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Reserves Beaten At Everton

Young side suffer Premier League Cup defeat

23 January 2018

Pompey goalkeeper Alex Bass

A youthful Pompey Reserves side were beaten 3-0 by Everton at Goodison Park in the Premier League Cup.

It was always going to be a tall order for a Blues side that included seven academy players in the starting line-up.

Their resistance was finally broken by Nathan Broadhead, while Bassala Sambou added a second half brace for the Toffees.

There was little early action to excite the sparse crowd in cold and windy conditions in the north-west.

Theo Widdrington was perhaps a little too eager to impress and a late challenge on Broadhead saw the skipper collect a booking in the opening minutes.

Everton – led by former Fratton full-back David Unsworth – were dominating possession, but some good pressing from Pompey denied them many clear-cut opportunities.

Antony Evans drew a regulation save from Alex Bass, while the same player then flashed a shot wide from out on the right.

Fraser Hornby went closer on 21 minutes, though, cutting inside from the left and seeing his effort deflected just past the post.

There was not too much happening at the other end, although Lewis Gibson had to block Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain’s progress when the right-back stole the ball and burst into the box.

Broadhead should then have broken the deadlock, only to sky Sambou’s low cross high over the bar from just a few yards out.

He did better on 32 minutes, however, neatly slotting the ball past Bass and into the net after being teed-up by Hornby.

The same duo almost combined for another goal moments later, but Broadhead diverted his header straight into the arms of Bass.

Half Time: Everton 1 Pompey 0

Everton had taken time to find their feet in the first half, but came roaring out of the blocks following the restart.

And they soon doubled their advantage courtesy of a superb strike from Sambou, who turned sharply and found the net with a dipping effort.

Pompey almost found a goal of their own seconds later, but a snap-shot from Dan Smith was well saved by Mateusz Hewelt.

The visitors were then indebted to their own keeper, as Bass made a couple of fine stops in quick succession to deny Broadhead and Luke Garbutt.

And Garbutt then picked out Sambou in the box, only for the forward to send his shot into the ground and looping off target

Bass was keeping Pompey in the contest and made another impressive stop to turn Evans’ long-range drive over the bar.

But the keeper blotted his copybook slightly by gifting Sambou possession to slide home the Toffees’ third of the night.

Everton kept pushing forward in search of more goals, but the Blues defended resolutely to see the rest of the game out.

Academy manager Mark Kelly said: “I’m really proud of the boys. It’s a tough place to go up, but they stood up to the challenge for long periods.

“We finished the game with six first-year scholars on the pitch, but were up against a proper under-23 side with guys like Seamus Coleman in the side.

"It’s a fantastic part of our players’ education process and something that they will certainly learn a lot from."

Mark Kelly

“Everton passed the ball around quickly and it was a useful experience to face a challenge like that because it’s not something they’re necessarily used to.

“It’s a fantastic part of our players’ education process and something that they will certainly learn a lot from.

“We never backed down and tried to play on the front foot, also managing to hold them off until late in the first half.

“There were a few half-chances for us and Freddie Read had a gilt-edged opportunity that he was unable to take.

“A couple of sloppy mistakes cost us after the break and Bassy has held his hands up for the third goal, but overall we defended very well.”

Everton (4-3-3): Hewelt; Coleman (Markelo 59), Feeney (c), Gibson, Garbutt; Evans, Baningime, Adeniran; Sambou, Hornby (Dyson 69), Broadhead (Baxter 67)
Subs not used: Hilton, Foulds

Pompey (4-4-1-1): Bass; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Casey, Dandy, Hancott; Chandler (Maloney 67), Widdrington (c), Brooks (Lethbridge 59), Bedford; Read (Johnston 89); Smith
Subs not used: Collins, Whiting

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