Young Blues 6 points clear
Liam Walsh opened the scoring after just three minutes
Goals from Liam Walsh and a cracker from Kieran Dowell handed the U23s a 2-0 win that restores their six-point lead at the top of Premier League 2.The Blues' second string were riding high at the top of the table coming into the game after great victories over Manchester United and Arsenal in the last two league games.
David Unsworth's men got off to a great start when Liam Walsh slotted home on a neatly worked move with Kieran Dowell playing him in and the young midfielder making no mistake after just three minutes.
Everton continued to play some very attractive football and created a number of chances but the second goal just would not come.
Half-time: 1 - 0
Substitutions on the hour mark included Bassala Sambou for Courtney Duffus, with David Henen replacing Joe Williams. Everton continued to dominate proceedings, playing a really attractive passing game and putting together some great moves into The Saints area but were still unable to add to the scoreline.
Kieran Dowell finally secured the win inside the last 10 minutes with a lovely strike that puts Everton U23s 6 points clear at the top of Premier League 2.
The match at Goodison Park was watched by a bumper crowd of 5,500 fans, including first-team manager Ronald Koeman and his assistant Erwin, and was notable also for the return to action of Williams after a four-month injury lay-off.
Everton U23s: Hewelt, Kenny (c), Robinson, Feeney, Pennington, Baningime, Walsh, Dowell, Williams (61' Henen), Charsley. C Duffus (61' Sambou).
Subs: Hunt, Foulds, Broadhead.
Reader Comments (65)
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1 Posted 20/02/2017 at 19:07:46
2 Posted 20/02/2017 at 19:10:08
3 Posted 20/02/2017 at 19:16:36
4 Posted 20/02/2017 at 19:24:15
5 Posted 20/02/2017 at 19:34:33
Yes, done all that and just get the 'waiting wheel'... Rather pissed off to be honest. I was really looking forward to the game.
6 Posted 20/02/2017 at 19:39:03
7 Posted 20/02/2017 at 19:42:44
8 Posted 20/02/2017 at 19:45:01
Why do I get instant free access to MUFCTV, LFCTV and CFCTV but not ours?
9 Posted 20/02/2017 at 19:49:19
10 Posted 20/02/2017 at 19:49:36
11 Posted 20/02/2017 at 20:04:57
12 Posted 20/02/2017 at 20:08:32
13 Posted 20/02/2017 at 20:09:53
Working okay on Firefox tonight, but maybe not on other browsers. I also have the Adobe Flash Player installed, maybe that's needed as well.
14 Posted 20/02/2017 at 20:25:18
15 Posted 20/02/2017 at 20:26:57
16 Posted 20/02/2017 at 20:30:09
17 Posted 20/02/2017 at 20:30:32
18 Posted 20/02/2017 at 20:38:47
19 Posted 20/02/2017 at 20:39:39
20 Posted 20/02/2017 at 20:40:50
21 Posted 20/02/2017 at 20:47:09
22 Posted 20/02/2017 at 20:48:32
23 Posted 20/02/2017 at 20:53:50
24 Posted 20/02/2017 at 20:53:59
25 Posted 20/02/2017 at 20:56:16
26 Posted 20/02/2017 at 20:57:57
So, mind you is Dowell, but he does drift in and out of the game a little. Baningime played the Gueye role to perfection. Centre backs very solid, though Saints didn't offer much going forward.
27 Posted 20/02/2017 at 20:58:42
28 Posted 20/02/2017 at 21:03:16
29 Posted 20/02/2017 at 21:08:32
Just got sneaky feeling that Walsh is just too small, and Dowell lightweight and just doesn't do enough to get the ball back, even though both are really skillful players, and Dowell's left peg is Sheedy standard.
30 Posted 20/02/2017 at 21:35:38
31 Posted 20/02/2017 at 21:56:17
32 Posted 20/02/2017 at 21:56:49
Despite what the two commentators kept saying our lead is now back to 6 points, 5 games to go; Man City won on Saturday.
33 Posted 20/02/2017 at 21:58:00
Only one player stood out, that was Baningime, the rest are all average.
34 Posted 20/02/2017 at 22:01:38
All shapes and sizes and some really good potential. KD, I think it's stick or twist now, and he must strike for what's best for him and Walsh, Baningime, Pennington, will get a club. I hope it's here, as they work their socks off.
My view only, but this brings a good boost and spring in the scale of life, this is Everton, and a massive boost, and I hope these are the genuine green shoots for our club, on the up.
Man City next, and wouldn't it be nice to beat them away? Now for Sunderland!
35 Posted 20/02/2017 at 22:17:56
That's not to detract from another great performance and a step closer to hopefully winning the league. Just keeping us all informed.
Excellent work from Unsworth and all the coaches within the academy.
36 Posted 20/02/2017 at 22:20:49
I was impressed with all of the team and Robinson and Kenny are both useful fullbacks with good engines. Dowell was good but lethargic at times.
Feeney and Pennington are tough lads and we played some lovely stuff.
