Broadhead Nets Again But Everton Under-23s Held To Brighton Draw

Everton Under-23s played out a 1-1 Premier League 2 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion at Southport Community Stadium on Saturday.

The Blues went into the half-time break ahead thanks to a Nathan Broadhead penalty, in what was a very evenly-contested game. 

Brighton forward Ulrick Ella levelled with a cleanly-hit strike seven minutes after the restart.

The sides went into the encounter level on points and there was little to separate them in an opening 45 minutes when chances were at a premium.

A dangerous cross from the lively Ayo Tanimowo on two minutes was well tipped over by Harry Tyer, who confidently dealt with a number of crosses throughout the half.

An Everton break followed soon after. A neat, chipped ball out wide by Rhys Hughes was controlled by Josh Bowler, cutting in smartly onto his left foot but firing just over.

The hosts were rewarded for an incisive piece of play 60 seconds before the interval.

A quick break saw Jenson Metcalfe play a fantastic through ball into the path of Bowler, who was brought down in the area by Albion defender Ed Turns. 

Top-scorer Broadhead reached double figures for the season with a cool conversion from the spot.

Everton had goalkeeper Tyrer to thank for preserving their advantage early in the second half.

Sam Packham was played in on Brighton's right but Tyrer made himself big to block the effort.

The home side’s lead didn't last much longer, however. Danny Cashman showed neat feet inside the area before laying off smartly for Frenchman Ella to finish emphatically into the top corner.

Brighton’s goal seemed to be the catalyst for a more energetic Everton performance, as the Blues upped their intensity to gain a foothold back in the game.

Winger Bowler, who was impressive throughout the second half, looked the most likely player to score for the home side. Direct runs and clever link-up play saw the number seven fashion numerous opportunities but Bowler was unable to apply a decisive finish to his good work. 

Everton remain eighth in the standings and have two games remaining, both against Southampton, with a visit to the Premier League club's St Mary's Stadium first up, on 2 May.