Ten-Man Under-21s Defeated At West Ham

Everton Under-21s lost 3-1 to West Ham United on Friday evening in a Premier League 2 fixture at Rush Green Stadium.

Katia Kouyate opened his account for the season, firing the young Blues into an early lead after just seven minutes. Striker Francis Okoronkwo provided the assist.

Lewis Orford equalised for the hosts shortly after half-time, before Everton saw Ryan Astley dismissed in the 66th minute. The young defender conceded a penalty, which Callum Marshall dispatched past Billy Crellin.

After the red card, it was a tough task for Paul Tait’s side to fight their way back into the contest, and the Hammers found a third through Gideon Koudua to extend their advantage. 

Under-21s Head Coach Paul Tait reacted after the game and, despite being disappointed with the result, he was keen to praise a bright first-half display from his team.

“We played really well in the first half and probably should’ve scored a couple more goals,” Tait acknowledged while speaking to evertonfc.com. “We were by far the better team.

“The chances were there, but we just weren’t clinical enough. We looked good in transition when we broke on West Ham, and then we scored through that with a great goal by Katia.

“We gave a poor goal away early in the second half because we didn’t defend the edge of our box properly, but after that, we were going toe-to-toe and it was a really good game."

Reduced to 10 men midway through the second 45 minutes, Tait was surprised by the red card and acknowledged it was a turning point in the game. Nevertheless, he was pleased with the spirited performances of some promising young talents in his side.

“With the sending off, I’ve just watched it back a load of times and I can’t see for the life of me how you can get sent off for it.

“It was tough after that, but we were still in it and tried to get an equaliser. The red card definitely changed the game, but I thought we played some really good football.

“It’s been a great experience for some of the lads tonight, like young Jack Butler – only 16 and playing left-wing-back against a 22-year-old for West Ham. He was terrific. With Brad Moonan as well, he’s only 17 and they’ll both only get better for it."

The next match for Everton Under-21s seems them travel to take on recent Senior-Team opposition, Doncaster Rovers.

The young Blues will take on the League Two outfit in their opening match of Group H in the EFL Trophy, with the game taking place at the Eco-Power Stadium on Tuesday 19 September.