Everton Under 18s produced an impressive performance to defeat Derby in Premier League (North) at USM Finch Farm on Saturday.
A moment of magic from Lewis Warrington and second-half goals from Lewis Dobbin and Thierry Small handed Paul Tait’s side all three points as the young Blues rose to sixth in the league table.
Everton were dominant throughout and, after a scrappy opening, looked dangerous on the break as a couple of audacious passes from Isaac Price just evaded his target.
Tom Cannon was enjoying himself upfront for the hosts and it was his slick movement which worried the Derby backline.
The centre forward had the first real chance of the game when his curling effort was tipped behind by Harvey Randle in the Rams’ goal.
Katia Kouyate had the ball in the net midway through the first half, but he was adjudged to be offside when he powered home a header.
Just minutes before half-time, Warrington broke the deadlock.
Everton won a free-kick 20 yards from goal and Warrington stepped up, before hitting a sumptuous strike into the far corner.
It took just seven minutes after the restart for Everton to double their lead and they were well worthy of the goal.
Kouyate this time gathered the ball in the middle of the park, danced past two defenders before picking out Dobbin in the penalty area who poked the ball home from close range.
Small then put the result in no doubt as the blistering full-back advanced into the Derby penalty area, shook off a challenge and delicately chipped the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper.
Derby struggled to inflict any pressure on the Everton defence. Their best effort for what would have been only a consolation goal came minutes from time.
Kaide Gordon unleashed a powerful strike from long range but Zan-Luk Leban was equal to it and parried the away from goal.
Everton Under 18s are back in league action on Tuesday 1 December when they host Leeds United at USM Finch Farm.