Our youth team reporter ´alan ball´ reports on Everton U18s defeat to QPR in the 4th Round of the FA Youth Cup.
A spirited performance from the Everton youngsters who dominated the match for long periods, hit the woodwork once in each half and put the â€œHoopsâ€ keeper under a lot of pressure did everything apart from score as the scoreline does not justify this, but a strike from Bruno Andrade inside the first ten minutes of the second half ensures them of a place in the next round of the cup with a tie away to Watford or Newcastle United as the visitors failed to convert their chances into goals.
A very healthy crowd ascended into the South Africa road stand at Loftus road including the new first team appointment Mark Hughes and ex England international goalkeeper Ray Clemence who was an interesting spectator.
QPR kicked off attacking the school lane end wearing the familiar blue and white hoped shirts as Everton wearing their gold tops started with a 4-4-2 with Adam Thomas supporting them going forward.
Everton showed signs of hunger from the first whistle and a good creative move on the left hand side with Thomas contributing with a beautiful ball to Forrester who should have done better and could only manage to put it wide of the goal.
Fitzgibbon made a double handed punch with a screaming shot from Adrade 25 yards as to inflict their first assault on goal.
Conor Grant tried his luck from a free kick who hit a lovely flighted ball over the QPR 5 man wall safely into the arms of Deane in the Hoops goal.
Everton had settled down the better of the two sides playing some nice passing moves and with much confidence. Thomas was effective on the left with his pace and setting up Forrester with his back to goal managed to achieve an ambitious overhead kick that narrowly went wide.
Everton were pressing for a goal that seemed only a matter of time as they were winning on the corner count but an effort from Lundstram that was hard and low made Deane again earn his corn and keep the visitors at bay with a good responsive save.
Ten minutes before the break Thomas again combined with Forrester who then found his team mate Hope at the back post who just could make that all important contact and another chance went begging.
Deane was well beaten on 37 minutes with an effort from top goal scorer Forrester that hit the right hand post then QPR on the counter wasted a chance with a half volley from Andrade that went over Fitzgibbonâ€™s goal.
Both teams went in at the break goal less and it was evident that if Everton could get a breakthrough they would capitalise on it and add to the tally as they had created more than their hostâ€™s
HALF TIME QPR U18â€™S 0 EVERTON U18â€™S 0
Everton restarted the second half as the same 22 players entered the lush turf and on 50 minutes the unexpected thing happened as QPR took the lead with a stunning strike from Bruno Andrade who had efforts on goal in the first half. James Fitzgibbon was well beaten and it may be possible he was slightly unsighted as the ball sailed passed his left.
The home side must have been taken by surprise to find themselves in front after being inferior to their opponents for most of the game.
Introducing the Everton Mishmash!
Everton came close on 65 minutes with a free kick, Lundstram stepped over the ball as Higgins unleashed a ferocious shot which was turned onto the cross bar by Deane and out for their 6th corner of the contest.
The young Toffees huffed and puffed, Hope was making a nuisance of himself in the area, Grant then had a shot blocked and then Heneghan and Forrester both contested for a ball but still they could not break the deadlock.
A goal was all Everton needed for their efforts but they must have thought they had been rewarded as Forrester set Grant up only to hit the side netting.
On a QPR counter Fitzgibbon was forced into a crucial save which if had gone in it would have been all over for Sheedyâ€™s boys.
With 15 minutes remaining QPR were reduced to 10 men as match referee Mr. C Lymer showed a straight red to Frankie Sutherland for a very dangerous tackle on Hammar that saw him replaced by Eric Dier.
Everton replaced Thomas and Johns with Waring and Touray hoping to spice things up a little but frustration and anxiety were setting in as they desperately tried to find a deserved equaliser.
Forrester spurned a chance near the end as Everton could not take advantage of the extra man they had, the fourth official displayed 5 additional minutes but time eventually got the better of Everton.
A good Everton display and some very fine contenders for the man of the match award, Hope, Forrester, Higgins, Thomas and Grant but the award goes to Conor Grant
FULL TIME QPR U18â€™S 1 EVERTON U18â€™S 0
Match Officials Ref Mr C Lymer
Assist Refs Mr L Marsallsay and Mr A Roberts. 4th official Mr R Smith
Teams QPR: Deane, Downs, Walker, Champion. Brown, Sendles-White, Sutherland, Simmonds, Henry-Francis, Andrade, Webb SUBS: Monakana, Lumley, Daly, Monthe, Hubble
Coach Steve Gallen