U18s title challenge faltering

Saturday, 23 February, 2019 5comments  |  Jump to last

Everton U18s led the North Division table for most of the season but continue to slip up since the New Year, losing today at Stoke City.

More changes to the line-up with Ellis Simms and Joe Anderson on the bench and an unexplained absence of familiar names (McKenzie Hunt, Bobby Carroll, Tom Warren, Michael Collins, Kieran Phillips) coming on the back of a loss in the Liverpool Senior Cup at Widnes on Tuesday, means hopes of getting to the Championship Playoff this season are becoming strained.

Stoke went into a 2-goal lead but two fine goals from Korede Adedoyin seemed to put the Young Blues back in with a chance. First, the forward showcased his blistering pace to outstrip the home team's centre-halves before slotting home. Then the 17-year-old cut inside down the right channel and finished expertly with his left foot to make it 2-2.

But more goals for the home team either side of half-time wrapped up the win, leaving Everton in 3rd place, only 1 point behind both Derby County and Liverpool, but having played an extra game.

Everton U18s: Tyrer, Zuk, Warnock, Jonathan Anderson, McKeown, Quirk, Warrington [Y], Iversen (46' Hosie), Stanley [Y], Adedoyin (46' Thompson), Hughes (59' Simms).
Subs not Used: Barrett, Joe Anderson.

Next up is the FA Youth Cup quarter-final against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on Tuesday night (kick-off 7:00 pm).


Reader Comments (5)

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Dave Abrahams
1 Posted 23/02/2019 at 19:06:13
A lot of players have been rested for the FA youth cup game versus WBA on Tuesday, hope it was worth it.
Michael Kenrick
2 Posted 23/02/2019 at 19:25:13
Aye, that would make sense, I suppose, Dave. Let's hope so...

Judging by the line-up changes since the New Year, it's tempting to say they haven't been taking the various cup competitions very seriously. They've lost 6 of the last 8 games since mid-January, three of those losses ending their involvement in three different cup competitions.

Phill Thompson
3 Posted 23/02/2019 at 20:34:10
Yep Dave is spot on, a weakened team, saved for Youth Cup also explaining why Adeydoyin was taken off early. A quick count and I make it that 8 of those who featured will still be eligible for U18 next season, so shows the young age of those involved.
Dave Abrahams
4 Posted 23/02/2019 at 20:40:51
Michael (2), yes even in the FA Youth Cup, they seem to take their eye off the ball and never go all out over the full 90 minutes, much like the first team.

It's strange watching the U18s and even the U23s – it always seems to me that they are over-coached; no-one seems to use their initiative and do something from pure instinct, especially at free kicks and corners; they take an age to take them and the throw-ins take even longer. It seems they are, a lot of the time, trying to remember what they are supposed to be doing,

The young players' matches seem to take a lot longer than 90 minutes, compensated by some great goals from the U18s, but I just long for players to play like it just comes naturally rather than from a textbook. Might just possibly be me longing for the days when players looked like they were enjoying playing football...

Simon Smith
5 Posted 24/02/2019 at 00:52:41
I wish our first team was that close to topping their own league table!

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