STAGS BEATEN BY EVERTON U21 IN EFL TROPHY
Bristol Street Motors EFL Trophy
Mansfield Town 0 - 1 Everton U21
Chermiti pen 90+1
Attendance: 819 (74 from Everton)
Date: 7 November 2023
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town were beaten 1-0 by Everton U21 in the EFL Trophy (now named Bristol Street Motors Trophy) at the One Call Stadium last night.
Everton U21 surprisingly included four players with Premier League experience. They hadn't included any in their previous two games in the competition, which they had lost. And it was one of them, Youssef Chermiti, a £15 million signing from Sporting Lisbon, who had come on as sub 5 times in the Premier League this season, who scored the only goal of the game in stoppage time as he converted a penalty which had harshly been given for a foul on him by George Cooper. It was tough on young Cooper, who had a good game for the Stags. The penalty looked soft in real time, and even softer on the replay.
The game was even overall, and a draw would have been a fair result.
Mansfield made 9 changes from the side that lost to Wrexham, with only Johnson and Cargill starting both games.
An alternative way to look at it was 2 changes from the last EFL Trophy game, against Doncaster: McLaughlin and Cargill for Maris and Brunt. It was the same 4-3-3 formation as that game with Abdullah (right), Swan and Gale (left) up front. It was an entirely left footed midfield of Boateng (right), Cargill, McLaughlin (left). Johnson, Williams, Cooper and Macdonald were the defence. Flinders was in goal.
Williams (ill at the weekend) and Boateng were returning after not being fit to make the squad against Wrexham.
The bench included young Finn Flanagan, who came on, and U17 youth teamer Ollie Taylor, who has been training with the first team.
Keillor-Dunn, Reed, Lewis and Oates were rested. Keillor-Dunn and Reed were exhausted after the previous week and also didn't train on Monday. Clough said that Oates needed a breather after he did 80 minutes against Wrexham and also came on against Port Vale, returning earlier than expected. "He did enough on Saturday", said Clough.
Nigel Clough said after the game that Ollie Clarke is going to be out for a few weeks after he had a scan on his thigh strain.
Akins remains out, and will hopefully be back a week on Saturday against Newport. See details in my Wrexham report.
Nigel Clough said about the return of O'Toole and Quinn that they are both scheduled to return against Burton in the EFL Trophy in 2 weeks. O'Toole is back running. And Clough said if all goes well with Quinn next week, he will get 45 minutes against Burton.
Owen Mason is back from his loan in Ireland with their season now finished, but under the terms of the loan, can't play again in England until January.
Injury news from the game against Everton U21 is that McLaughlin felt his groin and "it was precautionary that he came off straight away, we will see how he is after tonight", said Clough.
Everton U21 included Chermiti, plus Lewis Dobbin, who has made 3 Premier League sub appearances this season and spent the full season at Derby last season, including playing against Mansfield in the League Cup last season. Also Joao Virginia in goal, who was on the bench in the Premier League on Saturday, and experienced Seamus Coleman, who is returning from injury. Everton U21 had lost their first two games, 2-0 to both Doncaster and Burton, but this a much different team.
Mansfield had the better chances in the first half. After 21 minutes, it looked like Boateng must score but his shot was brilliantly blocked by defender Ryan Astley. Then on 33 minutes, McLaughlin sent a free kick from 30 yards just wide of the left post. And on 35 minutes, Swan laid off to Abdullah who curled a shot just wide from the corner of the area, a good effort.
Into the second half. Cooper put in a good block on a shot from Chermiti. Then Flinders made a great save from Mackenzie Hunt after 59 minutes. And four minutes later, Flinders made another brilliant save, one handed from Dobbin. And on 66 minutes, the pacy Dobbin cut in from the left and hit the top of the bar from 20 yards.
Then more chances for Mansfield. Gale headed just wide from a Maris cross after 67 minutes. On 79 minutes, Gale was inches away from scoring when his effort was deflected just wide from Bowery's volleyed cross.
Owen Barker missed a good chance to put Everton U21 in front after 84 minutes sending a sitter over the bar, after the very fast Roman Dixon, who Clough said could catch pigeons, got to the byline on the right.
The winning goal came in stoppage time as Cooper and Chermiti tangled and the referee pointed to the spot. Poor decision in my opinion. Nigel Clough said after the game "soft is an understatement, it wasn't a penalty."