37 Posted 20/02/2017 at 22:26:06
Agree most of Michael's report and the related comments - from my perspective, I thought Robinson did particularly well. Baningime gave the ball away a bit early on but like others, grew into the game. When Henen came on, he took a little while to adjust but when he did, he looked very strong running with the ball at his feet. Well done EFC, well done EFC U23s!
38 Posted 20/02/2017 at 23:10:57
Mateusz Hewlett (GK) what can I say? He distributed the ball well but was never tested at all.
Jonjoe Kenny (RB) – what a fabulous prospect. His lad is so assured both in defence and attack. I would say a natural successor to Seamus; I think he will be a class act. My mate Slogger said he's the guy.
Antonee Robinson (LB) – very impressed with this lad tonight. Involved in a lot of play down the left. Linked up well with the midfield and a very assured performance. He was one of the contenders for the MotM
Matthew Pennington (CB) – I know there is a massive gulf between the first team and the Under-23 team... but I tell you this: this lad never put a foot wrong. He would be in the first team for me.
Morgan Feeney (CB) – again, like I said, I don't say I'm an expert assessor or that I know anything about what it takes to be a Premier League CB, but this lad is very confident, skillful, reads a game very well and has pace. Only a young kid but one for the future.
Beni Baningime (No 4) – very impressive, very skillful, and that old word again, assured. He was fabulous tonight, at the centre of everything. It will be interesting to see how he develops and another contender for my MotM.
Liam Walsh (MF) – I can see how everyone is saying he is the guy in the Under-23 team. Always on the ball. Some great passing and the center of many of the moves in the first half. But seemed a little too confident and lost a lot of important balls.
Joe Williams (No 10) – I like this boy, very busy and like all the others, very skillful and assured. But he has something in his attitude which I like. Another I would like to see more of.
Kieran Dowell (F) – no need to introduce him, because he has been on the stage at Goodison and definitely has such skill it blows your mind. If this boy had the heart of Williams, world beater would be the only name I could call him. But unfortunately he hasn't. He had a good game but so many times in the game just stopped running and wasn't where he should have been. I do hope someone works with him because he has oodles to offer.
Harry Charsley (No 11) – I like this boy, saw him the other week against Man Utd and he shone, and he did the same tonight. I would love to see where he ends up playing. He had a great game despite slicing a golden opportunity; another to watch.
39 Posted 20/02/2017 at 23:19:14
David Helen made a difference when he came on. Livened up the game and was involved in a lot of good play. Has something, but not sure what.
Bassala Sambou very busy but gave loads of ball away, needs to calm down to let his skill shine through.
40 Posted 21/02/2017 at 00:24:09
Made up with the relatively big crowd, it will help the players to play with some atmosphere coming from the stands.
An important win which hopefully will help to get them to winning their league. Hope to get to see them again before the end of the season.
41 Posted 21/02/2017 at 01:43:47
42 Posted 21/02/2017 at 02:02:12
Any one know how much money was raised?
43 Posted 21/02/2017 at 05:25:17
But seriously, I do have some names for you that you might be able to shed some light on:
Sam Byrne – returned from a long, long layoff a couple of weeks ago... hopefully no reaction?
Jamie Yates – Returned from loan at Crewe and was listed as a sub for one U23 game vs Man Utd... is he still around?
Michael Donohue – On the bench just a couple of times but no appearances.
Jack Bainbridge – Played in a few cup games but not a single PL2 game this season... Odd.
Josef Yarney – Same as Bainbridge... but he was also an unused sub for a string of PL2 games.
Tyronne Duffus – Still on our books, apparently, but not a single appearance this season while his brother is getting plenty of games?
Last night was such a success (you apart, Dave!) – let's start a campaign to have the last Premier League 2 game of the season played at Goodison Park. Monday 8th May. I know... you'll be drinking, but it could be quite the occasion for these lads. And they're only playing that lot from across the park.
44 Posted 21/02/2017 at 08:15:28
Last game should be at Goodison, going for a trophy against them lot and streamed live could make a few quid for charity too.
45 Posted 21/02/2017 at 09:04:19
Anyway back to your question, it looks like most, if not all of these lads have not made the improvement necessary to keep them at Goodison. Sam Byrne has had a long time injury and he has only just come back, Michael Donohue looked very, very good dangerous, fast with a few goals and assists in his game, so it is disappointing if he hasn't progressed.
It is a cut-throat game getting on in football and skill on its own is never enough, you have to work hard every day of your football life to get on.
That is why us fans should appreciate how tough it is and give the youngsters every encouragement to urge them on, although I believe constructive criticism doesn't do them any harm.
I'm sure that most of the fans who went last night would have enjoyed the game and will want to go again, I would be one of the first there: but not on a Monday night.
46 Posted 21/02/2017 at 10:31:53
Donohue looked at times last season to be a better player than Holland for the U18s, which is ironic as Holland is now making a name for himself for WHU U23s. But when you think that two of the stars of last season's U18, Holland and Delial Brewster, haven't featured, and Nathan Broadhead only occasionally, it shows how tough it is.
Yates has slipped a lot since he played for England U17s alongside Davies and Holland, and the fact that Charsley was played at right back for that Cup match against Norwich says it all.
