Young Blues find West Brom a Youth Cup tie too far

Tuesday, 27 April, 2021 44comments  |  Jump to last
West Brom U18s 2 - 1 Everton U18s

After two massive away wins against teams with the best of pedigrees at this level in recent years, Everton U18s have reached the quarterfinal stage of this season's FA Youth Cup. They travelled to The Hawthorns this evening to face West Brom for a very absorbing matchup was ultimately edged by a stronger home side despite Everton having taken the lead midway through the second half.

Sean McAllister got a chance to shoot at goal in the first 10 minutes but he took a little too long and it went out for a corner. From that, Eli Campbell should have done a lot better when played in.. but showing why he's not a striker.

Welch gave up a foul in a dangerous position but the home side could not profit, despite dominating the early exchanges. West Brom created a guilt-edged chance that was headed straight at Leban who was very l=thnkful to bat the ball away. But Everton mistakes were continually inviting pressure as The Baggies looked to take control of the game with Leban making a few more important saves.

A great ball down the right-wing looked to have released Cannon but he completely messed up, failing to make a pass, losing the ball, and allowing West Brom to attack again. Cannon almost made up for it with a nice ball for Whitaker but the defender was in quickly.

A wonderful West Brom strike required a fingertip save from Leban before the half-time whistle went, with both sides putting in a lot of effort but making plenty of mistakes.

The story was all too familiar after the break with West Brom immediately pressing and putting a lot of pressure on the Everton defence, which stood firm. But at the other end, Everton created a good chance and screamed for a penalty on the defensive block.

Everton continued to apply more pressure and finally a golden chance fell to Stanley Mills, who buried his shot well wide of the keeper, an excellent finish to give Everton the lead.

But a determined attack saw the home side equalize after a good save parried back into play by Leban was hammered back past him. Livewire Rafael Garcia came on for Tom Cannon. Leban had to make another good save from a tricky curling shot. An incredible corner by West Brom looked ot hve been put in at the near post but Matty Mallon was pon the post and kept it out of the Everton net.

More impossible West Brom pressure saw a great point-blank save by Leban. Everton went up the other end but could not score and the inevitable append then, as West Brom, who had been the better side overall, scored a fine goal into the corner, beyond Leban.

An excellent counter-attack saw Small try to lash it home from a narrow angle but it was saved well. A couple of corners followed for Everton but came to nought.

Garci should have had a penalty as he drew a foul just inside the 18-yard box but nothing this time from the referee. But Everton wasted the corner, poorly overhit, with barely minutes left.

Everton kept pressing, Butterfield with a free-kick from near the corner flag, followed by Samlla again lashing the ball this time across the face of goal, but the young Everton players just couldn't make it happen and a very competitive FA Youth Cup tie brought Everton's involvement to an end for another season.

Everton U18s: Leban, Mallon, Welch, Campbell, Small, Warrington, Butterfield, Mills (78' Dobbin), Whitaker, McAllister, Cannon (71' Garcia).
Subs: Stewart, Lowey, Kristensen, Quintyne, Metcalfe.  

Reader Comments (44)

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Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
1 Posted 27/04/2021 at 10:25:35
Some conflicting indications on the location, with Everton saying the game is at Birmingham County FA, while Birmingham Live say it's at The Hawthorns.

Not that it matters to us remote viewers but I just hope they go to the right venue!

Michael Kenrick
2 Posted 27/04/2021 at 11:45:42
Here's the stats for appearances and goals by Everton's Academy players in this competition so far:

