Everton U18s v Reading U18s
Everton Under-18s got their Elite Group campaign underway in fine style, beating Reading 3-2 at Finch Farm.
Three first-half goals were enough to secure maximum points, with Harry Charsley netting a brace after Jasper Johns’ early opener.
The Blues were in control from the eighth minute when Johns headed in from close-range following a barnstorming run down the right from Matthew Pennington.
Midway through the first half Sheedy’s side doubled the advantage through Charsley, who reacted well to turn in Conor Grant’s initial effort which had rebounded back off the angle of post and crossbar.
Everton were fully on top and squandered a couple of chances to extend their advantage to three goals before they were pegged back on 35 minutes.
However, the two-goal lead was again established moments before half-time when Charsley got his second of the game, this time nodding into the back of the net from just a few yards out.
With Everton playing into the wind in the second half, Reading gained some momentum, although the Blues always looked threatening on the counter-attack with their slick passing play.
Reading set up a frantic ending by scoring for a second time in the last five minutes, but Everton hung on to get off to the perfect start.
Sheedy told evertonfc.com: “It was a good result because Reading topped our league in the first half of the season. To come out on top we knew we needed to play well and work hard as a team, which we did. From the first minute we passed the ball well and deserved the win.
“We scored three very good goals and we stood up to Reading very well. We were hanging on a bit at the end but over the 90 minutes we were by the far the better team.
“The result sets us up very well for Tuesday’s FA Youth Cup tie which will be a very difficult game again. We wanted to focus on this game first and after the dust has settled on this one we will start preparing for Port Vale.”