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Everton Under-23s, 2020-21

[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.

As well as the U23s competing in the Premier League Cup and the Premier League International Cup, Everton are also one of the Premier League Development sides that enter U21 teams into the (ne EFL) Trophy alongside the senior sides from Football League One and League Two.

· Results & Fixtures A record of Everton's Under-23 matches for the season
· League Table Current standings in Premier League 2
· 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 will split their home matches between the newly renamed 'Pure' Stadium at Haig Avenue in Southport and Goodison Park this season, with some games also being played at Finch Farm. 

Everton's games in the 2020-21 Liverpool Senior Cup  and Lancashire Senior Cup were contested by the Under-18s, together with the FA Youth Cup too.


Under-23 Competitive Games All KOs are UK time
Date Opponent Result Scorers Venue Comp
Sat 12 Sep Liverpool (A) 0 - 1 Liverpool Academy PL2: 1
Mon 21 Sep Leicester City (H) 3 - 0 Connolly, Simms, Bowler Haig Avenue PL2 :2
Mon 28 Sep Derby County (H) 4 - 1 Simms 2, Anderson, Bowler Haig Avenue PL2: 3
Sun  4 Oct Manchester City (H) 1 - 2 Simms Haig Avenue PL2: 4
  Mon 19 Oct Tottenham H (H)   0 - 0   Haig Avenue PL2: 5
Fri 23 Oct Manchester United (A) 1 - 2 Simms Liegh Sports Village PL2: 6
  8 Nov Chelsea (H)   2 - 0 Simms, Onyango Haig Avenue PL2; 7
  20 Nov Arsenal (A)   0 - 1   Emirates Stadium PL2; 8
  27 Nov Blackburn Rovers (A)   1 - 1 Onyango Leyland PL2; 9
  14 Dec West Ham Utd (H)   2 - 1 Simms, Small Haig Avenue PL2;10
  18 Dec Brighton & Hove Albion (A)   2 - 2 Simms, Iversen Brighton PL2;11
  18 Jan Liverpool (H)   1 - 1 Hughes Haig Avenue PL2;12
  25 Jan Leicester City (A)   4 - 2 Broadhead, Ouzounidis, Small, Iversen Training Ground PL2;13
   1 Feb  Derby County (A)   3 - 1 Broadhead 2, Small Loughborough University PL2;14
  5 Feb Manchester City (A)   1 - 3 Cannon Academy Stadioum PL2;15
  22 Feb Manchester United (H)   3 - 1 Broadhead 3 Haig Avenue PL2;16
   5 Mar  Tottenham Hotspur (A)   1 - 2 Broadhead (pen) Hotspur Way PL2;17
  12 Mar Chelsea (A)   1 - 2 Hughes Kingsmeadow PL2;18
  21 Mar Arsenal (H)   1 - 1 Broadhead Haig Avenue PL2;19
   9 Apr  Blackburn Rovers (H)   2 - 1 Broadhead, Whitaker Haig Avenue PL2;20
  19 Apr West Ham United (A)   1 - 2 Bowler Rush Green PL2;21
  24 Apr Brighton & Hove Albion (H)   1 - 1 Broadhead (pen) Haig Avenue PL2;22
   3 May  Southampton (A)   5 - 0 Broadhead, Whitaker, Mills, McAllister, Cannon St Mary's Stadium PL2;23
   7 May  Southampton (H)   4 - 0 Whitaker 3,  Welch Haig Avenue PL2;24

U23 Pre-Season Friendlies All KOs are UK time
Date Opponent Result Scorers Venue Notes
Sat 15 Aug Southport (H) 1 - 2 Simms Finch Farm  
  Sat 22 Aug Runcorn (H)   7 - 1 Broadhead 5, Bowler, Hughes Finch Farm  
  Tue 25 Aug Chorley (H)   1 - 0 Broadhead Finch Farm  
  Sat 29 Aug Morecombe (H)   0 - 1   Finch Farm  