47 Posted 21/02/2017 at 10:36:31
I wouldn't go as far as the optimism of some posters, but I would say this experience at Everton and other clubs indicates that you can't always tell whether a lad can make the step up. Players that don't always look the best at junior level can flourish at senior.
The coaches aren't daft they see the lads and an interesting sign is who they have training with the first team (includes Pennington, Kenny and Donkor). But to show what you can do, you ultimately have to get a game and that's really tough these days.
Did anyone really think that Davies would be that good, that quick? I'd like to see Walsh, Pennington and maybe the full backs Kenny and Robinson get a few games (or at least come on) before the season ends.
48 Posted 21/02/2017 at 12:09:30
As for the names Michael mentions, my understanding is that they are all players 18 or 19 years of age so they should be featuring more for the U18s given that we have a few older lads pushing for the first team ahead of them.
There are exceptions like Beni Baningime (if he is anything like Gana Gueye, he should be cracking) but most of those kids are vying for the same spot as the likes of Kenny, Dowell and Charlsey. Sam Byrne is the exception, he is older and no longer looking like a prospect for the first team.
49 Posted 21/02/2017 at 12:48:01
Like anything in life, circumstance, age, dynamics and right/wrong place at the wrong/right time, it's kind of a lottery. In the modern, cutthroat world of big business that is football, it is many shades of grey.
50 Posted 21/02/2017 at 12:57:02
Our back four and midfield were vastly superior to Saints. So much so that it was difficult to assess our two centre-backs as they were under no real pressure, but looked very confident, pacy and good with the ball. Both fullbacks overlapped well.
Walsh, Dowell and Baningime dominated midfield with Dowell standing out creatively. He seemed the outstanding prospect. Up front, we were fairly weak, hence the threat and goals coming from midfield. Dowell was moved forward mid second half and got a superb goal. He is the one to watch, but is a laid-back luxury style of player.
51 Posted 21/02/2017 at 13:35:53
Once again in attendance at the match, it sounds as if a few of our lads could have caught his eye and given him further food for thought, both on transfer targets and 1st team (squad) selection.
Did Koeman not recently say he wanted to bring in quality, rather than just quantity which was unnecessary as there were youngsters already at the club with the potential to make the 1st team squad?
52 Posted 21/02/2017 at 14:02:47
53 Posted 21/02/2017 at 14:04:16
Don't forget that Pennington has already played for the first team and played well. He may well have played this season if not for injury. Also I think he could cover for Baines at left back.
54 Posted 21/02/2017 at 14:49:54
55 Posted 21/02/2017 at 17:11:47
Some previous seasons have been difficult from his aspect, and I have line-ups missing from a number of games. I no longer get the matchday programme and wondered if they still include the academy appearance stats near the beginning of the new season? Anyone recall seeing that over the last six or seven seasons? Youthawk are a great resource but they have only been going for a two or three seasons.
The other thing I wonder about is the official teamsheet, which sometimes gets snapped on Twitter – does anyone know if these are submitted to the FA or Premier League, as some official record of the game? Are they archived?
56 Posted 21/02/2017 at 19:41:10
One or two might get a bit of game time, but I think most will end up at a Championship team. If we want to be challenging for trophies, we need better class players than what was on show last night.
57 Posted 22/02/2017 at 00:54:55
Maintaining true records of the U23s and U18s is a tough job and I commend you for doing it. I lost a bit of interest in this over the last couple of seasons but I've just accessed your links and the info contained is excellent.
I had a bash at tracking all the players who came through the academy for a while. I reckon doing a family tree back to Saxon ages would have been easier.
58 Posted 22/02/2017 at 00:59:05
They cover the U23s and U18s.
Maybe worth checking out.
59 Posted 22/02/2017 at 04:41:22
Worse, it busts the balls of every other Evertonian who relished the sight of Blue shirts, Nos 1 to 11, passing the ball forward with speed, skill and some fine accuracy at times not coming off all the time, but these players did look really good.
For you, an amateur at best, to consign them out of hand to the scrapheap with your blanket rejection is a worthless jibe. Thankfully no-one, least of all you, can predict the future. Shall I think of your post when the first of them steps up to play in the Everton first team? I doubt it.
60 Posted 22/02/2017 at 05:35:44
Who exactly that posts on this site is not "an amateur at best"? He simply said he didn't see anyone that would make it long term, which statistically is a sound bet.
61 Posted 22/02/2017 at 07:41:19
One player makes it and statistics are utterly meaningless thank God!
62 Posted 22/02/2017 at 12:22:04
To me it just seems he is missing the obvious, you don't go to U23 games expecting to see the finished article. Everybody starts somewhere. It is about evaluating the progress and judging the potential and personally I see spades of both.
63 Posted 22/02/2017 at 13:20:13
I do wonder how the Manc supporters watching their "class of 92" in their formative years foresaw the future for all or any of them no doubt there were some who, like Mike has done, completely wrote all of them off! The simple fact is that while we can all have and express an opinion, none of us know.
64 Posted 22/02/2017 at 14:22:14
66 Posted 22/02/2017 at 21:17:40
There are more than a few in that side who will be solid pros at a decent level and a couple who could play at the top, in my humble opinion.