Everton U23s stage great comeback to beat Leeds

Monday, 18 October, 2021 63comments  |  Jump to last
Everton U23s 4 - 2 Leeds Utd U23s
The Premier League 2 campaign for Everton's U23s tonight saw them reverse a worrying losing trend with a great comeback win against Leeds United at The Pure Stadium in Southport m.

There was no live coverage online for Evertonians because the time of the fixture clashed with the lower-table Premier League game between Arsenal and Crystal Palace that was shown live on Sky.

The U23s were on a dreadful run of five straight losses in all competitions, three of those being in PL2. The poor form might be down to the transitions forced on the side with the departures of numerous older players and the new focus on promoting youngsters from the U18s who are rookies at this level, without the benefit of more experienced teammates who might otherwise help them to make the grade.

But young goalkeeper Harry Tyrer started this one after he showed up on the bench at Goodison Park for Sunday's Premier League game with West Ham Utd, showing he is finally fit again after a long injury lay-off over the summer.

Lewis Dobbin was also an unused sub and would get some important match time with the U23s even though he is now training with the first team. But Ellis Simms has been left off the senior bench in both the last two Premier League games and has played no part of the second string this season, suggesting that his return as a senior sub for two games on the bench in September may have been premature considering the hip injury he sustained while approaching the end of his loan spell with Blackpool last season.

Jarrad Branthwaite is also a confirmed member of the first-team squad but has only been selected to play on one occasion by Rafa Benitez despite featuring many times now on the subs bench; he must also be in need of match time by stepping down again to the U23s, as he did at the end of last month against Man Utd U23s, but was not part of tonight's squad.

Tom Cannon is still trying to find his feet at this level after having such an amazing pre-season that featured three hat-tricks in friendly games. He has been used more often as a substitute than as a starter and has yet to score for the U23s, coming on again as a sub for Lewis Dobbin after the hour mark.

Lewis Warrington has also found it tough getting starts at this level, and has played only one full game so far this season (in the Premier League Cup) before this evening. Mackenzie Hunt and Sebastian Quirk are still working their way back from long-term injuries, while Einar Iversen and Roman Quintyne have been out all season so far. But the best news of all this evening was the return of Tyler Onyango, after suffering a broken ankle at the beginning of April.

Everton fell behind to two goals from the visitors in the first half. But the fightback began with Eli Campbell climbing high to power a terrific header over the keeper and into the net before half-time.

Then Harry Tyrer found Whitaker on the right with a good piece of distribution from the back and he flicked the ball into the path of Mills, who squared it for Dobbin to fire first-time past the keeper and put Everton level before the hour mark.

And the fightback was complete when Cannon's shot fell to Whitaker and he fired home to make it 3-2 for the young Blues with 5 minutes left. But the scoring wasn't complete as there was more to come before the final whistle Rhys Hughes finding the bottom corner to make it 4-2 at the end of normal time.

Everton U23s: Tyrer, John [Y:49'], Campbell [Y:44'], Welch, Astley, Warrington, Mills (80' Hughes), Price, Whitaker, Onyango (82' Butterfield [Y:90+2']), Dobbin (68' Cannon).
Subs not Used: Barrett, Anderson.


Reader Comments (63)

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Phill Thompson
1 Posted 18/10/2021 at 13:58:42
A great summary, Michael. It's a bit quirky but Quintyne is now appearing on the official site as Roman Dixon. My assumption is that he's changed his name and that even our site wouldn't get that wrong…
Danny O’Neill
2 Posted 18/10/2021 at 15:43:54
Let me guess Michael, no live feed on the club website for this? Interested to see how Lewis Warrington gets on as I've liked the look of him.

It may take a season or two. And to a point I made elsewhere, it's been interesting to read about Brands trying to bring the U18s and U23s closer together, including moving the coaches around the different groups.

Brent Stephens
3 Posted 18/10/2021 at 16:03:15
There might be a roving ToffeeWeb reporter at the U23s game tonight.
Brent Stephens
4 Posted 18/10/2021 at 18:54:57
Tyrer John Campbell Welch Astley Warrington Mills Price Whittaker Onyango Dobbin
Dave Abrahams
5 Posted 18/10/2021 at 19:00:25
Brent (4), thanks for naming the team, is this Onyango’s first game back after injury?

Some potentially decent players in that team, it would be nice to see them stay and play together over the next two or three years.

Dave Abrahams
6 Posted 18/10/2021 at 19:00:25
Brent (4), thanks for naming the team, is this Onyango’s first game back after injury?

Some potentially decent players in that team, it would be nice to see them stay and play together over the next two or three years.

