January 14, 2014 by bluenosebible
Everton U18s 4-3 Birmingham City U18s
By Oliver Osborn (The Bluenose Bible)
Birmingham City U18s have been knocked out of the FA Youth Cup after losing 4-3 to Everton U18s at Goodison Park.
Goals for Koby Arthur, Kyle McFarlane and George O’Neill weren’t enough to see the away side through as the home side showed their extra quality to see them into the fifth round.
Steve Spooner’s side set up the side in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Koby Athur playing just behind striker Kyle McFarlane, who scored a wonder goal against Cheltenham in the previous round.
Everton started the brighter of the two teams the Toffee’s right winger Callum Dyson whipped in a great cross from the byline, but no one was able to get onto the end of it.
The winger was back in action minutes later, giving the home side the lead.
Blues’ centre half Nathaniel Kelly couldn’t handle the strength of Everton forward Courtney Duffus on the edge of the box.
The ball fell kindly to Dyson who fired home past goalkeeper Callum Preston into the bottom right hand corner.
Pressure continued from Everton, especially down the right side, and Tyrone Duffus almost doubled the home sides advantage as the striker headed Gethin Jones’ cross onto the crossbar.
The power of the two Duffus’ upfront was too much for the Birmingham defence to handle and it took a great fingertip save from Preston to deny Courtney Duffus.
Just as half time approached the away side almost equalised despite being under siege for the majority of the half.
A quick break between Koby Arthur and Liam Truslove just as the whistle was set to blow resulted in the latter seeing his effort crash against the crossbar from the edge of the box.
After the interval, Blues took their positive ending to the first half into the second with Truslove dragging a shot just wide of the post following some good possession from the Birmingham side.
It seem that the sides had swap kits at half time as Steve Spooner’s boys had an extra spring in their step and played football like some of the sides who played football like some of the top teams that play on the Goodison Park pitch.
Someone who has first team experience however, Koby Arthur, scored a goal worthy of any match at the famous stadium.
Another good break from the Blues saw Arthur find himself in space 25 yards out.
The attacking midfielder who made his debut against Wolves in April hit a curling effort into the top corner of the Everton net just before the hour mark.
Their lead didn’t last long though as C. Duffus regained the lead for Everton after tapping in from six yards out following another great cross from Dyson.
Kyle McFarlane thought he’d brought his side back level, but the pass into the striker was from George McGee, who was in an offside position.
A third soon followed for the Toffees as substitute George Green raced down the left wing and fired low into the bottom corner.
The away side certainly weren’t out of it yet as Truslove went close again from 30 yards, stinging the fingertips of Russell Griffiths in the process.
With ten minutes to go McFarlane pulled back a goal to give Blues a glimmer of hope towards the end.
A move that again saw Arthur as the conductor of the play created the move that saw McGee beat the offside trap and feed McFarlane with an easy tap into an open goal.
Blues began to pressurise the Everton defence again and it took a terrific point-blank save from Griffiths to deny the centre half Kelly.
The goal scoring didn’t stop there as George Green made it 4-2 with a Leighton Baines’ like free kick from 20 yards as the game went into stoppage time.
A final goal from George O’Neill wasn’t enough for Blues to take it to extra time with the extra quality of the home side seeing them through, despite an excellent second half performance from Spooner’s side.
Everton will now face either Sheffield United or Millwall away in the next round.
Birmingham City: (4-2-3-1) Preston; Dacres-Cogley, Harding, Kelly, Moseley; Truslove, Cooper (McGee 62′); Webb (Deadfield 74′), Arthur, Solomon- Otabor (O’Neill 90′); McFarlane
Everton: 4-2-3-1 Griffiths; Jones, Kenny, Langton, Thorniley; Williams (Dowell 90′), Ledson; Dyson (Donohue 84′), T. Duffus, Charsley (Green 60′); C. Duffus
Birmingham City man of the first half: Viv Solomon- Otabor
Birmingham City man of the second half: Koby Arthur