Everton's Youth Academy team, led by Ross Barkley, were looking to progress in this season's FA Youth Cup...
Day Date Rnd Ven Opponents Res Scorers
Wed 12 Dec 3 (a) Crystal Palace W 2—1 Barkley, ForresterThu 12 Jan 4 (a) Queens Park Rangers L 0-1 —
Everton won 2-1 after extra time at Selhurst Park this evening, coming from behind with a strong display to beat Crystal Palace in their opening tie of this season's FA Youth Cup campaign. Ross Barkley equalised Palace's opener and the Blues bombarded the home side but could not make the breakthrough until Anton Forrester got the winner for the Blues in the first half of extra time.
Ross Barkley was the driving force for Everton and his first effort inside 10 minutes was tipped onto the bar by the Palace keeper. Hallam Hope got free down the right and fired across the six-yard box but no-one reacted quick enough to touch home.
Place went ahead a lucky ricochet fell to Alex Wynter and the Palace captain made no mistake, firing past James Fitzgibbons in the Everton goal.
Everton's first half display was rewarded not long later when Palace gave the ball away at the back, Hallam Hope found Ross Barkley running in and the Everton captain and placed his shot into the corner for the equaliser.
Everton were nearly in front not long after the break when Hope again drove down the right and cut the ball back for Forrester who had to score but saw his effort first saved and then cleared off the line. Barkley headed over when well placed from a corner in a barrage of Everton attacks.
A Conor Grant strike was well-saved by the Palace keeper who tipped a fine left-footed strike round the post with his fingertips as the game looked destined for extra-time. Lundstram's rising drive was turned round the post as the game went into extra-time.
Anton Forrester kept his composure to fire in a right-footed strike and give the Toffees a lead their attacking play had probably deserved.
I left early from Loftus Road through cold and boredom. The U18 cup match offered very little. Barkley and Green were absent so the crowd of 1500+ were denied Everton’s finest. We have a guy in the middle that you’d back in a street fight, and a number 6 who could earn himself a career on free kicks alone. Nothing else of note.
The score with 20 minutes to play was 1-0 to The Rs as a run went unchecked through the middle and free shot found the corner of the net. Leaving, I remembered why I found the final of the Premier League Championship match at Craven Cottage so dull in the spring. No player showed any individuality or character. Its all been trained out of them and they all seemed so interchangeable – bar the bean pole of elegance at the back.
The team played with some neat interchanging for the first twenty and QPR looked sure for a loss, but the game descended into two teams cancelling each other out with closing down and self-inflicted ineptitude.
There are no Rooneys coming through, no more £20m saviours for our overdraft. The highlight of the evening was spotting Denis Wise and Martin Keown outside. Though I would have been more chuffed at seeing Kevin Sheedy for the first time but from a distance it was either him or a female Nigel Worthington impersonator.
Sod’s law I’ve missed something amazing, but as far as I know I spent a fiver on being cold and uninspired by these potential millionaires, though if Anichebe quality is what you want then you've got some candidates.
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