Both teams got off to a winning start last weekend when Everton won 2-0 away at Tottenham and Reading beat Wolverhampton Wanderers at home 3-2 after leading 3-0 at one point.

The game was played in dreadful conditions as there were very heavy showers all morning right up to kick off which was obviously going to cause problems. Everton showed better the first 20 minutes of the game where Adam Thomas teased the full back Niall Keown the son of Martin who was an interesting spectator at the game today but Everton’s forward line of Forrester and Long failed to take advantage of the service and never caused John Henley in the Reading goal any problems.

Most of the football was played by both teams in the middle of the park as Reading got to grips then for the last 20 minutes of the first half the visitors looked more threatening with Pennington and Touray finding it difficult to cope with Dan Carr and James Murphy attacking the width.

The nearest Everton got to a goal in the first half was by Thomas who ran on the left and managed to cut inside to let fly but I wasn’t sure if it was a shot or a cross but his effort hit the bar and went out for a goal kick
Fitzgibbon kept good concentration to keep a shot out from Carr and like his counterpart had minimal involvement. Dier and Heneghan paired well together in defence winning some very good balls in the air and winning some very good challenges.

Overall the first half was not a great spectacle and a draw at this stage looked probably right as Everton were only ahead on corners.

Half Time : Everton U18’s 0 Reading U18’s 0

Everton started the second half a lot better and at the break substituted Chris Long and brought on schoolboy Gethin Jones in his place who then slotted into midfield pushing Hope up to accompany Forrester.

The recalled Jordan Barrow hit a spectacular effort from 25 yards out that only just went over the bar. Keown the full back was finding Thomas’s runs a problem but despite the poor conditions Everton played some nice one touch football only for the final pass going astray on a greasy looking surface.

Eric Dier had to come to Touray’s aid as Reading threatened down the right which left Heneghan alone and the ball was played square into the path of his team mate the tricky Dan Carr to punish Everton with 25 minutes remaining.

There was no justice as Everton continued to play the better football and being a goal behind didn’t seem fair but the game at times at any level can be cruel.

Fitzgibbon mmade another fine save at his near post to keep Reading out from doubling their lead.

Everton brought on another schoolboy Oliver Shannon in place of Jordan Barrow in the last few minutes as the hosts searched for an equaliser and in the last minute it looked as though they had achieved it when a delivery from the left by Thomas found Hope who knocked it to Heneghan and the ball was in the box but Reading´s defence coped with a hectic scramble only to get it clear.

Overall it was disappointing for Everton to lose this fixture after winning their first game last Saturday but they have a chance to make amends with a game against Sheffield Wednesday next Saturday which for some reason has been switched back to Finch Farm as it was scheduled to be at Middlewood (Sheffield).

Man of the match contenders. Dier and Heneghan had good games at the back but Adam Thomas who caused problems with his pacey runs take the award

Full Time: Everton U18’s 0 Reading U18’s 1

Line Ups

Everton :
Fitzgibbon, Pennington, Touray, Heneghan, Dier (c), Barrow ( Shannon 85), Higgins, Hope, Forrester, Long (Jones 46), Thomas Subs: Jones, Roberts(GK), O´Brien, Shannon, Langton

Reading :
Henley, Keown, Griffin, Webb, Partridge(C), Cooper, Carr, Tishibola, Samuel, Tanner, Murphy Subs: Murombedzi, Moore, Shama, Amofah, Ikpeazu

Match Officials Referee M Filipak Assistants Mr P Shacklady, Mr H Jackson

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