Wrexham v Everton U21s
Everton’s Under-21s came from behind to beat Wrexham 4-1 at Cefn Druids on Wednesday night.
The Dragons took the lead in the first half against the run of play when Nick Rushton volleyed spectacularly home.
Burt Everton hit back almost immediately through Courtney Duffus before second half strikes from Kieran Dowell and Joe Williams secured victory. Matty Pennington’s late header added gloss to the scoreline but it was a fair reflection of the performance.
The Toffees played all the football in the first half and signalled their intent in the ninth minute when the muscular Duffus sliced through the defence and sent the ball across the six-yard box when he might have been better shooting.
Next Sam Byrne escaped the attentions the opposition backline only to send his lob over the bar as well as the keeper, with Williams’ clever effort from the resultant corner hitting the underside of the bar.
As well as trying to play attractive passing football, Everton were also mixing it on a physical level with Ryan Ledson, in particular, unintimidated by players twice his age.
And it was the England Under-17 captain’s quick free-kick which almost lead to the opening goal as Duffus latched onto the ball and drew a save from on trial ex-Everton keeper Mason Springthorpe in the Wrexham goal.
It meant the opener came against the run of play when Rushton seized upon a weak clearance from a long ball and arrowed a volley over Jindrich Stanek and into the net on 26 minutes.
David Unsworth’s men stuck to their guns though, and after the impressive Williams had won the ball in midfield he surged forward and slid in Duffus to calmly stroke home the equaliser.
Conor Grant became the second Blues youngster to hit the woodwork before half time when his long range drive clipped the bar.
Wrexham should have regained the lead 12 minutes into the second half when Rob Evans blasted over from six yards out after a counter attack.
The Blues’ riposte came in the form of a Williams drive which was a couple of yards wide.
A flurry of substitutions followed but Dowell wasn’t distracted as he galloped down the left and produced a brilliant finish into the top corner in the 64th minute to put his side ahead.
Moments later it was three when sub Calum Dyson’s shot was saved and Willams had the simple task of side-footing home.
Springthorpe was out smartly to deny Grant a fourth but his sprawling save meant a corner which Pennington planted home with 13 minutes left.
Everton remained in complete control and now head to Rhyl for their next friendly on Saturday.