Sherif Shines In Dramatic Derby Draw

Martin Sherif was the star of the show once again as he scored a remarkable hat-trick in the final 20 minutes of the match to help Everton Under-18s bounce back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 away to Derby County.   

Assistant coach Kieran Driscoll took charge of the young Blues in the absence of manager Leighton Baines who has helped oversee First-Team duties this week.   

Although it was a competitive first period in which both teams enjoyed spells in possession and forged decent opportunities on goal, it was the home side who grabbed the breakthrough inside the 30th minute when Jaydan Davidson broke free to calmly slot the ball home.

Davidson doubled their lead four minutes after the break, and then hit a third on the hour mark, capping off a fine individual afternoon for him and seemingly putting the game to bed.   

The Toffees rallied, though, and Sherif pulled a goal back with just 19 minutes remaining. He then set up what turned out to be the grandstand finish by grabbing his second from the penalty spot after a handball in the area.   

Then, just as he did against Liverpool last time out, Sherif struck in second-half stoppage-time to secure his remarkable treble and rescue a point for the Blues. The 16-year-old has now netted seven goals in his past four outings.  

Post-match, Driscoll was keen to heap praise on the clinical nature of Sherif’s performance: “We have worked a lot on his back-to-goal play," he said. "Finding a way for him to have an impact when he isn’t getting a big supply of chances.   

"But scoring-wise, big credit to him today, he has been given three chances today and took all three of them.  

“First half, we had a lot of the ball and possession, but like the Liverpool game, we didn’t quite have the right execution in the final third to create enough chances.   

“Despite it being a dominant performance in the first half, we didn’t have enough quality. The start of the second half was similar, we started pretty poorly and concede the next two goals inside 15 minutes. We got on top again in the game though, get a good goal with Martin through a nice piece of play down the right. We got a lot of confidence from that.   

“We get on the front foot, doubt crept in the Derby team and we took advantage.”   

The result leaves Everton eighth in the Premier League U18 table, one point behind Nottingham Forest but with two games in hand. They will return to league action back under Baines’ stewardship on Saturday 18 February (11am GMT) as they travel to take on Blackburn Rovers.