U23s defeat Wigan Athletic in last pre-season friendly

Saturday, 3 August, 2019 7comments  |  Jump to last
Wigan Athletic U23s 1 - 3 Everton U23s

Everton under-23s beat a Wigan Athletic development side 3-1 at Wigan's Christopher Park training ground on Saturday afternoon.

Lewis Gibson featured after an impressive pre-season so far with the seniors, who were playing Werder Bremen at the same time.

The young Blues took an early lead though Antony Evans, before Adam Long got the home side back on level terms before half-time. An own goal following a goalmouth scramble saw the Toffees regain their advantage after the break and Fraser Hornby's arrowed finish made sure of victory for Everton.

Saturday's keenly-contested match at Wigan was the young Blues' final fixture before they begin their Premier League 2 title defence against Leicester City at Southport FC on Monday 12 August.

Full-back Kyle John was the architect, driving forward at speed before slotting a through path into the path of the onrushing Evans. One-on-one with the Wigan goalkeeper, Evans was coolness personified to tuck the ball into the far corner. The same pair linked up well again 10 minutes later, John this time finding Evans in a central position, and the attacker curling his effort just wide.

Wigan gradually began to establish a foothold in the game after the Blues' early start and Piggott lashed into the side netting just before the half-hour mark. The Latics got their equaliser soon enough, though, Long tucking in at the back post after a slick team move.

Stung by the leveller, Everton immediately went on the attack and Wigan stopper Aspinall was forced into action twice in quick succession to keep out efforts from Dennis Adeniran and Evans. The Toffees fashioned another chance just before the half-time whistle, when John's inviting cross was headed over by Ellis Simms.

Everton were back ahead two minutes before the hour-mark. Hornby and Dennis Adeniran rose high to challenge after a devilish Evans corner delivery but the final touch of the ball appeared to come off a Wigan defender before bobbling into the net.

The young Blues continued to make all the running and Alex Denny saw 25-yard effort cannon off the post. Everton would put the game beyond doubt 13 minutes from time, however. Substitute Kieran Phillips won possession high up the pitch and threaded an inch-perfect pass through to Hornby. The Scotland Under-21 international set himself before rifling his shot low and hard into the bottom corner.

Everton U23s: Tyrer, Martina, Pennington, Gibson, John, Markelo, Baningime, Adeniran, Denny, Evans, Simms.
Subs: Hansen, Feeney, Astley, Hornby, Mampala, Phillips, Anderson, Ouzounidis.


Reader Comments (7)

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Michael Kenrick
1 Posted 06/08/2019 at 03:07:18
I finally located the teamsheet. Interesting to see Cuco Martina and Beni Baningime featuring. Is this to be their home for the season? Surely not.

And no other new names — all these players listed have been on Everton's books for a while, some stepping up from the U18s. The crazy lottery of buying up young and unproven starlets seems to have been nipped in the bud by Brands and Moshiri. Let's see how it affects Unsworth's bid to retain the PL2 crown

Kieran Kinsella
2 Posted 06/08/2019 at 04:03:40

It is interesting the official website has no goalies at all in the under 23 squad. The two used in this game are among four listed in the under 21s. I think it's weird too they have Callum Connolly (73 league appearances albeit 1 for Everton) as an under 23 with no shirt number nor even a picture. While Beningame, year younger, 9 career appearances (8 for Everton) is listed in the first team squad, number, headshot and all. Broadhead is still listed as u23, but no mention anywhere of other loanees.

Kieran Kinsella
3 Posted 06/08/2019 at 04:04:30
Sorry goalies I meant listed in under 18s
Michael Kenrick
4 Posted 06/08/2019 at 06:31:04
Yea, I sometimes check the lesser players at the official site and the info is generally poor.

As for U18 goalies, Tyryer made the breakthrough last season, getting picked over Hansen. The circumstances here may have been unique, with U23 and senior sides playing at the same time. But. with Virginia out on loan, I not sure if Lössl or Stekelenburg will play much for the U23s... leaving the path open for these two.

Jack Barrett is up-&-coming in the U18s. If he's still around.

Phill Thompson
5 Posted 06/08/2019 at 14:15:06
Looks like Hansen and Tyrer will be main U23s goalkeepers although we were trying to get a young England age group gioalkeeper in... I can't remember is name, think he is at Fleetwood.

That's Beni's second game in succession, good to see him back.

Surely it was just game fitness time for Martina and Pennington? Apparently Evans is free to leave if an offer comes in; Hornby supposedly heading on loan to Hibs / Scotland. Feeney ready to go out on loan too... so some of the younger players will get chances.

Reading the reports, Kyle John features prominently despite featuring on the left. He's made rapid progress since being switched to full back, our defence could be the strong point again this season.

Kieran Kinsella
6 Posted 06/08/2019 at 14:28:41

I wonder about Feeney. Unsworth said after the prior game that Feeney, Pennington, and the senior players involved "won't be here when the season starts." As far as I know, Feeney's deal only runs until May.

Silva, when discussing centre-back options, name-checked "Young Gibson" but said nothing about Feeney or Pennington. So I am wondering if Feeney will be on his way permanently rather than on loan.

Phill Thompson
7 Posted 06/08/2019 at 16:11:34

That's a good point re Feeney's contract, he needs a loan both to show the club what he can do and others if we don't offer him a new contract.

I would be happy with a back four of Foulds, Gibson, Astley, John despite their young age. Ouzounidis and Joe Anderson for cover at centre-back and left-back, Markelo cover at right-back if needed, plus some first-teamers on odd occasions.

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