Player Apps (Sub) Goals
Jak Stewart 1 (0) 0
Zan-Luk Leban 2 (0) 0
Mathew Mallon 3 (0) 1
Thierry Small 3 (0) 0
Daniel Lowey 0 (1) 0
Reece Welch 2 (0) 1
Sebastian Kristensen 2 (0) 0
Harry Hagan 1 (0) 0
Sean McAllister 2 (1) 2
Issac Price 2 (0) 0
Jenson Metcalfe 0 (1) 0
Lewis Warrington 3 (0) 0
Rafael Garcia 0 (3) 0
Tom Cannon 3 (0) 2
Tyler Onyango 2 (0) 0
Charlie Whitaker 3 (0) 0
Imam Jagne 0 (0) 0
Jack Tierney 0 (0) 0
Eli Campbell 2 (0) 0
Luke Butterfield 1 (1) 1
Lewis Dobbin 1 (0) 0
Stan Mills 0 (1) 0
Danny O’Neill
3 Posted 27/04/2021 at 11:49:21
Thanks for the reminder Michael. Looking forward to this; young Warrington impressed me in the match against City.

In true lockdown style, if they do end up at the wrong location, maybe they can Zoom in on the big screen and virtually play the match!

Jay Wood

4 Posted 27/04/2021 at 11:54:41
One of the standout players in the U-18's cup run has been the Slovenian keeper Zan-Luk Leban.

There is a nice interview with the lad on the club site here:

Zan-Luk Leban Interview

Slovenian, signed from a Polish club in 2019, yet his English accent is a delicious mix of Scouse and Lancastrian I was impressed!

Danny O’Neill
5 Posted 27/04/2021 at 11:59:56
Remember Jan Molby, Jay? He sounded like he'd grown up in the Dingle!
Dave Abrahams
6 Posted 27/04/2021 at 12:15:24
Michael, thanks for the list of names who have played in this competition this season, they have done well and yet the team has team has been a mixture of those twenty two players, no settled eleven, although to be honest two of those players were taken from the squad,Welch and Price, for the Chelsea game as they were on duty? with the first team.

Here’s hoping the lads chosen tonight put in another sterling display and get us further to capturing some silverware, and point to future success right through the club, come on lads, we won’t be in person but willing you on from all parts of the world,just give your all and that will be enough for most of us, What’s Our Name? Starts with an “E”

Dennis Stevens
7 Posted 27/04/2021 at 12:51:41
Really looking forward to this, I hope the cameras will be at the right location! The previous matches have been most enjoyable to watch.
Tony Everan
8 Posted 27/04/2021 at 13:29:55
Thanks for the reminder, Michael, looking forward to watching tonight. A few of the youngsters are starting to make a mark so it will be very interesting to see how they're progressing. Leban, Small, Warrington, Cannon seem to be on a very promising trajectory along with the unlucky Onyango.
Phill Thompson
9 Posted 27/04/2021 at 13:38:35
From the Chelsea game, I would think that Reece Welch and Isaac Price would come back in for Kristensen and Dobbin respectively. It may mean that Luke Butterfield changes position or we try 4-4-2 instead of the usual 4-2-3-1 with Cannon up front.

People have seen the games and have their own opinions on the different players, as a team what has been particularly impressive is their work ethic, how they keep their shape when defending but spring forward in numbers when attacking. Looking forward to this against what appears to be a good WBA team.

Jay Wood

10 Posted 27/04/2021 at 13:51:31
Danny @ 5, from your own travels you will know that thanks to their education systems certain nations encourage their citizens to have multiple-linguistic skills.

Then there are individuals who just have innate skills, capable of picking up almost any language.

I knew an ex-forces lad whose girlfriend was one such. She even worked for MI5 (or 6...) because of it. She could listen to a new language for 15 minutes and somehow grasp its grammar, add new vocabulary and within hours she was reasonably fluent.

Back end of the 70s-early 80s I was living and working in Holland, along with the great diaspora of the disenfranchised and unemployed from every corner of Margaret Thatcher's UK.

There was a lovely Dutch lass who worked at Schiphol's International Airport Hotel who shacked up with a Scouser. She developed the most distinctive Irish-Scouse accent you could possibly imagine when speaking English. You would never guess her as being a cloggie!

Young Zan-Luk Leban (isn't that a great name?) seems to display the same innate language skills. It's said to be a sure sign of intelligence. Whatever. He's a damn fine keeper and one to keep an eye on.