Chermiti sent the penalty down the middle as Flinders dived to his right.
Young Finn Flanagan fired in a great effort after 90+3 minutes, just wide from 30 yards.
A draw would have been a fair result, but that penalty handed the win to Everton U21. Mansfield will still qualify for the second round if they beat Burton in 2 weeks, or draw and win the penalty shootout for an extra point.
Some good performances. Flinders made two great saves and remains a great deputy for Pym. Johnson had a good game at right back, including getting forward well. Cooper played well, with some good blocks. McLaughlin impressed in midfield, winning lots of tackles before he had to go off. Abdullah was very impressive up front on the right. Gale and Swan were looking for a goal or assist to boost their confidence but neither could manage it.
A word on the attendance, 819, which was just 19 more than the club record low attendance at Field Mill, which was set against Crewe in this competition four years ago, and against Torquay in the league in 1939.
The next game is at Salford on Saturday back in the league, as the Stags will look to extend the unbeaten run.
DETAILED REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
58% Ball possession 42%
14 Total shots 17
4 Shots on target 6
6 Shots off target 8
4 Blocked shots 3
Late penalty sees Everton U21s pip Mansfield Town in Bristol Street Motors Trophy clash
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tues 7 Nov 2023
Mansfield Town suffered a third home cup defeat in eight days as they lost 1-0 to a strong Everton U21s in the second of their Bristol Street Motors Trophy group games.
The Toffees' stars of tomorrow deserved the win on the night, creating the better chances, but had to wait until the 91st minute of an entertaining game before Youseff Chermiti beat Scott Flinders from the spot from a contentious penalty award.
But the biggest post-match talking point was a possible injury problem for Stephen McLaughlin, making his first start of the campaign after injury and going off after needing treatment for a tight groin soon after half-time.
Young centre half George Cooper again showed quality at the back for a largely second string home side, but hopes that tonight could provide much-needed goals for James Gale and Will Swan were dashed by some fine Everton defending.
After hurtful exits from the Carabao Cup and FA Cup over the past week, this one will quickly be forgotten as Mansfield now begin to focus on Saturday's important League Two game at Salford City.
Not surprisingly Mansfield made nine changes for the game with only Callum Johnson, and Bailey Cargill still in from the weekend starting XI.
George Cooper and George Williams began in central defence with Cargill ahead of them in the holding role, looking very comfortable in the position, and McLaughlin also impressing in a midfield role before his injury.
Everton included veteran club skipper and Ireland captain Seamus Coleman as he continued his comeback from a serious knee injury at the end of last season.
There were also minutes for other Toffees players with first team experience like Joao Virginia, Lewis Dobbin, who had a good loan spell with Derby County, and Youssef Chermiti.
Stags started well and won a fifth minute corner which saw a scramble and Johnson poke the ball across the face of goal.
On seven minutes Everton showed for the first time as Dobbin raced down the middle but fired straight to Flinders.
A minute later more room was afforded to Dobbin and this time he shot over.
An Everton break into the home box on 17 minutes saw a scramble that ended with Johnson clearing.
Stags resumed the offensive and both Abdullah and Boateng had good efforts blocked.
On the half-hour Chermiti headed over at the near post from a left wing cross and three minutes later McLaughlin was narrowly wide wit an excellent free kick from a central position 30 yards out.
A minute later Abdullah curled one just over from the right hand side of the box.
In the 42nd minute Stags conceded a central free kick 25 yards out but Hunt sent his effort straight into the home wall and a minute later Flinders saved a low shot from Chermiti with Cooper sliding in superbly to mop up the loose ball and clear before Chermiti could try a follow-up.
As half-time neared the home side forced three successive corners but could not force the ball home as an enterprising half by both teams ended scoreless with only routine saves to be made.
McLaughlin had been excellent on his return from injury but, worryingly, on 49 minutes went down after having a shot blocked and required treatment before going off to be replaced by Maris.
Cooper got a brave block in on a Chermiti shot at the near post on 54 minutes that conceded a corner from which Okoronkwo nodded over.
On 59 minutes we saw the first real save of the game as Hunt went down the middle and forced Flinders down full length to his right to stop.
On 63 minutes Flinders made an even better stop with a superb one-handed block after Dobbin had caught the ball perfectly on the half-volley with a powerful snapshot.
