Everton U23s held to a draw with Brighton

Saturday, 24 April, 2021 17comments  |  Jump to last
Full Time: 1 - 1

Everton U23s secured a creditable draw against on Brighton & Hove Albion in Premier League 2 on Saturday.

The half-time score was 1-0 after Nathan Broadhead scored from the spot just before the break. But the visitors equalized just after the hour.

Everton U23s: Tyrer, John [Y:75'], Nkounkou [Y:24'], Ozounidis, Anderson, Metcalfe, Bowler, Jagne (60' Quintyne), Broadhead, Hughes (76' Lowey), Dobbin (32' Garcia [Y:35']).
Subs not Used: Barrett, Kristensen.


Reader Comments (17)

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Phill Thompson
1 Posted 24/04/2021 at 18:02:05
I watched the match on the Club's TV stream, and thoroughly enjoyed it. With the amount of injuries we have at this level and the best U18s being kept back for the FA Youth Cup on Tuesday, this was another young team.

16-year-old Schoolboy Jenson Metcalfe was thrust into the No 6 position with only 1 or 2 starts at even U18. Alongside him was 17-year-old Imam Jagne at No 8, again making his first start, also with only a few u18 starts. Lewis Dobbin too was making, I think, his first Premier League 2 start.

The more experienced Brighton team were very much in control in the first 20 minutes as we struggled to hold onto the ball. Josh Bowler was our most lively attacking player, looking a threat whenever he got the ball. Once Metcalfe and Jagne settled down in their roles, we started to look better.

The unfortunate Dobbin suffered another injury after 35 minutes and had to be replaced by Rafael Garcia. We changed our formation a wee bit with Garcia and Broadhead often playing as a 2 up front, sometimes Broadhead dropping back into midfield.

Just before half-time, Metcalfe picked up the ball in his own half and sent a superb curving ball forward for Bowler to run onto and he was brought down in the box. It was a clear penalty which Broadhead thumped home.

Brighton pressed again at the start of the second half, with our experienced defenders coping well. Tyrer looking very sound in goal and Kyle John not letting anybody pass at right-back.

On 51 mins, Brighton scored with a great shot which didn't give Tyrer much chance. Factually, Metcalfe was dispossessed in midfield by a stronger Brighton player and they scored from it. He'll fill out and get stronger in coming years so I'm not too critical of him.

Jagne was replaced on 60 mins by another 16-year-old Schoolboy debutant, right-back Roman Quintyne. John moved into the middle alongside Metcalfe. We had a few more chances, particularly from Bowler when he was set up by another cracking through pass by Metcalfe. In fact, I counted four through passes hit by Metcalfe, some performance from the 16 year old.

Quintyne too looked impressive in the 30 minutes he was on. He's not as stockily built as Small, played well defensively and has a rapid turn of pace down the wing when he moves forward which he often did linking up with John and Bowler. Definitely another for the future.

Overall I'd say 1-1was a fair result, Garcia, Broadhead and Bowler could have won it but I suspect Unsworth will be pleased by that performance from his young team.

No doubt the usual suspects will be along with their “Look at me! Look at me! None of them will make the first team!”

Statistically that's highly likely and four of these won't be with us next season. You know I don't really care. I'm an Evertonian who supports all our teams, but I have to say I got more pleasure out of this match than many of our first team performances lately, even if we didn't win.

It was a pleasure to watch two 16-year-old Schoolboys and a 17-year-old playing their hearts out at this level and giving their all. The fact that Jenson Metcalfe lasted 90 minutes and was still going strong at the end despite not even training full time was particularly impressive. Remember the name.

Robert Tressell
2 Posted 24/04/2021 at 18:02:06
Pleased to see Dobbin get more minutes - albeit presumably cut short by another injury. Hopefully nothing serious. Very young central midfield in Metcalfe and Jagne. With Broadhead and Bowler out of contract in summer, we will have a young U23s next season.
Brent Stephens
3 Posted 24/04/2021 at 18:14:04
Phill. Great report. I couldn’t get to watch the game so thanks for that.
Peter Gorman
4 Posted 24/04/2021 at 00:13:44
Thanks for the write up, Phill. Shame that Dobbin's luck continues to desert him, this is valuable development time he is losing.
Mark Dunford
5 Posted 25/04/2021 at 07:48:03
Phill. Thanks for taking the time to watch and write up such a good report.
Pete Williams
6 Posted 25/04/2021 at 11:57:15
Thanks for the write up Phill. Very glad to hear we're going to see some more good prospects coming through soon and yours is the right approach i.e. don't expect miracles, just enjoy the game. I'll certainly keep an eye out for Metcalfe in the future.

