Reds are the spoilers at PL2 Champions party

Monday 8 May 2017  38 Comments  [Jump to last]
Everton U23s 1 - 2 Liverpool U23s

The young Blues celebrate winning the FA Premier League 2 trophy.

The ball would not run for David Unsworth's Under-23s tonight as they took on Liverpool before being crowned Champions of Premier League 2.

It promised to be a great celebration of the fantastic achievement by these young and superbly talented youngsters that have been assembled at Everton's USM Finch Farm, all the sweeter for the Guard of Honour their local rivals provided at the start, and award of the Premier League 2 trophy after the game.

Jonjoe Kenny, hot from his impressive 15-minute season debut for the first team against Swansea, captained the side, as he has done all season. Gethin Jones returnsed from a half-season loan spell at Barnsley to partner him in the backline. Mo Besic and Joe Williams featured in midfield, with in-form Bassala Sambou and Harry Charsley as the strikers.

On the bench, Calum Dyson also returned from a half-season loan, with Grimsby Town, where he was voted their Young Player of the Year. Anthony Evans has also been out on loan, with Morecambe.

The Reds took the lead after an error by Pennington, with just 6 minutes gone.

Dowell had a free-kick near the corner flag and looked to catch out the goalkeeper with a cheeky attempt. The Blues continued to press well but were not quite getting the run of the ball.

Bassala Smabou tried a spectacular overhead kick then Joe Williams fired goalward, forcing the save. Mo Besic did well to steal the ball and carry it forward, winning a dangerous free-kick that Kieran Dowell curled inches wide with the keeper scrambling.

Sambou works himself a yard on the edge of the area before letting fly and Liverpool goalkeeper reacted well to tip the ball around the post. But Besic went off replaced by David Henen, the Reds broke and drilled in a second goal far too easily.

There were big shouts for a penalty as Kenny went down in the corner of the penalty area under a challenge from Gomez but the referee waved play on, much to the frustration of the Blues skipper. David Unsworth then makes his second change of the evening with Dyson replacing Charsley.

On 75 minutes, any celebration was spoiled by a crazy pitch invasion, with 20 or 30 scallies running from the Gwladys Street end. That was followed by a terrible challenge by Williams on on Baningime, leading to some serious handbags but of course only a yellow card for it.

A bit of a scramble;d goal but it finally came after another great run and cross from Kenny, Calum Dyson bundling it over the line off a miskick or deflection.

David Henen seemed to be in with a chance before the end but tried to head it rather than let it fall and lost his footing: no penalty. Keeny trapped a great crossfield ball and then picked out Dyson at the far post but he headed just over.

Into added time and from a bounce-ball, Keiran Dowell lashed a fine shot that was finger-tipped around the post.

The final whistle went and the scallies returned for their little pitch invasion, much to the annoyance of the Goodison Park stewards and authorities before the pitch was eventually cleared to allow the presentation of the Premier League 2 trophy.

Everton: Hewelt; Kenny, Jones, Baningame, Feeney, Pennington, Dowell, Besic (57' Henen), Sambou, J Williams [Y:78'] (87' Evans), Charsley (63' Dyson).
Subs not Used: Gray, Foulds.

[For those who cannot attend in person, the match will be streamed live via the Everton website:
U23s Everton v Liverpool Streaming Live. There is a £3.99 payment required to ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is' charity and our Live Forum will be open. Note: Coverage in the UK is on a 15-minute delay.]

Season Record: ToffeeWeb U23s Page


Reader Comments (38)

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Gareth Clark
1 Posted 08/05/2017 at 18:40:20
Like the look of the line up!

Lovely to see Dyson & Evans on the bench.

Wish we could have seen Garbutt out there too. :/

Anthony Dwyer
2 Posted 08/05/2017 at 20:20:25
Ffs, we still can't beat these lot. 😡😡
John G Davies
3 Posted 08/05/2017 at 20:23:28
Unsworth will never make it.
Get shut and get Sheedy in. 😀
Andy Meighan
4 Posted 08/05/2017 at 20:25:51
Won the league and we still struggle against these. The fucking malaise has spread down to the U23s...

This'll be 2 defeats against this crowd. Wtf is it with us against them You couldn't make it up.

Jim Bennings
6 Posted 08/05/2017 at 20:57:01
We can't beat them at any level ,can we?

I swear our first team would lose to the Liverpool Under-10s team.

Patrick Murphy
7 Posted 08/05/2017 at 21:05:10
We won't start beating the other lot until we start to teach our players to do what they do: fall over, waste time, moan at the officials and all the other dark arts of the game.

We showed some really good movement and one or two players look as if they could turn out to be good first team players Joe Williams and the Number 2 who I believe is Jonjoe Kenny are certainly ones to watch.