Djankpata was too high with the Toffees' next effort as the visitors enjoyed a good spell and on 65 minutes Dobbin cut in from the left and saw his finish bounce over off the top of the crossbar.
In reply Swan had a tame shot blocked for a corner from which Gale glanced a header wide.
Mansfield gave away another free kick 20 yards out just left of centre and this time Metcalfe curled narrowly over the top with a fine effort.
John's foul on Cargill on 70 minutes saw the gane's first yellow card produced.
Virginia was then safely behind a curling free kick by Boateng from the by-line that he curled in wickedly.
Then Johnson drilled a low ball into the box which Swan turned tamely at the keeper.
Chermiti went in late on Williams on 73 minutes to be added to the book before Stags made four changes.
After McAllister pulled a low shot wide for Everton, Stags came very close on 79 minutes as Bowery drilled in a low left wing cross. Gale's finish was half-blocked by the challenge of Astley and the ball span just wide of keeper and post.
Everton should have grabbed the lead on 84 minutes after a lightning break down the right by Dixon. He pulled an inviting low pass back into the path of Barker who, with the goal at his mercy, fired well over.
The deadlock was finally broken in the first of five added minutes from the penalty spot.
The referee decided Chermiti was pulled back by Cooper as he turned in the box and he pointed to the spot to Mansfield’s anger. But the Portuguese star stepped up and smashed his kick home straight down the centre.
On 93 minutes Stags youngster Flanagan tried his luck from the edge of the box and forced a good save out of Virginia as Everton hung on for a first group win.
STAGS: Flinders, Johnson (Flint 73), McLaughlin (Maris 51), Cargill (Flanagan 73), Macdonald (Bowery 73), Gale, Cooper, Williams, Swan, Abdullah (Brunt 73), Boateng. SUBS NOT USED: Pym, Taylor.
EVERTON U21: Virginia, Coleman (Dixon 66), Chermiti, Astley, John (Barker 73, Heath 90), Hunt, Dobbin, Campbell, Djankpata (McAllister 66), Metcalfe, Okoronkwo. SUBS NOT USED: Barrett, Butler, Sherif.
REFEREE: Neil Hair.
ATTENDANCE: 819 (74 away).
LATE CHERMITI WINNER EARNS UNDER-21S VICTORY
evertonfc.com, Tues 7 Nov 2023
Youssef Chermiti’s stoppage-time penalty goal earned Everton Under-21s a 1-0 victory over Mansfield Town in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday evening.
Featuring in valuable minutes for the young Blues, 19-year-old Chermiti joined Seamus Coleman in the Everton line-up.
Club captain Coleman played 66 minutes as he continued his recovery from a medial knee ligament injury sustained in May.
Elsewhere, fellow Senior-Team members Lewis Dobbin and Joao Virginia also earned important playing time - both starting from the off against Nigel Clough’s high-flying League Two outfit, and both impressing throughout a closely contested affair at the One Call Stadium.
It was a promising start for Everton, and after 15 minutes, the Blues looked dangerous through Chermiti’s lay off to Coleman on the half-way line. Coleman played it back to the young striker, who once more looked for the overlapping Irishman, before Mansfield managed to scramble the ball away.
Minutes later, young centre-back Astley was called into action to make a vital block to stop a close-range effort from Hiram Boateng.
Resuming their position as the team on top, the Toffees came close just after the half-hour mark, when Chermiti flashed a header over the bar from Djankpata’s in-swinging right-footed cross.
Not long later, the 19-year-old came close towards the end of the half, when, from the right side of the box, he fired across goal from Dobbin’s through ball, forcing a save from goalkeeper Scott Flinders.
Just 10 minutes into the second half, Coleman led an Everton counter-attack, bursting through the centre of the field, before releasing Chermiti in the Mansfield penalty area. He cut in on his left foot, before cutting back onto his right, but his effort was blocked by the hosts’ defence.
Around the hour-mark, Chermiti’s movement off the ball allowed space for Hunt to capitalise, as he unleashed a well-struck left-footed shot on the edge of the penalty area - an effort, saved by Flinders, that followed a positive run from the young Blue.
Minutes later, Flinders was on hand yet again. This time, reacting superbly to deny Dobbin’s first-time volley from the corner of the six-yard-box.
The 20-year-old Everton forward nearly opened the scoring not long after, smashing the crossbar from a shot on the edge of the penalty area.
