Match Reports

Everton leave it late to snatch all three points

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Albion under-21s were narrowly beaten at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre.

By Charlie Hanson • 22 January 2023

By Paul Hazlewood
Our under-21s were looking for their first in Premier League 2 since November.

Our men’s under-21s were undone by two second-half goals on Sunday night as they slipped to a 2-1 defeat in Premier League 2.

Samy Chouchane’s well taken drive after 11 minutes gave us the lead, but Everton responded through Kyle John and Mackenzie Hunt in the second 45 minutes to snatch all three points.

Albion had a good helping of first-team experience with the inclusion of Adam Webster lining up in defence, with the 28-year-old vocally passing on instructions and organising throughout his 60-minute appearance.

The first shot on target of the evening would yield the first goal, as Chouchane scooped up a loose ball on the edge of the Toffees’ box, burst forward and rifled an effort into the bottom right corner.

By Paul Hazlewood
Samy Chouchane smartly tucked home Albion's opener after 11 minutes.

It proved to be the kickstart Albion needed to find their rhythm, as they took control of possession. Luca Barrington’s free-kick flew straight into the arms of Everton keeper Zan Luk Leban, before Marcus Ifill appeared to have doubled the hosts’ advantage as he nodded in from Casper Nilsson’s lovely cross, only for the flag to go up for offside.

Francis Okoronkwo looked to grab a goal back just before half-time, but his strike was well blocked by Antef Tsoungui.

The Toffees would find their equaliser ten minutes after the restart though, when John nodded in from a cross from the left, heading back across goal and into the bottom corner.

By Paul Hazlewood
Adam Webster started the game for the under-21s.

Okoronkwo went close to putting his team in the lead for the first time on the evening as he managed to get the better of Antef Tsoungui, but Fynn Talley pulled off a smart save, diving to his right to palm it away from danger.

Andrew Moran then skipped into the Everton box and looked to squeeze an effort past Leban, but the keeper spread himself well to get a leg on the effort.

Ifill was left to rue a great opportunity with just over 15 minutes to play as he met Cam Peupion’s cross to the back post, but he skied his first time effort from ten yards.

By Paul Hazlewood
Luca Barrington's effort was deflected just wide in the first half.

It certainly wasn’t all one-way traffic though with Talley pulling off a good two handed save down to his left to keep out Hunt’s decent drive from 20-yards.

Hunt wasn’t to be denied though as he found himself in a similar situation with seven minutes to play and this time found the bottom right corner to complete the turnaround.

Albion line-up: Talley, Nilsson, Furlong, Webster (Jackson 63), Tsoungui ©, Hinshelwood, Peupion, Chouchane (Hinchy 81), Moran, Barrington (Mullins 81), Ifill.

Unused subs: Bull, Samuels.