Onyango earns U23s a point at Blackburn

Friday, 27 November, 2020 16comments  |  Jump to last
Blackburn Rovers U23s 1 - 1 Everton U23s

Everton U23s continue their Premier League 2 campaign with a fixture at Blackburn Rovers tonight.

The game kicks off at 7:00 pm with live blog coverage provided on the official Everton website.

The younger players on the fringe of Carlo Ancelotti's team — Nkounkou, Kenny, Gordon and Branthwaite — have been given limited opportunities to prove themselves in senior games so far this season. But have also been largely absent from David Unsworth's second string.

Meanwhile, his core regulars for the U23s include Pennington, Baningime, Broadhead and Simms, and they seem to have even less chance of being considered for the senior team, injuries notwithstanding.

When the teams were announced, Branthwaite started alongside U18s protege Theirry Small, with Katya Kouyate also making the step up after having played for the U18s against Man Utd on Tuesday.

The home side struck first, a few minutes before half-time when Harry Chapman delivered a good ball across goal and Brad Lyons volleyed home first time.

Everton made some changes just past the hour mark and, with 6 minutes to go, a dreadful mix-up in the home defence allowed Tyler Onyango to tie the game with a simple tap-in.

Everton U23s: Tyrer; Pennington [Y:47'], Astley, Branthwaite, Small; Baningime, Onyango [Y:8'], Iversen (62' Hughes); Kouyate (63' Jagne), Simms, Broadhead.
Subs not Used: Hansen, Ouzounidis, Anderson.


Reader Comments (16)

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Phill Thompson
2 Posted 27/11/2020 at 15:27:29
Michael, I don't see Simms in the same bracket as the other three, he's at least three years younger and for me fits the profile of what we want in the U23s – a young player still improving, training with the first team but needing a wee bit more development.

Hopefully Thierry Small will make his first start at U23s tonight. I'm never sure what the thinking is re the likes of Branthwaite and Gordon, give them game time even at a lower level or keep them fresh in case of injuries on the day?

Robert Tressell
3 Posted 27/11/2020 at 15:57:20
I agree, Phill. Simms, at a relatively young age still, is now showing that he can reproduce his goal scoring at this level and his general play seems to be improving too. Probably best to keep him at this level to develop his game for rest of season.

But what is his next step? Understudy to Calvert-Lewin in the first team? Or out on loan (UK or abroad)?

Personally, I don't think you should spend much more than a season or two at U23s level.

Phill Thompson
4 Posted 27/11/2020 at 16:28:59
Robert, there appears to be a degree of flexibility (uncertainty?) around Simms‘s next move. A January loan takes him away from Finch Farm and first-team squad training but, on balance, I'd like to see that. When he's moving and scoring goals, he looks excellent but, in some games, he barely features.

He was in the England U20s squad the other week but not in the starting line-up of the one team I saw (Gordon was). So others see something missing beyond the goals he scores.

A loan move would force him to play consistently well to keep his place. I wonder if he switches off in some U23 games as he knows he's our best No 9 at this level and certain to be picked?

If Tosun moves on in January, things may change again.

Michael Kenrick
5 Posted 27/11/2020 at 16:39:09
Hi Phill,

Yea, I felt it was probably wrong to group Simms in there with the other 3 who, to be frank, must have no chance of any more first-team involvement as they play down their contracts.

Still puzzles me how the likes of our first-team bench and other fringe players never (or hardly ever) figure for the U23s. In my simple mind, playing the game is the only way to keep match-fit. They must feel they do enough in training, I suppose.

And then there's Bolasie... the mind simply boggles at the enormous waste.

Robert Tressell
6 Posted 27/11/2020 at 17:05:36
Loans are so tricky. You kind of want to find a competitive lower league club with a progressive manager. Not sure what. Norwich? They already have Idah at a similar age. Derby? Scotland - maybe?

Personally I like the idea of our kids developing professionally and personally overseas. Simms is the same age as Nkounkou so why not. There's no language barrier in Northern Europe as everyone speaks superb English. I know I'd have loved it at 19.

Phill Thompson
7 Posted 27/11/2020 at 17:11:23
Haha Michael, Bolasie and others for the U23s, I'm shocked! I think you'll have to take that up with Antony Kelly. :-)

The reality is we don't really know the interaction between Carlo, Brands, Unsworth re selection of older players, keeping them fit, etc. Unsworth is still getting stick for playing Oumar Niasse a few years ago.

Phill Thompson
8 Posted 27/11/2020 at 19:04:34
So Small starts, as does Katia Kouyate, both start for the first time. A surprise leap for Kouyate over Cannon and Dobbin. It’s a decent side, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 mainly except for the obvious 3.
16-year-old left-back Thierry Small starts for #EFCU23s after this week being linked with Arsenal and Bayern Munich.

#EFC: Tyrer; Pennington, Astley, Branthwaite, Small; Baningime, Onyango, Iversen; Kouyate, Simms, Broadhead.

Subs: Hansen, Ouzounidis, Anderson, Hughes, Jagne.

Phill Thompson
9 Posted 27/11/2020 at 19:57:10
HT Blackburn 1-0

Sam Carroll
Goal. Blackburn Rovers lead. Harry Chapman delivers across goal and Brad Lyons volleys home first time.

1-0 #EFCU23s.

Phill Thompson
11 Posted 27/11/2020 at 20:02:05
I thought this was a good post on the match from Sam Carroll, the Echo reporter Re Simms:

Sam Carroll @ 27 mins:

Ellis Simms's hold-up play has come on so much in 12 months. Last year he was having double sessions at Finch Farm and it is paying off. Just won a free-kick when he had no team-mate within 10 yards of him by getting his body around the ball. Superb.

Dave Abrahams
12 Posted 27/11/2020 at 20:46:43
Well, it's the old hands who are providing the brief highlights of this game, but no goals, unfortunately. Broadhead has had two good efforts saved and Pennington saved a certain goal earlier on. 12 minutes left.
Dave Abrahams
13 Posted 27/11/2020 at 20:49:21
Blackburn cock it up in defence and Onyango snaps the simple chance up, courtesy of Ringmaster on another website.
Dave Abrahams
14 Posted 27/11/2020 at 20:56:22
Finished 1-1, Everton stopped Blackburn going top of the league with this draw.
Antony Kelly
15 Posted 27/11/2020 at 22:02:27
Great to see Small and Kouyate etc play, that's encouraging. Unsworth must have been forced into it, far too coincidental that Small played... However good to see some of the younger lads being pushed up.

Now just get rid of Broadhead, Beningime, Pennington etc, and Simms out on loan to a League One or Two team.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
16 Posted 29/11/2020 at 13:26:36
Don't you just love a typo so you make cheap jokes. . . .

Sorry Michael, but it at least proves we are reading your work.

"Katya Kouyate also making the step up after having played for the U1s against Man Utd on Tuesday."

This is what I like to see, get them in young. Presumably he in the team for his dribbling skills.

Michael Kenrick
17 Posted 29/11/2020 at 22:49:12
Damn! Thanks, Phil. I think I spelt Katia wrong as well!

Been having so many internet issues and well distracted at this end.

Must do better!

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
18 Posted 30/11/2020 at 09:24:33
Michael - After the frustrations of Saturday - we needed something to give us a chuckle.

Some of us have such simple tastes in humour.

And some of us are just simple!

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