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Everton Under-23s, 2018-19

Everton's second string did brilliantly after surrendering their Premier League 2 crown last season, with David Unsworth once again leading them to the Premier League 2 title and this time adding the Premier League Cup.

[History of Everton Reserves]

Everton's Under-23s largely represent the end product of the renowned Everton Academy at Finch Farm which has produced a number of players now on the threshold of breaking into the Blues' first team. As of 2016, they play in the FA Premier League 2 as one of 12 teams in Division 1.

Everton were also one of the Premier League teams entering the Checkatrade Trophy alongside the senior sides from Football League One and League Two. Other mini-league/knockout competitions this season include the Premier League Cup and the Premier League International Cup.

· Results & Fixtures A record of Everton's Under-23 matches for the season
· League Table Current standings in the FA Under-23 Premier League
· Match Details Teamsheets and brief reports for each match
· Appearances A table of Under-23 appearances for all senior players
· Friendlies Results from Under-23 friendly matches

Everton Under-23s split their home matches between the Merseyrail Community Stadium in Southport and Goodison Park this season. A new mini-stadium at the club's Halewood training complex appears to be on hold.


Under-23 Competitive Games All KOs are UK time
Date Opponent Result Scorers Venue Comp
Sun 12 Aug Chelsea (A) 1 - 1 Charsley Stamford Bridge PL2: 1
  Mon 20 Aug Leicester City (H)   1 - 0 Sambou Goodison Park PL2; 2
  Sat 25 Aug Swansea City (H)   0 - 0   Goodison Park PL2; 3
Fri 31 Aug Blackburn Rovers (A) 3 - 0 Evans 2, Broadhead County Ground PL2; 4
Mon 17 Sep Derby County (A) 0 - 1 PL2; 5
Thu 20 Sep Brighton & Hove A (A) 2 - 2 Sambou (pen), Simms AmEx Ellite Centre PLIC;D1
Sun 23 Sep Tottenham Hotspur (H) 6 - 0  Browning, (og), Hornby, Evans, Sambou, Bowler  Goodison Park PL2; 6
Tue 25 Sep Bradford City (A) 1 - 1 Sambou   (5 - 6 on Penalties) Valley Parade CT:F1
Fri 28 Sep Benfica B (H) 2 - 0 Bowler, Broadhead Haig Avenue PLIC;D2
Mon  1 Oct West Ham United (H) 2 - 1 Feeney, Sambou (pen) Haig Avenue PL2; 7
Fri   5 Oct Doncaster Rovers (H) 3 - 0 John, Broadhead, Markelo Haig Avenue PLC;B1
Mon 22 Oct Arsenal (A) 0 - 0 Boreham Wood PL2; 8
  Sat 27 Oct Manchester City (H)   1 - 0 Sambou (pen) Goodison Park PL2; 9
  Tue 30 Oct Oldham Athletic (A)   2 - 3 Markelo, Lavery Boundary Park CT;F2
  Fri   2 Nov Brighton & Hove A (A)   2 - 1 Markelo, Bowler AmEx Ellite Centre PL2;10
  Tue  6 Nov Barnsley (A)   1 - 1 Sambou   (2 - 4 on Penalties) Oakwell CT:F3
  Fri  9 Nov Blackburn Rovers (A)   1 - 0 Feeney County Ground PLC;B2
  Sun 25 Nov Liverpool (H)   0 - 1   Goodison Park PL2;11
  Fri 30 Nov Sheffield United (A)   1 - 0 Evans Look Local Stadium PLC;B3
  Fri   7 Dec Tottenham Hotspur (A)   2 - 2 Sambou, Gordon Hotspur Way PL2;12
  Wed 12 Dec Bayern Munich (H)   1 - 4 Broadhead Goodison Park PLIC:D3
  Sun 16 Dec Derby County (H)   1 - 0 Charsley Finch Farm PL2;13
  Mon  7 Jan Leicester City (A)   0 - 1   Holmes Park PL2:14
  Mon 14 Jan Chelsea (H)   2 - 0 Hornby, Sambou (pen) Haig Avenue PL2:15
  Mon 21 Jan Doncaster Rovers (A)   3 - 3 Broadhead, Foulds, Hornby Keepmoatr Stadium PLC:B4
  Mon  4 Feb Swansea City (A)   1 - 0 Broadhead Liberty Stadium PL2:16
  Fri   8 Feb Blackburn Rovers (H)   1 - 1 Gordon Haig Avenue PLC:B5
Mon 18 Feb Blackburn Rovers (H) 2 - 0 Sambou, Hornby Haig Avenue PL2:17
  Sun 24 Feb Sheffield United(H)   2 - 1 Mampala, Sambou Haig Avenue PLC:B6
  Mon  4 Mar Liverpool (A)   2 - 0 Broadhead 2 Anfield PL2:18
  Mon 11 Mar Arsenal (H)   0 - 0   Haig Avenue PL2:19
Fri 29 Mar Sunderland (H) 2 - 1 Sambou (pen), Gordon Haig Avenue PLC:16
  Sun  7 Apr Manchester City (A)   3 - 4 Sambou (2, 1 pen), Hornby City Academy Stadium PL2:20
  Mon 15 Apr Brighton & Hove Albion (H)   1 - 0 Bowler Haig Avenue PL2:21
Fri 23 Apr Blackburn Rovers (H) 2 - 1 Sambou (pen), Bowler Goodison Park PLC:QF
  Mon 29 Apr West Ham United (A)   1 - 2 Hornby Chigwell Stadium PL2:22
Sat  4 May Swansea City (A) 2 - 0 Hornby, Sambou Liberty Stadum PLC:SF
Wed  8 May Newcastle United (H)   1 - 0 Feeney Goodison Park PLC:F

U21 Pre-Season Friendlies All KOs are UK time
Date Opponent Result Scorers Venue Notes
Sat 14 Jul Coventry City (N) 1 - 3 Broadhead La Manga F:#1
  Wed 12 Jul Bamber Bridge (A)   3 - 1 Markelo, Hornby, Charsley Sir Tom Finney Stadium F:#2
Sat 21 Jul Stockport County (A) 4 - 1 Ouzounidis, Broadhead, 2, Sambou Edgeley Park F:#3
  Sat 28 Jul Chester City (A)   4 - 2 Broadhead, Charsley, Sambou, Lavery Deva Stadium F:#4
  Sat  4 Aug Manchester United (A)   0 - 0   Old Trafford F:#5

(F) denotes Friendly fixture
(TF) denotes Friendly tournament fixture
(XI) denotes Friendly fixture involving an Everton XI (not necessarily the first team)
SCNI denotes SuperCupNI (formerly, the Milk Cup)
PL2 denotes matches in Premier League 2 (Division 1)
PLC denotes matches in the Premier League Cup
PLIC denotes matches in the Premier League International Cup
CT: denotes matches in the Checkatrade Trophy

FA Premier League 2, Division 1

Starting in 2017-18, the U21 Premier League (which itself replaced the old Reserves league that stretched back to an age that pre-dated the formation of the Football League in 1888) was renamed Premier League 2 which operates on the same two-division format of 12 teams each but the age limit was raised to 23.

Each team can field a goalkeeper over the age limit and up to three ‘over-age’ outfield players in every match.

2018-19 Format

Division 1 Division 2
Arsenal Aston Villa
Chelsea Blackburn Rovers
Derby County Brighton & Hove Albion
Everton Fulham
Leicester City Middlesbrough
Manchester City Newcastle United
Manchester United Norwich City
Liverpool Swansea City
Reading Stoke City
Sunderland Watford
Southampton West Bromwich Albion
Tottenham Hotspur Wolverhampton Wanderers

Clubs play each other once at home and once away, with the top team in Division 1 named as Champions. The bottom two teams in Division 1 get relegated to Division 2.

In Division 2, the league winners get automatic promotion to Division 1; teams ranked 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th go into a promotion play-off. There is no relegation from Division 2.