A promising evening for Coleman came to a close after 66 minutes, when the Everton captain was replaced by substitute Roman Dixon, while Sean McAllister came on for Halid Djankpata.
Making sure to keep his side in the game, Virginia made a vital save to prevent James Gale from opening the scoring with just minutes remaining.
In an end-to-end conclusion to the contest, the Toffees were deep in their own half, when Dobbin kickstarted a counter-attack, playing a through ball to the jet-heeled Dixon. He reached the Mansfield penalty area, and pulled the ball back to Barker, who lifted the ball over the bar from close range.
But the young Blues finally got their goal. After a long throw-in by Dixon, Chermiti turned George Cooper in the 18-yard-box, before being tripped by the Mansfield defender.
Chermiti stepped up to take the spot-kick, and confidently converted, firing straight down the middle to net his first goal in royal blue, winning the game in the 91st minute for Everton.
Everton Line-Up: Virginia, Coleman (Dixon 66), Astley, Campbell, John (Barker 75, Heath 90), Djankpata (McAllister 66), Metcalfe, Hunt, Okoronkwo, Chermiti, Dobbin.
Substitutes (not used): Barrett, Butler, Sherif.
Everton U21s player ratings as Youssef Chermiti the hero and Lewis Dobbin the star vs Mansfield Town
liverpoolecho.co.uk, By Chris Beesley
Everton completed their EFL Trophy group matches win a late 1-0 win at Mansfield Town in a game that had appeared to be heading for a penalty shoot-out.
However, the result won’t be enough for the young Blues to progress to the knockout stages.
Paul Tait’s men had not found the net in their previous two fixtures, suffering 2-0 defeats at both Doncaster Rovers and Burton Albion but they were handed a lifeline in Nottinghamshire when Geroge Cooper was penalised for putting his arms around Youssef Chermiti in the area.
The £15million summer signing, who had endured a frustrating evening up until that point, then held his nerve to send Mansfield’s impressive goalkeeper Scott Flinders the wrong way from the spot on in a contest that also saw club captain Seamus Coleman continue his comeback from injury.
Joao Virginia 7
Wasn’t called into making a string of saves like goalkeeper Billy Crellin in Everton’s previous two group games but dealt with everything that came his way, albeit with some help from those in front of him.
Seamus Coleman 7
Continuing his comeback after a 45-minute run-out against Manchester United Under-21s on Saturday, the Everton captain led by example alongside the youngsters, using all his experience in an accomplished display.
Kyle John 6
Some tigerish tackling from the little left-back the stuck to his task well to allow Lewis Dobbin to drive forward in front of him but he was fortunate to get away with a second meaty challenge coming just moments after he was booked.
Ryan Astley 7
Made a last-ditch challenge to block a shot from Hiram Boateng in what was an accomplished display from the centre-back who was also neat in his distribution.
Elijah Campbell 7
A solid display on the left of the centre-back pairing, he made a smart clearance to deny Will Swan in the second half.
Jenson Metcalfe 6
Had a decent opportunity with a second half free-kick that curled just over the bar in a neat and tidy display in the engine room.
Mackenzie Hunt 7
Went close on a couple of occasions and brought the best out of Flinders just before the hour mark when he drove forward only to see his effort from just outside the area palmed away.
Halid Djankpata 6
Picked out Chermiti for a headed chance with a well-placed left wing delivery but it was otherwise one of his quieter evenings before he made way.
Francis Okoronkwo 6
Operating on the right flank, he was a powerful runner but despite his endeavours, most of the guile was coming through Dobbin on the other wing.
Lewis Dobbin 8
Everton’s liveliest performer, he was a bundle of energy on the left wing, often cutting inside to pick out team-mates or have a crack himself like the second half volley that Flinders somehow kept out with a strong left hand.
Youssef Chermiti 7
Plenty of silky touches and good close control, he forced a good save out of Scott Flinders late in the first half but he needs to adapt more to the physicality of the English game to lead the line for Everton, even if what had looked like being a frustrating evening for him ended positively with him earning and converting a last-minute penalty.
Roman Dixon (on 66 for Coleman) 7
Solid outing after replacing the skipper.
Sean McAllister (on 66 for Djankpata) 7
Looked lively after coming on and had a shot blocked.
Owen Barker (on 74 for John) 6
Squandered an inviting opportunity late on when he leaned back and fired over the crossbar before being forced off through injury.
Isaac Heath (on 89 for Barker)