Phill Thompson
7 Posted 18/10/2021 at 19:07:49
Hope the phone is fully charged Brent for the updates !
Nice to see Onyango back.
Brent Stephens
8 Posted 18/10/2021 at 19:08:40
Yes dave. First game.
Brent Stephens
9 Posted 18/10/2021 at 19:11:09
Warrington and Onyango in front of a back four.
Brent Stephens
10 Posted 18/10/2021 at 19:16:18
Price fluffed a fair chance from Warrington free kick.
Phill Thompson
11 Posted 18/10/2021 at 19:20:25
Looking at the Leeds team Brent no 8 Lewis Bate and 10 Sam Greenwood are both highly regarded players that Leeds bought in for a lot of money from Chelsea and Arsenal respectively.
Brent Stephens
12 Posted 18/10/2021 at 19:21:45
Onyango and Dobbin v lively.
Danny O’Neill
13 Posted 18/10/2021 at 19:26:26
Is this available to watch? Pleased to see Warrington feature.
Brent Stephens
14 Posted 18/10/2021 at 19:30:23
Leeds goal. Astley looking for offside and lost his man.
Dave Abrahams
15 Posted 18/10/2021 at 19:30:37
Keep them updates coming in Brent, much appreciated.
Phill Thompson
16 Posted 18/10/2021 at 19:31:54
Cheers Brent, this from our official blog :

Amari Miller holds off Ryan Astley before placing a nice finish past Tyrer. Leeds are ahead

Brent Stephens
17 Posted 18/10/2021 at 19:32:52
Leeds keeper great save from Mills onto the bar for corner.
Brent Stephens
18 Posted 18/10/2021 at 19:38:07
Greenwood second for Leeds again first to the ball before Astley from short range. On chances we should be level.
Brent Stephens
19 Posted 18/10/2021 at 19:42:13
Dobbin close to win a corner.

Headed goal by Welch.

Brent Stephens
20 Posted 18/10/2021 at 19:42:45
Campbell not welsh
Brent Stephens
21 Posted 18/10/2021 at 19:48:22
1-2 half time.
Tony Everan
22 Posted 18/10/2021 at 20:03:02
Thanks for the updates Brent. How’s Onyango playing?, good to see him back.
Brent Stephens
23 Posted 18/10/2021 at 20:10:47
Great turn and cross by Warrington. Dobbin just over the bar.
Another Dobbin shot saved.
Brent Stephens
24 Posted 18/10/2021 at 20:12:02
Great goal. Wjttaker to Mills (?) to Dobbin. Goal.
Brent Stephens
25 Posted 18/10/2021 at 20:17:13
Impressed by Price so far. Butcher’s pencil looking fatter but he has some pace and ball skills and an impressive amount of ground covered.
Brent Stephens
26 Posted 18/10/2021 at 20:22:26
Just seen ur post Tony. Onyango had a great first 15 then was quiet. Second half he’s more into it.
Brent Stephens
27 Posted 18/10/2021 at 20:25:48
Dobbin off with cramp. Cannon on.
Danny O’Neill
28 Posted 18/10/2021 at 20:36:49
Pleased with the reports on Warrington - thanks Brent.

Interesting about Dobbin. No criticism, but just shows you sometimes have to remember a couple of things. Firstly, these boys (they are boys) are still developing physically. Secondly, trust the coaching staff to know when they're ready.

All judgement and within reason obviously. But if he's cramping at U23s, I would suggest his fitness levels need working on before he's ready for the senior team / squad???

Brent Stephens
29 Posted 18/10/2021 at 20:37:41
Mills off Hughes on
Brent Stephens
30 Posted 18/10/2021 at 20:40:37
Onyango off. Butterfield on.
Brent Stephens
31 Posted 18/10/2021 at 20:44:24
Whittaker goal after Cannon pass or miss hit
Dave Abrahams
32 Posted 18/10/2021 at 20:47:54
Brent (31), so we are in the lead Brent 3-2?
Brent Stephens
33 Posted 18/10/2021 at 20:48:27
Hughes goal after we won the ball back. Shot into the far corner.
Brent Stephens
34 Posted 18/10/2021 at 20:48:55
Brent Stephens
35 Posted 18/10/2021 at 20:50:19
That’s 4-2 after the Hughes goal.
Jay Wood

36 Posted 18/10/2021 at 20:52:09
Impressive turnaround, Brent.

Do Leeds U-23 play the same high-octane game Bielsa has the first team playing?

Brent Stephens
37 Posted 18/10/2021 at 20:54:48
Dave Abrahams
38 Posted 18/10/2021 at 21:06:16
Thanks, Brent, for keeping quite a few of us up to date with our U23s game. Was it a team effort or did one or two stand out?
Phill Thompson
39 Posted 18/10/2021 at 21:08:22
Cheers, Brent, first-class reporting, first-class result!