Danny O’Neill
11 Posted 27/04/2021 at 15:18:27
You are indeed correct Jay. I always get humbled, embarrassed almost by the way in which people from other countries can adapt to and adopt different languages. I suppose the universal take up of English has made us lazy, but I still like to make a fist of it.

I speak German to an understandable level. I probably have the grammar skills of a 6 year old, but I can get by. That is the most important thing.

The Dutch in particular have always amazed me. They speak English more fluent than many native speakers. And likewise with their German. The Scandinavians also. But then they start foreign languages in school from the age of 6.

I think living in a country above all helps. I wasn't educated in German per say, but playing football with German kids and having to communicate makes you communicate if that makes sense. I knew an "Ecke" was a corner, an "Elf Meter" was a penalty. The universal language of football I guess!

Phill Thompson
12 Posted 27/04/2021 at 15:27:47
Jay, my Mrs is the linguist for us, not quite up to your MI5 bods standard, but I remember when we first went to Budapest she picked up a good smattering of Hungarian over the weekend. Fortunately, I have the mathematical skills, she’d be hopeless at working out what’s needed to get a CL place on goal difference.
Jay Wood

13 Posted 27/04/2021 at 16:10:22
Phil @ 12:

'she’d be hopeless at working out what’s needed to get a CL place on goal difference.'

She wouldn't be in the minority, Phil!

Can't wait for this Youth Cup game to KO. Been anticipating it all day. Didn't we go out of this competition a couple of seasons ago to the Baggies, having tanked them by ten goals earlier in the season..? Harry Tyrer had been the hero in the previous round away to Stoke in the penalty shoot out, if my memory serves me well.

Dave Abrahams
14 Posted 27/04/2021 at 16:45:21
Jay (13), yes I think we lost 3-2. Mentioning Harry Tyrer, he is another good goalkeeping prospect to go with tonight’s No. one Leban, to be honest, as good as the team has played versus City and Chelsea, Leban has kept us in the game each time, I hope he doesn’t have as much to do tonight, but if he does I think he will be up to it.
Phill Thompson
15 Posted 27/04/2021 at 17:14:29
Jay/Dave, we have done comparatively poorly in this competition in recent years given some of the players we had and teams we went out to. I’ll be more nervous tonight than for recent first team games!
Phill Thompson
16 Posted 27/04/2021 at 18:34:38
Price not in the team or squad. Welch comes back, Mills retains his place, Dobbin on the bench with Garcia and Metcalfe.

Mallon, Welch, Campbell, Small
Warrington, Butterfield,
Mills, Whitaker, McAllister

That is my take on how we’ll line up, but they’ll switch about at times.

Kieran Kinsella
17 Posted 27/04/2021 at 19:07:12
Wonder if Allardyce is copping any flack from WBA fans for not blooding some youngsters given how well their kids are doing versus their first team? On paper, you'd think this would be an easier game for Everton after the last two but WBAs results suggest otherwise. It would be good to win this tourney again.
Brent Stephens
18 Posted 27/04/2021 at 19:15:02
Well worked corner. Bad miss.
Tony Everan
19 Posted 27/04/2021 at 19:21:10
Two great chances fluffed, we need a bit more composure in front of goal. West Brom’s defence looks a bit shaky but they have good energy going forward. It’s going to be a close match.
Bill Griffiths
20 Posted 27/04/2021 at 19:39:57
Second best so far.
Brent Stephens
21 Posted 27/04/2021 at 19:42:50
WBA much better passing side.
Frank Wade
22 Posted 27/04/2021 at 19:51:09
The Youth side seems to have contracted this backpassing virus from the first team. Twice we turned attacks in the final third, one with Small at corner flag, into shots on our goal with back passes to our keeper. So frustrating.
Dave Abrahams
23 Posted 27/04/2021 at 19:54:48
Two good chances missed, but WBA much the better team. Leban is making some good saves. Again, too much going backwards, twice they've gone from the opposition corner flag to the Leban.