Anybody heard what is wrong with Liam Walsh? Apparently he arrived at the ground on crutches. Anyway the lads won the league, which just shows you don't have to beat the dark side in order to win stuff.

Dave Williams
8 Posted 08/05/2017 at 21:06:07
The edge must have been missing from our game with the title already wrapped up, Jim. Very frustrating though!
Joe O'Brien
9 Posted 08/05/2017 at 21:14:12
Or we can look at the positives for a change and see that our young blues have just won the Premier League 2 trophy in a strong league. We've the likes of Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal who have got very strong reserves.

Well done, Unsy and the staff, and our talented young team coming through. Fuck those RedShites, I'd take a guess they would have preferred to lose tonight but ultimately win the league.

Paul Birmingham
10 Posted 08/05/2017 at 21:19:22
They took their chances and we controlled the game but some bad finishing and some good saves by their keeper. Shame Liam Walsh couldn't play, he'd have been a difference.

At least these lads play for the shirt... the first team most I'd send to a seminary /Alcatraz, to learn about themselves and what it means to play for EFC. Deffo Jonjoe Kenny should be given a higher squad profile next season, he's a natural back and looks like he can go a long way.

A ray of hope and some pride from a difficult season, let's hope the sweep starts on Friday.

Very well done, EFC U23s, you can all be proud of your achievement, and thanks for some great entertainment this season.


Stan Schofield
11 Posted 08/05/2017 at 21:25:15
Winning the league is far more important than beating Liverpool, whether it's the Premier League or Premier League 2.
Jay Harris
12 Posted 08/05/2017 at 21:35:05
Be much more enjoyable to do both though, eh, Stan?

They were much more roughhouse than us and as Patrick says we need to lean a little more towards the dark side.

When that tackle went in on Baningame, the Liverpool players were on the refs shoulder claiming he made the most of it by jumping in the air and questioned why he was not booking an Everton player, which he then promptly did.

Our back 4 were standing off whereas their backline was in your face.

Liam Reilly
13 Posted 08/05/2017 at 21:36:22
Exactly Stan, we put too much emphasis on beating them. These matches are our cup finals year on year and for what; when it comes down to it, it's just three points.

I'd rather lose those battles but win the war. Not that we've won many wars either recently but small steps and all that.

Well done, lads.

Tony Hill
14 Posted 08/05/2017 at 22:01:18
Baningime looks a real talent. I thought he was comfortably our best player: touch, awareness, sharp in the tackle and has an elegant style. Kenny too was good.

Anyway, a lovely occasion and I don't care about the result.

Colin Hughes
15 Posted 08/05/2017 at 22:20:16
We wouldn't beat them at fucking Ludo... U23 Champions yet they double us.

I think we should change our kit to all white to look like Real Madrid, it may make the RedShite more apprehensive playing us knowing we look like a team that has won more European Cups than them.

To hell with tradition, it gets you nowhere. For fuck's sake – even the blue team hardly ever beats the red on Bargain Hunt either.

Peter Mills
16 Posted 08/05/2017 at 22:26:41
I agree with Patrick's summary of things.

The RS showed all the grace and charm I have come to expect from them over 50 years – no guard of honour, at the ref all the time, one awful foul, and plenty of time-wasting.

They've got some good players though, I was very impressed with their No 10 – sorry, don't know his name, a tall, strong lad who played as a forward dropping deep. He didn't put a foot wrong.

I was a little disappointed by our lads, although they showed spirit. There was a lack of pace and power. Williams has a bit of attitude, but I thought only Jonjoe Kenny stood out.

However, many congratulations to the U23 team, it was great to see an Everton player lift a trophy.

Paul Hewitt
17 Posted 08/05/2017 at 22:29:45
Who cares. We won the league.
Dave Abrahams
18 Posted 08/05/2017 at 22:32:04
Tony (#14), yes, Baningime was very good, hardly wasted a ball, looked cool, calm, never rushed his passes, and mostly found a man in space.

Kenny was another who urged his team on and put some great passes into the box that might have been utilised better.

Joe Williams was always in the thick of it and had a good game.

Liverpool looked physically a much bigger team than Everton and knew how to use their weight, not always legitimately, but to be honest they played as a team more than Everton who tried to progress with individual attempts too much instead of bringing players into the game that were available.

Just one small moan, I was in the Bullens Road side of the ground where the bulk of the crowd where but they did the presentation facing the Main Stand watched by a thousand fans, they never even used the screens to show who was being presented with what.

I waited and watched it all as the players eventually left the rostrum and walked around with the trophy, not a bad night and, although the result didn't count at the end, at the end of the night it was frustrating to be beat by bastards again.