The Average Age of PL2 squads this season, as listed at Transfermarket were:

Club Squad Average Foreign
Derby County U23 47 20.5 18
West Bromwich Albion U23 56 20.4 17
Leicester City U23 54 20.0 32
Brighton & Hove Albion U23 51 19.9 28
Stoke City U23 48 19.9 29
Reading FC U23 49 19.8 19
Middlesbrough FC U23 52 19.6 7
Norwich City U23 56 19.6 23
Everton FC U23 40 19.4 17
Newcastle United U23 34 19.4 12
Liverpool FC U23 49 19.1 25
Swansea City U23 44 19.1 22
Wolverhampton Wanderers U23 45 19.0 20
Arsenal FC U23 42 18.8 12
Blackburn Rovers U23 45 18.8 9
Manchester United U23 46 18.8 22
Southampton FC U23 42 18.8 17
Sunderland AFC U23 45 18.7 15
Fulham FC U23 44 18.6 18
West Ham United U23 49 18.6 16
Chelsea FC U23 56 18.5 21
Aston Villa U23 43 18.3 14
Manchester City U23 51 18.1 31
Tottenham Hotspur U23 47 18.1 12

FA PREMIER LEAGUE 2, Division 1, 2018-19

Everton are PL2 Champions:

Pos Team Pld W D L F A GD Pts
1 Everton 22 12 5 5 31 14 17 41
2 Arsenal 22 10 7 5 48 36 12 37
3 Brighton & Hove Albion 22 9 8 5 37 27 10 35
4 Liverpool 22 9 7 6 38 27 11 34
5 Blackburn Rovers 22 9 4 9 38 37 1 31
6 Chelsea 22 9 4 9 34 33 1 31
7 Derby County 22 9 3 10 29 34 -5 30
8 Manchester City 22 9 3 10 38 48 -10 30
9 Tottenham Hotspur 22 7 7 8 26 38 -12 28
10 Leicester City 22 8 3 11 24 33 -9 27
11 West Ham 22 8 2 12 41 43 -2 26
12 Swansea City 22 3 7 12 28 42 -14 16

Under-23 Match Details, 2018-19

The section below contains team details, scorers, and brief match reports for Everton Under-23 games during the 2018-19 Season.

Chelsea 1 - 1 Everton

Premier League 2; Game #1
Sunday 12 August 2018
Stamford Bridge, London

David Unsworth's Under-23 side started off their 2018-19 campaign in Premier League 2 against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge with a 1-1 draw.

Harry Charsley's 20-yard drive put Everton in front with half-an-hour remaining. But the hosts hit back 10 minutes later when they scored from the spot after Brendan Galloway had brought down a Chelsea player.

Everton finished the game in the ascendancy, with a Pennington header hitting the bar, but couldn't land a decisive blow and ultimately settled for a very good point in West London.

Everton U23s: Hilton; Markelo, Galloway, Williams, Browning; Pennington, Evans (72' Sambou), Charsley (86' Bowler); Hornby, Broadhead, Gordon (46' Adeniran).
Subs not Used: Hewelt, Foulds.

Everton 1 - 0 Leicester City

Premier League 2; Game #2
Monday 20 August 2018
Goodison Park, Merseyside

Everton's Under-23s faced Leicester City at Goodison Park this evening with new goalkeeping acquisition, Joao Virginia in the starting XI and Bassala Sambou getting the winner.

David Unsworth named Tyias Browning captain and deployed two more players with first-team experience in his back line in the form of Brendan Galloway and Matthew Pennington.

The Foxes' second string had the better of the first half but it was goalless at the interval.

Everton came out from half-time and scored early, however. Sambou exchanged passes with Williams and struck home the midfielder's pass in the 48th minute.

Everton U23s: Virginia, Markelo, Browning, Pennington, Galloway, Joe Williams, Evans, Charsley, Broadhead, Hornby (69' Adeniran), Sambou (84' Foulds).
Subs not Used:
Hilton, Bowler, Gordon.

Everton 0 - 0 Swansea City

Premier League 2; Game #3
Saturday 25 August 2018
Goodison Park, Merseyside

Everton and Swansea City have played to a stalemate in their Premier League 2 clash at Goodison Park this afternoon.

Everton finished the first half well in the ascendancy but were unable to make the final ball count, despite Jonjoe Kenny asking to play in this game so he could maintain his match fitness.

It was a game Everton will be wondering how they didn't win. The young Blues dominated for large periods and created a host of chances but couldn't make the decisive breakthrough.

Everton U23s: Hilton, Kenny, Galloway, Charsley, Browning, Pennington, Evans (73' Gordon), Adeniran, Hornby (65' Lavery), Sambou (73' Bowler), Broadhead.
Subs not Used: Hewelt, Foulds.

Blackburn Rovers 0 - 3 Everton

Premier League 2; Game #4
Friday 31 August 2018
County Ground, Leyland

Everton U23s won again, this time on the road at the County Ground in Leyland where they triumphed over their counterparts from Blackburn Rovers.

Antony Evans's first-half strike put the away side ahead before Nathan Broadhead's goal and a second from Evans secured victory for the Toffees after the break.

Everton U23s: Virginia, Markelo, Galloway, Charsley, Browning, Feeney, Evans, Adeniran (86' Foulds), Hornby (75' Gordon), Sambou (86' Lavery), Broadhead.
Subs not Used: Hilton, Bowler.

Derby County 1 - 0 Everton

Premier League 2; Game #5
Monday 17 September 2018
County Ground, Leyland

Everton's unbeaten run in Premier League 2 Division 1 was brought to an end by Derby County.

The hosts took the lead after Eyoma was brought down in the area by Nathangelo Markelo in the 25th minute, and Thorne struck the spot-kick into the bottom corner. Joe Hilton went the right way but couldn't reach Thorne's kick.

Everton captain Morgan Feeney suffered a nasty gash in the first half and despite having the wound heavily bandaged he didn't appear for the second period.

The Blues came within a whisker of a leveller on 54 minutes when Antony Evans curled a wonderful 30-yard free-kick over the wall and was unfortunate to see Ravas touch the ball onto the post.

Everton had plenty of possession in the second period but didn't trouble Ravas enough. Evans had another couple of efforts from distance and substitute Josh Bowler headed over from a Fraser Hornby cross. Harry Charsley and Shayne Lavery had efforts deflected wide. But the visitors couldn't find the breakthrough against a well-marshalled home defence.

Everton U23s: Hilton [Y], Markelo (81' Lavery), Galloway, Charsley [Y], Browning, Feeney (46' Foulds), Evans, Adeniran [Y], (60' Bowler), Hornby, Sambou, Broadhead.
Subs not Used: Hewelt, Ouzounidis.

Everton 6 - 0 Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League 2; Game #6
Saturday 23 September 2018
Goodison Park, Merseyside

The Under-23s dominated from start to finish at Goodison Park to go top of the Premier League 2 table.

Team captain Tyias Browning, an own goal from Spurs skipper George Marsh, and a Fraser Hornby strike put the Toffees 3-0 up at half-time.

Antony Evans — celebrating his 20th birthday — marked the occasion in style as he struck just after half-time, before substitutes Bassala Sambou and Josh Bowler got in on the act as the young Blues ran riot at the Grand Old Lady.

Everton U23s: Hilton, Charsley, Galloway [Y], Adeniran, Browning, Foulds, Dowell, Markelo, Hornby (58' Sambou), Evans (58' Bowler), Broadhead (71' Mampala).
Subs not Used: Hewelt, Feeney.

Everton 2 - 1 West Ham United

Premier League 2, Game #7
Monday 1 October 2018
Merseyside Community Stadium

Everton Under-23s came from behind to beat West Ham United 2-1 and return to the top of the Premier League 2 table.

The Hammers went in front early in the second half against the run of play at Southport's Merseyrail Community Stadium on Monday night.

The young Blues hit back almost immediately, however, Morgan Feeney heading home his first goal since returning from knee surgery.

Bassala Sambou then slotted home a penalty with 11 minutes to go to complete the turnaround.

Everton U23s: Hilton, Charsley, Foulds, Browning, Galloway (29' Feeney), Bowler (83' Mampala), Adeniran, Markelo, Broadhead, Evans (56' Hornby), Sambou.
Subs not Used: Hewelt, Lavery.

