Under-23s Beat Arsenal In Thriller

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Everton produced a performance of great heart and character to edge Arsenal in a six-goal thriller at the Merseyrail Community Stadium on Monday night.

It was the Gunners who struck early. Marcus McGuane seized on a ball inside the box and fired low past Joe Hilton, the effort taking a deflection on its way in.

Everton had started brightly – Harry Charsley shooting into the side-netting – and looked to restore parity as quickly as they could. David Henen saw a low shot saved by Ryan Huddart before Dennis Adeniran flashed a similar chance across goal. 

The Gunners then tested Blues keeper Hilton with a pair of efforts from first Charlie Gilmour and Vlad Dragomir, before Henen saw a shot blocked after good work from Antony Evans and Broadhead.

The latter then saw a header easily saved by Huddart, meaning it was the Gunners who went in ahead at the break.

David Unsworth made two changes to his side at the interval, replacing Charsley and Broadhead with Bassala Sambou and Anton Donkor, and the changes paid off immediately.

Just minutes into the second half, the former set the latter away down the left of the box and the German calmly slotted the ball into the far corner.

However, smiles quickly turned to horror as Jones needed to be stretchered off with what looked like a broken leg, needing oxygen as he left the field.

The injury galvanised Everton – and they duly went in front. Garbutt whipped over a corner and Joseph Olowu, who had made the challenge on Jones, nodded into his own net.

But minutes later Arsenal were level. Donkor looked like he had managed to nick the ball away from Dragomir but referee Thomas Bramall pointed to the spot, and McGuane fired home from the spot.

But the Blues refused to settle for a point and snatched victory late on. Antony Evans picked up the ball 40 yards from goal, drove into the box and just about managed to squeeze his shot over the line, prompting delighted celebrations.

Those were replicated deep in added time, as Henen hammered home a fourth to clinch victory.

It was no less than the young Toffees deserved, with the win a huge one over a side who sit alongside them in the upper echelons of the Premier League 2 table. 

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