Jay #36, I couldn't answer for tonight's game but Leeds have an expensively assembled Academy which they claim are being trained in “Bielsaball”.

Phill Thompson
40 Posted 18/10/2021 at 21:19:40
Danny #28, that seems a harsh assessment on Dobbins fitness. This from Twitter:

"David Unsworth says Lewis Dobbin taken off only as a precaution and is fine. A fine finish was what his performance deserved. Marcel Brands and Duncan Ferguson could well be feeding back positive reports to Rafa Benitez this evening."

Brent Stephens
41 Posted 18/10/2021 at 21:27:52
Leeds were an impressive side. Yes, Jay, high-octane as with the first team. Going 2 up. But that's the best I've seen our U23s play in a LONG time. All round team performance despite Astley's two slips (am I being too harsh on him?).

Dobbin excellent before his cramp. Warrington superb - the guy doesn't look that big but his strength in protecting the ball is excellent.

Arguably Price even better. Great pace, good skills. Incredible amount of ground he covers. Even in the final minutes he chased forward to close down their keeper and then in a flash was back in our penalty area defending. His thin frame is deceptive.

Robert Tressell
42 Posted 18/10/2021 at 21:32:55
Thanks for the updates Brent. Really glad to see Onyango back. Hopefully he'll be back in the first team reckoning with Dobbin before long.
Danny O’Neill
43 Posted 18/10/2021 at 21:38:46
Question more than anything Phill. But if he's going off with cramp at this level, it might explain why the staff are reluctant to throw him into the first team mix. Just assuming the coaching staff see something we don't, in his development. Not criticising the lad.

Only going off what Brent reported. Didn't watch it myself.

Jay Wood

44 Posted 18/10/2021 at 22:12:17
Phil and Brent. Thanks for the low-down on Leeds.

This sounds like a good test which the boys came through with flying colours.

The 'New Order' Brands is trying to bring to the Academy starting to bear fruit..?

Phill Thompson
45 Posted 18/10/2021 at 22:59:14
That's a very heartening report, Brent, thanks. It's disappointing they couldn't show the game but a fine piece of reporting by you!

It's still early in the season but they do need results like this. Sometimes when results are not going your way, you just have to trust the process we've put in place, that of pushing through our young players early.

John Kavanagh
46 Posted 18/10/2021 at 23:16:08
I see - Dobbin putting in 68 minutes actually running! passing!! and (God forbid) scoring!!!, yet he's not yet considered ready to replace a player who's done nowt in 6 games even for just 10 minutes?

The lad needs an incentive so give him some minutes on Saturday please. I'm sick to death of 'experienced' wasters always being given one more chance to prove to the football world just how useless they are. Give the kids a go. They cannot do any worse than Rondon and Iwobi.

Jay Wood

47 Posted 18/10/2021 at 23:18:12
Highlights available here on YouTube.

Everton v Leeds U23s

The Leeds defence looked well dodgy on all 3 of our 2nd half goals, but the boys finished them well.

Alan J Thompson
48 Posted 19/10/2021 at 04:40:20
As a matter of interest, was there anybody there from the first-team coaching staff?
Robert Tressell
49 Posted 19/10/2021 at 07:54:00
One thing I notice with our U23s is that goals are usually forced from mistakes or scored on the counter / set pieces.

In some respects it doesn't matter how you score the goals, because you still win if you score more. But in the clip from Jay I saw Leeds looking to construct goals when in possession. This is much harder to do.

I'd like to see this U23 side develop that this season because there is the talent there to do it.

Danny O’Neill
50 Posted 19/10/2021 at 08:09:32
I'm probably over-analysing your first paragraph there Robert, but I wonder if that could be early signs of Benitez / Brands implementing a playing style throughout the club given how the first team has, by and large, played this season? Playing the same system can only bode well and make the transition to first team easier on the young players.

Talking to myself now after reading my comments from yesterday evening. I didn't mean to sound harsh or dismissive on Dobbin. I was trying to suggest that maybe there's a reason the manager and coaching staff don't want to throw him into Premier League action.

Just yet. His time will come. All down to judgement and they are the ones making that judgement right now. All us fans can do is offer opinion; those who watch the U23s and U18s more so than me. I'm one for patience with the youngsters rather than throwing them in at the deep end because they've been smashing it at Finch Farm. Unless you have a Rooney obviously.

How did young Warrington play?

Phill Thompson
51 Posted 19/10/2021 at 09:30:23
Danny, re Warrington, I can’t comment on his overall game last night but the clip of our last goal shows him at his best, winning the ball in a defensive tussle, carrying it up the field and releasing a short pass to a forward. We’ve got a lot of good passers of the ball but few who can dominate the midfield and carry the ball forward as Warrington can.