Arsenal 0 - 0 Everton

Premier League 2; Game #8
Monday 22 October 2018
Meadow Park, Barnet

With a number of first-team players now dropped from the senior squad — Niasse, Schneiderlin, Kenny, Holgate, Dowell — plus two key players nearing full fitness again in McCarthy and Baningime, the only one to show was Beni Baningime, slotting into the back four for his first game of the season. Jaoa Virginia named in goal to visit the club he left to join Everton in the summer.

Everton were denied a clear stonewall penalty early on when Bassala Sambou was sent spiralling, then Adeniran saw a certain goal hooked off the line by an Arsenal defender as the Blues sought to press their initiative.

Lewis Gibson, who is only recently back from a long injury layoff, looked to be in a bad way as he was stretchered off the field after 38 mins, to be replaced by Anthony Gordon.

Everton had a two vs two breakaway but Sambou ran into an offside position when Broadhead slipped the ball towards him. It was 0-0 at the break.

On the hour, Tyias Browning fired a free-kick at the Arsenal goal from inside his own half when he spotted the keeper off his line. The effort was on target but the keeper back-tracked quickly enough to get there just in time!

With Arsenal increasingly turning the screw deep into the second half, David Unsworth made a change: Nathangelo Markelo replaced by Shane Lavery for the final 15 mins.

In a rare Everton foray, Broadhead almost slid the ball home but Arsenal scrambled it clear. The fiercely competitive game ended 0-0 with honours even, and Everton still top on goal difference.

Everton U23s: Virginia, John, Gibson (38' Gordon), Baningime, Browning, Feeney (c), Charsley, Adeniran, Sambou, Markelo (73' Lavery), Broadhead.
Subs: Hilton, Kiersey, Astley.

Everton 1 - 0 Manchester City

Premier League 2; Game #9
Saturday 27 October 2018
Goodison Park, Merseyside

Everton Under-23s reatined 1st place atop Premier League 2 when they defeated Manchester City at Goodison Park on Saturday night with James McCarthy returing in a game that was streamed LIVE on YouTube and at

Everton's goalless draw at Arsenal on Monday kept them ahead of the Gunners at the top of Premier League 2, while Manchester City sit 6th in the table but only two points behind the Under-23s.

Beni Baningime plays again after a long injury layoff. James McCarthy was also fit to start after his long layoff since breaking his leg against West Brom in January.

Everton took an early lead, Sambou's relaxed style from the spot enough to bamboozle the City goalie. Sambou should have scored again but was a fraction slow pulling the trigger and the keeper anticipated well.

In true Everton fashion, the feed froze in the second half, just as Mason Holgate saw a second yellow card and then a red.

City proved to be a difficult and tenacious side, coming close on a few occasions in the keenly contested second half, but Everton U23s held on for a very important victory that further consolidates their lead atop Premier League 2.

Everton U23s: Virginia, Holgate [Y:; YR:78'], Browning, Feeney, Charsley, Dowell (90' Lavery), McCarthy, Baningime, Adeniran, Broadhead, Sambou (70' Gordon (83' John)).
Subs not Used: Hilton, Markelo.

Brighton & Hove Albion 1 - 2 Everton

Premier League 2; Game #10
Friday 2 November 2018
American Express Elite Football Performance Centre, Brighton

Everton Under-23s put in a fine performance to secure a 2-1 victory at Brighton that keeps them top of Premier League 2. The win at the was secured through goals by Nathangelo Markelo and Josh Bowler.

A battling performance saw the Blues net in either half but they had to dig deep with a strong Brighton side dominating possession for long periods of the second half and scoring late on.

Markelo charged down the Brighton keeper in the 14th minute to score with an opportunistic strike that saw him finish. Bowler then sealed all three points 4 minutes from time when his rasping shot from 20 yards out gave the 'keeper no chance.

Everton U23s: Hilton, John, Charsley, Astley [Y], Browning, Feeney, Bowler, Markelo, Sambou [Y], Adeniran (94' Lavery), Broadhead (83' Simms).
Subs not Used: Hewelt, Gordon, Mampala. [Holgate suspended]

Everton 0 - 1 Liverpool

Premier League 2; Game #11
Sunday 25 November 2018
Goodison Park, Merseyside

Everton U23s featured both Jonjoe Kenney and Kieran Dowell, but went behind to Liverpool after just 11 minutes.

The Reds had swarmed all over the Premier League 2 leaders, hitting the bar twice before they scored off a deflected shot that wrong-footed Virginia in the Everton goal.

After this poor start from Everton, Bowler almost created the equaliser for Broadhead weaving into space in the area, firing a low cross along the 6-yard box but Broadhead couldn't get on the end of it.

The Blues had plenty of quality and experience but too many of their established players were struggling to make any sort of an impact. Everton played with greater urgency in the second-half but were still making daft mistakes.

Sambou had a sight of goal after Dowell played him in but he couldn't find any power in the shot. Everton battled to the end but could not affect the scoreline.

Everton U23s: Virginia, Kenny, Charsley, Markelo, Feeney, Browning, Bowler (46'Sambou), Adeniran (66' Lavery), Evans (81' Gordon), Dowell, Broadhead.
Subs not Used: Hewelt, Astley.

Tottenham Hotspur 2 - 2 Everton

Premier League 2; Game #12
Friday 7 December 2018
Hotspur Way, Enfield

Anthony Gordon grabbed a late equaliser in Everton Under-23s 2-2 draw at Tottenham Hotspur today. The game was played at Spurs' training ground on Hotspur Way in Bulls Cross, Enfield.

David Unsworth's young team trailed 2-0 before Bassala Sambou reduced the arrears three minutes before half-time.

Then, four minutes from the end of the Premier League 2 clash, 17-year-old substitute Gordon converted a low cross from fellow substitute Manasse Mampala to snatch a point and claim his first goal for the Blues' Under-23 team.

Everton have slipped off the top of the PL2 table after losing the mini-derby to Liverpool last month, and the loss of two more points means they are in danger of slipping further behind Derby County, the new leaders.

Everton U23s: Hewelt, Ouzounidis, Charsley, Feeney, Browning, Broadhead (61' Simms), Evans (74' Gordon), Adeniran, Bowler, Iversen, Sambou (61' Mampala).
Subs not Used: Hilton, Astley.

Everton 1 - 0 Derby County

Premier League 2; Game #13
Sunday 16 December 2018
Finch Farm, Merseyside

After dropping 5 of the last 6 points through a defeat to Liverpool and a draw at Spurs, Everton took advantage of a unique chance to regain top spot in Premier League 2 when they narrowly beat Derby County in the last game of 2018.

The Rams had nosed ahead at the top of the PL2 table, but came to Finch Farm on Sunday, only to lose that advantage when David Unsworth's youngsters signed off for their mid-winter break with an important 1-0 win.

Harry Charsley's 73rd-minute strike settled a fiercely-contested clash at USM Finch Farm. The result means Everton leapfrog the Rams, with the young Blues now two points clear of Craig Short's men.

Tyias Browning had the game's first half-chance on three minutes — his glancing header from Antony Evans's whipped corner delivery went just over the bar. Dennis Adeniran, whose relentless energy and dynamism in the tackle caught the eye throughout, was the next man to have a clear sight at goal.

The move started was started by skipper Morgan Feeney, who unleashed a fabulous 50-yard raking ball into the path of Ellis Simms. The striker controlled before laying the ball off to Adeniran — but the midfielder could not get over his volleyed effort and it cleared the crossbar.

As the clock ticked past the half-hour mark, the young Blues were looking the more likely side — and they fashioned the best chance of the opening period on 36 minutes. A brilliantly-inventive first-time through ball by Evans sent Simms scampering in on goal down the left channel. The 17-year-old checked inside and looked to score inside his near post, but the Derby stopper got down well to palm the shot away.

Derby came out of the blocks quickly in the second half and it needed a superb block by Con Ouzounidis to thwart an attempt on goal. Unsworth made a double substitution on the hour mark, with Josh Bowler and Bassala Sambou replacing Ouzounidis and Simms.

Bowler almost made an instant impact, skinning the Derby left-back before getting a shot away from a tight angle — the keeper making a fine one-handed stop, however.

The Blues would make a deserved breakthrough on 73 minutes, however. Browning — who had stayed in an advanced position following an Everton corner — controlled a lofted through ball from Ryan Astley before expertly pulling the ball back for Charsley, who rifled home from just inside the area.