Passing is awful, sorry lads. I know you're very young but you'll have to pick it up quite a lot in the second half. Garcia when he comes on should liven them up.

Phill Thompson
24 Posted 27/04/2021 at 19:56:07
We need to get Whitaker on the ball more, he’s the key to unlocking this WBA defence.
Phill Thompson
25 Posted 27/04/2021 at 19:59:54
Hopefully Dobbin gets some game time tonight with him and Garcia running at a tiring defence.
Jay Wood

26 Posted 27/04/2021 at 20:00:15
Second best? Better passing from them? Sorry. Can't agree.

It's a really good game between two well-matched teams.

We started well. WBA got a foothold and employ a high press. As a result, yes, the ball gets turned over sometimes, but where has it got them so far? A 6-yard box header from the single telling cross they played, easily gobbled up by Zan-Luk.

When we do get it right under the high press - and we've done it tellingly on 3-4 occasions - we've seriously exposed their back line, leaving their midfield floundering.

Only poor decision making in not playing in supporting players or going too early to be offside (Tom Canon), or not getting good contact when put in the clear (McAllister) not taking full advantage of those opportunities.

We've also created two lovely corner routines that could both have produced a goal.

Yes, some passes have been misplaced, but there has also been excellent play from both Warrington and Whittaker in midfield.

We look tighter and better organized at the back than WBA and the chasing and harrowing the Baggies are doing will catch up with them as the game goes on, whereas we have plenty in reserve.

All changes with a goal for either side, but IMO on real opportunities created in the first half, we are doing better than them.

Phill Thompson
27 Posted 27/04/2021 at 20:01:23
Good to see Onyango in shot there talking with Isaac Price.
Brent Stephens
28 Posted 27/04/2021 at 20:10:41
Superb from Butterfield
Brent Stephens
29 Posted 27/04/2021 at 20:21:09
1-0. Mrs Mills boy.
Brent Stephens
30 Posted 27/04/2021 at 20:26:20
1-1. Failure by Campbell (?) to execute the tackle and win the ball properly.
Brent Stephens
31 Posted 27/04/2021 at 20:30:54
1-2. Super strike for wba player. Too much space and time.
Michael Kenrick
32 Posted 27/04/2021 at 20:58:06
Surprised you called it so wrong there, Jay. I thought it was obvious they were the stronger side.

Still a tremendous effort our boys put in, and some pretty entertaining football. But at bottom, it's the same old stuff: care of the ball, precision in passing, avoiding stupid lunges and kicks, being sloppy.

I know I focus on the mistakes but this is what kills us in the end.

Mike Doyle
33 Posted 27/04/2021 at 21:00:44
West Brom’s lads definitely look like a Big Sam side. Not sure of the ages of the players on display but many of ours (Thierry Small excepted) looked much younger and physically frail in comparison. Not a bad game though.
Phill Thompson
34 Posted 27/04/2021 at 21:00:55
Hard to deny WBA didn’t deserve it but, we could have had at least one of two penalties, Small fizzing in good shots twice so could easily have gone to extra time.

I thought Welch was our best player tonight, which sums us up a bit. Missing Onyango, Price, Kouyate and a fit Dobbin was too much in the end. Still they’ve had a decent run.

Dave Abrahams
35 Posted 27/04/2021 at 21:02:10
We never improved and even though we took the lead we never had control of this game, lots of effort but little controlled football and WBA deserved their win, it will be a sad trip home for these young lads tonight and the disappointment of going out of the cup after beating two strong teams will take some getting over.
Jay Wood

36 Posted 27/04/2021 at 21:03:17
WBA just about deserved that.

Just needed a tight 10 minutes after taking the lead. Instead, the 16-year-old Campbell got caught on the wrong side in the lead up to the first goal within 5 minutes. Luk-Van probably could have done better in saving the first shot rather than palm it straight out giving their man the chance to score on the follow up.

