what his injury was but he was out from the start of this season after being hailed as one of the stars of the U23s last season.

There was an aborted comeback in October — he was stretchered off after 38 mins against Arsenal U23s and had not played since.

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