F)denotes Friendly fixture
TF denotes Friendly tournament fixture
XI denotes Friendly fixture involving an Everton XI (not necessarily the first team)
PL2 denotes Premier League 2 fixtures
PLC denotes Premier League Cup fixtures
PLIC denotes Premier League International Cup fixtures
LT denotes EFL Trophy fixtures


FA PREMIER LEAGUE 2, Division 1, 2020-21

Pos Team Pld W D L F A GD Pts
1 Chelsea 11 7 1 3 25 16 9 22
2 Manchester City 11 6 3 2 33 19 14 21
3 Blackburn Rovers 11 6 3 2 21 18 3 21
4 Tottenham 12 6 2 4 25 22 3 20
5 Liverpool 12 5 2 5 22 23 -1 17
6 Derby County 12 5 2 5 23 29 -6 17
7 Everton 12 4 4 4 17 12 5 16
8 Brighton & Hove Albion 13 4 4 5 18 26 -8 16
9 Leicester City 12 5 0 7 22 26 -4 15
10 Manchester United 12 4 3 5 27 32 -5 15
11 Arsenal 11 4 2 5 19 18 1 14
12 Southampton 11 3 2 6 18 21 -3 11
13 West Ham 10 1 2 7 12 20 -8 5

Under-23 Match Details, 2020-21

The section below contains team details, scorers, and brief match reports for Everton Under-23 matches during the 2020-21 Season.

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 formed of 24 Category 1 Development teams from top-tier Premier League and Championship clubs. It 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.

2020-21 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 Transfermarkt were:

Club Squad Average Foreign
Brighton & Hove Albion U23      
Newcastle United U23      
Leicester City U23      
Blackburn Rovers U23      
Derby County U23      
Stoke City U23      
Sunderland AFC U23      
West Ham United U23      
Southampton FC U23      
Reading FC U23      
Swansea City U23      
Middlesbrough FC U23      
Manchester United U23      
Norwich City U23      
Everton FC U23      
Fulham FC U23      
Liverpool FC U23      
West Bromwich Albion U23      
Arsenal FC U23      
Aston Villa U23      
Manchester City U23      
Wolverhampton Wanderers U23      
Tottenham Hotspur U23      
Chelsea FC U23      

Liverpool 1 - 0 Everton

Premier League 2; Game #1
Saturday 12 September 2020
Haig Avenue, Southport

David Unsworth's Under-23s side kicked-off their PL2 campaign today with a visit down the road to the Liverpool Academy that did not turn out to his liking.

The selected squad may contain pointers for Carlo Ancelotti's plan on the first-team traveling to London for the afternoon's big game in the Premier League, with Branthwaite, Kenny, Gibson and Nkounkou among those staking a claim for senior consideration, none of them in Unsworth's squad.

The game kicked off at 1 pm but Everton went behind to an early goal that was the only one of the game. Slack defending allowed Liverpool too much space inside the box to put the Reds ahead inside the first minute.

Everton pushed forwards after that goal, but just couldn't find the breakthrough. The Reds goalkeeper was forced into saves from Ellis Simms, Dennis Adeniran and Nathan Broadhead as the match progressed but it was clear the young Blues were not playing at their best.

Playing a derby in the first match of the season is always tough of course, but a strong side was chosen for this clash. Josh Bowler was out on loan in the Championship last season, Callum Connolly was away playing first team football as was Nathan Broadhead.

Add that to goalscoring machine Simms up front, the experience of Beni Baningime and the influential Dennis Adeniran and Unsworth later admitted this was a side that could and should play a lot better than they did.

"We under-performed and we've got to be honest and I think you've got to be honest with young players. The team we had out, we expected to win the game and expected to play in a certain way. We're expecting them to work as hard as they could and a lot of them let us down.

"Sometimes you've got to be brutally honest like that because it's the shock that they need. If they think they can turn up against any Liverpool team at any age group and just win a game, no matter who we have out, football doesn't work like that.

"Liverpool were there for the taking, we had numerous chances, but we didn't work hard enough, it's as simple as that."

Everton U23s: Tyrer, John, Connolly, Iversen (68' Hughes), Ouzounidis, Astley, Bowler, Baningime, Broadhead, Simms [Y], Adeniran.
Subs not Used: Leban, Anderson, Higgins, Price.