Martin Nicholls
19 Posted 08/05/2017 at 22:50:10
I agree with Patrick Murphy's summary of the game which we deserved better from. I think that was Liam Walsh that came on on crutches for presentation. I don't know what's wrong with him but great shame – we missed him. Well done, you young guns.
Laurie Hartley
20 Posted 08/05/2017 at 22:55:11
Stan – it just doesn't feel like it for this little blue duck.
Bill Watson
21 Posted 08/05/2017 at 23:00:25
I was very disappointed by the absence of Liam Walsh as I'd been looking forward to seeing him.

I must agree with Koeman: not many look ready for the first team but I was very impressed by Beni Baningime. He was cool, assured and could see a pass. Kenny we know about and Joe Williams had a decent game.

Overall, I thought we over elaborated and, of course, all the loose balls in the area dropped kindly for them.

Nice to find myself sitting next to fellow ToffeeWebber Ray Roche.

Eugene Ruane
22 Posted 08/05/2017 at 23:02:23
Ok we didn't get the result but with cooler heads, could have easily stuck 4 more past them.

We kept doing that thing of doing the hard work then a final ball would just...

To be honest, I thought Liverpool looked shite – we gave them one goal, their second was a good finish, but overall, thought they looked very... um... 'lumpy.'

Physically strong/big but... not much else.

Anyway, enjoyed the evening – nice weather, went with two good blue mates, had a couple of beers, hot dog, lift home.

Congratulations to the champions and up the Toffees!

Oh and Beni Baningime?

Remember the name!

John Fieldstead
23 Posted 08/05/2017 at 23:49:37
Just a few points...

Why no guard of honour?
Why no penalties?
Why only a yellow for a typically bad RS tackle?
Why no big screens?
Why can't we beat them?
Why run out of hot dogs and sausage rolls at a kids' party?

Well done, Under-23s, on your great achievement!

Dan Davies
24 Posted 09/05/2017 at 01:00:26
Shite headline, why not just celebrate US winning the league? Why the 'spoilers' shite? Unbelievable. Who cares? We won the league!
Darren Hind
25 Posted 09/05/2017 at 01:59:18
Lost count of the number of times this has happened; it's always difficult for Champions to go again once they have done their mental lap of honour.

A monumental effort from Unsworth and his boys this season. You don't finish top of the pile by accident.

It's great to think that even the ones who don't go to the very top will still have memories to cherish.

Made up for all concerned.

Mark Andersson
26 Posted 09/05/2017 at 02:37:42
Disappointing to read we lost to them again... But congrats to all in blue who over the season have made us feel proud!!

Barry Rathbone
27 Posted 09/05/2017 at 06:36:43
Since Shankly the RS have always had more "street fighter" in them than us, imagine an Everton team winning in similar circumstances at Anfield?? Pft!

Until someone gets this at Goodison Park, nothing will change.

Ian Hollingworth
28 Posted 09/05/2017 at 07:40:36
Well done Unsy and the U23's great effort.

As for the result, bloody typical but we all sort of knew didn't we? That's the problem now its engrained in all of us to expect it against the RedShite.

Terry Farrell
29 Posted 09/05/2017 at 07:41:44
Great achievement to win Premier League 2 – Unsy has them well organised and playing some neat football. We missed Robinson and Walsh and Besic is off the pace.

Dowell has loads of ability but imo he won't make it to the Premier League unless he works harder when he hasn't got it and supports the man with the ball by making a run. He wants everything to come to him.

Beni Baningime and Jonjoe Kenny were excellent. When you watch a game like that, it makes you appreciate how good Tom Davies is and factor in he is younger than most on that pitch last night.

Ray Roche
30 Posted 09/05/2017 at 08:10:10
Disappointing result and, I imagine, a below par performance from some players.

I was very impressed with Baningime and though Kenny looks like he could slot straight in to the first team. He was always getting forward behind their back line and his crosses were pretty dangerous too.

Joe Williams did himself no harm with a good performance as did Gethin Jones. The RS? They are all we've come to expect from that shower. Disrespectful, ungracious, cheating, con artists. And they are their good points.

Bill Watson, it was a pleasure to meet you, a fellow Blue with a good knowledge of the game. Enjoyed our chat. Bloody cold up there though, wasn't it?

Ed Fitzgerald
31 Posted 09/05/2017 at 08:10:50
I thought Everton played reasonably well apart from some basic defensive lapses which cost us a daft goal. I've watched quite a bit of the Under-23s this season and they do try play passing football at all times and that is a big credit to David Unsworth.

I sat in the main stand and was appalled by some of the comments from fans who didn't even know who they were slagging off, saying it was all too familiar. In the end I had to remind one to two that what wasn't familiar is that these nameless players had actually won the league. Liverpool were very physical and didn't have much finesse at all, I thought their best player was the goalie.

