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Everton Reserves Lose Home Opener

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The youngsters suffer their first defeat of the season in devastating fashion.

Paul Thomas

Coming off a promising opening match win over Wolves, Alan Stubbs' boys welcomed West Ham United to Merseyrail Community Stadium for their home opener.

Everton looked sharp in the early stages of the match, with Hallam Hope and Chris Long testing West Ham keeper Raphael Spiegel inside of 10 minutes.

The Hammers woke up around the 15 minute mark. Everton keeper Mateusz Taudal was called on time and again to close out the first half.

In his second strong effort in a row the 19-year-old Pole was able to keep Everton relevant heading into half-time. First he stopped Dylan Tombides, then he stopped Seb Lletget with a desperate kick-save.

Both keepers turned in strong first-half performances and Spiegel was also the beneficiary of some luck. Everton were awarded a penalty just a few moments from time but Matthew Pennington drilled the bar and we went into half knotted at 0.

Disaster struck after half-time when Taudal misjudged a cross from Callum Driver that ended up floating over everybody and into the net. It was a tough way to see a clean sheet streak come to an end, but keepers need to have short memories if they want to succeed in the big time.

Everton were a bit undone after conceding such a tough goal, and the Hammers almost scored a second but the woodwork came to Taudal's rescue for the third time of the match.

The Toffees looked like they would be able to salvage a point when Luke Garbutt found the back of the net from just above the 18. It was a smooth finish from the English Youth International, who looks to make a case to be monitored by the senior club.

West Ham deservedly secured the winner in the 89th minute when the lively Lletget deposited the ball by Taudal to secure three points for the Hammers.

Up next for Everton's U-21 squad is a trip to Etihad to take on Manchester City.

Although just two games in, some players are already creating some buzz about themselves. Garbutt, Long, and Hope have been noticeable at the very least, and although he gifted one, Taudal possesses the raw ability and size that makes a keeper.