Earlier this week David Unsworth’s Everton U21’s started their Checkatrade Trophy campaign in disappointing fashion going down to League One bottom dwellers Bradford City AFC in front of only 902 spectators at the National Commercials Stadium.
Though the young blues were able to secure the lead via a 79th minute Bassala Sambou goal, poor discipline proved to be their undoing in the end. Six minutes after Sambou had scored what many thought to be the winner Antony Evans would earn a second yellow card thereby forcing the Toffees to finish the game with only ten men.
This turn in fortune would allow the Robins to secure a late equaliser two minutes into injury time and thereby force the game into penalties which (spoiler alert) we didn’t win (6-5)
Understandably, Unsworth was frustrated with his young players and thought his side had the game won. Speaking through Everton’s official website he would go on to comment about the incident (Evans 85th minute sending off) which he thought, “cost us the game”.
“We get a great goal and we should just see the game out. But a rush of blood has cost us. With 11 men we win the game, it is as simple as that.
“We have drawn the game with a good performance, especially after playing on Sunday as well. So, it is not a case of bouncing back because we played well.
“I can’t fault the lads. But the sending off cost us.”
Though it wasn’t the start Everton were looking for, it was still encouraging to see them nearly close out a game against a relatively competitive senior side in Bradford City who made the going tough with hard challenges throughout the night.
The U21’s next trophy tie will be against an ever-improving Oldham Athletic who currently sit 7th in League Two but last in the Group F standings after losing to League One “powerhouse” Barnsley. Let’s hope for another strong showing by the Blues, but one they can maintain discipline in and win.
Bradford City AFC 1 (6) vs. Everton U21 1 (5)
Line Up (End Game)
F.Hornby, A. Evans (Red Card), N. Broadhead, D. Adeniran (Yellow Card), N. Markelo, J. Bowler, B. Galloway, M. Foulds, T. Browning, H. Charsley & J.M.N Virginia
Substitutes (End Game)
B. Sambou (Goal), M. Feeney, A. Gordan, S. Lavery, J. Hilton, M. Mampala & R. Astley
4 - 4 - 1 - 1
Next Opponent (Checkatrade Trophy)
Oldham Athletic (League Two)
30 October 2018