Kevin Sheedy hails Everton U-18s defensive steel as they progress in FA Youth Cup
Kevin Sheedy hailed his Everton U-18s defensive steel after they beat Southampton 2-0 to ensure progress in the FA Youth Cup.
The academy scholars wrapped-up a satisfying first half of the season with victory at St Mary’s, and Sheedy was delighted with the emerging discipline shown by his back line. George Waring and Conor Grant got the goals in each half to help the young Blues negotiate their way past the Saints, and the clean sheet left their manager especially pleased. He said: “We have conceded a lot of goals this year and sometimes we have had to score three to win games.
“That’s back-to-back clean sheets now though, which is a first for us this season. Defensively we are really pleased and overall it was a real hard-working team performance.
“We’ve got the Christmas break now and it’s always nice still to be in the FA Youth Cup. We have finished third in the league so we will be playing against the better teams around the country next year.
“All in all, it has been a really good first half of the season for us.”
After a Liverpool Senior Cup game against AFC Liverpool next week, the U-18s will take a break from competitive action until the New Year, but can look forward to a fourth round tie in the early part of 2013.
“We are very pleased because we knew it would be a difficult game against a good Southampton team,” Sheedy added.
“We had them watched and we knew some of their players had progressed into the Under-21s. It was going to be a real stern test for us and so it proved.
“We have done really well to come out on top 2-0 and our lads approached the game as we wanted them to from the very first whistle.
“Scoring a very good goal (Waring's opener) always helps in a cup tie and we also rode the storm when we had to. They had a lot of possession but defensively we had a very good shape.
“We said at half-time that we needed the second goal to give us a bit of daylight and we got that. It was a great cross by Matthew Kennedy, Gethin Jones got to the back post and Conor Grant got on the end of it.
“There were two really good, well-worked goals, so we are pleased with tonight’s performance.”
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