Evertons U18s fell to a 2-1 defeat at Sheffield United.
Evertonâ€™s Tom Molyneux scored a consolation half volley on the half hour mark at Shirecliffe this morning after trailing by two goals from the Blades forward Joe Ironside with a very disappointing Everton performance, dominating for such long periods and worryingly conceding two goals from nothing which will no doubt concern the 18â€™s coach Kevin Sheedy.
Everton had to make changes to the side that won at Bolton on Wednesday with Ben Heneghan having to miss out through injury and Jordan Barrow then partnered Matthew Pennington in defence who was also an unused substitute at Sunderland on Thursday night in the reserves.
The midfield consisted of Oliver Shannon who is normally part of the U16â€™s combining with Tom Molyneux. Adam Thomas played on the left and Femi Orenuga on the right with the forward line of Hallam Hope and Anton Forrester.
The opening stages of the game was dominated by Everton with plenty of runs down the left with Thomas being a key provider only for the forward line not being able to get onto them, the blues were forcing a number of corners too without being able to convert from them.
Ryan Higgins todayâ€™s captain hit the wall from a free kick after Orenuga was brought down and a cross from Jasper Johns supplied Orenuga but his header went agonisingly wide.
Against the run of play it was the Blades that got two goals inside ten minutes with a Joe Ironside double who was a concern before the game with a hip injury that rocked Everton.
The first goal came after the blades 1st attack, the player was boxed in by the corner flag but somehow managed to cross the ball which the Everton defence seemed troubled as Joe Ironside happened to be in the right place to send the ball home courtesy of his knee.
The second came not long after that with a suspicion of offside. The play was over on the left hand side then a cross over to the right then followed by a delivery for Ironside lurking at the back post to head home with ease.
Everton looked stronger and bigger than their opponents and it looked only to be a matter of time before they made a breakthrough themselves.
Thomas was provider of a cross that was cleared by the United rear guard which fell handsomely to the feet of Tom Molyneux 20 yards out to catch the half volley sweetly and into the net.
For the remainder of the half it was one way traffic with the visitors dominating but couldnâ€™t do what mattered most by putting the ball away.
On the stroke of half time Forresterâ€™s header set up Orenuga who should have been more clinical but casually back heeled the ball comfortably into the hands of the keeper.
Introducing the Everton Mishmash!
SHEFFIELD UNITED U18â€™S 2 EVERTON U18â€™S 1
Kevin Sheedy decided to stick with his same eleven for the second half and as the first half controlled the game for long periods. Sheffield United to be fair knocked the ball around well but failed to trouble Everton.
Ten minutes into the second half, Connor Grant came off the bench to replace Femi Orenuga, Grant went over to the left hand side of midfield and Thomas went onto the right.
Everton pressed forward forcing the Blades into conceding corners, Hope and Forrester were marked tight with the United defenders doing a fine marking job on the dynamic duo which left Everton restricted to shooting as and when the opportunity arose which left the Toffeemen frustrated.
15 minutes remained when George Green replaced scorer Tom Molyneux hoping to add something as the legs of the Everton team were looking weary maybe the affects of the extra game in midweek.
For the latter stages of the half it was very much the same story as what had happened throughout the game and somehow got the feeling this was not going to be a good day for the younggsters.
Not the best of displays by Sheedyâ€™s youngsters who were a credit at Bolton on Wednesday which was difficult to choose a man of the match award.
Higgins shone getting forward from the back, Thomas caused problems with his teasing runs and crosses but Matthew Pennington a player who has excelled in recent weeks takes the award for his display.