Everton U18s ran out 4-3 winners against Blackburn U18s in an absolutely pulsating match.

Everton led 1-0 at the break before going further ahead in the second half. A freak 2 minute spell saw Everton trail 3-2 then eventually got on level terms before Forrester netted a winner at the end.

The game was marred by Chris Long being stretchered off as blood was coming from his boot which took the marred the victory.

Having endured some tough fixtures as of late they weren’t getting any easier for Kevin Sheedy’s youngsters as they made the short trip to Lancashire to play at Brockhall the home of Blackburn Rovers academy.

Blackburn only two weeks ago had themselves sitting on top of the league albeit for a week to be knocked off the top last week by Everton’s conquerors Manchester City as Blackburn themselves lost their 4th game of the season to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The weather was perfect for a November morning as Everton looked nervous in the opening stages as both teams looked evenly matched in the opening stages of this game.

Thomas, Forrester and Hope were exchanging roles which seemed to confuse the Rovers back line as the blues trio went forward.

Everton made the first threat as Forrester won the ball from the Blackburn defence but failed to make anything from the opportunity.

Blackburn had settled and were playing some nice football justifying their position in the table but on 25 minutes Thomas had the ball on the left who then fed Grant who sent the ball outwards to Higgins the full back to cross the ball which Christopher Dilo the French keeper missed and Forester was close at hand to tap in and put the visitors in front.

Everton were showing signs that they were the better side and that goal had given them confidence as they forced a series of corners searching to extend their lead and Higgins was unlucky as he had an effort cleared off the line.

Everton were playing some nice one touch football but Fitzgibbon in the Everton goal was rarely troubled but had to be alert before the 45 minutes was up to make a good save.


Everton increased their lead through Adam Thomas in the second half and put the toffees in a very comfortable position.

A throw in from the right hand side was met by Hallam Hope who managed to cross for Thomas at the near post and lift the ball over Dilo.

Everton made a tactical change taking Thomas off and bringing on Chris Long.

Everton seemed to remain calm with the two goal cushion then an unbelievable 2 minute spell saw Everton trailing 3-2.

Blackburn got one back when they had possession on the right, the big Rovers number 9 lost Dier and with his back to goal turned to beat Fitzgibbon who went down to his left as the ball flew into the net with some venom.

Blackburn’s number 10 hit the equaliser when Fitzgibbon cleared the ball but was intercepted and as the Rovers forward ran across the box he received the pass to unleash a powerful shot into the top corner to make it 2-2.

30 seconds later when Everton were on the attack but the Rovers full back sent his team mate away and Fitzgibbon was in two minds hesitated as the Rovers number 9 again didn’t need asking twice as he put the ball beyond the Everton keeper with a lob as Heneghan tried desperately to save it from crossing the line and put them 3-2 in front.

Everton were not getting any joy from the frame of the goal as Long hit the bar and Hope and Forrester hit the post, was this not to be Everton’s day?

On 70 minutes Hope darted down the right to cross for substitute Long at the back post and level the contest once again.

Welsh international Jones went off and Oliver Shannon was brought on with 15 minutes remaining, but with ten minutes left Long was caught and blood appeared to be coming from his boot and immediately a stretcher was signalled for and George Waring came on playing in a central role.

Both teams pushed each other searching for a winner but neither side wanted to undo their hard work but the home side came close when Fitzgibbon made a valuable stop near the end.

But in the dying stages Hallam Hope who was showing his form from last season went down the right to play a ball across as Waring and Forrester tried to poke the ball home but it was Forrester who claimed the goal and give Everton victory.


Connor Grant had a good game today as did Ryan Higgins but man of the match went to Hallam Hope for his tormenting runs and assists.

Everton Line Up
Fitzgibbon, Higgins, Touray, Henneghan, Dier ( C), Molyneux, Jones (Shannon 75), Grant, Hope, Forrester, Thomas (Long 60) (Waring 80).

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