Another weekly instalment from our man on the ground, forum contributor alan ball who travels to pretty much every U18 game we had. Very much worth a read for catching up on which talent is coming through.
Everton had to survive a penalty miss from the Trotters scorer Clough as both teams managed to bag a goal a piece, Forrester putting the blues ahead and a bad goal conceded by Everton to allow Clough to level matters at Finch Farm this morning in a very disappointing game as the first half failed to live up to anything and the second period showed little improvement .
Everton had to make changes from their last outing as Browning, Lundstram, Hope and Orenuga have been called up to the reserves who play at Chelsea on Monday. Kevin Sheedy recalled Touray, Heneghan, Higgins and Jones
Everton lost at Newcastle United seven days ago but must have been encouraged by a good performance as they did not deserve to lose and the visitors Bolton were looking to improve as they lost at home to Sunderland.
Anton Forrester managed to put the home side in front after a fine individual effort inside the first ten minutes then the game looked a very ordinary and scrappy affair with either side showing any authority.
Evertonâ€™s midfield looked uncomfortable and never seemed to have any control, they rarely fed the flankâ€™s where Everton in recent weeks have posed danger and never created anything at all. What Everton managed to muster were just half chances and playing long balls from the back with the forwards giving chase hoping to latch onto something.
Bolton created only one chance following a throw in, the ball was played across the box and all that was missing was a team mate to assist and put a touch on the ball but never troubled Fitzgibbon in the Everton goal who was having a very comfortable first 45 minutes.
Everton U18â€™s 1 Bolton Wanderers U18â€™s 0
Everton kept the same eleven that started the first half as Bolton brought on Caton for Matthews.
The opening 20 minutes of the second period Bolton put the hosts under a siege as Everton were being very risky with their play as they did in the first 45 minutes. Bolton got back on level terms after poor defending from Everton gave the visitors the opportunity from 2 yards out to equalise. On the hour an attack came down the right as Barrow got caught and the lurking Clough could not miss and gave Fitzgibbon no chance.
Everton raised their game after the equaliser and took the game to their opposition only for Fielding in the Bolton goal to save their blushes with a string of fine goalkeeping.
Everton brought on first year scholar Chris Long on 70 minutes in place of Tom Molineux who was put through and was faced with a one on one with Fielding in the trotters goal but Fielding stood strong to deny putting the hosts in the lead.
Gethin Jones tried his luck from 25 yards out assisted by Anton Forrester but again Fielding who had obviously grown in confidence from his earlier saves palmed the ball away.
Introducing the Everton Mishmash!
Evertonâ€™s dominance had Bolton scared and looked certain to get in front if they could beat Fielding in the goal.
Adam Thomas forced Fielding to concede a corner which Forrester did well to meet with his head only for the hero Fielding to be equal to and tip it over the bar.
Everton made a second change taking off Gethin Jones and bringing on Danny Oâ€™Brien in his place.
As both teams looked to be heading for a share of the spoils Bolton were awarded a penalty 5 minutes from time as the Evertonâ€™s rear guard flapped and an unfortunate handball on the line by Ryan Higgins who was not seen to be intentional but very unlucky.
The goal scorer Clough looked calm as he ran up to despatch the ball and as Fitzgibbon committed himself by diving one way as Cloughâ€™s effort went straight over the bar and give Everton a reprieve.
Everton threw everything at Bolton in the closing stages, substitute Oâ€™Brien hit a free kick over the bar and in the dying minutes Forrester seemed to have won the match as the ball was at his mercy in the box and a mighty scramble but somehow Bolton managed to get the ball away.
This was not one of Evertonâ€™s better performances and as much as they tried to win this game it was a very difficult decision to choose a man of the match. But this week Matthew Pennington gets the award.
Everton face a tricky game next Saturday at West Bromwich Albion and will have to be on top form to get something from this fixture.
Everton U18â€™s 1 Bolton Wanderers U18â€™s 1
Everton: Fitzgibbon, Pennington, Touray, Heneghan, Dier ( C), Barrow Molineux ( Long 70), Jones ( Oâ€™Brien 75), Higgins Forrester, Thomas. Unused subs: Roberts (GK), Shannon, Eyre