Everton U23s got their Championship charge back on track with a 3-2 win over Derby County under the lights at Pride Park tonight.
Manchester City, who had closed the gap at the top of Premier League 2 to just three points, traveled to Arsenal and were involved in a similarly thrilling contest but were pegged back to 3-3 at the last by the Gunners' second string.
David Unsworth's charges took the lead through Bassala Sambou but conceded two quick goals just before half-time to go into the break in arrears.
Liam Walsh restored parity from the penalty spot, though, and after Kieran Dowell had rattled the woodwork with a free kick, David Henen stepped off the bench to score what could prove to be a priceless winner.
The two results means Everton's U23s now head the Premier League 2 table by five points.
Everton U23s: Hewelt, Kenny, Robinson, Walsh, Holgate, Pennington, Dowell, Williams (66' Banningme), Duffus (75' Henen), Sambou (86' Fenney), Charsley.
Subs not Used: Hunt, Broadhead.
Reader Comments (41)
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1 Posted 13/03/2017 at 18:36:45
2 Posted 13/03/2017 at 19:33:39
3 Posted 13/03/2017 at 19:38:08
4 Posted 13/03/2017 at 19:55:47
5 Posted 13/03/2017 at 20:25:58
6 Posted 13/03/2017 at 20:37:18
7 Posted 13/03/2017 at 20:40:48
8 Posted 13/03/2017 at 20:44:42
9 Posted 13/03/2017 at 20:55:54
10 Posted 13/03/2017 at 21:03:05
11 Posted 13/03/2017 at 21:03:50
12 Posted 13/03/2017 at 21:18:26
It's a strong league with all the major teams having development squads in it, so would be a real coup to win the league.
13 Posted 13/03/2017 at 23:01:34
14 Posted 13/03/2017 at 23:18:26
15 Posted 13/03/2017 at 23:22:25
16 Posted 13/03/2017 at 23:25:04
It can only be a good thing that these young players learn how to see out a title run (if they do).
17 Posted 13/03/2017 at 23:25:37
18 Posted 13/03/2017 at 23:34:45
19 Posted 13/03/2017 at 23:50:21
But great win, with some nice quality passes/crosses coming into the box. They've got a hard last 3 games but it's ours to lose. COYB.
BTW I wonder if they're thinking of putting Tom Davies back into the Under-23s for the run in?
20 Posted 14/03/2017 at 00:32:37
21 Posted 14/03/2017 at 00:37:10
Come on, lads – lift that title for yourselves and us supporters. Football is now a great future for all you lads, keep working hard and you can be a part of the club's success.
Hopefully some of you will run out for the first team; three or four of you have already had that great feeling, others will follow... You will remember the thrill of it for the rest of your lives. I will be there cheering you on with thousands of other fervent Blues.
22 Posted 14/03/2017 at 01:39:13
23 Posted 14/03/2017 at 02:03:22
24 Posted 14/03/2017 at 03:17:25
25 Posted 14/03/2017 at 04:28:14
Seems like Jakobsen is a player worth us keeping an eye on. Only 18, big lad, quick... and dominated our more mature CBs a couple of times.
26 Posted 14/03/2017 at 04:50:32
That penalty call, though... Sambou is coming in, almost from behind the defender, stretches to dispossess him, and crumbles to the ground in a heap. He never had possession of the ball, did he? How is that a penalty?
Sorry, not wishing to detract from a great win. Well done lads.
27 Posted 14/03/2017 at 05:07:42
I love the way the attacking midfielders linked up with the front two. Koeman is always talking about playing and defending in between the lines. His style is stamped all over this U23 side.
As for Unsworth getting the top job if Koeman does leave, Kenwright in charge then maybe. Moshiri in charge... I doubt it. He would want to replace him with the best possible manager available to take us into the most important time in the recent history of the club.
I just hope Koeman isn't offered the Barcelona job and turns down Arsenal if they came in (we've no hope if Barca did approach us for Koeman). We look strong and have real momentum on and off the pitch. U23s will be the icing on the cake and Bramley Moore the big ripe cherry on the top!
28 Posted 14/03/2017 at 05:47:00
He looks old.
And it's good to occasionally see the pictures of the second team before they break into the first team.
29 Posted 14/03/2017 at 05:49:35
The lads don't play again for nearly a month... perhaps that game (April 10) against Spurs will now be played at Goodison Park? That and the last game against the Reds! Someone needs to start campaigning for it...
30 Posted 14/03/2017 at 09:10:23
31 Posted 14/03/2017 at 12:27:22
32 Posted 14/03/2017 at 12:42:38
Great result. These boys are having some season. So nice that we only play kids in this side, no first team flops or journeymen like we used to.
33 Posted 14/03/2017 at 12:52:10
34 Posted 14/03/2017 at 13:14:02
Interesting comment, when some have observed how rarely our fringe first-team players get any match practice because they turn their noses up at playing for "The Stiffs". So, good to see Mason Holgate turn out for them last night.
Generally, what you say is true, I agree... although there is some irony this season that the leading goalscorer for the U23s remains one Oumar Niasse, the biggest and most expensive first team flop we have ever had. But the bit that caught my eye was "... like we used to".
I've been putting appearance records for the second string up on ToffeeWeb for the last 20+ years... I don't recall us ever doing that on a regular basis. Are you going back to the good old days of the Central League, Andrew?
35 Posted 14/03/2017 at 13:21:43
Now I can call my campaign a resounding success!
36 Posted 14/03/2017 at 14:46:04
Thanks for the link.
Difficult to judge from highlights but I thought Sambou looked classy and the usual "Deulofeu" moments from Kieran Dowell looked good but Holgate looked shaky in one movement and Pennington got run ragged by Jakobsen who looked good for them.
37 Posted 14/03/2017 at 15:03:32
38 Posted 14/03/2017 at 15:36:07
I really see those situations as being a question of player positioning. The one who is right there at the critical point where the trajectory of the cross arrives at headable height has a massive advantage – and they can't both occupy that space. If the defender tries too hard to do so, it's a penalty.
39 Posted 14/03/2017 at 19:17:45
40 Posted 14/03/2017 at 22:46:31
This side are young, hungry and under brilliant, ultra professional leadership that has rightly been rewarded with more footballing and financial autonomy than we've ever seen "the ressies" enjoy at Everton.
They're doing great things on and off the pitch and long may that continue.
41 Posted 15/03/2017 at 22:30:37