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Saturday 23 July 2016, 17:00
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  • Celtic U23
  • Everton U23

Everton Under-21s continued a flawless pre-season by lifting the SuperCupNI with a 1-0 victory against Celtic.

Thursday’s win over Espanyol meant the young Blues had progressed to the final of the tournament formerly known as the Milk Cup.

And David Unsworth’s side made it three wins and as many clean sheets from their opening summer friendlies courtesy of Harry Charsley’s stunning strike on 36 minutes.

The midfielder had already netted the winner in the semi-final and showed fine technique to turn his Celtic marker on the edge of the box before curling a dipping effort into the top corner.

It gave Everton a deserved lead after Charsley, Antony Evans, Calum Dyson and new signing Bassala Sambou had all tested Ross Doohan in goal

The Blues were looking increasingly dangerous as the first half progressed, particularly on the right through the pace and persistence of Gethin Jones and David Henen.

Unsworth had made two changes to his starting line-up with Mateusz Hewelt handed the gloves and Sambou, who missed Thursday’s game through illness, switched for the suspended Walsh.

In leading the line, Sambou’s willingness to make runs gave his teammates an outlet as Celtic tried to gain a hold on the game, but with Baningime and the other Blues well-drilled defensively, there was little concern other than an early penalty appeal which was immediately waved away.

After the break, the Scottish side created the opening they had sought when Calvin Miller centred from the left for Paul Crossan, but the forward side-footed his shot wide.

It may have been a chance Celtic rued not taking, as frustration appeared to take over on the hour-mark. A dangerous high foot from Anthony Ralston left Baningime needing treatment.

The referee brandished the red card to hand Everton a greater advantage and Tommy McIntyre’s side were unable to recover.

Henen went close with a dipping volley, Sambou continued to cause panic in the penalty box and Dyson was unable to make contact with a cross across the face of goal, but the single goal was enough.

The Under-21s return to Finch Farm with the silverware and continue pre-season with a Liverpool Senior Cup semi-final at Skelmersdale United on Thursday, 7.45pm kick-off.