Everton progressed to the FA Youth Cup fourth round after a 4-1 victory over Stockport County at Goodison Park.
Martin Sherif scored twice to help Leighton Baines’ side to a win despite a battling performance from the Greater Manchester outfit.
Matthew Apter’s late volley added a third before George Morgan secured the win late in stoppage time.
FA Youth Cup history?
Everton have won the FA Youth Cup on three occasions in 1965, 1984 and 1998.
The Toffees have finished runners-up four times.
The Blues will face the winner of Chelsea vs Leicester in the next round with the match scheduled to be played by January 4th 2024.
The visitors almost went ahead on three minutes after Odin Samuels-Smith under-hit a back pass into the path of Lee Williams, who could not convert from 18 yards out thanks to a reflex stop from George Pickford in the Everton net.
Minutes later, Samuel-Smith lost possession again but the Hatters fluffed their lines in the final third.
It was another let-off for the young defender.
Everton’s first attempt came on 15 minutes when George Morgan worked half a yard of space before firing a right-footed shot from 25 yards just inches over Kane Mavrantziotis-Bove’s crossbar.
On the 20 minute mark, Aled Thomas met George Finney’s looped ball into the box but could not convert, hitting the outside of the net with a header.
The Toffees went close on 34 minutes when Sherif fired a powerful header towards the goal from five yards only to be denied by Mavrantziotis-Bove in the Hatters‘ net.
The Young Blues broke the deadlock just before half-time when Sherif found space at the back post slotting a perfectly weighted corner past the helpless Mavrantziotis-Bove.
The away side fought back on 45 minutes equalising through Kylan Depeiaza, who finished with aplomb after latching onto a long ball from his own goalkeeper before out-witting the onrushing Pickford.
The first notable chance of the second period fell to Sherif on 55 minutes but he could only shoot into the side netting.
Just before the hour mark County thought they had the lead when Freddie Renshaw curled one from 25 yards leaving Pickford rooted to the spot but it flashed inches wide.
Three minutes later Pickford was called into action saving Depeiaza’s header from close range.
Everton regained the lead on 61 minutes when Sherif doubled his tally after latching onto Harrison Armstrong’s looped header, then glancing beyond an outstretched Hatters’ keeper.
Substitute Matthew Apter added a third on 86 minutes with a sumptuous right-footed half-volley into the top left-hand corner.
Sherif had the chance to convert his third late in stoppage time but shot a penalty over the bar.
Everton had a fourth through Morgan just before full-time when he slotted calmly in front of the Gwladys Street End.