Folarin Balogun returned to the scoresheet on Sunday as our under-23s secured a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Everton on the road.
With a number of key players tied up in FA Youth Cup action. Daniel Oyegoke, Tolaji Bola and George Lewis all returned to the starting XI, while Jack Henry-Francis made his Premier League 2 debut.
We came into this fixture without a win in seven league outings, but we started strong with Trae Coyle charging at the Toffees’ defence and curling just wide of the post.
Folarin Balogun then saw his powerful effort saved by Harry Tyrer, but with their first chance of the afternoon, Everton took the lead through Nathan Broadhead.
Matthew Mallon whipped the ball into the area from the right wing and Broadhead was on hand to provide the finishing touch.
We were unlucky to find ourselves trailing at the break, but that didn’t dent our confidence for the second 45, as Balogun tested Tyrer with another powerful strike, before Coyle’s claims for a penalty were dismissed by the referee.
We continued to push on in search of an equaliser, though, and with just 10 minutes remaining, Balogun picked up the ball on the halfway and beared down on goal, before finishing with style into the bottom corner from 20 yards.
It was no less than we deserved for our efforts, but the hosts would go on to create one last chance, racing forward on the break deep into stoppage time.
Tolaji Bola made a tactical foul 30 yards from goal and Tyler Onyango reacted in frustration, picking up his second yellow card of the afternoon.
WHAT IT MEANS
Up next, we will face Derby County on Monday, April 12.
The game will take place at Loughborough University Stadium with kick-off at 7pm (UK time).
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