Everton U21s win at Harrogate in Papa John's EFL Trophy

04/10/2022 35comments  |  Jump to last
Harrogate Town 1 - 1 Everton U21s [2-4 on Penalties]

Everton U21s travel to Harrogate this evening where they eventually won their second game in Group A of this season's Papa John's EFL Trophy on penalties after drawing 1-1 in normal time.

The game kicks off in the EnvrioVent Stadium at 7:00 pm BST, with live streaming for Everton members on the official website. 

Leighton Baines's young men lost the first game at Morecambe last month on a penalty shootout after playing to a 3-3 draw in normal time. 

Everton had to defend an onslaught of 5 corners in the first 10 minutes only to score in their first attack, Stan Mills controlling the ball well before slotting it clinically along the ground and past the keeper into the Harrogate net.

Article continues below video content

And that's how it stayed past half-time but the home side eventually equalized with a rather soft finish from close range that went in under Zan-Luk Leban.

And the home side created a slew of guilt-edged chances to force a win as Everton faded and penalties loomed, although Cannon had a great chance to win it at the death, saved by the Harrogate keeper. 

In the penalty shoot-out, Everton got the win 4-2 and the extra point,  Cannon, Price, Mills, and Quirk  scoring with Leban saving one, while Okoronkwo's poor effort was also saved. 

Everton U21s:  Leban, Mallon (56' Dixon/Quintyne), Campbell, Welch, Price, I Samuels-Smith (76' Hunt), Quirk, Mills, Whitaker, Cannon, Kouyate (63' Okoronkwo).

Subs not Used: Barrett, Anderson, Djankpata, Heath


Reader Comments (35)

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Dave Abrahams
1 Posted 04/10/2022 at 10:05:15

It states on the Everton website that this game can be watched by Official members and season ticket holders, both are mentioned twice but when I try and log into the site, as a season ticket holder it just gives information to members or fans who want to become members; I don't.

It seems to me they are just trying to get more fans to join the members club. It's no big deal to be honest but why advertise you can watch the game but not give you any way to do so. Work your magic, Michael, and have a word with them!!

Michael Kenrick
2 Posted 04/10/2022 at 13:42:34
Oh, Dave, No!

I hate it when you have trouble enjoying the free gifts bestowed upon you by our beloved club.

Let's see if we can troubleshoot this...

Go the Offical Site and click on NEWS to get a little drop-down menu – select UNDER-21S

Second story in (at the moment) is Members Only: Live Stream For Under-21s' Cup Clash – click on that.

When the page comes up, look in the top right corner. It should already say DAVE and your 7-digit membership number – this would mean you're already logged in.

(If it says in the top right corner, LOGIN OR REGISTER, only then do you need to, er... Login or Register. I'm not helping you with that.)

Now the hard bit: Sit tight and wait patiently until 6:58 pm or thereabouts, then scroll down on that page (do not click on any of the links!!!) but instead click on the big lower graphic that should have a Play arrow on it.

That should change to a video window and give you personal access to a live stream of the game.

Chris Williams
3 Posted 04/10/2022 at 14:09:28
Do you have to be signed up as a digital member, as well? I think that’s what I had to do.
Michael Kenrick
4 Posted 04/10/2022 at 18:00:55
Yeah, Chris, you need to be logged in as a member or season-ticket holder.
Michael Kenrick
5 Posted 04/10/2022 at 18:47:27
It's started now, Dave.



Oh, nevermind, it's only a bunch of bloody Ads.

Michael Kenrick
6 Posted 04/10/2022 at 18:58:22
Not sure of the formation, players listed by shirt-number. Maybe Phill or Brent can put them in the right order?
Brent Stephens
7 Posted 04/10/2022 at 19:02:55
Suspect Mallon, Campbell, Welch and Samuel,,

Mills, Price, Quirk, Koyate

Whittaker and Cannon

Brian Murray
8 Posted 04/10/2022 at 19:08:01
Keep getting reliably informed that Tom Cannon ( 21) is not ready to push for a first team place. The blue romantic that I am says give him a chance to be involved you never know.
Michael Kenrick
9 Posted 04/10/2022 at 19:09:20
Thanks, Brent.

I think Snods said Mills and Whitaker appeared to start on the wings.

Brent Stephens
10 Posted 04/10/2022 at 19:13:08
Yes, Michael a 4-3-3 would be more consistent with recent formations?
Michael Kenrick
11 Posted 04/10/2022 at 19:13:59
Everton had to defend an onslaught of 5 corners in the first 10 minutes only to score in their first attack, Stan Mills controlling the ball well before slotting it clinically along the ground and past the keeper into the Harrogate net.

Great start!

Danny O’Neill
12 Posted 04/10/2022 at 19:25:36
Not watching but that reference to defending an onslaught of corners sounds familiar Michael. It's given me breathless moments with the first team a few times this season.
Brent Stephens
13 Posted 04/10/2022 at 19:59:03
And defending corners we're now better at, it seems.
Bill Gall
14 Posted 04/10/2022 at 21:06:54
Everton Under-21s win 4-2 on penalties against Harrogate.
Bill Gall
15 Posted 04/10/2022 at 21:15:48
There were an awful lot of mistakes from players who want to push for the first team, granted they were playing a strong team with 5 changes in the second half who the commentator reckoned that they were mostly from their first team.
Michael Kenrick
16 Posted 04/10/2022 at 21:36:32
So sorry my guidance was inadequate, Dave, at least you tried to watch.

