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Tough Going for Young Blues | Everton Under-18s and Under-21s slump to heavy defeats

Very young Under 21 team suffer heavy derby defeat while Under 18s lose to Newcastle

Tranmere Rovers v Everton XI - Pre-Season Friendly
Paul Tait (centre) realistic following derby defeat
Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images

Both Everton youth teams had days to forget at the start of their respective campaigns with a 0-4 reverse against Liverpool for Paul Tait’s Under-21 team and a 2-4 reverse for Leighton Baines’ Under-18s.

It was a very long 95 minutes indeed for the Under 21s on Monday night against a more experienced Liverpool team.

Everton, as we know, have shipped out on loan several players who shone last year such as Stanley Mills, Reece Welch and goalkeeper Zan-Luk Leban. Add Ishe Samuels-Smith who left for Chelsea and the injury list to regular starters like Kyle John, Charlie Whitaker, Eli Campbell and Sean McAllister then it was a heavily depleted squad Tait had to select from.

The end scoreline was far from flattering. As pressure became relentless, the young Toffees conceded 10 corners in 20 first half minutes and twice had the woodwork to thank for preserving a clean sheet. A few breakaway attacks aside this was the pattern for the game. On a positive note, beside the learning the young players will achieve after a reverse such as this, it was pleasing that some really heroic defending and goalkeeping kept the Blues in the game until the 52nd minute. The real collapse only occurred as late as the 83rd minute when a tiring team succumbed to two late goals and almost one more.

Tait, though disappointed, was realistic about the night’s work. He told the club website -

“It was really tough tonight. We had a really young team and Liverpool were well ahead of us.

“Their quality showed in the second half when some of our younger boys started to tire. They opened us up and exploited us.”

He also had praise for some of the defenders and goalkeeper Billy Crellin:

“I thought the two young centre-backs, Odin (Samuels-Smith) and Bradley (Moonan), stuck at it and did some really good bits of defending,” he said. “Billy (Crellin) played well and we needed him tonight for his experience.

“He helped the two young centre-backs. It was always going to be difficult – we’ve got eight players missing and Liverpool are very strong.”

A surprise name on the teamsheet was highly-touted forward Malik Mothersille who started the game on the bench. In July, Mothersille turned down the offer of a new contract at Chelsea as he could not see a pathway for himself there and is understood to be officially on trial with Everton. He played the last half hour and narrowly missed full connection to get a shot on target in the 80th minute.

FC Salzburg v Chelsea FC: Group E - UEFA Youth League
Trialist Malik Mothersille
Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Leighton Baines’ side had meanwhile travelled to the North-East on Saturday to take on Newcastle United.

The Newcastle left wing became a thorn in Everton’s side as in the 13th minute a ball to Everton’s right flank by Blues goalkeeper George Pickford was intercepted 40 yards from goal. It was swiftly played towards Neave and he put the Geordies ahead.

A minute into the second half the young Blues couldn’t cope down the same wing again and the same player, Neave, doubled the lead with slack marking not helping the Toffees’ cause either.

In the 50th minute things got even worse, down Newcastle’s left again with no effective challenges from Everton and Bloomer scored at the far post. 0-3.

The Blues survived another 30 minutes without further conceding but young Pickford was left helpless by Emerson’s penalty kick. 0-4.

When all seemed lost in the first minute of added time, Luca Davis converted at the far post with a towering header from a fine free kick to reduce the deficit, 1-4.

Incredibly, the belated comeback continued a minute later as a Newcastle defender played an under-hit back-pass straight to Blues’ Jacob Beaumont-Clark who was allowed to progress into the area far too easily and see his shot saved. From the parry out by the goalkeeper, Everton’s Charlie Stewart crashed home left-footed. 2-4 the final score.

Thankfully for both teams there is not much time to feel sorry for themselves as the Under 21s firstly travel to the North-East again to face Middlesborough on Friday night and then on Saturday morning the Under 18s are at home to Wolves. Better luck this week!