Everton U18s defeat Reading in the FA Youth Cup at Goodison

09/12/2022 14comments  |  Jump to last

Everton U18s ran out comfortable 3-0 winners over Reading at Goodison Park on Friday.

Since its inception 70 years ago, the FA Youth Cup has been won by Everton's youth team on just three occasions:

1964-65 Everton 3 - 2 Arsenal
1983-84 Everton 4 - 2 Stoke City
1997-98 Everton 5 - 3 Blackburn Rovers

There are another four occasions when the Young Blues have been on the losing end in the final, including the year a certain Wayne Rooney carried them there almost single-handedly.  Rooney scored eight goals in eight games during Everton's run, including one goal in the final defeat against Aston Villa in 2002. Upon scoring, he revealed he was wearing a tee-shirt that read, "Once a Blue, always a Blue."

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Everton U18s ran out comfortable 3-0 winners over Reading at Goodison Park after goals from Francis Oronkwo, Halid Djankpata and Owen Barker.

The Young blues started brightly and Okoronkwo went closest to breaking the deadlock 7 minutes in, rising highest from a corner to direct his header towards the bottom corner but the Reading keeper got down well to push it around the post.

Jack Patterson stole possession and went close when he fired a vicious strike goalward that just whisked over the bar.  Then from an excellent Owen Barker free-kick, Okoronkwo nipped in to beat the keeper from close range. 

Another tremendous delivery from Barker, this time from a corner, was met perfectly by Halid Djankpata to nod in a powerful header and Everon took a 2-0 lead to the break. 

A great move just after the break should have produced a goal after Djankpata's charge when a great ball across the area was cleverly trapped then backheeled by Barker to the in-rushing Dixon/Quintyne behind him who drove his shot straight at the Reading keeper. 

Everton were getting pushed back around the hour mark but a long clearance was controlled well by Okoronkwo and then played brilliantly to Owen Barker in support and his low shot found the net to make it 3-0.

Everton U18s: Jensen, Dixon/Quintyne, Butler [Y:55'], Tierney, I Samuels-Smith, J Patterson [Y:88'], Barker (73' Bates), Apter, Okoronkwo (77' Sherif), Djankpata [Y:51'] (73' Heath), Ebere.
Subs not Used: Graham, Wilson, O Samuels-Smith, Beaumont-Clark.


Reader Comments (14)

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Phill Thompson
1 Posted 09/12/2022 at 19:56:44
Nobody else watching this? 2-0 up at half time, Okoronkwo and Djankpata. We’re much the better team so far and a decent performance from the youngsters.
Dave Abrahams
2 Posted 09/12/2022 at 21:01:36
Phill (1), yes a good team performance and some good individual ones as well with the number seven topping his with a good third goal, Barkley? Jack Patterson had a good solid game at No. 6.

Lost the pictures in the final minute, but they look like a good team this year, hopefully this is the start.

I took your tip about listening to the commentators, lasted twenty minutes, was one of them Snodin, the two of them were doing my head in, like listening to two Michael Owen’s either side of me, they’d give a painkiller a headache.

Phill Thompson
3 Posted 09/12/2022 at 21:10:19
Haha Dave,

Yeah, Darren Griffiths kept getting Apter's name wrong, calling him Harry. Peter Clark not too bad.

I enjoyed that. Owen Barker was the 7, I thought he looked like a young Kieran Dowell tonight, a very cooly slotted left-foot finish from him to make it 3-0.

We're away to Lincoln or Watford in the next round, not too bad a draw.

Dave Abrahams
4 Posted 09/12/2022 at 22:02:02
Phill (3),sorry I can’t reply it’s very hard at the moment this my fourth attempt, I’ll try tomorrow!!
Phill Thompson
5 Posted 09/12/2022 at 22:09:55
Okay, Dave. I'm surprised by the lack of interest here tonight, even with the World Cup on, we don't get many opportunities to see our U18s playing at Goodison Park.
Dave Abrahams
6 Posted 10/12/2022 at 17:48:14
Phill (5), Yes I intended going to the game but thought it might be postponed because of the icy weather,well done to those who did go, you could see a few in the Upper Bullens stand but it does get cold up there.