I suppose I can understand why (judging from these threads) so few are interested in watching the U21s. The quality is not great. The standard of footie is not great. The games are a very hard watch.

And considering we struggled for most of the second half against a side that is floundering at 20th in League Two, that really brings home the huge size of the step up from U21s to Premier League.

Brent Stephens
17 Posted 04/10/2022 at 21:43:31
Michael, so right about the challenges in stepping up from U21 to Premier League.

Occasional calls for the likes of Cannon to be given a go in the first team ("He couldn't be any worse than...") are well-intentioned but highly optimistic.

Robert Tressell
18 Posted 04/10/2022 at 21:46:59
Michael # 16. Be careful with that line of thinking. If you keep going the logic points in the direction of the loan system.

On other notes, did any of our boys stand out? How did Mills perform aside from the goal?

Michael Kenrick
19 Posted 04/10/2022 at 22:08:45
Spot on, Brent, but it's such an easy throwaway line to show superior knowledge and judgement as against the professionals employed and well paid to make such calls – and they are probably among the ones who don't actually watch these U21 games when they are provided to them for free.

And you've got a great point there, Rob. My tirades against the loan system are somewhat undermined by this observation. I feel well and truly Kwartenged.

This season, we have 15 players out on loan – not quite up to Chelsea's level but that's the most I can ever remember for us.

Kieran Kinsella
20 Posted 04/10/2022 at 22:12:05

I thought "He couldn't be any worse than" was forever banned as a suggestion after that game when we decided to give Per Kroldrup a run out.

Brent Stephens
21 Posted 04/10/2022 at 22:17:34
We've got 15 out on loan? I really didn't realise it was that many. Another sign of the extent of the changes at the club? Or is that not so unusual for us??

Michael, I have to smile at the label "Kamikwasi Kwarteng" which some are starting to use. Hubris - Nemesis…

Brent Stephens
22 Posted 04/10/2022 at 22:24:04
Ah, Kieran, Per Krøldrup – what can one say? A skill level next to none.
Michael Kenrick
23 Posted 04/10/2022 at 22:27:14
Yea, Brent,

I think the numbers in previous seasons were 11, 13, 7, 8 – something like that, but in some cases, a good number of those were only half-season loans, whereas I think we're committed to full seasons on all 15 this time.

But perhaps some may have a mid-season review option for recall that we could activate if they are not being utilized. Not sure if this is per individual agreement or if the League(s) have rules?

And not seen that Kwarteng jibe — pretty funny!

Dupont Koo
24 Posted 04/10/2022 at 00:21:50
Thank you Michael for the recap.

You are spot on with the gap between U21 & First Team. Thus, I have always been a strong supporter on that youngsters who are likely to "make it" (e.g. the likes of Welch & Cannon) should only spend 1 season each at U18 & U21 and head out on loans right afterwards (Welch's new contract has him well placed for that), ideally 2 full seasons with Football League Clubs who can provide them with 3000+ minutes a season of playing time.

Playing in the Football League every week at hostile locations half of the time against established pros who fight for their next contracts every game is exactly the tonic needed to make the youngsters' bones. I'm very glad that Thelwell has finally created such a well-overdue structure for our hopefuls (starting with Simms, Dobbin, Warrington, Onyango), with James Vaughan specifically looking after them as the nanny.

Danny O’Neill
25 Posted 05/10/2022 at 06:28:24
I didn't watch so obviously can't comment on the match itself.

Very good points though on the gulf between U21s and the step up to the first team from those who did.

It's why I am always more cautious when a player comes through. Like Lewis Warrington, I didn't call for him to be in the first team, just closer to it. With the majority, you have to ease them in rather than throw them in. Even if that means sending them out on loan for experience. I knew we'd sent a few out but didn't realise that many.

You'll get the odd Rooney who is ready straight away, but they are few and far between; unique.

Coach them, teach them, mentor them and gradually bring them in. Otherwise, we end up with the next Tom Davies, Ross Barkley and Jack Rodwell, touted as the next greatest thing; too much expectation on young shoulders.

Dare I say John Ebbrell, who many had high hopes for because he'd starred for England at youth and U21 level. If the memory serves, wasn't he captain?

Good to get the honest and sensible views of Michael and Brent who watch and calm the clamour to "play the kids" for the sake of it because they see it. Doing so could ruin half of them before they've even started.

Let's leave that decision to the coaches at Finch Farm. At least we can now have a bit more faith in that set up.

Tony Abrahams
26 Posted 05/10/2022 at 07:35:46
One of the problems with this tournament is that you have “a team” of kids, playing against “a team” of experienced professionals. I do agree about the gap being massive, but I also think it would still be easier for anyone of our talented younger players to step up into the first team group, rather than playing in this type of game with loads of kids who aren't quite ready to push on.