I actually think Everton are doing the right thing by making the PL2 team younger. These days the jump from there to full PL is too much and loans are needed as the acid test. Very occasionally you'll get a Rooney, but that will be an exception. After all the legendary Coleman needed a loan to Blackpool and even then he had some rough edges.

Michael Kenrick
7 Posted 25/04/2021 at 12:00:49
Thanks for the report, Phill. I completely missed this one!

Quite a raft promotions from the U18s! Lowey and Kristensen getting exposure at this level for the first time also.

And Nkounkou playing for his second U23 game in a row, after being on the seniors' bench for most of the season and not getting hardly a sniff since the defeat at Newcastle back on 1 November.

This means a number of the U23s regulars have dropped off the radar in recent games:

Quirk (possibly injured since February?)
Hunt (possibly injured?)
Iversen (possibly injured?)

Price, Welch, Small, Butterfield and Cannon also missing, while Whitaker, Mallon and Warrington – all elevated from the U18s for the last two games – didn't feature either.

Surprising that Liam Higgins has not made the step up since he was a sub on the opening day of the season. Bobby Carroll and Kouyate have barely featured either. And I don't know what has happened to Jack McIntyre, absent all season.

Phill Thompson
8 Posted 25/04/2021 at 16:11:30
Michael, yep there are a number of injuries at U23s level, Quirk, Carroll, Astley, Iversen, Kouyate definitely and I’m assuming Hunt. The other eight u18 players who have played U23s were not risked pending Tuesday’s Youth Cup match against WBA.

It wasn’t clear what injury befell Lewis Dobbin, suddenly he was down with no obvious contact, it may be he felt a tweak or reoccurrence of his previous injury and they took him off as a precaution.

Liam Higgins is a bit of a mystery as you say. They moved him from midfield to right back to try him out in one match but nothing came of it or maybe he too suffered an injury. He’s now been overtaken by Matthew Mallon at right back and a host of younger midfielders, so sadly I don’t think he’ll be offered a pro contract.

Dave Abrahams
9 Posted 25/04/2021 at 19:48:35
Echoing quite a few on here Phill, thanks very much for that great report, Phill do you think they are rushing Dobbin back too quickly,it’s only about two weeks since he went off at Chelsea in the Youth cup game, talking of which, what time is the game v WBA on Tuesday and are the club showing this game ?

It looks like the Acadamy is getting a fresh look with all these youngsters coming in, it’s very rare for schoolboys to be playing for the U23’s, not only playing but playing well, thanks again for your report.

Robert Tressell
10 Posted 25/04/2021 at 20:31:15
Excited to read your comments about Metcalfe, Phill. Even if comments about the likes of Higgins and Quirk etc put into context just how hard it is to kick on from this level.

Really hope Dobbin can recover from injury and also the form which made him so promising.

Phill Thompson
11 Posted 25/04/2021 at 23:01:58
Dave, I think, but obviously don’t know, that the likely plan for Dobbin on Saturday was to give him 45 mins then replace him with Garcia, thus giving him some game time prior to the Youth Cup. This is a 7pm kick off on Tuesday night and is available for free on the Club’s You Tube channel. It’s easy to find and they’re sure to provide links - or someone on TW with better IT skills than me will provide a link!

Robert, Dobbin looked a bit rusty in the 30 mins he was on, not back to the sharp, exciting prospect he is yet.

16 of course is no age at all to judge most youngsters, Metcalfe is certainly no Rooney, so I’m cautious not to place too much expectation on him. I just enjoyed his performance.

Dave Abrahams
12 Posted 02/05/2021 at 15:45:18
The U23’s are currently beating SouthamptonU23’s 4-0 with goals from Broadhead, Mills, Whittaker and McAllister, Southampton are down to ten men after a sending off in the 32nd. minute, going by the scorers we have a very young team out.

Information from another Everton website,

Dave Abrahams
13 Posted 02/05/2021 at 15:50:44
They have just made it 5-0 with a goal from Tom Cannon, five under 18 year old lads in today’s line up and five more on the bench.

Information, as usual, from another Everton website.

Dave Abrahams
14 Posted 02/05/2021 at 16:57:59
I know you have all been waiting for this, the game finished at 5-0, they meet again next Friday. Report from usual place, no charge Lyndon/ Michael, it’s on the house (again)!!
Brent Stephens
15 Posted 02/05/2021 at 17:02:43
Well done, Dave - our raving reporter! Sorry, "roving".

The U23s team selection looks a lot less predictable these days.

Dave Abrahams
16 Posted 02/05/2021 at 17:29:54
Brent (15), It looks like a case of out with the old and in with the new, maybe a shake up at the Acadamy.
Dennis Stevens
17 Posted 02/05/2021 at 17:53:17
Thanks for keeping us all up to date, Dave.

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