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Everton in the FA Youth Cup, 1997-98

Everton's Youth Team have won the ultimate prize for the third time in the Club's history! 

Everton's current Youth Squad is probably one of the best the club has had.  Last season, they looked like they would progress to the later stages, but went out disappointingly to Norwich in a 4th Round replay.  This season, with the help of First Team youngsters and England U-18 star, Danny Cadamarteri and Irish International, Richard Dunne, the youngsters lifted the gloom of Goodison for an evening by holding off the strong challenge of Blackburn Rovers and raising the coveted trophy aloft. Congratulations, Lads!

Day   Date    Rnd    Opponents            Result  Scorers                
Tue   9 Dec   2nd    (a) Blackpool         W 1-0  Milligan
Thu  22 Jan   3rd    (h) Stoke City        W 1-0  Jeffers
Tue   3 Feb   4th    (a) Watford           W 3-2  Jevons, Osman, O'Brien
Thu  19 Mar   5th    (h) Ipswich           W 3-2  White(og), Jevons, Cadamarteri
Wed   1 Apr   SF/1   (a) Leeds United      W 1-0  O'Brien
Tue   7 Apr   SF/2   (h) Leeds United      W 2-1  Regan, Jevons

FA Youth Cup Final

Fri   1 May  1st Leg (a) Blackburn Rovers  W 3-1  Jevons, Cadamarteri, Osman
Thu   7 May  2nd Leg (h) Blackburn Rovers  D 2-2  Jeffers, Eaton.

Everton Win 5 - 3 on aggregate, to take the FA Youth Cup!  

FA Youth Cup 2nd Round, The Fairground
Tuesday 9 December 1997
Everton: Delaney, Regan, Dunne, Eaton, McDermott, Milligan, O'Brien (c) (Hibbert), Osman, Poppleton, Jeffers, Jevons.  
Subs not used: Drew, Farley. Scorer: Milligan. 
Jamie Milligan scored the winning goal with a curling free kick on the stroke of half-time. Everton missed a hatful of chances and spent the last 20 minutes hanging on with Richard Dunne putting in a "solid performance". 
FA Youth Cup 3rd Round, Goodison Park
Thursday 22 January 1998
Everton: Delaney, Regan, Dunne, Farley, Eaton, Milligan, O'Brien, Osman, Poppleton, Cadamarteri, Jeffers. 
Subs not used: Howarth, McDermott, Hibbert. Scorer: Jeffers. 

Francis Jeffers got the goal after latching on to a through ball from Danny Cadamarteri on the hour mark. 

The goal was against the run of play though and Stoke looked the better side for long periods, Everton's Irish youth international keeper Danny Delaney was by far the busier of the two keepers. 

FA Youth Cup 4th Round, Vicarage Road
Tuesday 3 February 1998
Everton: Delaney, Regan, Eaton, Farley, Dunne, O'Brien (c), Poppleton (45 Hibbert), Osman, Cadamarteri, Jeffers (60 Jevons), Milligan.
Subs not used: McDermott. Scorers: Jevons, Osman, O'Brien. 

On a very cold night in Watford, Everton's youngsters nearly slipped on the ice and fell out of the Youth Cup after two goals for the home side.  They scored their two goals from classic through balls. First, Gifton Noel-Williams ran through to get one-2-one with Dean Delaney in the Everton goal and slotted it straight past Delaney's right arm. 

Then Mathew Langston ran onto another nice through ball and we were two-down, where it stayed till half-time. 

Then, during an 8-minute blitz in the second half, Everton stole the game.  The goal scorers were Phil Jevons, Leon Osman and the winner from Mike O'Brien.  A great comeback: the lads were cheered off the pitch. 

FA Youth Cup 5th Round, Goodison Park
19 March 1998
Everton: Delaney, Regan, Dunne, Farley, Eaton, Poppleton (90 Hibbert), O'Brien (c), Osman, Milligan, Cadamarteri, Jevons.
Subs not used: McDermott, McCleod.  Scorers: White(og), Jevons, Cadamarteri 

Ipswich: Stewart, Coburn, Lowes, Fox, White, Walsh, Campbell (64 Woolnough), Farrington, Dickson, Logan (80 Miller), Ingles. Subs not used: Supple. 