This is obviously why this tournament has been invented, to give these younger players more experience, but I'm not convinced they got it right when they got rid of the old Central League.

Trevor Edwards
27 Posted 05/10/2022 at 09:39:55
Some interesting discussion here. My personal view is that one of the worst things to happen was the scrapping of the reserves. I assume that the idea was the develop the kids in a safer environment, amongst their peers, but what has happened is these kids are not being 'toughened up' or learning from playing with and against experienced pro's that have dropped down to the ressies. There is a big gap to bridge. The kids last night did well, in a physical sense. They stood up against their opponents and got the result in the end. But that was at the expense of quality football. They have played much better football this season at u21 level and showed huge promise. But as has been noted, the gap they need to bridge to play in the EFL, never mind the EPL, is huge. The overhaul of the Academy that is taking place at Everton should hopefully address a few issues. Over the past few years, we have developed good young talent, but almost all have failed to make it to the very top. However, many are making a decent career in the lower leagues, like Feeney, Evans, Pennington, Foulds and Lavery. Hopefully Thelwell and co.'s plans come to fruition.
Phill Thompson
28 Posted 05/10/2022 at 09:53:42
Michael #6, sorry I missed the start and ended up watching on my iPad so couldn’t reply.

. Yet more good experience for our youngsters and even the penalty taking adds to that experience. It was good to see Ishe Samuels-Smith starting, he’s got a very bright future, hopefully with us. And Roman Dixon too, I think this may have been his first u21 appearance since he made a then u23s appearance as a schoolboy about 18 months ago. He’s a fast, powerful, driving, right back who scored a cracking length of the pitch goal for the u18s against City last Saturday. It’s well worth a watch.

Danny O’Neill
29 Posted 05/10/2022 at 10:18:49
I always read and learn things on this site that make me think and review my opinion, which is always a healthy thing.

I constantly make the point about a blend of youth and experience making a team.

Tony, you put it really well. A full team of kids playing a team of players playing in a competitive league no doubt with experience smattered throughout.

I haven't been a fan of the U23 construct. I wasn't a fan of the old Central League.

But maybe the latter offered that blend. I'll go back to a point I've raised a few times. Maybe that sort of thing but as a B Team competing in the lower leagues? And by B Team, not just the younger players.

Even if we done it through a proxy club. It would help them as much as blooding our own players in a competitive environment and league. I don't know, for Everton it could be one of the nearby teams such as Chester (plucked that out of the air). Leeds could certainly adopt Harrogate as, having spent 2 years there, it's full of Leeds supporters.

I know it would be unrealistic to have the model that exists in other countries, but I'd really like it to be explored. Not that I expect it to, but I'll keep saying it.

Dave Abrahams
30 Posted 05/10/2022 at 10:21:24
Michael (16),Michael, any chance of sorting out my posts, I still can’t get on some threads like ToffeeWeb Chatroom, that 404 page not found comes up, I feel like I’m sitting with a crowd of people and everyone is ignoring me, come on Michael do your best!!
Tony Everan
31 Posted 05/10/2022 at 10:29:23
Yesterday afternoon my wife brought in a block of cheese from Morrisons called ‘Harrogate Blue’, which I didn’t even know existed. The win was never in doubt !
Kevin Prytherch
32 Posted 05/10/2022 at 10:48:10
It’s a strange one…

When we had some older players for the U23’s who would act as senior figures for the younger ones we said Unsworth was blocking the paths of the younger ones.

When we don’t have older U23 players, we say we need a blend to compete fairly against experienced professionals.

Quite the conundrum

Dave Abrahams
33 Posted 05/10/2022 at 11:49:14
Michael (16),forget my request to sort the problem I had @ (30), I have solved the problem myself with a brilliant piece of thinking, very pleased with myself!!
Robert Tressell
34 Posted 05/10/2022 at 13:14:16
Of the circa 15 on loan only Simms, Dobbin, Warrington, Branthwaite and Onyango have a shout of the first team - with Branthwaite the stand-out.

All of them are now too good for u21s football though, it's a waste of their time.

People argue Simms should have been retained but he'd be on the bench now behind Maupay.

So the loan system is doing the job Dupont describes. Giving people valuable experience to either toughen them up or, as in the case of Branthwaite, play in a more sophisticated way on offer in the Championship.

It may not be as good as the old reserves or central league or whatever but they are consigned to history.

For those still in the u21s, these games against Harrogate etc are part of a decent learning curve. But once they have settled in at this level the loan will be the next step up unless they are of the quality of say Saka, Foden, Greenwood etc who were first team quality at 17 / 18.

Frank Crewe
35 Posted 05/10/2022 at 13:51:39
I notice the young players like Foden, Saka, Mount, Alexander-Arnold etc, all came through at successful clubs. I think if they had been brought through at Everton they would have been barely noticed. I think good young players have much more chance of having an impact if they are part of teams doing well rather than teams that are struggling, like Everton have been doing for the last few seasons. There is no doubt young players are more likely to show their best form when they are surrounded by top players in their prime instead of the succession of has beens, journeymen, bottlers and sicknotes Everton have lumbered the first team with in recent years.

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