Niasse scores as U23s draw with Saints

Monday 28 November 2016  20 Comments  [Jump to last]
Everton Under-23s were held to a 1-1 draw at Southampton's Staplewood Training Ground on Monday evening.

The young Blues, who were dominant throughout, opened the scoring 11 minutes before the half-time interval when Oumar Niasse (returning from an injury) emphatically rifled home Jonjoe Kenny's cross.

But the lead lasted little more than 60 seconds as Olufela Olomola found the back of the net for Southampton via the the inside of the post to level proceedings.

David Unsworth's side continued to apply pressure throughout the game, with half chances falling to Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Callum Connolly.

The Toffees also had a big appeal for a penalty turned down when substitute Harry Charsley went down inside the area.

But the Saints stood firm, meaning Everton would be forced to settle for a draw that sees them extend their lead at the top of the Premier League 2 table to two points.

Everton U23s: Hewelt, Kenny, Connolly, Holgate, Browning, Dowell (81' Jones), Walsh, Davies, Grant, Niasse (66' Charsley), Calvert-Lewin.
Subs not Used: Renshaw, Dyson, Broadhead.  

Reader Comments (20)

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Patrick Murphy
1 Posted 28/11/2016 at 19:49:27
34' GOAL! So'ton 0-1 #EFCU23. Kenny crosses and Niasse applies an emphatic finish to give David Unsworth's side the lead at Staplewood.

Unfortunately the Blues allowed Saints to equalise very quickly. HT 1-1

Andy Mack
2 Posted 29/11/2016 at 00:17:15
Nice one, Oumar, making Ron look a right stick in the mud. Keep on scoring!

Surely some of the squad here HAVE to be considered for the next game?

Alan J Thompson
3 Posted 29/11/2016 at 03:20:53
If he carries on like this, he might just get his locker back but at the moment it seems more difficult to get out of the 1st XI.
John Dean
4 Posted 29/11/2016 at 09:15:46
A disappointing result for our boys given the side we put out and the aspirations we have for them.

The Saints U23 boss said that this midfield three (Walsh, Davies and Dowell) are probably the best 3 midfielders in this league but I'm not sure whether he meant as a trio or as individual players. Would they already have featured more regularly for Southampton if they were at that club? Probably.

When Connolly plays at full-back, he seems to create danger in the opposition box and has scored some outstanding goals and it seems he had several good strikes in this game.

Sam Hoare
5 Posted 29/11/2016 at 09:29:57
Sounds like the lads dominated and did everything but get the ball in the back of the net.

Southampton showed what can happen when an enthused youngster gets a shot in the first team on Saturday with Sims getting man of the match and an assist. Rashford had a similar effect on Man Utd last season.

If ever there was a team that needed a shot of young adrenalin to shake it out of its lethargy its Everton right now!!

How about this team vs Man Utd:

Stekelenburg
Coleman Holgate Williams Connolly
Gueye Davies
Calvert-Lewin Barkley Bolasie
Lukaku

If nothing else, I think that team would give the Goodison crowd something to get excited about. Looks like Koeman is unwilling to make sweeping changes though; I hope he does not prove as stubborn as his predecessor.

Alun Jones
7 Posted 29/11/2016 at 11:35:16
Sam, I agree – changes need to be made... but I'd also like to see Gibson given a chance if he's fit.
James Joseph
8 Posted 29/11/2016 at 20:14:39
I watched the game last night and while we were generally in control it wasn't until the last 10 minutes that we showed the urgency that would have brought a win.

Man of the Match by a country mile was Liam Walsh who was everywhere, demanding the ball, winning tackles and clearing from his own penalty area. A couple of stray passes apart, he gave a fair impression of an embryonic Mr Perpetual Motion himself, Alan Ball.

Tom Davies, on the other hand, did nothing to bang on Koeman's door, having an ordinary game, doing nothing special without being poor. Picked up a booking for chopping down a man who'd beaten him in a 50/50 challenge.

