Everton Under-21s were beaten 5-0 by Wolves Under-21s away from home at Aggborough Stadium on Monday evening.
Despite a hugely disappointing score line, the game was closely contested in terms of possession and chances. However, an experienced Wolves team, which featured players with senior Premier League minutes, were clinical.
An Owen Farmer hat-trick saw Wolves go 3-0 up after 45 minutes, before Josh Esen and Owen Hesketh extended the lead in the second half.
Everton played Wolves in their last outing and earned a dominant 3-0 victory at Finch Farm just ten days ago.
However, Boubacar Traore and Owen Farmer were not in the Wolves starting lineup for that game, and they made a huge difference during this match. Traore, who has made eight senior Premier League appearances, was dominant in the midfield, while Farmer’s clinical finishing was the difference between the two teams.
Wolves started brightly and scored the game’s opening goal after just ten minutes. Farmer was quick to pounce on a loose ball from a corner, and he fired his team into the lead.
Everton grew into the game, but Wolves doubled their lead in the 28th minute.
Intricate play around the Everton area saw frequent first-teamer Josh Hodge play a one-two, before laying off Farmer towards his left. Farmer took a clever touch to push the ball out of his feet, before drilling across goal with his left foot, and past the diving Leban to score his second of the game.
Wolves struck again as Farmer netted his hat-trick in the 40th minute to see the home team go 3-0 up inside the first half.
This time, a counter-attack led by Nathan Fraser saw the ball carried down the right wing. His cross was tipped away by Leban, but only to Farmer, who slotted in his third goal.
Josh Esen scored a fourth goal for Wolves in the second half. He found some space on the edge of the Everton box and curled the ball into the bottom left corner in the 55th minute.
The disappointment continued for Everton. A Kyle John injury resulted in him being helped off the field with 20 minutes to go.
Wolves hit the bar 78th minute and earned a penalty just a minute later. Owen Hesketh scored from the spot to put his team five goals up, and the game ended at 5-0.
Hoping to bounce back from a disappointing evening, Everton Under-21s are back in action on Sunday 16 April (12pm BST), when they take on Liverpool at Haig Avenue.