Sherif Strike Earns Point For Under-18s

Everton Under-18s came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw against Manchester United Under-18s at Carrington on Tuesday evening.

A second-half header from Martin Sherif saw Everton rescue the result, securing a well-deserved point on the road.

Both sides had chances to win the match in a frantic end to the game, with a stunning Seb Jensen save keeping the score level before Sherif’s lobbed effort went narrowly wide.

It was open start to the contest, highlighting both sides’ attacking strengths. Manchester United had the first effort of any note, when Ethan Wheatley fired a snapshot wide of the target.

Leighton Baines’ team then responded strongly and had a flurry of good opportunities.

Jacob Beaumont-Clark has had a positive campaign and showed how much of a threat he is from a wide position. He curled a fine effort towards the far corner, forcing an acrobatic save from Elyh Harrison.

From the same source, Everton came close to the opener again. This time, Beaumont-Clark aimed for the bottom corner, but Harrison was equal to it again with another fine save.

Just moments later, United took the lead against the run of play. Right-back James Nolan stormed towards the by-line and showed good composure to pull the ball back to the onrushing Sam Mather who arrived to sweep home.

Mather was having a growing influence on proceedings and nearly doubled United’s advantage. The number 10 picked up a loose ball inside the penalty area and his slide-rule pass across goal narrowly evaded the arriving cavalry.

To say it was an end-to-end half would be an understatement, and Everton came so close to finding the equaliser. Harrison Armstrong played a brilliant pass into the path of top scorer Sherif, but his low effort towards the corner was once again kept out by Harrison.

Sherif had fire in his belly after that sight of goal, and just seconds after the restart he came close again, firing narrowly wide from the edge of the penalty area.

It was third time lucky for the Dutchman though, who eventually got on the scoresheet after 49 minutes. Callum Bates’ inswinging delivery was met by the head of Sherif to deservedly level the scoring.

He has had a terrific season in front of goal, justifying his inclusions in Paul Tait’s Under-21 set up.

The half continued in the same end-to-end fashion and United came close to regaining the lead when Finley McAllister forced Jensen into a smart low save with his feet. And even more similarly to the first half, the battle between Beaumont-Clark and Harrison continued. More excellent play inside the penalty area was displayed, but Harrison was again equal to the low effort.

Minutes later, it was the same occurrence for the fourth time. Beaumont-Clark was a constant threat throughout and had it not been for the brilliance of Harrison between the sticks, would’ve been on the scoresheet.

His counterpart Jensen then made a terrific save in the dying embers to make sure the Blues went home with something.

Sherif had a last-minute chance to win it, but his lobbed effort was narrowly wide.

Despite the number of genuine efforts on goal, it wasn’t to be for Everton, and they were forced to settle for a point in their penultimate game of the season.

The young Blues finish their campaign against tonight’s opponents on Saturday morning (11am BST) at Finch Farm.