U18s Report: Leeds United 1-1 Everton

Points shared at Thorp Arch.


U18 Premier League North

Leeds United 1 (McGrath 88’)

Everton 1 (Sherif 36’)

Leeds: Mahady (GK), Diboe, Ferguson, Buchan, Debayo, Crew, Coleman (C), Douglas (Toulson 46’), McFadden, Andreucci (McGrath 51’), Wilson (Richards 68’). Subs not used: Ombang (GK), Lopata-White.

Everton: Jensen (GK), Maher (O Samuels-Smith 81’), Butler, Tierney (Wilson 78’), I Samuels-Smith, Apter, Beaumont-Clark (Smikle-James 81’), Heath (Coughlan 73’), Sherif, Djankpata (C), Ebere. Subs not used: Graham (GK).

Venue: Thorp Arch

Referee: S. Rushworth

Booked: Crew (Leeds)

The points were shared on a cold afternoon at Thorp Arch in this Under-18s Premier League North clash, as Ronnie McGrath’s last-minute equaliser cancelled out Martin Sherif’s first half opener.

It was the hosts who got off to a fast start after Ben Andreucci set Cuba Diboe away down the right-hand side. His first time cross was pulled back in the direction of Cian Coleman, but from close range he could only see his right-footed effort go agonisingly wide.

The visitors did reply with a big chance of their own when a deep corner was aimed in the direction of Sherif, he headed it back across goal towards Jack Tierney and from only a few yards out, his header shaved the top of the crossbar.

Leeds’ best chance of the half fell to Connor Douglas on the 24th minute. The Whites countered well from an Everton set piece and Max McFadden picked out Douglas with a lovely cross-field ball, he dribbled his way into the box, cut onto his left foot but his low strike cannoned off the inside of the post.

Just two minutes later it was the Toffees turn to rattle the woodwork. A lucky ricochet fell into the path of Coby Ebere, he cut it back to Sherif just inside the box, but his left-footed shot hit the outside of the post.

After both teams created big chances, it was Everton who took the lead in the 36th minute. Halid Djankpata weaved his way through the midfield and passed it along to Sherif, and his deflected effort from 12-yards out looped over Rory Mahady in the back of the United net.

HALF TIME: Leeds United U18 0-1 Everton U18

The visitors were presented with a great opportunity to double their advantage just eight minutes into the second half. Ebere was picked out at the back post unmarked and he looked destined to score into an empty net, but Jay Buchan had other ideas as he produced a wonderful block to keep Leeds in the game.

In the 66th minute, the Whites were inches away from an equaliser. Coleman slipped McFadden in on goal and he lofted the ball over the keeper, but his effort glanced the top of the crossbar.

The game started to become stretched as Leeds pushed for that elusive equaliser. This allowed Everton more chances to counterattack and they looked to exploit that, courtesy of Djankpata. He drove at the heart of the United defence before he unleashed a powerful effort and for the fifth time of the afternoon, the ball cannoned off the woodwork.

Leeds continued to push forward and in the 88th minute they finally found the leveller they had been looking for.

Substitute Ronnie McGrath was played through on goal via a defence splitting pass from Charlie Crew. From there, McGrath was one-on-one with the keeper and picked out the top corner from close range.

This goal really brought some life into the Whites for the final few minutes and they had a great chance to score a winner just minutes later.

Once again Crew played a lovely reverse pass into the feet of McFadden, and from the edge of the box he hit a low powerful strike, but his effort was saved well by Seb Jensen in the visiting net.

After a spirited second half performance from the Whites, they left it too late to find a winner as the referee blew for full time. This point leaves Scott Gardner’s side 6th in the league table, as they will prepare for the visit to Sunderland for their first league fixture of 2023.

Next up though, is an FA Youth Cup third round clash with Accrington Stanley on Tuesday evening.

FULL TIME: Leeds United U18 1-1 Everton U18

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