Unsworth Calls For Clinical Edge From Under-23s

David Unsworth urged his players to be more clinical in front of goal after Everton Under-23s drew 0-0 at Wolves, their second consecutive goalless scoreline in Premier League 2.

The Toffees created enough chances to have won at Telford United's Bucks Head Stadium but in the end they were indebted to an excellent goalkeeping display from teenage goalkeeper Nico Hansen to bring home a share of the spoils.

“We created numerous opportunities but just haven’t put the ball in the back of the net and it’s the most difficult thing to do at any level of football,” said Unsworth.

“Their keeper made some good saves, but we should have won the game. It was just one of those games and that’s why strikers cost so much money.

“When we get opportunities we’ve got to show the calmness and the composure and the quality to put the ball into the back of the net. For two-thirds of the match we were in control and played some good football at times.”

Hansen’s first good save came after five minutes to deny Bruno Jordao, and it set the tone for an assured 90 minutes.

Everton had the better of the opening period, passing the ball about nicely in the middle of the field.

On eight minutes, Cuco Martina clipped the ball towards the edge of the home box from where Fraser Hornby half-volleyed over. Then, just before the half-hour, Callum Connolly crashed a header from a corner against the crossbar. 

Antony Evans was unfortunate to see his shot clear the bar after good approach play from Beni Baningime and Harry Charsley.

The early exchanges after the break were frenetic with chances at both ends. Jordao scuffed a great chance wide for Wolves and then forced Hansen into a superb save with a close-range angled shot.

For Everton, Hornby found space inside the box but was thwarted by a late challenge.

Hansen was called on again on 75 minutes to make a fine double save to keep out Shagangi and Taylor Perry – the second stop with his right hand was particularly impressive.

Not long after, the Blues keeper dived to his right to push away an effort from Elliot Watt.

“Nico was absolutely terrific,” said Unsworth. “He’s missed a lot of football through injury and I thought his performance today was fantastic. I’m delighted for Nico, it’ a great clean sheet.

“The lads will be disappointed that we’ve drawn the first two games but performance-wise we were a lot better today. If we want to win games, though, we have to start converting chances.

“It would be a bigger problem if we weren’t creating chances, but we are, we’re just not putting the ball in the back of the net.”