Charsley almost had a second 7 minutes later when his swerving effort whistled past the post, before Derby exerted some pressure in the final minutes, coming close with two good chances.

The Blues held firm to secure a vital three points.

Everton U23s: Hewelt; Adeniran, Astley, Broadhead, Browning, Charsley, Evans (87' Iversen), Feeney, Markelo, Ouzounidis (61' Bowler), Simms (61' Sambou).
Subs not Used: Hilton, Gordon.

Leicester City 1 - 0 Everton

Premier League 2; Game #14
Monday 7 January 2019
Holmes Park, Leicester

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

Everton 2 - 0 Chelsea

Premier League 2; Game #15
Monday 14 January 2019
Haig Avenue, Merseyside

Everton U23s secured an important 2-0 win over Chelsea to retain their narrow lead over Leicester City at the top of Premier League 2.

Fraser Hornby, who was making his first start since 5 October after undergoing ankle surgery, was on target in the first half off a lofted through-ball from Anthony Evans.

This was after Chelsea had been reduced to 10 men early on when their captain was sent off after just 16 minutes. The defender miscontrolled a pass and Sambou was onto it in a flash. The Everton striker was haring in on goal, with just the keeper to beat, before being brought down 20 yards out. The referee had no option, and the Chelsea man saw red.

Harry Charsley was inches away from doubling Everton's lead on 38 minutes. After an excellent passage of play from the young Blues, the midfielder fired a daisy-cutter just wide.

Hornby was fouled in the box during the second half, Bassala Sambou stepping up. Sambou had scored four penalties from four attempts this season and ensured his 100-per-cent record remained intact in typically cool fashion — taking a stuttered run-up, waiting for the keeper to dive, and slotting into the opposite corner.

With Lewis Gibson getting a game and presumably now over his injury problems, a special mention for Alex Denny, returning from a very long layoff; he came on as a sub for Hornby.

Everton U23s: Virginia, Astley, Feeney, Ouzounidis, Evans, Gibson, Charsley (84' Bowler), Adeniran, Sambou, Hornby (76' Denny), Broadhead (61' Markelo).
Subs not Used: Hewelt, Gordon.

Swansea City 0 - 1 Everton

Premier League 2; Game #16
Monday 4 February 2019
Liberty Stadium, Swansea

Everton U23s travelled to Swansea for a tricky encounter where they finally prevailed to solidify their position atop the Premier League 2 table.

David Unsworth fielded a strong team, although without his captain, Morgan Feeney. But they battled away through most of the game against an obdurate Swans side, who are bottom of PL2.

Manasse Mampala was electric since his introduction as a second-half substitute. He did absolutely superbly for the goal - sprinting down the left wing before keeping his composure and sending in a cross that allowed Nathan Broadhead the simplest of tasks to put Everton in front. 0-1 after 83 mins and the Blues held out for another 3 points.

Everton U23s: Virginia, Charsley (67' Denny), Foulds, Astley, Ouzounidis, Gibson, Markelo (46' Sambou), Adeniran, Hornby, Broadhead, Gordon (75' Mampala).
Subs not Used: Hilton, Kiersey.

Everton 2 - 0 Blackburn Rovers

Premier League 2; Game #17
Monday 18 February 2019
Haig Avenue, Merseyside

Everton Under-23s beat Blackburn Rovers 2-0 at Southport to move four points clear at the top of Premier League 2 with five games to play.

First-half goals from Bassala Sambou and Fraser Hornby secured the victory and a Man-of-the-Match display from goalkeeper Mateusz Hewelt kept the visitors at bay.

“That's the best I've seen him,” said David Unsworth. “I've told him that. He made saves to keep us in the game and it was a fantastic performance. He gave us a platform to go and win the game. His was one of a number of outstanding performances.”

Blackburn started the brighter of the two teams and Everton were indebted to Hewelt for two fine saves to thwart Joseph Nuttall and John Buckley. The first, from Nuttall, was particularly impressive, Hewelt diving to his right to palm away the effort.

Everton took the lead in the 18th minute and it was a fabulous goal. Hornby did well to hold the ball up on the edge of the Blackburn box and when he teed up Sambou, the striker smashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net.

“It was a fantastic strike,” said Unsworth. “He worked his socks off tonight and he gives us so much. He gets us on the front foot and we like to press from the front.”

The advantage was doubled on the half-hour mark when Rovers keeper Charlie Albinson couldn't hold Anthony Gordon's shot and Hornby followed up to score.

The Everton keeper was in inspired form and his 59th-minute stop to deny Joseph Rankin-Costello had the Rovers player shaking his head in disbelief.

The second period lacked the quality and fluidity of the first. Everton came close to a third goal when Nathan Broadhead's shot just cleared the crossbar and there was a worry for Unsworth when Morgan Feeney limped off midway through the half.

Everton U23s: Hewelt, Feeney (68' Ouzounidis), Astley, Galloway, Gibson (84' Denny), Adeniran, Gordon (76' Foulds), Hornby, Markelo, Sambou, Broadhead.
Subs not Used: Hilton, Mampala.

Liverpool 0 - 2 Everton

Premier League 2; Game #18
Monday 4 March 2019
Anfield, Liverpool

Everton's Under-23s took a step closer to a second Premier League 2 title in three years with an impressive 2-0 win over Liverpool at Anfield.

Nathan Broadhead gave the Blues a great platform early on, firing home after just 10 minutes to put them ahead and he would seal it five minutes from the end of the second half off a great assist from substitute Anthony Gordon.

In between, Broadhead, Fraser Hornby and Bassala Sambou had all been guilty of spurning golden chances as David Unsworth's side looked to press home their superiority in front of 4,000 seething kopites while goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher denied Nathangelo Markelo and Ryan Astley with good saves.

“It doesn't get much better,” Unsworth told “I told the boys any victory here is a wonderful result and you must enjoy it.

“It's a really deserved win after a great performance and I'm really proud of our players. Everyone brought their A-game and that's all you can ask when you play a good team.

“We've been working a lot on wide players getting crosses in. We thought that was an area we could exploit. We've been asking our wide players to go on the outside all week in training, so it's great when you see something like that come off.

“Nathan finished his chances off really well, so that was very pleasing, too. We actually could have scored a few more goals, we had the best chances throughout. It could have been three or four, and that wouldn't have flattered us at all.”

Everton U23s: Virginia, Astley, Galloway, Markelo (85' Foulds), Feeney, Gibson, Bowler (81' Gordon), Adeniran, Hornby, Sambou (89' Denny), Broadhead.
Subs not Used: Hewelt, Ouzounidis.

Attendance: 4,362

Everton 0 - 0 Arsenal

Premier League 2; Game #19
Monday 11 March 2019
Haig Avenue, Merseyside

Everton U23s preserved their 4-point lead atop Premier League 2 with a 0-0 draw against Arsenal at Southport.

David Unsworth named a strong unchanged team, featuring Joao Virginia in goal but they found it hard going in the early stages of the game, the referee denying a penalty claim when Bassala Sambou was brought down.

There were other opportunities for Feeney and Hornby but it remained scoreless at the end, with 2nd-place Brighton also drawing their game 2-2.

Everton U23s: Virginia, Astley, Galloway, Markelo, Feeney, Gibson, Bowler, Adeniran, Hornby (75' Gordon), Sambou, Broadhead.
Subs not Used: Hewelt, Ouzounidis, Foulds, Denny.

Manchester City 4 - 3 Everton

Premier League 2; Game #20
Monday 7 April 2019
City Academy Stadium, Manchester

Everton Under-23s aimed to take a huge step towards the Premier League 2 title if they could have secured victory at Manchester City on Sunday but it was not to be.

A win for David Unsworth's in-form team would have seen them move 6 points clear of second-placed Brighton & Hove Albion with just two matches left to play. The Toffees' goal difference is also six goals better than the south coast side's.

Bassala Sambou put Everton ahead from the spot when Anthony Gordon was hacked down in the first minute, but the Citizens came back into it with an equaliser from Youg from a corner that was headed past Virginia.

