Nottingham Forest U21s v Everton U21s
Everton’s Under-21s played out a 0-0 draw with Nottingham Forest as they kicked off their pre-season friendlies schedule.
Watched by Roberto Martinez, the Blues were the dominant force for much of the contest but just could not quite create a clear cut chance that their play deserved.
The likes of Ben McLaughlin, Ibou Touray and George Green were all handed starts in a youthful side but it was the visitors to Forest’s training ground who made the brighter start.
Not 10 minutes had elapsed before Hallam Hope and Conor McAleny had fashioned chances, and it set the tone for the first half. The pair would both squander further opportunities, while Green fired wide from distance.
After the break however, Forest grew into the contest, tightening up at the back and testing Mason Springthorpe on a couple of occasions. In the end though, the score remained goalless as the contest fizzled out into a 0-0 stalemate.
Coach Stubbs though was pleased with the efforts of his side in their first pre-season fixture. “The lads have had a hard few weeks and that was our first run out up till now,” he said.
“I thought they tried to do the right things today. It's not about results at the moment, it's about getting performances. What we asked them to do was to apply themselves in the game and use it for what it was.
"Today’s exercise was about fitness but also about performances and building up towards 10 August when our first game is.
“I think the lads were happy to be back out there. To be fair, they have done a lot of football this pre-season – it hasn’t just been running. We have also got quite a few to come back.
“We also have a few young ones in the team playing their first game at this level. They were a bit nervous but it's up to them to step up now. They will do that by improving more than they have ever done. It’s a big step up for them but one that we hope they can make.”