U18 2-1 Everton
By Dan Buxton
Updated Tuesday, 27th April 2010
Potters give Toffees title challenge hammer blow
City bounced back from three consecutive home defeats to grab a terrific victory against title chasing Everton at Clayton Woods.
The Potters had lost to Liverpool, Manchester United and Barnsley at home recently, all without scoring, but took an early lead through Warwick Alexander. A glancing header levelled things up after half time but City had the final say when defender Matt Cohen netted from the spot late on before defending strongly to hold off Everton's desperate pressure.
Everton started the game seven points behind league leaders Manchester United, with two games in hand, and a potential championship showdown against the Red Devils next week, whilst the Potters were 9th in the league but knew a victory would put them 6th and still with a chance to jump a couple more places with a victory in the seasons final game against Manchester City on Friday.
It didn't take the Potters long to get into their stride and after a competitive opening spell the deadlock was broken. A good move saw Urwin, Mitchell and Wint all involved before left back Wint switched the ball back across the area to Urwin. He guided it into the danger area and the recalled Alexander rose highest in the box, planting his header into the net, to double his seasons tally.
The game was free slowing and had a high tempo both before and after the goal, with Everton forcing Potters stopper David Parton into two very good saves, one at the feet of the striker when through one on one, before half time whilst, at the other end, Cohen got on the end of a Jack Harrison corner but could only nod his effort inches wide of the post.
The second half started with the Potters going close to doubling their advantage when Matt Cohen's long throw, rarely seen before today, was powered goalwards via the forehead of Alexander. The big front man watched as the defender on the line swung a boot and cleared the ball away from danger.
The game flowed from end to end but the Potters again had the next chance when a superb run by Urwin saw him waltx past three defenders before playing in Nick Jackson. The midfielder controlled the ball but couldn't decide how best to try and beat the keeper and with the stopper now having closed him right down he turned and played the ball back to Urwin whos shot was blocked and cleared by the back tracking defenders.
It seemed the hosts would pay for that two minutes later when the Toffee's right winger cut past Wint before curling an exquisite ball into the box. A glancing header from an Evertonian head was all that was needed as the ball bounced on its way to the goal, going just inside the far post leaving the keeper with no chance.
Both sides went for a winner, with Everton proving particuarly wasteful, including when the centre forward broke free on goal only to chip narrowly over with Parton racing out and making himself as big as possible and then his strike partner taking advantage of a mistake by Sinclair to also go through one on one. Parton again did his job and made it difficult for the striker, before saving the hitmans low and powerful effort with his legs.
City were starting to be pegged back when the struck the fatal blow. Mitchell raced through the midfield before sliding the ball into Urwin. The tricky winger cut into the box before being pulled to the floor by the full back, who had let the City star get goalside. The assistant immediately flagged for a penalty and centre back Matt Cohen stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way for his seventh goal of the season.
City were then forced back as a visibly frustrated Everton side tried on vein to break through for an equaliser that they craved to keep alive their title hopes. It never came though as a great team effort kept the Blues at bay and allowed the Potters to collect a well earnt three points.
Under 18's(4-3-3): Parton; Hedley, Wint, Sinclair, Cohen; Connor(Lucas 70), Jackson(Clarkson 62), Mitchell; Urwin, Harrison(Foster 72), Alexander