Then Bernabe capitalised as Virginia spilt a dangerous cross, drilling home the rebound to put the home side in front just before half-time. Everton went another goal behind on the hour mark but Bassala Sambou pulled one back within 10 mins, and then Fraser Hornby, on as a sub, incredibly levelled the game at 3-3, only for City to come back and score what would prove to be the winner.

Everton remain 3 points ahead of Brighton at the top of Premier League 2, with a superior goal difference; they therefore should need just 1 win from the last 2 games left to secure the trophy and the title again.

The City clash sets things up nicely with Everton now facing title rivals Brighton at Goodison Park on Monday 15 April in what must surely be a title decider for David Unsworth and his young charges.

Everton U23s: Virginia, Astley (69' John), Galloway, Markelo (59' Hornby), Feeney, Gibson, Bowler [Y], Adeniran, Gordon [Y] (67' Foulds), Sambou, Broadhead.
Subs not Used: Hilton, Mampala.

Everton 1 - 0 Brighton & Hove Albion

Premier League 2; Game #21
Tuesday 16 April 2019
Goodison Park, Merseyside

Everton's Under-23s are Premier League 2 Champions once more after Josh Bowler's solitary strike clinched a decisive 1-0 win over Brighton at Goodison Park.

The Blues needed a victory over the second-place Seagulls in a top-of-the-table showdown to secure their second title in three seasons under the stewardship of David Unsworth and Bowler delivered it in the 22nd minute. The winger drove towards the box and held off a challenge before drilling the ball past the goalkeeper from around 20 yards out.

Fraser Hornby had to clear off his own line at one end to preserve the Blues' lead and he raked a shot of his own into the side-netting at the other but after Nathan Broadhead had passed up a gilt-edged chance to put the game to bed, Brighton won a penalty in the closing stages.

Lewis Gibson was the man penalised but Viktor Gyokeres slipped as he went to convert the spot kick and sent his shot over the bar allowing Everton to see out the victory.

“I'm very proud and it's a great night for the Club,” Unsworth told “We should have been out of sight and scored maybe three, four or five goals. But we won the game and that was the main thing.

“I'm so proud of this group of players and my staff as well, because they have worked so hard.

“It was a great performance tonight. At 1-0, it's always a little bit nervy and then they get the opportunity with the penalty.

“Fortune favoured us a little bit, but I think we deserved that tonight, because we've been fantastic all season."

Everton U23s: Virgínia, Astley, Galloway, Markelo, Feeney, Gibson, Bowler (90+2' Gordon), Adeniran (88' Denny), Hornby (72' Foulds), Sambou, Broadhead.
Subs not used: Hewelt, Mampala

West Ham Utd 2 - 1 Everton

Premier League 2; Game #22
Monday 29 April 2019
London Stadium, Stratford

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.


Checktrade Trophy

As well as their involvement in the Premier League 2, the Premier League Cup and the Premier League International Cup the U23 side also competed in the Checkatrade Trophy. This controversial competition for the first time pits second-string sides from leading Premier League clubs against the first-team professionals from sides in the lower two divisions of the Football League, League One and League 2.  For this reason, the games are considered by the Football League and Football Association to constitute full appearances for the players involved. 

The competition is also arranged in a ‘Champions League’ style with a group stage followed by a Round of 16 knockout for the teams that progress through the groups.  Everton played at Bradford City, Oldham Athletic and Barnsley, losing all three games in Group F.

Bradford City 1 - 1 Everton (6 - 5 on Penalties)

Checkatrade Trophy; Group F: Game #1
Tuesday 25 September 2018
Valley Parade, Bradford

Everton's Under-23s gave up a 1-0 lead in stoppage time in the Checkatrade Trophy against Bradford City this evening and then lost the ensuing shootout 6-5.

The young Blues were leading through Bassala Sambou's second-half goal when Antony Evans was sent off for a second bookable offence with a few minutes remaining.

The hosts grabbed the initiative with the visitors went down to 10 men and levelled through Miller two minutes into time added on to ensure that it ended 1-1 with each side earning a point.

The penalty shootout went to sudden-death after Lavery, Charsley, Adeniran, Foulds and Sambou were faultless from the spot until Manasse Mampala hit the bar with the scores at 5-5; Bradford City took the bonus point from the match when they converted the next kick.

Everton U23s: Virginia, Browning, Galloway, Charsley, Foulds, Adeniran [Y], Bowler (75' Mampala), Hornby (69' Sambou), Evans [Y,YR], Broadhead (89' Lavery), Markelo.
Subs not Used: Hilton, Feeney, Gordon, Astley.

Oldham Athletic 3 - 2 Everton

Checkatrade Trophy; Group F: Game #2
Tuesday 30 October 2018
Boundary Park, Oldham

Development teams like Everton are required to field a minimum of six Under-21 players in their starting eleven for this competition, while Football League clubs must field a certain number of first team players. The games are played under full Football League rules, with seven substitutes instead of 5. Everton players will wear their registered squad numbers.

The Oldham bench featured Jose Baxter, who rejoined the Latics in the summer after spending a season rehabilitating his interrupted career with Everton U23s following a 12-month ban after he failed a drug test when with Sheffield United in 2015. So far this season, he has made 5 starts in League One, and 11 appearances off the bench, with 1 goal scored.

Everton surged into a two-goal lead in the first half, thanks to fine finishing from Nathangelo Markelo and Shayne Lavery. But the home side struck back after the break, with three goals, to put the game beyond Unsworth's men, with Baxter remaining on the bench as an unused sub for Oldham Athletic.

Everton U23s: Hewelt, John, Feeney, Browning, Charsley, Adeniran, Markelo (72' Simms), Broadhead, Gordon (58' Kiersey), Lavery (58' Bowler), Sambou.
Subs not Used: Hilton, Astley, Mampala, Phillips.

Barnsley 1 - 1 Everton (4 - 2 on Penalties)

Checkatrade Trophy; Group F: Game #2
Tuesday 30 October 2018
Boundary Park, Oldham

Everton Under-21s needed to win their last Checkatrade Trophy match in Group F tonight at Barnsley to stay in the competition.

The game kicked off at Oakwell with Francis Jeffers naming only four subs for Everton.

Barnsley went ahead just before the break, Ryan Hedges finding the bottom right corner of Hilton's goal. Bassala Sambou rose confidently at the near post to head home from close range in the second half off a perfect Josh Bowler corner.

With no further scoring, the game went to penalties to decide the bonus point, Boris Mathis and Shayne Lavery, both late subs, seeing their spot-kicks saved, while Adeniran and Kiersey scored theirs, so Barnsley won the shoot-out 4-2.

Everton U21: Hilton, Ouzounidis, Astley, Browning, Feeney (c), Markelo (90+4' Mathis), Bowler, Adeniran, Kiersey, Mampala (86' Lavery), Sambou.
Subs not Used: Hewelt, Simms.

Premier League International Cup

2014-15 saw the introduction of The Premier League International Cup —  with invited European sides competing in a four-group tournament.  In 2018-19, Everton will be entering an U23 side into the Premier League International Cup, in a tournament alongside Porto, PSV Eindhoven, Valencia, Wolfsburg and Benfica that was won last season by Villarreal, who will be looking to retain their trophy in the forthcoming competition. This season, the number of teams participating in the International Cup has been increased from 16 to 24. 

The format of the International Cup, which will take place solely in England, will see 24 clubs - 12 from England and the other half from the continent - competing in six groups of four teams with each side playing each other once. There will be two representatives from Europe and two from England in every group, with the top club in each plus the two best placed runners-up advancing to the knockout stages of the competition. 

The Premier League International Cup permits three over-aged players in addition to an over-aged goalkeeper and the fixtures will be released at a later date. Clubs entering this season’s Premier League International Cup:

Premier League 2 clubs: Aston Villa, Chelsea, Derby County, Everton, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Norwich City, Reading, Sunderland, Swansea City. 

Invited international clubs: Athletic Club, Benfica, Celtic, Dinamo Zagreb, Feyenoord, Hertha Berlin, Porto, PSV Eindhoven, Sparta Prague, Valencia, Villarreal, Wolfsburg. 

The U23s have been drawn against Brighton & Hove Albion, Bayern Munich and Benfica in Group D the Premier League International Cup for 2018-19.

