- Match highlights
- Match reports
- 11 January 2016 20:52
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc / pics by @vhaydn_mcfc
City EDS fell to a 1-0 defeat in their first game of 2016 against Everton.
Kieran Dowell scored what proved to be the game’s only goal 30 seconds into the second half to condemn the home side to their first defeat under new boss, Simon Davies.
Just two days after making his senior debut, Bersant Celina returned to under-21 action and he was joined in the line-up by a pair of returning loanees.
It’s been a while since Angelino and Brandon Barker have been charged with loading the bullets from the left flank following loan spells at New York City FC and Rotherham respectively, but here they were in Davies’s second EDS XI.
For the latest episode from the ubiquitous City/Everton rivalry, the teams went into the game level on points in sixth and seventh place in the U21 Premier League table.
A win would move Davies’s side ahead of Manchester United in the table and they nearly got off to the perfect start when Jorge Intima’s mishit shot fell kindly for Celina but the Kosovan international drew a good save from Louis Gray in the Everton goal.
City dominated the ball in the opening 20 minutes, inspired by the returning Aleix Garcia who recycled the ball impressively at the base of midfield but the home side were struggling to carve out meaningful chances, repeatedly running into a well-organised Toffees back four when probing.
The visitors grew into the game and only a smart smothering save from Angus Gunn prevented Courtney Duffus from giving Everton the lead after 23 minutes after the Everton no.9 reacted quickest when the ball was pin-balling around the City box.
It was a largely incident-free first half but the home side could, and perhaps should, have taken a lead in with them at the break following a beautiful, intricate passing exchange which gave Intima a clear shot on goal, albeit from an acute angle, but the Portuguese tyro could only find the side-netting.
City’s profligacy would be immediately punished 30 seconds into the second period when they failed to clear a cross from the left, leaving Dowell unmarked at the back post to turn in scruffily to give Everton the lead.
David Faupala had a great chance to restore parity just after the hour mark after Barker jinked inside two and teed up the Frenchman but he just couldn’t sort his feet out in time to get his shot away after failing to control the cut-back as he would have liked.
Davies threw on Fernandes and Buckley in the second half to try and inspire a comeback but, when the latter did well to tee up Celina on the penalty spot with eight minutes remaining and the shot came back off the inside of the post, it felt like it wasn’t to be City’s day.
0-1 was how it stayed but City EDS will go again in a weeks’ time when they travel to high-flying Spurs.