Match Report by San Presland: Logan was supposed to be the Ipswich danger man, and he looked useful. He was about the size of Richard Dunne, which is a fair size for a forward, and quite mobile. 

Ipswich got an early attack in and looked to be a side brought up on the Ipswich 'passing' game. Everton took about 4 mins to get going, in an attack which ended when Phil Jevons (who is also a big lad, but pretty mobile) tried an optimistic scissor kick from the edge of the box. It was only inches away from connecting properly, and would have been a real goal of the season contender if it had gone right. Everton then started to play. The improvement in the play in the couple of months since I saw them v Blackpool was amazing. 

Michael O'Brien (the captain) particularly and Leon Osman in the middle of the field orchestrated some excellent passing play. O'Brien is the spitting image of Gavin McCann (well, about 3 inches shorter) but he is a real Peter Reid figure. Tireless worker, tackler, probing, getting others moving. Excellent all round. Jamie Milligan was also putting in some useful runs down the left. 

Everton put in some sustained pressure and Ipswich's defence were starting to feel the pressure. They obviously like to play it out form the back, but Cadamarteri, in the same mould as his first team displays, just wouldn't let them rest... harrying and chasing for any little mistakes. A couple of times he dispossessed them and surged forward.. 

After numerous near misses and wicked inswinging corners just getting cleared, we ironically got the breakthrough courtesy of an own goal. David Poppleton, who I suspect will turn out to be one of those annoyingly 'laid back' players that the crowd like to tell off for not working hard enough, if he makes it to the first team – He has talent, but... He reminded me of Kevin Sheedy, but on the right – Anyway, he went on a nice run down the right hand side of the box and whipped in a hard low cross, which was met by the hard low boot of an Ipswich player, into the goal. 1-0. 

We really did dominate now. Crosses, corners galore, but couldn't quite kill them off. An amazing sequence in the 36th minute had us up three times where we thought the ball was in the net, but it wasn't.. It started with a lovely run from Danny Cadamarteri which he nudged onto a post. Then, in a goalmouth scramble, Poppleton followed up but his shot was scrambled away. It fell to right-back Brian Regan who dinked in a lovely cross onto the head of Leon Osman but hiss header struck firmly on the bar. 

Anyway, we only had to wait a few more minutes before a lovely run from Leon Osman, beating a couple of tackles, was pushed to Danny Squid who took it on to the by-line before pulling it back where Phil Jevons swept it in from the edge of the 6-yd box. Super goal. Everton went in at the break with a well-deserved 2-0 lead. 2-0 is always one of those tricky scores. I mean, it's great to get, but you know that if they get one it will be tight.. 

Ipswich still tried to play composed football despite the fact that some of the Everton players (Cadamarteri and O'Brien in particular) looked a class above. And sure enough they got some reward in the 56th minute following a bit of a mess-up in the Everton defence which allowed Logan to take it on and slot it past Dean Delaney. This goal was greeted noisily by a fair number of Ipswich supporters who had come a long way to support their lads... 

Anyway, Danny Cadamarteri then took it upon himself to restore the 2-goal lead with a totally individual goal of some beauty. Killing a long goalkick from Dean Delaney and turning his marker inside-out in one movement, his pace took him away from any pursuers and he calmly slotted it past their goalie. Round about this time, we did actually put the ball in the net several times, but the were all overruled by some rather manic flagging by the near linesman, who didn't seem to realise that it was the position when the ball was 'kicked' that mattered, not where you receive it. Danny suffered for this several times, as his pace took him clear (but he was offside correctly quite a few times too, to be fair...). 

Ipswich, to their credit continued to play good football and showed some composure. They got a second goal in the 70th minute when a ball down the right had Logan and Eaton running appace after it. Then Eaton went flying after he appeared to be shoved off, but the referee didn't see it that way and Logan put in a cross to their sub Walnaugh who had come on for Campbell. He chipped a shot over the keeper, against the bar, where it dropped fortunately for Farrington to nod in. We now had to worry whether we would rue all the missed opportunities as Ipswich threw everything forward, but we held out reasonably comfortably. It would have been a travesty if we hadn't won. 