Mason Holgate showed some classy touches bringing the ball out of defence like John Stones. He was beaten for pace once by a speedy Southampton forward but other wise formed a solid central defence alongside the forgotten man, Tyias Browning, who had a commanding game – good to see him play the full 90 minutes.

At right-back, Jonjoe Kenny had a terrific game, looking solid defensively and threatening going forward, especially in the first half. His low cross set up the goal.

Callum Connolly was at left back and started sloppily but improved as the game wore on, almost grabbing a late winner with a fine shot. He could possibly have done better in the build up to their goal which came less than a minute after ours.

Dowell played wide on the right in the main. Showed some touches of class but some poor ones too and didn't influence the game in the way someone knocking on the first team door should. He was substituted late on.

Conor Grant played on the left where he didn't contribute much but looked a lot better when he moved inside following the substitution of Niasse.

Niasse scored with a sharp first-time finish which seemed to come off his shin. He worked hard for the team and showed a good attitude but there were some awful touches too along with a few truly comedic moments. If he was the same age as his teammates I would say he was promising if the (extremely) rough edges could be knocked off him but instead he's a 㾹 million 26-year-old. Played with a smile on his face but so would I on that money.

Calvert-Lewin was centre forward – looked a good target man, won most of his headers and looked promising. One to keep an eye on.

Mateusz Hewelt was in goal – he had no chance with the goal but did what little he had to do well enough.

So, on last night's evidence, Walsh looks a little gem, but 'little' is the key word – will his lack of inches count against him? Kenny, Holgate, and Browning should be pushing for a place in the 1st team squad with Calvert-Lewin and Connolly (on his 2nd half showing only) not far behind. Dowell looks to have gone backwards from when I saw him last season – a loan spell to a team that tries to play good football might do him good.

Dave Abrahams
9 Posted 29/11/2016 at 20:32:06
James Joseph (#8), thanks for that very good report. I've said before on here, don't let Liam Walsh's lack of inches put you off, it will not deter him from getting stuck in. He seems to be revelling in the U23s and will keep having a go until he gets on the bench.

At least, once he gets a smell of a first team place, there will be no stopping him and he has the ability to shake some of the lethargy out of many first team players; he will shame them into having a go.

Paul Hewitt
10 Posted 29/11/2016 at 22:03:59
Isnt it time Niasse was given a go? If he was given a first-team chance, he would work his bollocks off, unlike the current lot.
Peter Gorman
11 Posted 30/11/2016 at 00:47:20
"Liam Walsh who was everywhere, demanding the ball, winning tackles and clearing from his own penalty area." – It almost pains me to read that, James (thanks for update) as that is everything the first team players seem incapable of. I'm firmly with Dave on this one.

I've been clamouring for the youngsters to be blooded for ages now, not because I think they are all Premier League class but because they clearly want to be. The sooner they get involved, the sooner they'll realise their potential.

The winners attitude so easily witnessed in Davies, Walsh, Galloway and Kenny in particular is sorely lacking higher up the club.

Gary Hart
12 Posted 30/11/2016 at 07:34:57
Regarding Liam Walsh's size... surely it's not so important nowadays given that tackling is a dying art.

In the past, we've had the likes of Adrian Heath, Bobby Collins etc who were tiny. Until we give him a chance in the first team, we'll never know.

Brian Furey
13 Posted 30/11/2016 at 11:10:54
Thanks JJ @8 for the update. It sounds like Niasse is at least working hard to impress and it's good to see him score goals and sound more positive. However, I can't help but think the lad is very raw and this is his level of football.

I know many fans keep saying we should give him a chance but it sounds like he's just not at that level of football. If he keeps scoring goals for the U23s then maybe some lower division club will take him on loan.

Fran Mitchell
14 Posted 30/11/2016 at 14:52:04
Connolly, Holgate, and Kenny.
Davies, Dowell, Walsh.
Calvert-Lewin and Charsley.

These 8 players should all be introduced (not thrown in all at once and thus breaking morale) during the season.

