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Wednesday 04 November 2015, 13:00
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  • Blackburn Rovers U23
  • Everton U23
Report
Everton Under-21s progressed to the Lancashire Senior Cup semi-finals after coming from behind to secure a 2-1 away win over Blackburn Rovers.

John O’Sullivan opened the scoring for the hosts as his strike from outside the box deflected off the head of Jonjoe Kenny and nestled into the back of the net.

But the young Blues found themselves level seconds later through substitute Courtney Duffus, before David Henen clinched victory with less than 10 minutes remaining.

With Assistant Manager Graeme Jones, Duncan Ferguson and first-team star Ross Barkley watching on from the sidelines, Everton Under-21s started the contest on the front foot and were nearly rewarded for their early pressure on 17 minutes.

A great passing move down the right flank created an opening for Harry Charsley, but Blackburn keeper David Raya was equal to the midfielder’s low drive.

Rovers, however, had chances of their own as the game went on and they were unlucky not to take the lead just before the half hour when the woodwork denied Ryan Nyambe.

Henen, who was impressive throughout, then squandered the best opportunity of the opening half as a flowing counter-attack resulted in the Blues forward being played through on goal but, with just the goalkeeper to beat, he fired over the bar and so it remained goalless at the half-time interval.

The second half began in the similar fashion as the first, with the Toffees on top but, against the run of play, it was the hosts who took the lead on 65 minutes.

O’Sullivan took aim from 25-yards and his effort deflected off the head of Kenny and nestled into the back of the net.

That goal led to a double substitution from David Unsworth, with forwards Duffus and Calum Dyson replacing Leandro Rodriguez and Antony Evans.

Those changes paid off almost immediately.

Duffus, making only his second appearance for the Under-21s since returning from a long-term knee injury, received the ball with his back to goal before turning the defender and firing Everton level just seconds after falling behind.

With the cup tie heading for extra-time, the momentum was with the young Blues and the turnaround was complete with less than 10 minutes remaining.

Defender Kenny picked out Henen with a terrific diagonal pass and the Belgian controlled the ball impeccably before slotting past the keeper to take Everton through to the semi-finals of the Lancashire Senior Cup.

Everton XI: Hewelt, Kenny, Connolly, Ledson, Browning, Holgate, Charsley, Williams, Rodrigues, Evans, Henen.
Everton subs: Duffus, Griffiths, Walsh, Dyson, Davies.

Blackburn Rovers XI: David Raya, Ryan Nyambe, Jack Doyle, Willem Tomlinson, Darragh Lenihan, Scott Wharton, Connor Thomson, Sacha Petshi, Anston Forrester, John O’Sullivan, Connor Mahoney.
Blackburn Rovers subs: Lewis Mansell, Ryan Crump (GK) Matthew Platt, Hyuga Tanner, David Carson.