A full report on the rain soaked mini Mersey derby from forum contributor alan ball.

A Last gasp goal from forward Chris Long gave Everton a deserved equaliser in a rain soaked mini derby ay Finch Farm. Matthew Regan put the visitors ahead on 35 minutes from the penalty spot.

Both teams went into this game level on points and Everton and better off on goal difference but two goals in their favour.

Everton welcomed back Lundstram, Bidwell, Browning and Hope to add some steel to the side in what is a very important fixture with a lot of pride at stake.

The weather wasn’t it’s best with very fine rain falling at Finch farm making the pitch very greasy and difficult with very dark clouds looming overhead as Everton kicked off .

Liverpool for the first 15 minutes settled the better of the two teams and Raheem Sterling was one to watch for with his electric pace, Ben Heneghan was on his toes to make some very important challenges to keep the opposition at bay.

Everton started to wake up and showed more bite, Chris Long was booked for an angry challenge, then two successive corners on 20 minutes taken by Adam Thomas found the head of Forrester only to be foiled by a Liverpool defender on the line.

2 minutes later Hallam Hope was denied again it was off the line as Everton’s midfield combined with some nice football to play the ball into Hope’s path and prevent Everton from breaking the deadlock as Everton showed more promise with Liverpool attacking on the counter.

Liverpool had the same misfortune as their neighbours when Heneghan saved with a goal line clearance as David Moli went through the Everton defence only for the tall Everton defender to clear and keep the score level.

Mr Hunt the match official had a word with Hallam Hope on 30 minutes for foul language as Eric Dier was called over to be made aware of it.

On 35 minutes Sterling was brought down inside the box as Browning tussled with him giving the referee no hesitation by pointing to the spot, Regan stepped up to despatch a penalty sending Fitzgibbon the wrong way and giving the visitors the lead.

Everton had a scare when Lundstram gave away a free kick on the edge of the box which thankfully for Everton, Liverpool failed to make count as the first half came to an end sending the visitors in with a goal lead

Half Time Everton U18’s 0 Liverpool U18’s 1

Liverpool took off Dunn and replaced him with Quirk a
s the second half got underway with Liverpool showing more of an appetite and were awarded a free kick on 49 minutes when Hope was the guilty party for a foul and was rightly shown the yellow card for his sins.

John Lundstram offered signs of encouragement with a spectacular left footed effort from 25 yards which hit Belford’s left hand post as Everton showed signs they were not going to give the points away and Liverpool’s rearguard had to be alert to clear danger from a very persistent Everton pressure.

Everton mounted pressure and forced some corners looking for a way back into the game, as Thomas’s in swinging delivery was met forcefully by captain Dier ‘s head only to just miss the post.

2 minutes later sustained Everton pressure and another corner from Thomas this time was made for the outstanding Heneghan whose effort went over the bar to deny Everton a deserved equaliser.

77 minutes Barrow this time put Liverpool under the cosh when his effort went inches wide as Liverpool were hanging on.

Sterling forced Fitzgibbon into 2 saves within 2 minutes with the seconds ticking away which kept Everton firmly in the game when Sterling must have felt he should have done better but full credit to the Everton shop stopper for making himself look big and closing down the threat.

Liverpool made two changes in the closing stages as did Everton, Higgins and Molyneux replacing Barrow and Hope with a last throw of the dice, Long must have thought he had scored when his effort hit the side netting assisted by Jake Bidwell’s run and cross.

In the last minute a deserved equaliser was scored by Chris Long after a well worked move down the left with Bidwell and Thomas whose ball was sent over to Long who was close by to stab the ball home from close range and share the points.

Contenders for man of the match, Thomas, Lundstram, Dier and Heneghan but this week Ben Heneghan gets the much deserved award.

Team Everton Fitzgibbon. Browning, Bidwell, Heneghan, Dier (c ), Barrow (Higgins90), Hope (Molineux 90),Lundstram, Long, Forrester, Thomas. Unused subs: Taudul (GK), Pennington, Touray

Team Liverpool Bewlford, Hatch, Smith Rafferty(c ), Regan, Aylmer, Sumner, (Quirk 46), Dunn (Peterson 88), Moli (Mukendi 88), Sterling, Baio. Unused Subs ; Wearing(GK), King

Match officials Mr J Hunt Assistant Referee’s I Hussin, H Jackson

Everton Coach Kevin Sheedy

Liverpool Coach Mike Marsh