Brighton & Hove Albion 2 - 2 Everton

Premier League International Cup; Group D, Game #1
Thursday 20 September 2018
American Express Elite Football Performance Centre, Brighton

Bassala Sambou gave Everton Under-23s a first-half lead from the penalty spot after Josh Bowler was brought down following a fine surge into the penalty area midway through the first half.

The Seagulls struck back with two goals either side of the hour-mark to turn the game on its head. However, the young Blues fought back to earn a share of the spoils as Ellis Simms, elevated from the Under-18s, finished from close-range after coming off the bench.

Everton U-23s: Hilton, John [Y] (46' Gordon), Astley, Feeney, Ouzounidis, Foulds [Y], Bowler (65' Mampala), Adeniran, Markelo [Y], Sambou, Lavery (65' Simms).
Subs not Used: Hewelt, Phillips, Mathis.

Everton 2 - 0 Benfica B

Premier League International Cup; Group D, Game #2
Friday 28 September 2018
Merseyside Community Stadium, Haig Avenue, Stockport

Two breakaway goals from the home side, scored before half-time, proved to be enough to secure the win for Everton. The goals came from Broadhead and Bowler to give Everton a commanding lead they did not give up.

Everton U23s: Virginia, Charsley, Galloway, Feeney, Browning, Foulds, Bowler (90' Mampala), Markelo, Hornby (65' Evans), Adeniran, Broadhead (65' Sambou).
Subs not Used: Hilton, Lavery, Ouzounidis, Phillips.

Everton 1 - 4 Bayern Munich

Premier League International Cup; Group D, Game #3
Wednesday 12 December 2018
Goodison Park, Merseyside

Everton Under-23s fell to a substantial defeat to Bayern Munich at Goodison Park on Wednesday.

The young Blues dominated for large spells and created a host of opportunities, but a combination of inspired goalkeeping and clinical finishing saw the Germans run out 4-1 winners in the Premier League International Cup clash.

The result leaves the Toffees second in Group D and relying on other results in order to qualify for the quarter-finals.

An unfortunate Tyias Browning own goal gave the visitors the lead midway through the first half. Everton put Bayern under extreme pressure as they searched for a leveller and Nathan Broadhead eventually got the goal their efforts deserved 11 minutes from time.

Bayern regained their lead almost instantly and picked up two more gals for a very one-sided scoreline by the end.

Everton U23s: Virginia, John, Charsley, Markelo, Browning, Feeney, Bowler (68' Gordon), Adeniran (70' Iversen), Evans, Simms, Broadhead.
Subs not Used: Hewelt, Ouzounidis, Lavery, Mampala, Sambou.

Premier League Cup

As well as their involvement in the Premier League 2 and the Premier League International Cup, the U23 side competed in the Premier League Cup which changed its format for 2018-19. 

The competition was arranged in a ‘Champions League’ style with a group stage followed by a Round of 16 knockout for the teams that progress from the groups.  The U23s were drawn against Doncaster Rovers, Blackburn Rovers and Sheffield United in Group B the Premier League Cup for 2018-19. Everton won their group in style and went on to win all their games in the knockout stages to lift the Premier League Cup for the first time.

Everton 3 - 0 Doncaster Rovers

Premier League Cup; Group B, Game #1
Friday 5 October 2018
Merseyside Community Stadium, Haig Avenue, Stockport

The game had been fairly even before Everton were hit by a double blow: firstly, Fraser Hornby going down with an ankle problem, and he could not continue, being replaced by youngster Kyle John. The game resumed and Matty Foulds was shown a straight red card for a two-footed lunge.

The visitors scored from the resulting free-kick but it was ruled out thanks to the linesman's flag, and up the other end, 10-men Everton took the lead through substitute Kyle John who steered the ball home after good link-up play on the right with Anthony Evans.

It was all action in the last 5 mins and Jack Kiersey came off the bench to replace Adineran, then Nathan Broadhead produced a fine finish to double Everton's lead. And in added time they incredibly made it 3-0 when Broadhead ran through to tee up Nathan Markelo and seal a fine win.

Everton U-23s: Hewelt, Charsley (46' Gibson), Foulds [R:40'], Markelo, Browning, Feeney [Y:49'], Evans, Adeniran [Y:83'] (87' Kiersey), Sambou, Hornby (42' John), Broadhead.
Subs not Used: Hilton, Mampala.

Blackburn Rovers 0 - 1 Everton

Premier League Cup; Group B, Game #2
Friday 9 November 2018
County Ground, Leyland

Morgan Feeney's 36th-minute header proves decisive at a wet and wild County Ground after a real resolute performance from David Unsworth's U23s as they made it two wins from two in Premier League Cup Group B.

Unsworth's men defended resolutely throughout in what was their third away game in seven days, while their dynamic forward players provided a consistent threat.

Everton U23s: Virginia, John, Charsley, Markelo, Browning, Feeney {c}, Bowler, Adeniran, Sambou (66' Evans), Broadhead (78' Astley), Gordon (73' Lavery).
Subs not Used: Hilton, Mampala.

Sheffield United 0 - 1 Everton

Premier League Cup; Group B, Game #3
Friday 30 November 2018
Look Local Stadium, Sheffield

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.

Doncaster Rovers 3 - 3 Everton

Premier League Cup; Group B, Game #4
Monday 21 January 2019
Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster

Everton U23s had to battle back from a 3-1 deficit in what would become a 6-goal 'thriller' at Doncaster Rovers in their latest Premier League Cup clash.

The U23s remain unbeaten at the top of Premier League Cup Group B after securing a 3-3 draw at Keepmoat Stadium courtesy of efforts from Nathan Broadhead, Matthew Foulds and Fraser Hornby.

The young Blues created a couple of early opportunities from wide positions, but it was the hosts who took the lead in the 10th minute. The Everton defence failed to clear the ball inside the area and Kieran Sadlier took full advantage by lashing it into an unguarded net.

The visitors drew level just three minutes later, though, with a fine goal. A great through ball from Hornby was collected by Broadhead and he kept his composure to lift it over the advancing keeper.

Doncaster restored their advantage on 25 minutes when Alfie May found space on the right of the area and slipped a nice finish past Joao Virginia.

The third Rovers goal came when Morgan Feeney and Ryan Astley went for the same ball and, after getting in each other's way, Myron Gibbons had the simplest of tasks to steer home past Virginia.

Foulds, making his return from injury as a second-half substitute, scrambled Everton back into the game from close-range on the hour. And the equaliser came around 10 minutes later when Sambou showed great determination inside the box to tee up Hornby for a simple finish.

Between those goals, David Unsworth was sent to the stands. The Blues boss felt the need to protest at the referee's repeated, and inexplicable, habit of not playing advantage following infringements, and he was ordered off.

The result leaves Everton top of Group B with 10 points after four games, with home matches against Blackburn Rovers and Sheffield United to come next month.

Everton U23s: Virginia, Evans, Gibson, Astley, Ouzounidis (46' Foulds), Feeney (c), Charsley (58' Markelo), Adineran, Hornby, Sambou (79' Gordon), Broadhead.
Subs not Used: Hilton, Bowler.

Everton 1 - 1 Blackburn Rovers

Premier League Cup; Group B, Game #5
Friday 8 February 2019
Merseyside Community Stadium, Haig Avenue, Stockport

Everton Under-23s came back to draw 1-1 against Blackburn Rovers at the Merseyrail Community Stadium on Friday night. The result ensures their place in the knockout stages of the Premier League Cup.

Anthony Gordon's superbly-taken 69th-minute equaliser saw the Toffees take a point from their Group B clash after the visitors had gone ahead just after half-time.

The draw means Everton qualify for the last 16 of this competition with a game to spare. The Premier League 2 leaders host Sheffield United in their final group stage contest on Sunday 24 February.

Everton U23s: Hewelt, Astley, Foulds, Denny (68' Mampala), Ouzounidis, Gibson, Gordon, Adeniran (56' Markelo), Hornby, Sambou, Broadhead.
Subs not Used:
Hilton, Iversen.

Everton 2 - 1 Sheffield United

Premier League Cup; Group B, Game #6
Sunday 18 February 2019
Merseyside Community Stadium, Haig Avenue, Stockport

Everton U23s wrapped up the group stage of their Premier League Cup campaign with a dramatic late win against Sheffield Utd at Southport on Sunday afternoon.

