Mar 092015

David Unsworth says Everton FC under-21s have “learnt the hard way” after losing the mini-derby in cruel fashion.

The Blues’ second string took the lead against their Liverpool FC counterparts in Chester thanks to Ryan Ledson’s brilliant strike.

But Everton were soon pegged back when Dan Cleary equalised with a header from close range before Harry Wilson hit a stunning winner in time added on.

Unsworth’s side were much improved after the break and were denied a second goal late on when Liverpool’s Lawrence Vigouroux saved efforts from Kieran Dowell and David Henen.


But it was the Reds who struck again with substitute Wilson delivering a cruel blow with just seconds left.

“I’m gutted for the players,” Unsworth told the ECHO.

“I thought their second-half performance was terrific. When we regrouped at half-time we tinkered with it and got them to make more passes, they were better.

“We pressed so well tonight and in the second-half we played a bit more of the football we are capable of but we get caught at the end and it’s a tough one for the boys to take.”

Unsworth added: “They will learn about the game management side of football. We’ve spoke about it. When we score, through a great goal, do we manage the game enough in the next five or 10 minutes?

“And that’s what we’ve spoke about. You can’t always play lovely football all the time.

“A lot of the players who were out there tonight, this was there first derby and they got a little excited when we went 1-0 up but they will learn from that.

“Sometimes you learn more in defeat. It is a tough one to take but fair play to Liverpool, I thought they were really good first-half and they showed great character to come back.

“We have to take it on the chin, we’ll go through it and our young players will learn from it as they always do.”

Everton’s under-21s are next in action a week today when they welcome Manchester United and Unsworth says they will come back from stronger from their derby defeat.

“This is a special group but they are young,” he said.

“We can’t get away from that. They are 17, 18 and have all come through together.

“Unfortunately they have had to learn the hard way tonight but I am proud of them tonight and their second-half performance and, as always, their commitment can never be questioned.”

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 Posted by at 9:55 pm

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