Everton 3 - 0 Leicester City

Premier League 2; Game #2
Monday 21 September 2020
Haig Avenue, Southport

David Unsworth's Under-23s side took on the Leicester City at Southport FC's Pure Stadium at 7 pm on Monday evening following a Merseyside derby defeat in their opening game of the season last weekend.

The visitors started the season an impressive 2-0 win at Manchester United that has put them at the top of the embryonic PL2 table.

It took a long time for Everton to take control after a goalless first half with early substitutions disrupting the Blues rhythm but Connolly finally broke the deadlock with a fine header on the hour mark.

Goals for Simms and then Bowler sealed a fine Blues win over the early PL2 leaders.

Everton U23s: Tyrer; Connolly [Y:67'], Astley [Y:26'], Ouzounidis, John (10' Iversen); Baningime, Adeniran, Onyango (88' Quirk); Bowler, Simms, Broadhead (15' Hughes).
Subs not Used: Hansen, Anderson.

Everton 3 - 0 Derby County

Premier League 2; Game #3
Monday 28 September 2020
Haig Avenue, Southport

Everton's Under-23s enjoyed a comprehensive victory at the Merseyrail Community Stadium in Southport as they beat Derby County 4-1.

David Unsworth's side took the lead after just 11 minutes when Einar Iversen set up Ellis Simms and the striker strode in on goal and finished confidently. Josh Bowler then rattled the post with a shot after 17 minutes.

Joe Anderson doubled the home side's lead early in the second half when he collected the ball on the edge of the box following a corner and drilled it home.

Derby pulled themselves back into the contest shortly before the hour mark when Tyree Wilson curled a free-kick into the top corner of Harry Tyrer's goal but Bowler ensured that the two-goal cushion was restored seven minutes later. The winger drove into the box and placed his shot past Ravas in the Derby goal to make it 3-1.

Three became four with four minutes to go when Astley played Simms in for his second and he made no mistake while Matthew Pennington almost made it 5-1 late on but his header came back off the crossbar.

Everton: Tyrer, Pennington, Anderson, Baningime, Ouzounidis, Astley, Bowler, Iversen (87' Cannon), Simms, Connolly, Hughes (61' Onyango)
Subs not Used: Quirk, Hansen, Carroll

Everton 1 - 2 Manchester City

Premier League 2; Game #4
Sunday 4 October 2020
Haig Avenue, Southport

Everton Under-23s suffered a late reverse, losing 2-1 to Manchester City on Sunday after conceding a last-minute penalty.

Everton had earlier equalised through striker Ellis Simms — his fourth goal in four Premier League 2 games this season — after City had taken an early lead.

The equaliser came midway through the first half when Simms took advantage of some indecision to prod the ball into an unguarded net.

Everton had a goal disallowed on the half-hour, Ryan Astley won a header from a corner and Matthew PWith less than 20 seconds to go, Joe Anderson fouled McAtee inside the box, the referee pointed to the spot and Doyle stroked home the winner.

Everton U-23s: Tyrer, Pennington, Connolly, Baningime, Ouzounidis, Astley, Hughes [Y] (74' Hunt), Onyango, Simms, Iversen, Anderson [Y]. Subs: Hansen, Quirk, Carroll, Cannon.

Everton 0 - 0 Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League 2; Game #5
Monday 19 October 2020
Haig Avenue, Southport

Everton U23s were held to a scoreless draw by Spurs in Southport on Monday evening, with 5 players shown yellow cards.

New signing Imam Jagne came on at half-time for his Everton debut. First games at this level for Mackenzie Hunt and Thierry Small

Everton U23s: Virginia, Pennington, Anderson [Y:15'] (67' Small), Baningime [Y:85'], Ouzounidis, Astley, Hunt [Y:23'] (46' Jagne [Y:60']), Onyango [Y:63'], Simms, Iversen, Hughes. Subs: Tyrer, Quirk, Cannon.

Manchester United 2 - 1 Everton

Premier League 2; Game #6
Friday 23 October 2020
Leigh Sports Ground

Manchester United U23s defeated their Everton counterparts with a late penalty to condemn Unsworth's side to a third successive defeat.

