Everton Under-23s ended their title-winning league campaign with an anti-climactic 2-1 loss at West Ham United. The young Blues went down at the London Stadium on Monday night despite a late Fraser Hornby goal.
Everton were below par and Mateusz Hewelt saved to deny Grady Diangana, while a Dan Kemp shot was deflected narrowly wide before the hosts took the lead in the 25th minute. Former Everton Academy player Nathan Holland crossed from the left and the lively Diangana prodded the ball home from close range.
Moments later, Hornby struck a wonderful free-kick from 30 yards that needed a fine save from Nathan Trott but the visitors were soon on the backfoot again. West Ham almost scored a second when Morgan Feeney misplaced a back pass to Hewelt and the keeper's stretched clearance fell to Holland. The winger's shot was then well saved.
Hewelt was well-placed to smother a close-range header from Carlos Sanchez before the break but the Hammers doubled their lead on the hour when Ben Johnson drilled a low shot into the bottom corner of the net from 20 yards.
From then on, Everton gave a better account of themselves but they didn't pull a goal back until nine minutes from time when Lewis Gibson headed a corner across the goal and Hornby lashed the ball past the keeper.
But it was too little too late on the night.Everton U23s: Hewelt, Galloway [Y], Feeney, Astley, Gibson [Y], Broadhead, Foulds (60' Bowler), Markelo, Adeniran, Hornby, Gordon (59' Sambou).
Subs not Used: Hilton, Denny, Mampala.
Reader Comments (15)
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1 Posted 30/04/2019 at 02:22:17
Silva is looking to use him in the first team squad next season, so makes sense to get him settled in, with the last two remaining games.
2 Posted 30/04/2019 at 03:53:37
Virginia will be Pickford's understudy next season.
3 Posted 30/04/2019 at 05:24:07
If he is - as some has suggested - going to be even better than Pickford, he needs game time. At the same time, I think many want Pickford to keep improving. He seems to have gotten over that patch where he was a bit reckless in his decision-making.
If we have nothing riding on the last two games, I would venture a "why not?". But there is a still a slim chance that we might still get that 7th place, so I think it's important that the team continues to build the momentum and feel-good factor, to end the season on a high as much as possible.
4 Posted 30/04/2019 at 05:37:02
5 Posted 30/04/2019 at 07:00:48
Wether Virginia is up for it or not is a different matter but I think he will need to get first team games somewhere to develop further.
6 Posted 30/04/2019 at 15:50:07
Hope Virginia gets some sort of involvement with the first team squad next season, as that Stekelenburg frightened me, at the prospect he could be called upon. Why they extended his contract is beyond me, another 'benevolent old pals act' from Koeman!
7 Posted 30/04/2019 at 16:39:56
8 Posted 30/04/2019 at 16:51:18
9 Posted 30/04/2019 at 17:43:03
Some others, yes, they will not make it as Premier League players (at least not immediately), but if they make a career for themselves in the game, bloody well done to them and our academy should be proud. It is not just about developing players for the first team, but about developing professional footballers. We have a rich history of producing, and we will continue to do so.
10 Posted 30/04/2019 at 20:53:03
11 Posted 30/04/2019 at 23:10:58
Silva clearly has plans for our Joao, and I would not expect him to be loaned out. I'm unsure as to whether he trains with the U23s at all. He's always training with the first team in the behind the scenes videos. This shows his quality as it must be hard for him to fit into the U23 side if he barely knows them.
12 Posted 01/05/2019 at 00:47:47
Not only are they young enough to develop leaps and bounds, they've had a bloody good season.
Once upon a time, it was obvious that Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka would never make it and so they left the academy only to later rustle up 70 England caps between them.
Give the kids a chance ffs.
13 Posted 01/05/2019 at 02:19:55
Jagielka joined Sheffield United at 15 after leaving Everton and trying his luck at Stoke. Baines had some kind of brief dalliance with the club at an even younger age. Hardly comparable with All the players I mentioned are between 20 and 23 years old and Feeney apart none have ever been close to the first team.
After the Henen - McAleny - Garbutt - Browning group, I am hoping we learn our lessons and cut them lose. Richarlison, Kenny and Holgate are the same age as Sambou and younger than Charsley. Davies is younger than Broadhead and Foulds. Davies, Kenny and Co can barely get a look-in so why retain their less-talented contemporaries?
14 Posted 01/05/2019 at 04:18:49
15 Posted 02/05/2019 at 04:05:57
Leon Osman didn't get a game until he was 21 and didn't start until he was nigh on 23. You wouldn't be the first to pooh-pooh him but he was a regular in an Everton side that finished higher in the league than any side that included any player currently on the books.
I would have thought the lesson learnt was not to write a player off shortly after their 20th birthday.
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