If the season began with a polite knock on Frank Lampard’s door to ask if they might be considered some time soon for first team action, then take Saturday’s Finch Farm annihilation of Manchester City’s Under 21 side as notice that the gentle knock will become a rat-a-tat demand from at least two Everton youngsters, top scorers Stanley Mills and Tom Cannon.
Saturday’s result was not all about them, far from it. Charlie Whitaker, for one, appears to have rediscovered his mojo under Paul Tait’s leadership after having a very inconsistent campaign under David Unsworth and John Ebbrell last season.
The 10th minute first goal won’t be the prettiest scored by the young Blues but following Mackenzie Hunt’s cross, Tom Cannon’s shot fell into the path of Sean McAllister and the midfielder’s shot was deflected home by #10 Charlie Whitaker. It’s the second time this week that Whitaker has been in the right place to deflect a ball home, a happy knack! 1-0 to Everton.
The equalising goal from City in the 15th minute was scruffy also in that following a miscue by Everton’s Kyle John the ball was worked across the penalty area to the unmarked Borges and City were level.
Paul Tait’s men took the lead in the 22nd minute when Whitaker’s fine strike from 22 yards out was fumbled by the City keeper and the alert Isaac Price gobbled up the chance, 2-1.
The goals were getting progressively more pleasing on the eye as Everton took control. Four minutes later McAllister’s good long ball saw our free-scoring right winger Stan Mills outpace his marker and neatly lob the outrushing City goalkeeper, 3-1.
To round off the action-packed half a very good goal crafted by a combination of Whitaker and Mills. The latter fed the pacey overlapping run from John and his pull back saw Whitaker adjust his footing and hit a fine controlled half volley into the top corner of the net, 4-1.
Manchester City threatened to get back into the match after 58 minutes when Sodje had too much room on the edge of the penalty area and a little gloss was taken off the scoreline, still 4-2.
Normal service was resumed 7 minutes later and it underlined the confidence of the team and especially centre forward Tom Cannon. At a free kick 20 yards out, spotting that City were not deploying a “draught excluder” defender lying prone behind the defensive wall, Cannon went low as two defenders jumped high and the ball nestled in the net. That goal took courage as striking low into the defensive wall can look foolish. 5-2 to the rampant Blues!
After 75 minutes came the best of the lot for Everton. Attacking midfielder Whitaker fed substitute Francis Okoronkwo on the angle of the penalty area and he cut inside and unleashed a fantastic dipping right footed shot that no goalkeeper could have saved. Great strike, 6-2.
Five minutes from the end and the goalscoring in a breathtaking game was complete when City attacked the right of the penalty area and Blues goalkeeper Zan-Luk Leban could not quite get strong enough hands on the cross shot and it ended 6-3.
The result leaves the Blues in 5th place in Premier League 2, on equal points with second placed Fulham, a single point behind league leaders Arsenal. Across all competitions in the last 5 games the young Blues have scored an incredible 21 goals. I think that knocking on the manager’s door is getting louder. Frank, if you need goals you know where to look!