Alan #48, apparently Ferguson and Brands were watching last night.

Tony Abrahams
52 Posted 19/10/2021 at 09:47:10
I've said it before, Brent, that I heard great things about Price when the kid was only 10 years of age, but I'm sure he came from Leeds, so maybe he had an extra bit of incentive last night. If he did, then he's just got to learn how to Chanel the same amount of work rate into his game every week. And if he didn't, then that's even better!
Trevor Edwards
53 Posted 19/10/2021 at 09:59:25
I was listening in last night and reading the comments here.

Good points from Danny (50) re: Dobbin. There will always be fans saying 'get the kids in', especially when first-teamers are not performing. But the coaches see these players in training and at this level and we have to trust their judgement. If they feel he is not quite ready yet, then they are far more experienced and knowledgeable than we are.

Great to see Lewis Warrington making an impact. I have really been impressed with him in the past, a tenacious little beggar, though maybe his final ball is often lacking, which is why he isn't knocking on the door as hard.

This result shows the character of the squad and may be the turning point for them. It has been a tough season so far. Conceding far too many goals, exposing their inexperience, but ultimately could prove a good thing if their overall game develops and a strong mentality is instilled.

Lots of impressive young lads but we know all too well that the vast majority fail to make the final step. This time... maybe a few might just?

Sam Hoare
54 Posted 19/10/2021 at 10:19:18
There seems to be talent there but it's so hard to know. I thought that more of the Davies, Dowell, Kenny, Lookman etc batch would go on to establish themselves in our first team.

I think it's very hard to judge a player from youth games at club or international level, which is why a good loan can make the difference. This is something that Chelsea in particular seem to get right with lots of their youth players doing well on loan before getting first-team chances or being sold for good money.

Dave Abrahams
55 Posted 19/10/2021 at 10:38:01
This is a very young team with a good proportion of them only 18 or 19 years of age. We all like to win but, at this stage, it's not really about winning but getting them ready for a professional career and learning to fully understand how to play football – not only for yourself but as part of a team.

The longer these young lads stay together, the better they should become and hopefully we will get a bonus of two or three, maybe four players becoming regular performers with the first team, I think we need a young eager ambitious coach to lead them to their goal.

Dave Abrahams
56 Posted 19/10/2021 at 10:40:32
Forgot to add, Tony (52), Charlie Whitaker is from Leeds. Not sure about Price... isn't he from Wales?
Dave Abrahams
57 Posted 19/10/2021 at 10:47:16
Just checked up on Isaac Price, he has represented Northern Ireland and England and is also eligible to play for Germany so he has a few countries to choose from if he makes the grade!!
Brent Stephens
58 Posted 19/10/2021 at 10:59:18
Danny #50 "How did Warrington play".

Danny, I really like this guy. Not a big guy from what I can see but a good engine in him, a good tackler; has a defensive midfield role but can get forward.

Jeez, I'm still buzzing from last night. Better than anything I've seen from U23s or first team for a long time. More of you might try to get to Southport for these games - a nice swim in the sea beforehand?! And I'll buy you all a drink - with enough straws so you all get a sip.

Danny O’Neill
59 Posted 19/10/2021 at 11:13:21
Good point on Chelsea Sam.

What I'd like to think (**think!!), is we might be seeing the foundations being laid by the Director of Football, that we won't see the benefit of until a few years time.

Interesting on Price Dave. You've intrigued me now. I wonder if the German connection is through being the son or grandson of a former military person who married a German?

Similar to Lewis Holtby, although his dad stayed in Germany hence him coming through Monchengladbach, the Aachen & Schalke before his ill-fated move to Tottenham.

**Edit; Brent thanks. I've only watched him twice but I like the look of him. I do wish that for all our membership and subscription, the club would stream these matches. I would attend if I could, but it's a bit to far a stretch of the imagination, not to mention the marriage!!

Trevor Edwards
60 Posted 19/10/2021 at 12:53:41
Dave (56) I think Price is a Yorkshire lad - we seem to be big in recruitment over there with the likes of Whitaker, Welch and Butterfield being all from there I think.
Danny O’Neill
61 Posted 19/10/2021 at 12:57:40
And Calvert-Lewin before them Trevor.
Trevor Edwards
62 Posted 19/10/2021 at 14:13:59
Good history of Yorkshire Toffees, Danny stretching back to Ted Sagar and beyond.
Dave Abrahams
63 Posted 20/10/2021 at 20:16:27
Trevor (60),

Yes, he could be from Yorkshire, I haven't got a clue. Reading about him, one piece says he was born in Northern Ireland, he has represented them at U17 level, represented England at U15 level, qualifies for Germany. I wouldn't be surprised if he sold lucky heather and told fortunes on his days off!!

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