Good shot on the winning goal. The only time all night Everton didn't have players around the ball close to our penalty area.

We still had chances for an equaliser but there was just a wee lack of composure at key times. Could we have had two penalties? Was it McAllister's shot blocked with his arm by the diving defender? And then Garcia taken down just inside the penalty area with the Baggie's man getting nothing on the ball.

Matt Mallon or the more heralded Thierry Small as the most solid full-back? Discuss.

The wait for Youth Cup glory goes on.

Phill Thompson
37 Posted 27/04/2021 at 21:09:04
Mike#33, we were mainly 16 and 17 year olds with two 16 year olds on the bench. 7 of the starting line up and 3 players on the bench will still be playing u18 next year, plus the missing Price and Kouyate. So in theory that’s our team for next year’s youth cup, plus a couple of. “ good uns” who are currently Schoolboys. As it’s Everton we’ll likely exit in the 3rd round, but I’ll look forward to watching these kids next season.
Tony Everan
38 Posted 27/04/2021 at 21:12:33
I have to agree, West Brom were better than I was expecting, good physically with a fair bit of technical skill too. Our boys found it hard work but showed good fight. They can leave with their heads held high.

Jay, a little bit harsh on Leban it was a stinging shot from close range. Thierry Small has got something about him, a confidence and a desire to be direct, strong and good with the ball at his feet. A tad unlucky not to score tonight. Of all the boys, Leban and Small, to me, look like they will be first-teamers. Very early days though for all of them.

Andy Crooks
39 Posted 27/04/2021 at 21:25:03
Jay, I found your post @10 absolutely fascinating. Is there a total opposite to that skill? I am genuinely serious. I was reasonably bright and studied GCE French. I struggled and despite working hard I got the same mark as those who didn't turn up for the exam. During the oral exam I literally could not put together a sentence in French. Tried again as an adult with the same outcome.
Danny O’Neill
40 Posted 27/04/2021 at 21:45:32
Good effort from the kids.

Remember they are kids.

Football is a game of mistakes as much as is it a game of vision and perfection. Let the kids make mistakes. It helps them develop as they learn from it.

Two evenly matched teams. The result says that. West Brom edged it physically; you could see that when they walked on the pitch. That won't matter in 5 years time. Within reason obviously but you won't simply win because you are physically stronger and bigger.

Unlucky young blues.

I kind of thought we shouldn't have worn amber in a cup match against West Brom. As much as I love that kit, it made me think of 1968 even though I wasn't alive then!

Robert Tressell
41 Posted 27/04/2021 at 23:10:41
I only caught a bit of the game. Saw some skilful defending from Welch, a very clever bit of play from Warrington and a good shot from Small. Didn't really see enough to comment further. Pleased to see Dobbin getting more minutes though.
Dennis Stevens
42 Posted 28/04/2021 at 02:46:41
Too right, Danny. As soon as I saw them in Amber & blue I felt it was a bad omen!
Bill Watson
43 Posted 29/04/2021 at 00:31:30
Andy and Jay.

I did German in school and was so crap I wasn't even put in for the GCE. It rankled a bit so in my 20s I had another go and it clicked and I did 'O' and 'A' level and post 'A' level.

Best moment was when I was staying with friends in East Berlin and was asked by a lost E German family for directions to the main line railway station. I directed them (it was a fair way away) and the guy asked me which town in Switzerland I was from! lol

Dave Abrahams
44 Posted 01/05/2021 at 17:44:41
The U18’s got over their disappointment of being knocked out or the FA youth cup last Tuesday by winning 3-1 at Wolves earlier today, with goals from Cannon, Garcia and fifteen year old Emilio Lawrence who scored three minutes from the end to clinch the game.

It was a good win because there were quite a few very young lads in the team including two fifteen and two or three sixteen year olds, Emilio is a two footed player well rated by people who have seen him, I’m not one of them, as I haven’t seen him but hope to in the future.

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