Friendly report: Wanderers B 3-0 Everton U21s

Max Conway West Brom friendly

The B Team continued its impressive build-up to the new season with a notable win over Everton’s U21s.

After two wins and a draw against non-league opposition in their first three games, the young Whites faced Category A Academy opposition in the shape of the Toffees.

Everton – preparing for their campaign in Premier League 2 – included a number of players who had featured in the senior pre-season friendly at Wanderers in mid-week.

They also had a senior presence in the shape of defender Mason Holgate and goalkeeper Andy Lonergan.

But in front of watching first-team boss Ian Evatt, Wanderers produced an excellent performance to win with goals from Arran Pettifer and the front pair of Finn Lockett and Ben Andreucci.

“It doesn’t feel good because of the results. The results come because we feel good and we’re doing things properly.”
Matt Craddock

Everton had started well but Matt Craddock’s side began to impose themselves by winning the ball higher up the pitch and went in front when a well-worked move down the right-hand side ended with trialist crossing for midfielder Arran Pettifer to head home at the far post.

Wanderers – who had frontman Gez Sithole making a welcome return from injury –then doubled the lead when they again won the ball and Andreucci slid the ball into strike partner Lockett to slot home with a tidy finish with his third goal of pre-season.

The visitors looked to hit back before the break but again Wanderers responded early in the second half with a number of opportunities before making it 3-0 through Andreucci.

The summer signing also added his third goal of the warm-up campaign when Pettifer again broke well to cross for Andreucci to fire home at the far post.

Luke Hutchinson then made a number of decent saves to guarantee a clean sheet as Craddock’s young side made another leap forward in their progress ahead of a mid-week outing at Warrington Rylands.

“It was really pleasing. I was proud of them,” said the B Team boss. “We’ve scored 14 goals already and last season we scored 33 in total and, likewise, getting the clean sheet today means we’ve conceded one a game.

“It’s miles better and feels very different from last year. I said to the lads the results are coming because of the environment, the togetherness and the attitude to working hard and professionalism.

“It doesn’t feel good because of the results. The results come because we feel good and we’re doing things properly.”

On an excellent day for the Academy set-up, Max Conway(pictured) made it a win double when he then made a late substitute’s appearance for the senior side in their 4-3 win over West Bromwich Albion in Wanderers’ final pre-season fixture ahead of the start of the League One season next Saturday.

Wanderers B: Hutchinson, Conway, Toure, Halford, Hayes-Green, Khumbeni, Pettifer, Tweedley, Trilaist, Sithole, Lockett. Substitutes used: Litherland, Sharples, Lourerio, Frimpong, Inwood, Yoro, Andreucci, Bryan.

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