Everton had already secured progress to the knockout phase but strike pair Bassala Sambou and Manasse Mampala struck in the closing stages to overturn a one-goal deficit and propel the Blues to another 3 points. They finish top of Group B on 14 points.

The opening goal came on the hour when United powered home a header from a corner on the right. Moments earlier, Sambou, on as a half-time replacement for fellow forward Fraser Hornby, saw his glancing header from an Everton corner well-saved.

Everton's equaliser arrived with 7 minutes to go. The hard-working Josh Bowler centred low from the left and Sambou nipped in front of his marker to turn the ball past the keeper.

Bowler was also the provider of the winning goal in added time when he skipped across the edge of the United box before sliding the ball to Mampala, who finished with aplomb.

Everton U23s : Hewelt, Bramall, Warren, Ouzounidis, Foulds, Galloway, Bowler, Denny, Hornby (46' Sambou), Kiersey, Mampala.
Subs not Used: Hilton, Broadhead, Adeniran, Markelo.

Everton 2 - 1 Sunderland

Premier League Cup; Round of 16
Friday 29 March 2019
Merseyside Community Stadium, Haig Avenue, Stockport

Anthony Gordon curled home a stunning free-kick just 3 minutes from time to earn the young Blues a 2-1 victory at Southport's Merseyrail Community Stadium on Friday night.

The opening goal came on 66 minutes when Bassala Sambou expertly slotted home a penalty kick after Gordon had been sent tumbling.

Sunderland's equaliser came out of the blue when Williams Kokolo headed into the top corner of the net from 10 yards on 81 minutes.

However, Everton were not to be denied as Gordon produced a moment of magic to earn a victory that was thoroughly deserved.

The result sent Everton Under-23s into the last eight of the Premier League Cup where they will have home advantage against Blackburn Rovers.

Everton U23s: Hewelt, Markelo, Foulds, Astley, Feeney, Gibson, Bowler (90' John [Y]), Adeniran (90+4' Denny), Sambou (75' Hornby), Gordon, Broadhead.
Subs not Used: N/A

Everton 2 - 1 Blackburn Rovers

Premier League Cup Quarterfinal
Tuesday 23 April 2019
Goodison Park, Merseyside

Everton U23s withstood late resistance from Blackburn Rovers U23s to secure a 2-1 win in the quarter-final of the Premier League Cup at Goodison Park.

An early penalty, coolly taken by Bassala Sambou, gave the Blues the lead before Josh Bowler tucked away a brilliant 20-yard strike later in the first half to seal the victory.

Blackburn were able to pull a goal back in the second half, and did threaten to potentially level the score throughout the closing stages of the game, but were unable to bag the equaliser.

Everton U23s: Virginia, Astley, Foulds [Y], Markelo, Feeney [Y], Gibson, Bowler [Y] (89' Denny), Adeniran, Sambou, Broadhead (70' Hornby), Gordon [Y] (81' Mampala).
Subs not Used: Hilton, Ouzounidis.

Swansea City 0 - 2 Everton

Premier League Cup Semifinal
Saturday 4 May 2019
Libery Stadium, Swansea

Everton's U23s are into the Premier League Cup final after beating Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.

David Unsworth's Premier League 2 Champions scored a goal in each half through strikers Fraser Hornby and Bassala Sambou to book their place in the final where they will face Newcastle United.

After just 14 mins following a confident start from the visitors, Anthony Gordon whipped in a dangerous free kick and Fraser Hornby found space in the Swansea box to volley home and put the Blues ahead.

After the break, Sambou really should make it 2-0 when one-on-one but hit his shot straight at the keeper.

The second goal came after 74 mins, when a shot by Foulds wasn't dealt with by the goalkeeper, and Sambou reacted first to slot it home and consolidate Everton's advantage.

Everton U23s: Virginia, Astley, Feeney, Gibson, Galloway, Bowler (87' John), Markelo, Adeniran, Gordon (67' Foulds), Hornby (85' Denny), Sambou.
Subs not Used: Hilton, Mampala.

Everton 1 - 0 Newcastle United

Premier League Cup Final
Wednesday 8 May 2019
Goodison Park, Merseyside

Everton's Under-23s won the Premier League Cup at Goodison Park this evening, edging Newcastle United 1-0 to complete the league and cup double.

Morgan Feeney scored the game's only goal from Antony Evans's free-kick just before the hour mark to lift the Blues over the Magpies' development team and hand David Unsworth and his men their second trophy of the season.

Unsworth had called on Evertonians to come out in force to support his gifted young team and the players responded with a winning display, making history as the first team to land the Premier League 2 title and the Premier League Cup.

The Blues had wrapped up a second Premier League 2 title in three years a fortnight ago, with Josh Bowler the match-winner in a 1-0 win over closest rivals Brighton & Hove Albion on another joyous evening at the Grand Old Lady.

“All season this team has got better and better and better,” Unsworth told evertontv.

“All the credit goes to the players, they've stepped up, they've listened, they've performed, and they've won games. Individually and collectively as a team, they've been a pleasure to coach."

Everton U23s: Virginia, Astley, Galloway, Markelo, Feeney, Gibson, Bowler, Adeniran, Hornby, Sambou (69' Broadhead), Evans (72' Foulds).
Subs not Used: Hewelt, Denny, John.


Under-23 Appearances, 2018-19


Player League Apps (Sub) League
Cup Apps
 Nathan Broadhead 22 (0)  4 11 (1) 4
 Dennis Adeniran 20 (2)  0 15 (0) 0
 Nathan Markelo 17 (2)  1 13 (2) 2
 Bassala Sambou 16 (6)  9 12 (3) 7
 Morgan Feeney 16 (1)  1 13 (0) 2
 Harry Charsley 16 (0)  2 8 (0) 0
 Tyias Browning 14 (0)  0 8 (0) 0
 Fraser Hornby  13 (3)  5 8 (2) 2
 Brendan Galloway 13 (0)  1 5 (0) 0
 Joao Virginia 12 (0)  0 9 (0) 0
 Antony Evans 12 (0)  3 6 (2) 1
 Ryan Astley 11 (0)  0 8 (1) 0
 Lewis Gibson 10 (0)  0 6 (1) 0
 Josh Bowler 8 (7)  3 12 (1) 2
 Joe Hilton 6 (0)  0 2 (0) 0
 Anthony Gordon 5 (8)  1 6 (3) 1
 Matty Foulds 4 (7)  0 8 (3) 1
 Con Ouzounidis 4 (1)  0 6 (0) 0
 Mateusz Hewelt 4 (0)  0 5 (0) 0
 Kieran Dowell 3 (0)  0 0 (0) 0
 Matthew Pennington 3 (0)  0 0 (0) 0
 Kyle John 2 (2)  0 4 (3) 1
 Ellis Simms 2 (2)  0 1 (2) 1
 Joe Williams 2 (0)  0 0 (0) 0
 Beni Baningime 2 (0)  0 0 (0) 0
 Jonjoe Kenny 2 (0)  0 0 (0) 0
 Einar Iversen 1 (1)  0 0 (1) 0
 Mason Holgate 1 (0)  0 0 (0) 0
 James McCarthy 1 (0)  0 0 (0) 0
 Shayne Lavery 0 (7)  0 2 (4) 1
 Alex Denny 0 (5)  0 2 (3) 0
 Manasse Mampala 0 (4)  0 2 (6) 1
 Jack Kiersey 0 (0)  0 2 (2) 0
 Daniel Bramall 0 (0)  0 1 (0) 0
 Tom Warren 0 (0)  0 1 (0) 0
 Boris Mathis 0 (0)  0 0 (1) 0
 Chris Renshaw 0 (0)  0 0 (0) 0
 Nicholas Hansen 0 (0)  0 0 (0) 0
 Kieran Phillips 0 (0)  0 0 (0) 0
 Matthew Johnson 0 (0)  0 0 (0) 0
 Luke Garbutt 0 (0)  0 0 (0) 0
 Callum Connolly 0 (0)  0 0 (0) 0

2018-19 Friendlies

Coventry City 3 - 1 Everton U23s

Pre-season U23s friendly; Game #1
Saturday 8 July 2017
Venue, La Managa

David Unsworth says Everton Under-23s' “fast and fierce” friendly clash with Coventry City in La Manga provided his side with a “real test”.

