Everton U23s kick off the season with a draw at Ewood Park

Monday, 16 August, 2021 35comments  |  Jump to last
Blackburn Rovers U23s 2 - 2 Everton U23s

David Unsworth's Under-23 side started the season in earnest with a hard-fought draw at Ewood Park when they took on Blackburn Rovers U23s in their first Premier League 2 game.

Everton battled hard for much of the first half but went behind just before the break when Tyrer parried a shot, the rebound slotted into the net.

The Everton youngsters went further behind in the second half, in similar fashion. But Charlie Whitaker headed home a Hughes corner to half the deficit and then they got another one to equalise when Hughes's free-kick was headed out but Stanley Mills smashed a glorious half-volley into the top corner of the net.

Everton U23s: Tyrer, John, Anderson (62' Garcia [Y:87']), Astley, Welch, Butterfield, Hughes, Whitaker, Dobbin (61' Cannon), Price, McAllister (46' Mills).
Subs not Used: Barrett, Warrington.


Reader Comments (35)

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Alan J Thompson
1 Posted 16/08/2021 at 15:52:39
What is the situation with Simms's injury and when is he expected to start training again?
Phill Thompson
2 Posted 16/08/2021 at 18:55:07
There’s a live feed for £3 on Blackburn’s site, struggling to get in though
Phill Thompson
3 Posted 16/08/2021 at 19:00:58
Tyrer, John, Anderson, Astley, Welch
Butterfield, price
Hughes, Whitaker, McAllister
Tony Abrahams
4 Posted 16/08/2021 at 19:06:56
It looks like a very young team that Phill?
Phill Thompson
5 Posted 16/08/2021 at 19:07:11
Now 442 with Dobbin/ Whittaker up front.
Price tests their goalkeeper with a curling shot, then Astley heads goalwards from a corner
Phill Thompson
6 Posted 16/08/2021 at 19:09:47
Tony, 4 are 2nd years, pretty similar to end of last season,
Phill Thompson
7 Posted 16/08/2021 at 19:20:39
Pretty even so far, chances both ends, entertaining football, Everton playing out from the back.
Toffees attacking, two quick corners taken by Hughes aiming for Astley. Comes to nothing
0-0 20 mis
Phill Thompson
8 Posted 16/08/2021 at 19:29:35
0-0 30 mins
Phill Thompson
9 Posted 16/08/2021 at 19:31:44
Good break upfield McAllister wins a corner. Hughes takes. Good corner, goalkeeper flaps at it but it’s cleared.
Blackburn were 1 place above us last season.
Phill Thompson
10 Posted 16/08/2021 at 19:33:20
Best chance of game cross fromnHughes, Astley header pushed onto bar, then scrambled away.
Phill Thompson
11 Posted 16/08/2021 at 19:34:49
Oh, great break, Hughes pushes shot over. Everton having a good spell, on top here but no goals to show for it
Phill Thompson
12 Posted 16/08/2021 at 19:40:37
Good play by Dobbin wins a corner, Hughes to take again, good cross but comes to nothing. Good move from Blackburn, Tyrer saves. 0-0 40 mins
Phill Thompson
13 Posted 16/08/2021 at 19:48:14
1-0 Blackburn right on half time. Driven free kick pushed out by Tyrer, Burns tucks it home. Harsh that we’ve been better team
Robert Tressell
14 Posted 16/08/2021 at 19:50:05
Phill, anyone showing that little bit of class and personality that hints of first team football?

Phill Thompson
15 Posted 16/08/2021 at 20:02:55
Stanley Mills on for McAllister 2nd half
Phill Thompson
16 Posted 16/08/2021 at 20:05:14
Robert, no not really. We’re a young side, some de ent players but nobody you’d say ready to make what is a huge step up yet.
Free kick from Hughes drafts wide.
Phill Thompson
17 Posted 16/08/2021 at 20:17:54
Cannon and Garcia on for Dobbin and Anderson.
Phill Thompson
18 Posted 16/08/2021 at 20:20:41
Oooff, caught on the counterattack, Tyrer pushes shot away, Vale score 2-0 63 mins.
Caught pushing too many attacking players forward.
Tony Abrahams
19 Posted 16/08/2021 at 20:21:53
I’m sure he’s a Scouser the kid that scored Blackburn’s first goal Phill.
Phill Thompson
20 Posted 16/08/2021 at 20:26:20
Yes Dave he his, Sam Burns
Phill Thompson
21 Posted 16/08/2021 at 20:30:37
Good shot from John. Goal from resulting corner, Whittaker scores2-1
Phill Thompson
22 Posted 16/08/2021 at 20:39:29
Whhooo Mills with a cracking strike from a corner, smashes it home about 18 yards 2-2. Game on!

83 mins

Phill Thompson
23 Posted 16/08/2021 at 20:44:07
Garcia, gets a final warning having been booked mins ago
Phill Thompson
24 Posted 16/08/2021 at 20:51:09
Final score :2-2

It was an entertaining game, fair result will post more soon.

Phill Thompson
25 Posted 16/08/2021 at 21:04:09
Unsworth will be pleased with that fight back. We didn’t deserve to be behind at half time but Blackburn took more control in the 2nd half..
I enjoyed Luke Butterfield’s performance in the no 6 jersey, played furthest back of the midfielders and looked very composed at times. Rhys Hughes was involved in both the goals with his corners and Ryan Astley had a real captains game at centre back, with young Reece Welch looking good alongside him too. Dobbin and Whittaker had few chances to shine, same with Cannon and Garcia when they came on - Garcia is always a cross between a bundle of energy and a headless chicken when he comes on, he always gets booked for daft tackles. Stanley Mills played well after he came on and slotted into right back when Anderson went off.
Dave Abrahams
26 Posted 16/08/2021 at 22:08:30
Phill (various), most of the Everton team were very young to be playing in this league, have you any idea of the ages of the Blackburn team, it seems we could have been playing against lads who were a few years older than our boys so it could have been a better than average performance.

