FA Youth Cup report: U18s bow out following defeat at Everton

Everton U18s 4-1 Sunderland U18s

Sunderland under-18s fell to defeat against Everton despite a battling performance as they exited the FA Youth Cup in the third round.

Ellis Simms – who netted a brace at the Academy of Light a week ago – put the Toffees in front with a powerful near-post finish on 26 minutes, before Korede Adedoyin’s header on the stroke of half-time left the Black Cats needing a second-half comeback. 

Ryan Gooch netted 15 minutes after the restart to hand Sunderland hope, only for Anthony Gordon’s 75th minute curler to restore Everton’s two-goal lead before Simms’ second late on confirmed a harsh scoreline. 

Paul Bryson made three changes to the side that started last weekend’s defeat with Andrias Edmundsson, Kane Evans and Dan Neil coming in for Harry Ord, Sean Kennedy and Harrison Devine.

The two sides played out a rather cagey opening 10 minutes, with the only real opportunity falling Simms’ way as he drifted in behind the defence and lifted the ball over the on-rushing goalkeeper Adam Cameron and the crossbar.

Gooch’s pace and agility on the wing posed a threat on the counter for Sunderland, and it was he who recorded the Black Cats’ first effort of the afternoon from distance – although Harry Tyrer was unfazed in the Everton goal.

Midway through the half however, Simms struck for the third time in a week as he smashed Anthony Gordon’s back-post lay-off into the top corner to hand Everton the advantage.

Just as Bryson prepared for his half-time team talk, the Toffees struck again. Mackenzie Hunt’s corner found Adedoyin in the centre of the box, with the latter’s header looping over Cameron and into the net to double their lead.

Sunderland threw caution to the wind early on in the second half and could have pulled a goal back four minutes after the restart when Sonny Best slid Ryan Leonard clean through, but the winger could only place wide from 20 yards with Tyrer closing off the angles.

The Black Cats continued to force the issue as they searched for a way back into the tie and moments later saw another chance flash by as Tom Scothern intercepted Tyrer’s misplaced pass and lobbed just over the bar from 25 yards.

It proved to be third time lucky for the visitors however, as Gooch remained alert on the edge of the box to intercept Ryan Astley’s back-pass before slotting past Tyrer to halve the deficit.

With the momentum behind them, Sunderland remained in the ascendancy in search of a second – Leonard again causing Everton problems with a jinking run that ended in his effort just clearing the crossbar. 

Unfortunately for the Black Cats, it was the Toffees who bagged the all-important fourth of the game as Gordon took a touch on the left-flank before curling over Cameron and into the top corner to restore their two-goal buffer. 

A manic minute followed shortly afterwards as Everton’s Einar Iversen cracked the crossbar with a 30-yard volley, before Gooch was sent clean through by Neil at the other end only to clear the bar with a left-footed strike.

With the Black Cats throwing everyone forward late on, the Toffees grabbed a fourth as Simms beat the defensive line before slotting past Cameron to confirm the result in what was a harsh scoreline on Bryson’s side. 

Everton: Tyrer; Zuk, Warren, Anderson, Astley; Iversen (c), Carroll (Quirk, 90+1’), Hunt; Adedoyin (Hughes, 77’), Simms, Gordon (Dobbin, 86’).

Subs: Defreitas-Hansen, Quirk, Warnock. 

Sunderland: Cameron; Evans (c), Howard, Derbali, Edmundsson; Gooch (Ord, 89’), Neil, Scothern (Kiernan, 80’), Best, Leonard; Slack (Kennedy, 19’).

Subs: Bassey, Smith.

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