Forum contributor alan ball reports on another game involving our youth team, so you can keep track on the (hopefully) stars of tomorrow.
Everton took on Kilmarnock today at Finch Farm as both teams were looking for a win but on their last outing Everton had drawn with Marine 1-1 as did Kilmarnock who drew by the same score against Falkirk. Kilmarnock had a number of trialists in their squad as Everton fielded some of their new first year scholars with the second year scholars. Everton played with a 4-5-1 formation with Eric Dier the who is on a year long loanloan from Sporting Lisbon sitting in front of the back four and behind the midfield.
Kilmarnock playing in all yellow looked like the yellow submarine ( Villarreal) who coincidentally had been at Finch Farm prior to this game doing a warm down session after playing Everton’s seniors last night.
‘Killie’ kicked off as Everton attacked the Finch Lane end, in the opening stages both teams were knocking the ball about trying to suss each other out and only on 7 minutes was the first chance created and it came Everton’s way. Adam Thomas wide on the left cut inside after a sprint and good control, set sights on goal then drove a firm shot which Cadwell in the visitors goal did well to save with his legs and win Everton their first corner of the game. From a Tom Molineux corner, Dier attached himself to the ball with a header which Cadwell did well to save at point blank leaving his defenders to clear the ball away to his relief.
Dier in his own half collected the ball as Everton came forward looking to break the deadlock but ran wide to the right and crossed with no blues player reading it only for Cadwell to gather with ease. Everton settled down the better of the two sides although the visitors always caused Everton’s defence problems with some quick and dangerous breaks with Johnston on the left in particular catching the eye. Everton’s Thomas again made another exciting run and unselfishly played the ball to Jordan Barrow whose attempt on goal was blocked.
Femi Orenuga who had featured at Oxford for the reserves last Friday was showing his trickery against his marker Thorburn as Everton pressed. Kilmarnock made their first chance on the quarter of an hour mark only for Connor Roberts to collect from a cross but 60 seconds later they played some nice pass and move football to catch Higgins the Everton full back out and Roberts made a great save with his feet when it looked as though the first goal was to go in their favour. This was becoming an end to end affair as Forrester’s attack won Everton a corner to be taken by Molineux and as Dier lurked in the box he got up to meet the ball with a header that rattled the crossbar as Kilmarnock raced away onto another one of their attacks as the game was becoming a very enjoyable one.
Jordan Barrow unleashed an effort 20 minutes into the half from a distance only to see his effort go over the bar and two minutes later Orenuga ran out to the right to put over a teasing cross only for the blue shirts in the box unable to make contact.
2 minutes later Thomas was fortunate to have two chances but could not find a way to test the goalkeeper as the opposition’s defence stood strong , Dier made a bad mistake but recovered well as Kilmarnock tried to take advantage on the break. Everton’s defence at times found it hard to cope as they defended the visitors attacks, then what looked to be a certain goal Roberts was again alert to keep a shot from Johnston out and keep the game level.
On the half hour mark there looked to be a certain goal from Kilmarnock and very reminiscent to Lampard’s goal for England in the world cup in Germany when McKenzie went forward only for Everton’s defence to back off and as his shot left his foot the ball hit the underside of the bar and looked over the line but the ref was quite adamant the ball never crossed the line. Orenuga and Higgins combined well on the right but were awarded a free kick when Higgins was brought down on the on the edge of the area as Everton appealed for a penalty believing it was inside the box but from Tom Molinuex’s free kick the ball could only hit the wall and again Kilmarnock cleared.
5 minutes from the break Forrester ‘s header just missed the left hand post from another cross when again the double act of Orenuga and Higgins combined. Kilmarnock’s Johnston was put through on 41 minutes when Everton’s defence were caught short but luckily for the home side Johnston’s shot went wide. On the stroke of half time Higgins found Forrester on the edge of the 18 yard box who turned on a sixpence but his effort lacked power and was taken by Cadwell easily.
Half Time Everton 0 Kilmarnock 0
Everton made a change at the break introducing James Fitzgibbon in goal for Connor Roberts who had a good half. Everton restarted the second half and were on the attack immediately and inside 60 seconds were in front with a good move and finish. Ibou Touray fed Forrester to smash into the top of the net and put them 1-0 up. The second period seemed to be lacking something and never seemed to live up to the expectation of the first half, Ben Heneghan saved Everton’s blushes when he cleared off the line with Fitzgibbon beaten.
Kilmarnock made 2 changes on the hour mark replacing the number 4 who was a trialist and Fisher the number 6 replacing them with 2 more trialists as the visitors were quite capable of getting back into the game after giving a good account of themselves for the first hour of the contest.
Gethin Jones the lad from North Wales and is thought to be a future prospect at Everton and is only 15 years of age made an appearance as a substitute at the expense of Adam Thomas on 63 minutes
Cadwell had to be on his toes again to thwart a Forrester header with his feet on 66 mins , but replaced him with substitute goalkeeper Thomson a minute later and only for Cadwell the deficit would have been greater, then Everton responded with taking Higgins who had a great game off and replacing him with Matthew Pennington.
Molineux was unlucky when a goalmouth scramble prevented Everton going further ahead as they caused havoc in the visitors box but equally at the other end Bidwell the captain this time matched Heneghan’ earlier a goal line clearance as the visitors were making a nuisance of themselves but couldn’t force the ball home to equalise. Fitzgibbon took the applause on 78 minutes for a great save from Davidson. Chances were few and far between as the game drew to a close and with 10 minutes remaining all Everton could muster was a free kick that hit the wall from a Dier free kick after Forrester was brought down on the edge of the box and not for the first time either. Forrester had a good game playing as a lone striker.
Everton’s final game of pre season is next week away at the Sky blue lodge against Coventry City as Everton’s league campaign starts the week after away to Tottenham.
A few good displays by the youngsters with Forrester, Orenuga, Bidwell, Higgins, Dier and Roberts wothy of a man of the match award but the full back Ryan Higgins who missed the best part of last season through injury was excellent.
Johann Hammer who got injured playing against Aston Villain the Semi Final of the cup last season and and damaged his ankle ligaments was telling me today that he will be out for 3-4 months but is doing work in the gym as he aims to be back playing and was also in good spirits.
Team Roberts ,(Fitzgibbon 46) Higgins,(Pennington 68) Touray, Heneghan, Bidwell,(c ) Dier, Orenuga, Barrow, Forrester, Molineux, Thomas(Jones 63)
Kilmarnock Team Cadwell, Rankin, Thorburn, Trialist, Ashcroft, Fisher, Kennedy, Davidson, McKenzie, Lindsay, Johnston. Subs 13, Trialist, McKitrick, Trialist, Trialist, Thomsom