Anyway, an excellent performance, and I'd like to see O'Brien given a first team runout (if we could get safe). The semi-final will be over two legs. Apparently, this is our first time in the semi since 1984 when we won it with Ian Marshall as captain. 

The Times FA Youth Cup Semi-Final, First Leg
Elland Road, Wednesday 1 April 1998
Everton: Delaney, Regan, Dunne, Farley, Eaton, Poppleton (81 Hibbert), O'Brien (c), Osman, Milligan, Jevons, Cadamarteri.
Subs not used: McDermott, McCleod. Scorer: O'Brien. 

The Times: A STUNNING 25-yard volley from Michael O'Brien, a midfield player, gave Everton a slender but deserved advantage after the first leg of The Times FA Youth Cup semi-final at Elland Road last night.

Everton, prompted by the pace of Danny Cadamarteri, a regular first-team player, and the guile of Leon Osman created far more chances than the holders, who will be grateful to go into the second leg on Tuesday only one goal down.

Paul Robinson, the England Under-18 goalkeeper, was called into action repeatedly as Everton attacked incisively. Leeds attempted to build with patience through midfield, but were found lacking in the final third of the field.

Everton had the ball in the net after 35 minutes when Jamie Milligan clipped a quick free kick into the unguarded corner of Robinson's goal, but Alan Wilkie, the referee, ordered it to be taken again because he was still moving the wall back. The second attempt went high over the bar.

Leeds improved after the break and Dean Delaney, the Everton goalkeeper, had to be at his best to thwart Tony Hackworth's close-range volley.

Everton were still the more decisive and, when Jonathan Woodgate hauled down Cadamarteri on the edge of the area, Milligan's fierce free kick rapped against the foot of the post. Cadamarteri, booked in the first half for dissent, escaped a red card when Wilkie decided to make do with a lecture when the frustrated striker kicked the ball away.

With Leeds seeming to settle for a draw, Michael O'Brien seized on a half-clearance and fired past Robinson. The goal and the victory were no more than the Merseysiders deserved.

The Times FA Youth Cup Semi-Final, Second Leg
Goodison Park, Tuesday 7 April 1998 
Everton: Delany, Regan, Eaton, Farley, Dunne, O'Brien (c) (87 Hibbert), Poppleton, Osman, Jevons, Cadamarteri, Milligan.
Subs not used: McLeod, McDermott.  Scorers: Regan, Jevons.

Follow this link for Full Match Details and a compilation of Match Reports

The Times FA Youth Cup Final, First Leg
Ewood Park, Friday 1 May 1998
Everton: Delany, Regan, Eaton, Farley, Dunne, O'Brien (c) (82 Hibbert), Poppleton, Osman, Jevons (72 Jeffers), Cadamarteri, Milligan.
Subs not used: Knowles.  Scorers: Jevons, Cadamarteri, Osman.

Follow this link for Full Match Details and a compilation of Match Reports

The Times FA Youth Cup Final, Second Leg
Goodison Park, Thursday 7 May 1998 
Everton: Delaney, Regan, Farley, Dunne, Eaton, Jevons, Poppleton, O'Brien (c), Milligan, Cadamarteri, Jeffers (85 Hibbert).
Subs not used: Knowles, McLeod  Scorers: Jeffers, Eaton.

Everton's young bucks win the FA Youth Cup in an entertaining second leg before an enthusiastic home crowd so eager for something to cheer.

Follow this link for Full Match Details and a compilation of Match Reports

Player       Pld (Sub)   Goals         Player       Pld (Sub)   Goals 
Delaney       8   (-)      -           O'Brien       8   (-)      2           
Regan         8   (-)      1           Osman         7   (-)      2   
Dunne         8   (-)      -           Poppleton     8   (-)      -   
Farley        7   (-)      -           Milligan      8   (-)      1   
Eaton         8   (-)      1           Cadamarteri   7   (-)      2   
McDermott     1   (-)      -           Jevons        7   (1)      4   
Hibbert       -   (7)      -           Jeffers       3   (2)      2

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