It would be nice to think most of these lads could grow together as a team over the next few years, or is that too fanciful?

Phill Thompson
27 Posted 16/08/2021 at 22:27:31
Dave, I believe Blackburn had a fairly young side too from the commentators words, but ours were younger. Unsworth said there were 6 Scholars, I counted 5, which at this stage of the season is a lot.

Yeah you could see that Butterfield and Price work well together despite being both 17, they’ve played together for years.
These kids are well coached, well drilled and disciplined, they play from the back, press when needed, switch to a different formation when we are defending, all part of modern football. In truth it can be difficult to pick out the outstanding individual that stands out these days. Hopefully as you say they can grow together as a team.
To be honest I just enjoy watching them play and see their improvement without having great expectations that we’ll have a raft of them playing for the first team soon.

Sam Hoare
28 Posted 16/08/2021 at 22:29:15
Good comeback. Hopefully indicative of some good character and resilience. Will be interesting to see who, if anybody, shines for the U23s this season. I really liked the look of Whitaker at times last year but let’s see.
Trevor Edwards
29 Posted 17/08/2021 at 11:29:02
Can I just say a big thanks to Phill and the guys for the updates on the youngsters. As an obsessive for all aspects of the club, your input is invaluable.

I know we have been here before with our youth teams – the crop with Dowell, Kenny, Connolly, Walsh, Calvert-Lewin and Davies in particular – and expectations have rarely been fulfilled (Calvert-Lewin aside), but these seem a particularly exciting group, so who knows what the future holds, and if we have a manager who is happy to blood them?

Andrew Keatley
30 Posted 17/08/2021 at 12:04:08
Phill (25),

Glad to hear Butterfield caught your eye. It's a huge shame that Onyango was injured last season but the opportunities that has afforded to Butterfield have been well and truly taken by the 17-year-old (in my opinion anyway).

I think his general positional play and his discipline in terms of screening the back four particularly impressed me in his performances last season, and he gets about the pitch very well too. I am enjoying his emergence.

Phill Thompson
31 Posted 17/08/2021 at 12:05:52
Tony#19, apologies that's twice I've got your name wrong recently, you'll have to change it to Dave Brent! It's an age thing.

Trevor, often I get more pleasure from watching our “kids” than the first team! It was a shame the live stream was announced so late as I know others would have watched it too, that's when the forum aspect with others giving their views comes into its own, we each see different things, styles etc.

Martinez's “Golden Generation” and others are good yardsticks as they were quite recent and help temper expectations – are they as good as Liam Walsh or Kieran Dowell at the same age? We will see,….

Phill Thompson
32 Posted 17/08/2021 at 12:14:23
Andrew #30,

A good comparison, Butterfield was certainly playing the same role as when Onyango plays deep, allowing Price to move further forward, but he wasn't afraid to run with the ball when he had it.

In fact, one of the good things last night was that both Astley and Welch carried the ball into the opponent's half a few times, great confidence to do that.

Trevor Edwards
33 Posted 17/08/2021 at 12:21:34

Spot on about the failure of the Golden Generation to really fulfill expectations tempering expectations. It's the million-dollar question – if they had been given a proper chance in the first team at that age, would they have really grabbed it and not just drifted as most of them do? Who knows?

Jonjoe Kenny did actually get that chance, Tom Davies too, but have not truly built on the promise. Benitez hasn't got the greatest record for blooding youngsters but, if they really are good enough, maybe he will.

Tony Abrahams
34 Posted 17/08/2021 at 17:07:19
Jonjoe Kenny, has got to start playing football somewhere where he’s wanted, because he will stagnate otherwise, (if he hasn’t already began to) and poor Tom Davies, has had four managers (five counting Benitez) since he burst onto the scene, and it seems everyone of them has asked him to do something a little bit different.

Don’t worry about getting my name wrong Phill, but call me anything except Dave or Brent please mate!

Danny O’Neill
35 Posted 18/08/2021 at 08:16:56
Late to this one. Did Warrington feature? From the little I've seen at U18s, I like the look of him.

Jonjoe is a topic many of us have debated. Most had high hopes, but I agree, he needs to go elsewhere.

The worrying thing is that having been loaned out to 2 big clubs, neither followed up. And in the context, one was on a downward spiral and the other in the process of being trumped by their rejuvenated neighbours. So if they weren't interested, that's not a good sign.

Having watched him for Schalke, he seems to lack positional awareness, which leads to giving a perception of being a headless chicken at times. In simple terms, he runs around a lot. He also got absolutely schooled by Sabitzer and Leipzig when I watched.

In his defence, another youngster who has come through at a time of turbulence at Everton. And there seemed to be a question mark over where to play him. Certainly at Schalke, where they played him as a wing back at times. Nothing wrong with that for a right sided defender, but just goes back to whether the lad has had stability.

He needs to find a club to get that stability. Maybe drop a level or two and get his career going rather than stagnating as mentioned above.

Alternatively, prove my doubts wrong. I'd be delighted if you do Jonjoe. A true blue, both for Everton and in his short stint with the Konigsblauen (Royal Blues), where he was very popular.

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