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Tuesday 19 November 2013

U21 Cup: Everton and West Brom scrape through

Chris Long scores twice as Everton win five-goal thriller; West Brom pip Forest in after extra-time

  • Middlesbrough's Jordan Jones takes on Everton's Conor Grant at the Riverside Stadium

  • West Brom's Kemar Roofe felled Forest with an extra-time winner

Everton survived a Middlesbrough fightback to edge a five-goal thriller at the Riverside Stadium while West Bromwich Albion required extra-time to reach the round of 16 of the Under-21 Premier League Cup after overcoming Nottingham Forest.

Middlesbrough 2-3 Everton

Everton took control of this cup-tie early on thanks to first-half strikes by Matthew Kennedy and Chris Long, but Middlesbrough struck back after the break thanks to an outstanding Jordan Jones effort and Wilson Kneeshaw's 83rd-minute drive. However, with extra-time looming Long popped up again time to head in the late winner.

In an open affair attended by 327 spectators including Middlebsrough’s new first-team manager Aitor Karanka the Blues hit the ground running, Kennedy breaking the deadlock after 10 minutes with a curling 20-yard free-kick into Luke Coddington’s top-right corner.

The night got worse for Coddington, the Boro goalkeeper, when he was adjudged to have brought down Hallam Hope inside the penalty area and Long converted from the penalty spot.

Boro picked up after the interval, however, and came back into the match on 52 minutes when Jones dispatched a perfectly executed curler over Mason Springthorpe, and, after Hope had missed a golden chance to make it 3-1 to Everton, the hosts levelled the tie when Kneeshaw raced on to Jones's lofted through-ball and beat Springthorpe.

Everton were not done, though, and with four minutes left Long rose to meet a deep cross that had been flicked into his path and settle an exciting contest.

Middlesbrough report | Everton report

West Bromwich Albion 2-1 Nottingham Forest

West Bromwich Albion required a 90th-minute equaliser and extra-time to progress to the round of 16 of the Under-21 Premier League Cup at the expense of luckless Nottingham Forest at The Hawthorns.

The hosts looked destined to exit the competition at the first time of asking after Joshua Rees had given Forest a 25th-minute lead, but Aaron Birch rescued Albion with a last-minute leveller to force an extra half-hour.

Kemar Roofe completed the fightback eight minutes into extra-time and a last-gasp save by Jack Rose from Rees spared the Baggies the prospect of a penalty shoot-out.

West Brom report | Nottingham Forest report

There are four more ties this evening in the competition which is in its inaugural season with the pick being at Carrow Road, where Norwich City, who are ninth in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League, host Arsenal, who are fifth. For Norwich's new Under-21 coach Mark Robson it will be the first time he will see his side in competitive action.

“We’ve had a good two weeks of training now, and the boys have responded well to me and I’m pleased with the work ethic they’ve put in,” he told the Norwich website, “Some of the quality that’s been on show in training has been great and I’m hoping they can take that into the game on Tuesday night. We’re all excited for it."

Tickets for the tie will be sold on the night and cost £3. Click here for more details.

Under-21 Premier League Cup results

18 November
Middlesbrough (Jones; Kneeshaw) 2-3 Everton (Kennedy; Long 2)
West Bromwich Albion (Birch, Roofe) 2-1 (aet) Nottingham Forest (Rees)

Under-21 Premier League Cup fixtures

19 November
Blackburn Rovers v Hull City
Bolton Wanderers v Barnsley
Leicester City v Sheffield Wednesday
Norwich City v Arsenal

20 November
Exeter City v Southampton
Notts County v Wolverhampton Wanderers

21 November
Stoke City v Manchester City

26 November
Aston Villa v Fulham
Birmingham City v Newcastle United
Burnley v Sunderland
Reading v Queens Park Rangers
Swansea City v Watford

6 December
Cardiff City v Chelsea

Date yet to be set 
Bristol City v West Ham United

Key Points

  • Everton survive Middlesbrough fightback to win Under-21 Premier League Cup tie at the Riverside
  • West Brom also through to round of 16 after beating Nottingham Forest in extra time
  • Four further ties occurring on Tuesday evening including Norwich v Arsenal at Carrow Road

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