The Blues led through another goal from Ellis Simms on the hour but were pegged back 14 minutes later.

Everton defended resolutely at Leigh Sports Village but their resistance was broken from the spot in the 96th minute.

Everton U23s: Virginia, Pennington, Anderson [Y], Baningime

[Y], Ouzounidis, Astley, Broadhead, Onyango [Y], Simms (86' Jagne), Iversen (82' Cannon), Hughes (46' Quirk [Y]).
Subs: Tyrer, Small.

Premier League International Cup, 2020-21

2014-15 saw the introduction of The Premier League International Cup —  with invited European sides competing in a four-group tournament. 2020-21, the 5th season of the Premier League's continental competition for development teams, Everton entered an U23 side into the Premier League International Cup, in a tournament that was won last season by Villarreal.

The format of the International Cup sees 24 clubs - 12 from England & Wales and the other half from Europe - competing in six groups of four teams with each side playing each other once, either home, away or at a neutral venue, with all games to be staged in England. There are two representatives from Europe and two from England & Wales in every group, with the top club in each plus the two best placed runners-up advancing to the knockout stages of the competition. 

Premier League Cup, 2020-21

As well as their involvement in the Premier League 2 and the Premier League International Cup, the U23 side are competing in the Premier League Cup which will be changing its format for 2020-21. The competition will be in a ‘Champions League’ style with a full home and away group stage followed by a Round of 16 knockout for the teams that progress through the groups. 

EFL Trophy, 2020-21

Everton decided not to enter the EFL Trophy for 2020-21, citing fixture congestion.


Under-23 Appearances, 2020-21

Player League Apps (Sub) League
Cup Apps
 Beni Baningime 12 (0)  0 0 (0) 0
 Ryan Astley 12 (0)  0 0 (0) 0
 Ellis Simms 12 (0)  8 0 (0) 0
 Einar Iversen 11 (1)  1 0 (0) 0
 Tyler Onyango 10 (1)  2 0 (0) 0
 Con Ouzounidis 9 (0)  0 0 (0) 0
 Matthew Pennington 9 (0)  0 0 (0) 0
 Harry Tyrer 8 (0)  0 0 (0) 0
 Rhys Hughes 7 (4)  1 0 (0) 0
 Nathan Broadhead 7 (0)  0 0 (0) 0
 Joe Anderson 5 (3)  1 0 (0) 0
 Joao Virginia 4 (0)  0 0 (0) 0
 Callum Connolly 4 (0)  1 0 (0) 0
 Kyle John 4 (0)  0 0 (0) 0
 Thierry Small 3 (1)  1 0 (0) 0
 Jarrad Branthwaite 3 (0)  0 0 (0) 0
 Josh Bowler 3 (0)  2 0 (0) 0
 Katia Kouyate 2 (2)  0 0 (0) 0
 Niels Nkounkou 2 (0)  0 0 (0) 0
 Dennis Adeniran 2 (0)  0 0 (0) 0
 Seb Quirk 1 (3)  0 0 (0) 0
 Mackenzie Hunt 1 (2)  0 0 (0) 0
 Anthony Gordon 1 (0)  0 0 (0) 0
 Imam Jagne 0 (5)  0 0 (0) 0
 Tom Cannon 0 (4)  0 0 (0) 0
 Nicolas Hansen 0 (0)  0 0 (0) 0
 Zan-Luk Leban 0 (0)  0 0 (0) 0
 Bobby Carroll 0 (0)  0 0 (0) 0
 Lewis Dobbin 0 (0)  0 0 (0) 0
 Jack McIntyre 0 (0)  0 0 (0) 0

2020-21 Friendlies

Everton U23 1 - 2 Southport

Pre-season friendly; Game #1
Thursday 15 August 2020
Finch Farm

Southport scored late to secure the win in a Finch Farm friendly against David Unsworth's Under-23s on Saturday afternoon.

Ellis Simms opened the scoring with a sharp finish after 31 minutes and Everton had several opportunities to go further ahead.

