Whilst all of the supporters’ attention was understandably centred on Everton’s first team following their late victory against Newcastle, both the Under 18s and the Under 23s were in action the following day, Friday.
Firstly, a very young Under 18s were held to a 1-1 draw by Middlesborough on the Friday afternoon at Finch Farm.
The game burst into life in the second half as promising forward Emilio Lawrence put the Blues ahead early in the second period. Receiving the ball off winger Isaac Heath before breaking through the middle he arrowed a fine left footed drive low past the Middlesborough goalkeeper.
Middlesbrough however equalised on the hour when Luke Woolston’s 35 yard free-kick flew beyond Everton ‘keeper Pat Nash’s despairing grasp. Nash did go on to make a string of fine saves to preserve the Blues’ point which was welcome as it stopped a run of 3 consecutive defeats.
Meanwhile, there was more disappointment for the Under 23s later on Friday evening as they suffered a 3-0 reverse in front of a crowd at Old Trafford.
A little like their senior colleagues, the young Blues had started the game well against one of the better Under 23 sides but, worryingly, seemed to capitulate defensively after the first goal against them.
Lewis Dobbin and Tom Cannon’s link up play in attack had caused the United defence problems all game without being able to register a goal. A few regular players were missing (Injured Tyler Onyango and skipper Ryan Astley) or only played part of the game (Isaac Price) because of first team involvement.
The best chance had fallen to Dobbin who came agonisingly close to putting his side in the lead in the 18th minute but he saw his curling shot go inches wide of the post. Cannon, having been played in by Dobbin, also forced the United goalkeeper into a great save just before the interval
United goals in the 60th, 71st and 83rd minutes put paid to any chance of points for the Toffees however.
“It’s a disappointing result but I thought we did really well for an hour. We competed with United and went toe to toe with them, creating some great chances” said coach David Unsworth afterwards.