It was a strong performance from the youngsters who like their U18s counterparts have started the season brilliantly and brought their league form into the first cup tie of the year.
The match wasn’t without its mishaps though as Everton were reduced to ten men (boys?) after 40 minutes when Matthew Foulds was sent off after a particularly tenacious challenge against Rover Elliot Walker.
Discipline wasn’t the only thing lacking at the Haig as the Toffees were unable to fully capitalise in front of goal until late in the first and second half even though the ball seemed to be allergic to the Doncaster players.
Understandably, the Everton manger expected more from his players, in particular to show a ruthlessness in front of goal which he thought wasn’t apparent throughout the match. Goals from Kyle John, Nathan Broadhead and Nathangelo Markelo ensured victory though many expected a larger score line, Unsworth included.
“It should have been won by half-time,
“We created enough chances and we’ve got front players who score goals in training so we have to be more clinical in the final third of the field”
It’s not surprising that Unsworth expects big things from his side in this tournament. The season has been kind to the Blues and their form as been outstanding so far culminating in first place on the Premier League Two table.
Unlike in the PL2, the U23s will be going up against comparatively weaker sides in Sheffield United U23, Blackburn Rover U23 and the already beaten Doncaster so it wouldn’t be out of this world to expect big things from the players.
When looking at this match and its result, it would remiss of me to not take into account the hectic schedule that the team has had to suffer through which has included seven games in nineteen days so I’ll cut them some slack.
They will now get an extended break with their league fixture not until the 23rd of October against Arsenal. The Gunners and the Toffees currently sit equal first on the PL2 table and the winner, all things considered could take top position so I expect a tough match but predict another Evertonian victory because that's simply what they do at the moment.