Holgate, Connolly, Davies, Dowell and Calvert-Lewin should all be in then next squad (for Jagielka, Oviedo, Cleverley, Lennon and Valencia).

Kenny should be in whenever Coleman gets injured, and Walsh should be introduced around February or March in place of Barry or Barkley. Charsley also deserves a chance, and come the end of the season should get some games above Mirallas who should be shipped out in the summer.

Alan J Thompson
15 Posted 30/11/2016 at 15:12:38
James(#8); Good to read your report.

As for Walsh being too small, it is easier to knock a big bloke off than a small one owing to the smaller bloke's centre of gravity being lower.

That said, it is the energy that the younger players should bring that may spark something in the 1st XI regulars.

James Joseph
16 Posted 30/11/2016 at 18:07:36
Dave (#8), Peter (#11), Gary (#12), and Alan (#15), I think you're right about Walsh and his lack of inches certainly don't put me off when I think of all the great players there've been of similar size, but I wonder about Koeman and, for that matter, a lot of modern coaches. Hope he thinks like us!

Paul (#10) and Barry (#13), regarding Niasse, I was definitely impressed with his attitude but he just didn't stand out in the way that other Premier League players I've seen playing at that level do – even Kone. They appear to have more time on the ball than the youngsters whereas with Niasse everything was a bit rushed and awkward, not to mention the occasional embarrassing miscontrol and shot which would have cleared the Gwladys Street. However, he is scoring goals so we should recoup at least some of his transfer fee.

Fran (#14), I forgot to mention Charsley who came on as sub for Niasse around the 65-minute mark. Generally I thought he tried a bit too hard to make an impression, losing the ball several times, but it could be that Unsworth had told him to get on and have a go as we were controlling the game without creating chances.

I thought he should have had a penalty when he appeared to be chopped down but I've since been told he tripped over his own legs. On that limited view I'd say he needs more full games at this level before getting near the first team.

No-one's mentioned Browning who looked really solid at centre-half. Not sure how many he's played since coming back from injury but, if he continues that form, I wouldn't write him off.

Nicholas Ryan
17 Posted 30/11/2016 at 22:29:58
Saying that Walsh is a bit small implies that he would therefore get pushed around. But remember, he must be about the same size as Manny Pacquiao and Conor McGregor!
Gary Edwards
18 Posted 01/12/2016 at 11:50:13
JJ [8] ... thanks for the report, very informative. I had similar observations re: Dowell and Davies from the Chelsea U23 game.

I'm also impressed by Charsley, how did he play in the short time he was on? The fact that he had a penalty shout suggests he was busy.

I've seen Walsh play at least 10 times and he's never failed to impress me. Great engine, good touch and vision... and he gets stuck in. You want to hear Goodison roar? Put Liam Walsh in the 1st team, have him thread a few passes, clatter some of the opposition and take a pop at goal. I think he'd link well with Gana.

IMO Koeman's biggest failing is not to utilise the youthful talent to hand, particularly given the recent, abject performances of the senior team. I laughed at how irate he reacted to being questioned about Josh Sims after the Soton game... 'kin right Ron, you gormless Cloggie knob, you never saw the lad play?

Dave Abrahams
19 Posted 02/12/2016 at 19:57:56
James Joseph (#16), in Browning's first game back, after a long lay off, he played 45 minutes against Norwich and it was purely a run-out to get him match fit again.

He didn't take any risks, just playing the ball to other players; he looked okay so he is gradually getting fitter and maybe improving his confidence as well as his fitness. He can play in a couple of positions so might come in handy as the season progresses.

Brian Wilkinson
20 Posted 03/12/2016 at 09:27:24
Liam Walsh is around the same size as Messi, not for one minute comparing his play like Messi, but that size will not hamper his career.

After seeing some of the heartless efforts from the first team, I would say a few of the youngsters are worth a punt.

Kieran Fitzgerald
21 Posted 05/12/2016 at 07:25:18
Good to see Browning back.

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