Everton’s youngsters got back to winning ways thumping Eoin Jess’s Forest team with an emphatic 5-1 win.

Two goals in the first half from Hope and Heneghan put them in a half time lead then capitalised further by adding three more in the second half through Thomas, Pennington and another from Hope.

Nottingham Forest were the better of the two sides in the opening 15 minutes showing more composure and doing the pressing but in fact the game changed after Everton came close with a Heneghan header from a Connor Grant corner on 20 minutes.

On 25 minutes Femi Orenuga who had returned from injury hit the right hand touchline with amazing pace to cross for Hallam Hope to head which can only be described as an Alex Young header and from the goal Everton looked confident and looked in control.

Everton were keeping their opposition at bay but unfortunately gave away an unnecessary free kick through full back Jasper Johns.

From the resulting free kick Everton’s keeper Roberts failed to hold the ball which spilled into the path of full back Gorman who was close at hand to tap in from 4 yards out to level matters on 32 minutes.

The visitors then were showing confidence but Everton were holding strong in defence with a solid partnership of Heneghan and Dier.

Everton put their foot on the gas and were getting themselves forward.

On the stroke of half time Everton had three successive shots that were blocked which eventually lead to a corner. From Grant’s corner Henegahn met with his head to put the blues up at half time.



Everton started the second half with the same urgency and confidence they played with in the first half with some beautiful passing football.

Everton were passing the ball as if it was a training ground routine with as many as 10 without Forest touching the ball.

Thomas worked hard during the game and got his reward after beating the offside trap and slotting it past Evtimov.

The weather changed during the second period and it also seemed to change the Forest performance as it seemed to unsettle them further but Everton kept their shape.

Heneghan and Dier’s partnership was first class and would not have looked out of place in the Premiership and were dictating everything, Thomas and Kelly were also being a nuisance with their runs and were a constant threat going forward, captain for the day Lundstram was showing good initiative with some thoughtful attacking runs.

Everton played that well even the parents of the Forest youngsters were admiring Everton’s play which says it’s own story.

Matthew Pennington who had played for the U16’s earlier and also scoring in their 2-1 win came on for a sub replacing Orenuga and got on the scoresheet with a header again from a Grant corner.

Hallam Hope’s work rate was fantastic and so was his link up play and again constant pressure lead to another and final goal with Hope being on the end of it after scrambling the ball over the line as Evtimov failed to hold onto it.

Some great performances from the lads today with Heneghan, Dier, Thomas , Kelly and Hope excelling. They will have to share the award as they were equally a man of the match in their own right but for different reasons.

Just one note Nottingham Forest had a player called David Morgan who is believed to be in a tug of war with Everton and Sunderland, so let the best team win.



Everton: Roberts, Higgins, Johns, Heneghan, Dier, Lundstram (c), Orenuga (Pennington 75), Grant, Hope, Thomas, Kelly(Barrow 85). Subs Fitzgibbon (gk), Forrester, Jones

Coach Kevin Sheedy

Nottingham Forest: Evtimov, Gorman, Andrews, Morgan (c), Artymatas, Fenton, Osbourn, Sebastio, Palmer-Samuels, Wallace, Thomas. Subs: Swindell, Smith, Hollingsworth, Kamaneno,Gnahore

Coach Eoin Jess

Match Officials Mr M Hanley Asst Refs Mr J McGlaughlin & Mr H Jackson

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