League One Coventry fielded their senior team and struck two telling blows inside 18 minutes to set up a 3-1 victory. Nathan Broadhead's beautiful, dinked finish halved the deficit six minutes after the break. But the Sky Blues' Tony Andreu curled home a free-kick to put a lid on Everton's fightback – just when Unsworth's side were enjoying their best period of the game.

Zain Westbrooke sent in a corner from the right and towering centre-half Davies leapt above a scrum of players to power into the roof of the net.

Unsworth made seven changes in personnel at the break – and switched to a 4-4-2, having started the game with three in midfield and widemen Anthony Gordon and Danny Bramall flanking striker Shayne Lavery.

Everton U23s:  Renshaw, Denny, Foulds, Evans, Markelo, Adeniran, Gordon, Bramall, Lavery, Mampala? Mathis?
Subs used: Sambou, Broadhead, Hornby, ___, ___, ___, ___.

Bamber Bridge 1 - 3 Everton U23s

Pre-season U23s friendly; Game #2
Wednesday 18 July 2018
Sir Tom Finney Stadium, Bamber

Video Highlites on YouTube

Nathangelo Markelo, Fraser Hornby and Harry Charsley were on target for the young Blues in an entertaining clash, with Michael Potts hitting a consolation for the Lancashire side, who will play their football in the Northern Premier League Premier Division this season after winning promotion in May.

“It was a really good fixture for us,” Unsworth told “It was a good pitch, against a team that likes to play football.

“Bamber Bridge have played a few more games than us so it was a decent test for our second game.

“I was very happy with the first hour. We played some good stuff, scored some good goals and it was a really good workout.

“The players’ attitude was first-class and we showed that desire is always there.”

Unsworth’s side got off to a flying start. Dutchman Markelo, playing in central midfield, worked some space 25 yards out before rifling a shot into the bottom corner with just five minutes on the clock.

Nathan Broadhead then had a header brilliantly tipped onto the crossbar by Lloyd Rigby but the Bamber ‘keeper could do nothing about Hornby’s effort on 27 minutes.

Markelo was the architect this time, curling in a pinpoint left-wing cross which the Scotland Under-21 international headed home from six yards out.

After going into the break two goals to the good, the young Blues had their third nine minutes after the break, substitute Harry Charsley powering a shot in off the crossbar from inside the box.

Unsworth made a raft of changes as the second half progressed, with Matty Foulds and Brendan Galloway the only players to last the 90 minutes.

The game became stretched and Michael Potts got one back for Bamber just after the hour mark with a stinging effort that flew past substitute ‘keeper Nico Hansen. And while Bamber threatened sporadically, Unsworth’s side saw out the game in relative comfort.

Everton U23s:  Renshaw (Hansen), Denny (Ozounidis), Foulds, Markelo (Kiersey), Browning (Lavery), Galloway, Evans (Mathis), Adeniran, Hornby (Gordon), Sambou (Mampala), Broadhead (Charsley).
Subs all used.  

Stockport County 1 - 4 Everton U23s

Pre-season U23s friendly; Game #3
Saturday 21 July 2018

Everton Under-23s put in a strong second-half display at Stockport County after trailing 1-0 at the break, they hit four goals in the second half.

Everton had fallen behind when Frank Mulhern made full capital on being left free in the box on 16 minutes. Striker Mulhern took one touch to kill Sam Minihan's cross from the right. His second was equally accomplished, the former Huddersfield Town player lifting the ball high into the net.

Substitutes Con Ouzounidis and Nathan Broadhead both struck inside three minutes to alter the course of the game. Harry Charsley expertly landed the ball on his head six yards from goal. Then, Broadhead hurtled forward to sweep home following Bassala Sambou's beautifully executed turn and pass inside the box.

Sambou stretched the Blues' advantage with 19 minutes remaining, the striker finishing into the top-right corner. The in-form Broadhead's confident 12-yard, side-footed effort put the seal on a tremendous second half for the visitors.

Fraser Hornby shot over 60 seconds after Mulhern's opener following persistent work from Sambou and Danny Bramall to keep the ball alive from Charsley's left-wing cross.

Hornby had come closer when the game was only two minutes old, the Blues striker forcing a save with a snap-shot from 20 yards. And the same Everton player found himself bearing down on goal just shy of the half hour.

Sambou fastened onto a loose pass and advanced unchecked, deep into Stockport territory, before sliding the ball right for Hornby, hurtling forward to join the counter. Stockport goalkeeper Hinchliffe bolted off his line to narrow the angle and smother Hornby's low effort.

Between times Everton ‘keeper Renshaw clung on to Sam Walker's dipping free-kick after the County midfielder had been impeded by Dennis Adeniran.

And the goalkeeper was extended further still shortly before Everton drew level. Sambou collected a pass from Charsley to the right of goal and, in a precursor for his part in winger Broadhead's first goal, chopped onto his left foot before unleashing a scorching effort that Hinchliffe touched over the top.

Everton U23s: Renshaw; Denny, Browning, Galloway (46' Ouzounidis), Foulds; Charsley, Adeniran (73' Gordon), Markelo, Bramall (46' Broadhead); Sambou (79' Mampala), Hornby (79' Lavery).

Chester 2 - 4 Everton U23s

Pre-season U23s friendly; Game #4
Saturday 28 July 2018
Deva Stadium, Chester

A goal from Bassala Sambou plus strikes from Harry Charsley, Shayne Lavery and Nathan Broadhead, gave the Under-23s an impressive pre-season victory at Chester.

George Green — now of Chester but formerly of Everton — wasn't risked as he nursed a slight injury.

Soon after the start, Broadhead's corner was met by the diving head of Bassala Sambou but he could only turn it wide.

Chester's Anthony Dudley bundled home the first goal of the afternoon. Dudley was played in by one of Chester's several trialists and pushed the ball past Chris Renshaw after half-an-hour.

Everton equalised after Fraser Hornby's effort was spilled by Chester's keeper and Nathan Broadhead was on hand to fire the rebound into an empty net.

Five minutes later, Broadhead's shot came back out to substitute Harry Charsley, who duly put away goal number 2. But in no time, a Chester free-kick strikes the bar and falls to Jon Moran who side-footed home high into the net from 12 yards.

A mistake allowed Bassala Sambou to coolly slot the ball under Grant Shenton in the Chester goal, restoring Everton's lead.

Shayne Lavery, the Northern Irish striker replaced Sambou and added the fourth with a calm finish nine minutes from time.

Scorers: Broadhead 55', Charsley 61', Sambou 65', Lavery 81'

Everton U23s: Renshaw (46' Hansen), Denny, Galloway, Ouzounidis (46' Foulds), Browning, Adeniran (83' Bramall), Markelo, Evans (46' Charsley), Broadhead (81' Mampala), Hornby (76' Gordon), Sambou (66' Lavery).

Manchester United 0 - 0 Everton

Pre-season U23s friendly; Game #4
Saturday 4 August 2018
Deva Stadium, Chester

Everton Under-23s drew with their Manchester United counterparts on Saturday in the final game of their pre-season preparations.

The game at Man Utd's former first-team training ground, The Cliff, was a friendly in name only, with both sides fiercely competitive throughout the 90 minutes.

After an even first half in which a blocked effort from Reds winger Josh Bohui was the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock, Everton took control in the second period.

Matty Foulds came within inches of giving the young Blues the lead just after the hour mark, heading just wide from Nathan Broadhead's fizzing, whipped free-kick delivery.

Harry Charsley was next to threaten, firing just over after excellent link-up play from Bassala Sambou.

The closest the Toffees came to grabbing a winner came 14 minutes from time, however, when Antony Evans was played in by Shayne Lavery and forced a terrific, full-stretch stop from the United 'keeper low down to his right-hand side.

Everton U23s: Hilton, Denny, Browning, Foulds, Galloway, Evans, Markelo (60' Gordon), Williams (46' Adeniran), Broadhead, Sambou (75' Lavery), Hornby (46' Charsley)

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