Guiseley AFC v Everton U23

Guiseley AFC 1 v 4 Everton U23 (Pre-Season Friendly)

Supporters returned to Nethermoor Park yesterday afternoon for the first time in four hundred and ninety-seven days, as Guiseley AFC entertained an Everton U23 side in the club’s first home pre-season game of the season. Everton U23’s Manager David Unsworth brought a strong side to face the Lions, which included inform strikers Lewis Dobbin and Thomas Cannon who have both been finding the net for the Toffee’s pre-season.

Everton U23’s were the stronger of the two sides and the opening fifteen minutes, with the Premier League youngster setting the tempo of the match. The visitors opened the scoring on four minutes, when a well driven corner found Lewis Dobbin on the edge of the six yard box, his header was well saved by Hagie Damba but Lewis Dobbin reacted the quickest and fired the ball passed Damba to make the score 0-1.

Guiseley then had a spell of possession and on eleven minutes went close to an equaliser after an excellent run down the right-wing the ball was cross to Everton’s far post where Kaine Felix’s headed the ball just past the post.

Just three minutes later, the visitors extended their lead as Lewis Dobbin collected the ball on the halfway line before beating two defenders and then cutting inside to curl a shot from twenty-five passed Hagie Damba in the Guiseley goal to make the score 0-2.

Guiseley, once again looked to keep possession and played some neat football in the midfield area as they tried to find a way back into the match. The game was stopped on twenty-two minutes for a water break due to the high temperatures, just after the restart Everton had another excellent chance when Stanley Mills (who has just signed his first professional contract) hit another shot from the edge of the area which went just wide.

On twenty-seven minutes, the visitors extended their lead even further, as an unfortunate mix up in the home defence left Thomas Cannon inside the area with just Hagie Damba to beat. The inform striker who has scored in all of Everton’s pre-seasons matches so far this season, wasted no time in curling the ball passed Hagie Damba to make the score 0-3.

On thirty-seven minutes, the home side won a corner following an excellent shot that was deflected wide off an Everton defender. The resulting corner was well delivered to the back post and was met by Chuk Molokwu who side footed the ball past Barrett in the Everton goal to make the score 1-3.

Everton should have had a fourth goal on thirty-seven minutes, after winning possession on the halfway line, Butterfield continued to run with the ball before playing a defence splitting pass the found Price clean through on goal with just Hagie Damba to beat. The striker took the ball around the goalkeeper and slide the ball into an empty goal, only to see the off-side go up and the goal be disallowed.

Unfortunately, just two minutes later the Guiseley defence failed to learn from their mistakes and Butterfield slipped another defence splitting pass through to Liam Dobbin’s who this time made no mistake rounding Damba and passing the ball into an empty net for a first-half hat trick, his second in consecutive games, making the half-time score 1-4.

Russ O’Neill and Marcus Bignot (who has been managing Aston Villa’s Women team during lockdown) made nine changes at the interval, firstly to give the whole squad a chance of first team action, but secondly to freshen up the squad due to the heat. The visitor’s also made a couple of changes as David Unsworth had a looked a few trialist’s looking to join his U23 side.

Guiseley, produced a much better performance in the second-half keeping possession of the ball for long periods whilst creating a number of attempts on the Everton goal, but they never really tested Barrett in the Toffee’s goal. On sixty-nine minutes, Lebrun Mbeka drove at the Everton defence before taking aim and firing a shot is just wide of goal.

A minute later, Guiseley should have pulled a goal back when a long ball over the Everton defence was collected by Jordan Thewlis, he beat the last defender to leave himself 1-on-1 with Barrett in the Everton goal. However, his shot was well saved by the on rush keeper and the ball went out for a corner.

Guiseley had another couple of efforts in the final twenty minutes, the first was another long range effort from outside the area by Lebrun Mbeka, which beat Barrett in the Everton goal but went just wide of his right-hand post. The second effort came following after the Lions force several corners, one of which saw a Hamza Bencherif header rebound back off the Everton crossbar before being cleared away to safety.

At the full-time whistle, the visitors won the contest 1-4 with all of the goals coming in the first-half. However, the Guiseley management team will have been happy with the second half performance against a good Everton U23’s team. Guiseley will now continue their pre season programme at home to local rival and Sky Bet League Two side Bradford City before Leeds United arrive at Nethermoor Park on the 27th July 2021.

Speaking after the match Everton U23 manager David Unsworth said, “It was a fantastic first-half performance on the hottest day of the year. I thought we were outstanding in the first-half and scored some great goals. I had nothing but praise for the team at half-time it was really good to see all the work we’ve been doing in training show in a game. It was very tough on the guys in the second half as Guiseley had a lot of the ball and made us run in the heat after the hour. Overall it was a really good afternoon and a fantastic performance.

Match Details

Guiseley AFC – Damba, Trialist A, Parsons, Metcalf, Molokwu, Trialist B, Gerrard, Spencer, Day, Felix, Charles (Subs) Mbeka, Lambton, Ekpolo, Kellett, Nicholson, Haw, Cantrill, Thompson, Thewliss, Bencherif, Trialist C

Everton U23 – Barrett, McAllister, Campbell, Astley, Welch, Butterfield, Mills, Dobbin, Cannon, Price, Hughes (Subs) Heath, Leban, Kristensen, Hagan, Higgins

Goals(Guiseley) Molokwu (Everton) Lewis Dobbin (3), Cannon

Referee – Jon Moss

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