FA Youth Cup 4th Round
Team: Deane, Downes, Walker, Champion, Browne, Sendles-White, Sutherland, Simmonds, Henry-Francis, Andrade, Webb
Subs: Lumley, Monakana, Monthe, Hubble, Daly
Everton have a very impressive record in the FA Youth Cup having appeared in seven finals and winning three of them. They had defeated Crystal Palace 2-1 in the previous Round courtesy of an extra time goal scored by Anton Forrester. Everton had apparently rested several of their players in their previous league game against Stoke and their talented international midfielder, Ross Barkley, was ruled out after picking up an injury in training.
It was the visitors who went close in the opening minutes, Forrester, with his back to goal, turned and blasted the ball over the bar from very close range. Bruno Andrade intercepted a loose ball and sped up-field before belting the ball from 25 yards. The ball moved in the air and the Everton keeper was forced to parry it away. I have to say that the Rangers players looked very tense and that the visitors were having the best of it. Frankie Sutherland moved over from the left flank into a central midfield position to good effect.
Gareth Deane tipped a 30-yard drive round the post that was destined for the top corner. Anton Forrester put a superb ball across the box which resulted in an outstretched boot and another Everton player homing in, but their goal opportunity was thankfully wasted. Soon after, their danger man, Anton Forrester hit the post. At the other end, Bruno Andrade shot over the bar after being fed by Bradley Simmonds and Marcel Henry-Francis, whilst falling backwards, screwed the ball well wide of the goal. Kevin Sheedy must of felt very disappointed that it remained 0-0 at half time.
Rangers looked more confident after the break and within 5 minutes of the re-start took the lead. Bruno Andrade received the ball in his own half and from a good 30 yards, drove the ball superbly into the corner of the net. With around an hour gone, the visitors were denied by Gareth Deane when he magnificently tipped a 25-yard free kick destined for the top right-hand corner, onto the bar and out for a corner.
Bruno Andrade almost helped himself to a second when, after composing himself, pulled the trigger and James Fitzgibbon made an excellent save. Frankie Sutherland received a straight red with 15 minutes to go following a strong challenge on Johan Hammar. Soon after an Everton player was booked for a reckless tackle.
Five minutes added time went up and although the visitors were still going all-out for an equaliser, Callum Webb had a good effort, but the ball swerved away and past the post. A ball into the Rangers area was met by a flying header from Jordan Walker who was suffering from cramp at the time. With George Gristwood shouting out: “Has your watch stopped ref ?” the R’s negotiated the final stages which included a light hearted moment and some relief when a ball across the outside of the box was deflected by the referee in our favour with an Everton player lurking with intent !
This really was a massive win for Steve Gallen’s side, well done to him and all his team. I noticed Kevin Gallen alongside Steve on the touchline. Apparently Mark Hughes and various 1st team players were in attendance. Next up will either be a trip to Watford or Newcastle. Good to meet Gareth Deane’s father once again and thanks to Joe English for the lift home.