I’ve always gone to these FA youth cup games since it started in1955,I think,with Everton playing Man.Unt. andI think it is a big cup to win and an indication of how good the young players are and who to look out for in the future, I think there might be a few in this squad who might turn out to be more than useful in the next few years.

Phill Thompson
7 Posted 10/12/2022 at 18:55:25
Dave, the first Youth Cup Final I attended was against Palace back in 1977, even in those days it was only the Bullens Road that was open!

I enjoyed watching the stream of last nights game from the comfort of home, with one eye on the World Cup too! I would give them all 7/8 out of 10 last night, a pleasing performance, tempered by the fact that Reading are a lower level than us.

It’s interesting trying to pick out the “ future stars”, and sadly for some last night at Goodison may we’ll be their pinnacle with us. Some brief comments on players:
Seb Jensen. Untroubled in goal, his selection though suggests he’s the leading u18 goalkeeper in the eyes of our Coaches
Roman Dixon. Far more comfortable bombing forward at right back than when he was right wing back against Mansfield. I’m happy to blame Godfrey for his poor performance that night though.
Jack Tierney and Ishe Samuels-Smith combined well together, and we’re rarely troubled with ISS playing his normal composed game.
Jack Butler at left back was a surprise, but again it suggests he’s the one the coaches rate.
Jack Patterson and Matty Apter bossed that deep midfield area, I was very impressed with both as they’re first years. I’d seen a bit of Apter before but Patterson was the revelation for me.
Owen Barker looked a bit like Kieron Dowell, operating on the right and a sweet left foot. I’d only seen him playing centrally before, so his ability outside was a nice surprise.
Kobe Ebere operating on the left was a real handfull, a raw talent there and if we can add composure to his speed and drive we’ll have quite a player.
Halid Djankpata as captain was always a steady influence in the middle and an attacking threat too.
Francis Okoronkwo lead the line well, my only criticism, harsh maybe, was that at the same age Simms and Dobbin would have had at least one more goal apiece.

Robert Tressell
8 Posted 11/12/2022 at 09:41:04

I saw Djankpata for the first time in the demolition of Colchester. He looks like he has something. Creating space with good footwork and driving runs. Encouraging.

But where is Metcalfe? Is he still injured?

Philip Metcalfe
9 Posted 11/12/2022 at 10:50:32
Metcalfe is still out with the ACL injury, not be long till he is back, he is looking sharp. 🤞
Dave Abrahams
10 Posted 11/12/2022 at 13:42:17
Phill (7),

A pretty good summary of the players there: Patterson, Barker, Samuels-Smith, Djankpata, Ebere and Okoronkwo all had good games although I thought there was a lot more fight in Owen Barker than there was in Dowell.

I thought the lads played together as a team and hopefully they can go on a long run in this season's FA Youth Cup competition with the long-term aim of providing some good players for the first team.

Phill Thompson
11 Posted 11/12/2022 at 18:38:11
Philip #9,

That's good news about Jenson Metcalfe. In comparison, I've always rated him higher than Djankpata and Barker, and the club obviously have faith in him with that 4-year contract.

Tony Abrahams
12 Posted 11/12/2022 at 19:17:19
I was briefly (half-time) talking to the chief scout of a lower league club a couple of weeks ago Phill, and he was telling me that he had been watching Tom Cannon, and was hoping Everton would send him out on loan.

He said they would also love to take Stanley Mills, and that he thought the young fullback, Samuels-Smith, was a much better prospect than the kid who had just left Everton to join Man City.

He was actually very complimentary about a lot of the younger players at Everton, and said he believed most would make a career for themselves in the professional game. As always, time will tell.

Phill Thompson
13 Posted 11/12/2022 at 19:53:31
Tony, that mirrors something one of our match commentators said recently about a club wanting to take Cannon and Mills too if they could.

At one time we looked like losing both Emilio Lawrence and Ishe Samuels-Smith and some thought I was wrong when I said of the two I'm glad we got to keep Samuels-Smith, a terrific prospect.

As you say, time will tell, the encouraging thing for me is that Cannon was nowhere near ever being a first-team contender a year ago, we've now started to actually improve these youngsters and maybe start to bridge that big gap between U21s and Premier League.

Tony Abrahams
14 Posted 11/12/2022 at 20:15:44
Hopefully Phill, it's all about being able to improve players, although this is a two-way street, and will only happen if the young players have got that real desire to improve.

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