Everton's Under-18s got to the Sixth Round of this season's FA Youth Cup
Day Date Rnd Ven Opponents Res Scorers
Mon 9 Dec 3 (h) Brighton & Hove Albion W 2—0 Green 2Tue 14 Jan 4 (h) Birmingham City W 4-3 Dyson, C Duffus, Green 2
Mon 17 Feb 5 (a) Sheffield United W 2-0 C Duffus, Jones (pen)
Mon 10 Mar 6 (a) Arsenal L 1-3 Williams
The game’s first real opportunity fell to the visitors. A tantalising cross from could not quite be converted at full stretch.
Everton continued to dictate possession and the best moment of the opening period came when intricate play involving Jonjoe Kenny, Joe Williams and Courtney Duffus ended in a chance for George Green. However, the midfielder could only crash his effort into the side netting from a narrow angle.
The second half started just as brightly, with Brighton’s goalkeeper reacting quickly after a deflection from his own teammate looked destined to put the home side ahead. The scoring was eventually opened by Green on the hour mark. Cutting in from the left, the 17-year-old drove a fantastic right-footed effort into the bottom corner of the goal from 20-yards out.
Everton thought they had doubled their lead six minutes later after Courtney Duffus bundled in an inviting Green cross. The referee, though, judged the striker to have fouled goalkeeper in the process and duly disallowed his effort.
A second goal was to arrive and it would come courtesy of the penalty spot after 75 minutes. The referee spotted an infringement from an in-swinging Ryan Ledson corner and it was Green again who was to be Brighton’s tormentor. The Man of the Match stroked the ball home into the bottom left corner to seal the victory and book Everton’s place in the Fourth Round draw.
The scoring opened on 23 minutes, when Calum Dyson was on hand to coolly slot the ball into the Birmigham goal after a strike from Courtney Duffus had been blocked. The goal sparked Everton into life and the youngsters continued in their attempts to extend their lead. But half chances for Duffus senior and Dyson were spurned under pressure from a determined Birmingham backline.
Birmingham posed more of a threat after the break and their efforts were rewarded with an equaliser on 59 minutes, when a superb 20-yard curling strike sailed past Russell Griffiths in the Everton goal. The two sides continued to exchange blows, but it was Everton who would take the lead again just after the hour mark when an inviting low cross from Dyson was turned in by Courtney Duffus from four yards.
Substitute George Green went on to extend Everton’s lead after he was released down the left flank on 77 minutes. After outpacing a defender, Green unleashed a vicious left-footed shot to make it 3-1 to the home side. The delighted youngster was booked in the aftermath for an exuberant celebration which saw him remove his shirt.
Everton’s two-goal cushion, however, was short-lived as Birmingham pulled a goal back just two minutes later. A clever back heel set-up the Birmingham striker who confidently side footed past Griffiths from 15-yards to bring the score to 3-2.
Everton went further ahead after 89 minutes with another goal from Green. A free-kick was awarded after smart work from Ryan Ledson resulted in the midfielder being bundled over 20-yards from the Birmingham goal. Green stepped up to curl a left-footed strike over the wall and into the top right hand corner of the goal.
A Birmingham substitute capitalised on a costly slip on the edge of the Everton penalty area in injury time to make it 4-3 and set up a nervy last couple of minutes for the young Blues, who held on to go through to the Fifth Round.
The young Blues manufactured their first chance after intelligent work from Tyrone Duffus. The number 10 released Calum Dyson after a powerful run, but his deflected drive was beaten around the post by the Blades goalkeeper. They came close again on 20 minutes through midfielder Harry Charsley. A ball across the box from the tenacious Jones evaded both Duffus brothers before falling to Charsley at the back post, but his driven effort sailed wide from seven-yards out.
The deadlock was eventually broken after 39 minutes when Courtney Duffus latched onto a through ball 25-yards from goal, still with plenty to do. The towering striker dummied to go on the outside before cutting back onto his left and calmly slotting past the keeper into the Sheffield United goal. The elder of the Duffus brothers almost doubled his tally moments later when he reacted quickly to charge down a weak backpass, but the deflection sailed agonisingly wide of the upright.
Everton doubled their lead in the second half though Jones via the penalty spot. Ryan Ledson's sublime through ball released Courtney Duffus down the centre, and the striker was eventually bundled over by the keeper as he bore down on goal. Captain Gethin Jones took the responsibility in the absence of the Blues' top goalscorer George Green and the Welshman made no mistake in converting into the bottom right corner to make it 2-0.
Sheffield United came close to an instant reply when their midfileder's thrusting run threatened, but he could only poke his effort onto Russell Griffiths's far post under intense pressure from Curtis Langton. Everton defended admirably in the closing stages and retained possession smartly against a stubborn United side who came closest to pulling a goal back through late long-range efforts, one being smartly punched over the bar by Griffiths in injury time.
Everton Under-18s were at The Emirates Stadium this evening to face their Arsenal counterparts in the quarter finals of the FA Youth Cup but they couldn't avenge the senior side and were beaten 3-1.
The young Blues beat the Gunners 2-1 on Merseyside in the U-18 Premier League at the end of January � a result which kick-started a streak of seven successive victories and also dumped Arsenal out of the FA Youth Cup in the Fifth Round last season with a dramatic 4-2 away win.
They couldn't replicate either result, however, and fell behind 2-0 going into the half-time the break thanks to goals by Jebb (penalty) and Chuba Akpom.
Joe Williams halved the deficit in the 49th minute to make it 2-1 but Jebb scored again to restore the Gunners' two-goal advantage, one they held onto to knock Everton out.
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