U18s: Everton v United
Manchester United Under-18s played out a four-goal thriller on Merseyside on Saturday afternoon, drawing 2-2 against Everton at Finch Farm as our Under-18 Premier League North campaign drew to a close.
Despite dominating large parts of the first 45, we had to wait until the approach to half-time to double our lead, when Jaydan Kamason found the back of the net with a thumping volley.
Coby Ebere struck back for the hosts immediately after the restart, and was on target once again in the dying embers, completing Everton's comeback to secure a point.
Berry looked to turn from provider to goalscorer minutes later, but his long-range effort sailed just over the bar. Ethan Williams followed up by picking out Reece Munro in the area, but his header strayed off target.
The Toffees grew into the game, carving out plenty of chances, but Elyh Harrison kept the home side at bay. On two occasions in quick succession the young Red rushed off his line, denying Ebere initially and then Jacob Beaumont-Clark soon after.
Our no.1 got a hand to another teasing effort in the lead-up to half-time, pushing it behind for a corner. The Toffees failed to capitalise from the set-piece, though, with Harrison collecting a header comfortably.
Jensen was on hand to make a big save prior to the half-time whistle to deny Williams from point-blank range, but the Reds doubled our lead just moments after.
Driving towards the byline, Williams stood the ball up at the back post where Kamason wandered into the box undetected, taking a thumping volley in his stride to fire past the Everton keeper.
Binnion’s side came out for the second half with the intent of adding to our goal tally, but found the two-goal advantage halved inside the first few minutes of the restart.
Ebere was the player who got the finishing touch to Everton’s first goal of the afternoon, after Harrison’s attempts to gather a cross were unsuccessful, leaving the forward free at the back post for a tap-in.
Martin Sherif was millimeters away from a quick-fire double to pull the hosts back on level terms but was denied by the crossbar.
Jensen’s inspired second-half display between the sticks for the home side arguably kept the game within touching distance. With 20 minutes to go, he stepped up with a double save to deny United from restoring the two-goal advantage.
The first came from Wheatley, in search of his second, but the Everton keeper was quick off his line to save one-on-one. Jayce Fitzgerald picked up the rebound and his shot looked destined for the back of the net, but for the Toffees’s shot-stopper palming it onto the crossbar.
Just when it looked like Binnion’s side were about to see out a hard-fought victory, Ebere struck with his second of the game to snatch a point late on. Everton’s no.11 picked the ball up on the edge of the area before creating a yard of space, firing an effort beyond Harrison to make things 2-2 with only seconds remaining on the clock.
The result means United's Under-18s finish our 2022/23 U18 Premier League North campaign with a draw, and having gained plenty of experience from a competitive season.
United XI: Harrison; Kamason, Nolan, Munro, Ogunneye; McAllister (Musa 76), Fitzgerald; Missin (Lacey 46), Berry (Scanlon 67), Williams; Wheatley (Murray 90).
Unused substitutes: Myles.
Goals: Wheatley 7; Kamason 41 | Ebere 48, 96.