Don't know who mentioned it further up the thread about changing our colours to white because apparently Blue is unlucky? Premier League Champions elect- Chelsea, last year Leicester, year before Man City, FFS Using that logic Liverpool should change their kit to Blue.

Congratulations to all the players I actually think we have at least three players (maybe four) who could cut it in the Premier League. It is a shame Liam Walsh didn't play he is an excellent player.

Liam Reilly
32 Posted 09/05/2017 at 08:21:50
Just seen that Jonjoe Kenny, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Ademola Lookman, Kieran Dowell and Callum Connolly are all off to South Korea with England for the Under-20s.

So there'll be no youth versus Watford and Arsenal then. The team picks itself, undeserved as it is.

Bill Watson
33 Posted 09/05/2017 at 09:00:40
Ray: absolutely freezing! Will be glad to get back to home ground (Upper Gwladys) on Friday. lol.

Liam: all the young players will be available for the Watford game: they don't fly out to Japan until Monday.

Dave Abrahams
34 Posted 09/05/2017 at 09:16:43
Another point to consider about the game is a lot of these lads are not used to playing in front of such a big crowd; it's something they will have to get used to if they are going to make it in the future. Nevertheless on occasions like this it is harder for the home team, there is more stress on them with friends and relations watching them plus loads of fans who have never seen them before.

As an example, I could give plenty, Everton youths, with Rooney in the team, played at home in the final of the FA Youth Cup, we got hammered 4-1 in front of a sizeable crowd; in the return leg we won 1-0, it's down to pressure.

As I said before it is something all young players have to get used to and it doesn't affect every player, Wayne Rooney playing in his first Derby game at Anfield was bayed at when running down the line, warming up to come on as a sub; didn't phase him at all... water off a duck's back. Not many are like that, it's sink or swim.

Stan Schofield
35 Posted 09/05/2017 at 09:19:56
We won the Premier League 2 in style. We don't resort to the type of gamesmanship shown by Liverpool, in fact we never have. Hasn't done them much good in recent years, has it?

When the first team win the league, that too will be done in style. It's quality that wins you the league, not gamesmanship.

If Everton ever resorted to the kind of tactics adopted by some other teams, I would simply walk away, and never watch Everton again.

Peter Morris
36 Posted 09/05/2017 at 09:35:07
I enjoyed the game last night. I think the amount of first team experience in the Liverpool side probably made the difference. Our lads looked like what they are... young men leaving their teens behind, growing into manhood, whereas some of those guys turning out for the Shite looked huge beasts.

I think they mugged us really. Apart from a 10 minutes spell just after they scored their fortuitous first goal, the young Blues bossed the game. Liverpool's more direct approach meant they opened the back line up too often and probably had the better direct chances.

But, there are some lovely footballers in that young Everton team, right out of the classic Everton mould, and I only hope they stay on course with their development and blossom into the stars they and we deserve them to become.

Very impressed with Kenny. He plays very positively, has really great ball control, and always wanted the ball and was urging his mates on. A classic modern wing back in the making. Give him a start on Friday night, Ronnie. He deserves it.

Charlie Lloyd
37 Posted 09/05/2017 at 12:59:44
Peter @ 36

You made a good point there about the Liverpool line up. There was bags of experience and players who have had first team exposure. They even played two lads Grujic and Gomez who cost millions. They were entitled to do that but it should be noted. We had U23s like Davies, Holgate, Lookman also Connolly who didn't play.

I thought we showed plenty of graft but a little guile was missing and the ball just didn't run kindly around their box. Great effort though and the crowd looked sizeable. Extremely proud that they won the league and pleased for Unsworth.

Kenny needs more minutes or a loan to the championship. With Coleman missing it may be better to keep him and introduce him more. We've got Europa League and other Cups to bring him on. Looks a decent prospect.

Beni Baningime had a very good game. Bit like a mini Idrissa Gueye.

Joe Williams was decent but his progress is behind Davies which may not help him.

I was a bit disappointed by Kieran Dowell. He put himself about a bit more than normal but was a bit wasteful at times. I feel he should be shining more at this level now if he wants to kick on to the first team. Still some hope there but next season is pivotal. He hasn't done a loan away yet like Kenny and Pennington. Maybe that would be a good career development move.

Sean Patton
38 Posted 09/05/2017 at 13:50:32
A disappointing result shouldn't detract from a great season and the reward should be as many of the young lads playing as possible against Watford.

Of course we can win a derby – the U18s won 4-1 this season which bodes well for the Kopites' new coach.

Matthew Williams
40 Posted 10/05/2017 at 10:11:49
Well done to the young lads for being winners... that what really counts!

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