Unsworth's team played with speed and purpose throughout the first hour, and Rhys Hughes twice forced splendid stops from the away side's goalkeeper. The Southport keeper also made a smart save from the dangerous Simms.

Both sides made a host of changes during the second half and Southport gradually began to assert pressure.

The visitors levelled when Mo Ali applied the finishing touch following a slick free-kick move and snatched victory when Marcus Carver slotted home in stoppage time.

No explanation has been forthcoming as to why the much-heralded new signing, Niels Nkounkou failed to even make the matchday squad.

Everton U23s: Tyrer (46' Hansen), John, Ouzounidis, Astley, Anderson, Hunt, Iversen, Onyango, Hughes, Dobbin, Simms.
Subs: Quirk, Cannon, McAllister, Small, Higgins, Kouyate

Everton U23 7 - 1 Runcorn

Pre-season friendly; Game #2
Saturday 22 August 2020
Finch Farm
Nathan Broadhead scored five fine goals as a dominant Everton Under-23s side beat Runcorn Town 7-1 in a pre-season friendly at USM Finch Farm on Saturday afternoon.

Josh Bowler and Rhys Hughes were also on target as David Unsworth's team produced a scintillating attacking performance.

Everton piled on the pressure after the North West Counties League Premier Division side took an early lead through Kieran Holsgrove.

Bowler struck the post and Broadhead forced an acrobatic fingertip stop from Runcorn goalkeeper Adam Reid before the Blues got the equaliser their slick forward play deserved.

Everton's opening goal came on 17 minutes when a corner delivery fell at Broadhead's feet six yards from goal and the attacker lashed into the top corner.

The Wales Under-21 international scored his second on 28 minutes when he took aim from just inside the area and placed an accurate shot past Reid.

And Broadhead completed his hat-trick on the half-hour mark, rounding the Runcorn keeper and slotting into the net.

The Blues did not let up and added a fourth just before the half-time interval, the dangerous Bowler skilfully turning his marker before arrowing a low drive into the bottom corner.

Everton's fifth goal of the afternoon came 13 minutes after the break when Hughes hammered a shot in off the post from 20 yards.

Broadhead soon had his fourth and Everton's sixth, powering home from inside the area following a clever free-kick routine.

And the Welshman capped a superb individual performance by tapping in from close range three minutes from time after Bowler's shot was parried.

Everton U23 1 - 0 Chorley

Pre-season friendly; Game #3
Tuesday 25 August 2020
Finch Farm

Everton U23s took on Chorley FC in a pre-season friendly played behind closed doors at Finch Farm on Tuesday.

Nathan Broadhead was again on the scoresheet but just the one goal was scored as Unsworth's charges completed their third pre-season friendly.

Everton U23s: Hansen, Pennington, Ouzounidis, Astley, Connolly, Adeniran, Iversen, Baningime, Hughes, Broadhead, Dobbin
Subs: Leban, Bowler, Anderson, Higgins

Everton U23 0 - 1 Morecombe

Pre-season friendly; Game #4
Saturday 29 August 2020
Finch Farm

Everton Under-23s failed to score against Morecambe FC this afternoon at USM Finch Farm in their 4th pre-season friendly.

Everton nearly took the lead after just 5 minutes. Josh Bowler superbly skipped past four challenges and was only denied a sensational goal when the ball cannoned back off the Morecambe crossbar.

The Blues were bright in the early stages but couldn't take advantage of any of the corners they forced and it was somewhat against the run of play that the visitors took the lead.

Goalkeeper Nico Hansen failed to deal with a cross into the penalty area and, when the ball fell to Cole Stockton, the former Tranmere Rovers forward had the simplest of tasks to push it into the net from close range.

The dangerous Bowler almost scored at the start of the second half when he pulled a low shot just wide from 20 yards and then an angled effort from Rhys Hughes cleared the bar.

In-form Nathan Broadhead was desperately unlucky not to add to his pre-season tally when a superbly struck half-volley flashed past the keeper but crashed against the goalframe.

Substitute Lewis Dobbin came close too late on but it just wasn't to be for the young Blues against a well-organised Morecambe.


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