Everton Under-21s progressed to the next round of the Lancashire Senior Cup after a 3-0 win over Preston North End on Monday evening.
Goals from Leandro Rodriguez, Conor Grant and Liam Walsh secured an impressive victory for the young Blues at the Merseyrail Community Stadium.
David Unsworth’s troops began the game on the front foot and they created their first opportunity of the contest on six minutes.
Summer recruit Rodriguez latched onto Ryan Ledson’s through ball but his low drive was saved well by Jamie Jones in the Preston goal.
Just minutes later, however, the Uruguayan grabbed his first goal for the Club as he combined with Ledson once again.
The 22-year-old headed home his new teammate’s pin-point cross at the back post to give the Toffees a deserved lead after a bright opening.
Unsworth’s side continued to dictate proceedings, restricting the visitors to very few clearcut chances until the stroke of half-time.
Both Josh Brownhill and Andy Little had efforts saved well by Everton goalkeeper Mateusz Hewelt to preserve Everton's slender lead heading into the interval.
Despite Preston dominating the opening few minutes of the second half, it was the young Blues who netted again to double their advantage.
Right-back Callum Lees found Grant on the edge of the box and the midfielder took one touch before firing a left-footed drive into the bottom corner.
Just 10 minutes later, Liam Walsh’s cross missed everyone in the box and nestled into the back of the net to secure the victory and see the Under-21s reach the next stage of the Lancashire Senior Cup.