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Thursday 28 July 2016, 19:45 Att 330
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  • Skelmersdale United
  • Everton U23
Everton Under-23s progressed to the Liverpool Senior Cup final after a 4-0 win over Skelmersdale United at the Messenger Express Stadium.

Two goals in four first-half minutes - an own goal and a superb solo effort from Antony Evans - set the young Blues on their way.

Summer signing Bassala Sambou then came off the bench to score his first goal in an Everton shirt, turning home from close range to extend the advantage, before Luke Garbutt’s deflected free-kick sealed a comfortable victory late on.

David Unsworth’s side, who thrashed Widnes 8-0 in the quarter-finals, will now face the winner of Prescot Cables and Litherland Remyca for the regional trophy.

Fresh from lifting the SuperCupNI following wins over Espanyol and Celtic last week, the Under-23s started brightly and created the first opening with the contest barely five minutes old.

Ryan Ledson, making his first pre-season appearance at club level after spending the first half of the summer with England Under-19s at the European Championships, broke up an attack and found Conor McAleny, who stung the palms of the United goalkeeper with a vicious 20-yard drive.

Half chances continued to come and go as the half wore on, until the young Blues finally got the breakthrough four minutes before interval.

Garbutt latched on to Harry Charsley’s through ball into the left channel and provided an inviting cross that was turned home via Skelmersdale defender Ian Rowlands.

Four minutes later, the Toffees had a second courtesy of a superb solo effort from Evans.

The Fazakerley-born forward picked up the ball on the halfway line before racing past his marker and applying a cool, side-footed finish into the bottom right corner of the net.

Sambou and David Henen were introduced for the second half and the duo came close to making an instant impact - but the former could only fire over from six yards after good work by Henen down the right flank.

Sambou eventually got his goal with 20 minutes remaining, tapping in Evans’ cross from close range.

And there was time for a fourth in the dying minutes as Garbutt’s free-kick deflected off the wall and into the corner after Courtney Duffus was fouled 20 yards out.

Everton Under-23s: Griffiths, Jones (c), Garbutt, Baningime, Feeney, Foulds, Charsley (Henen, 45), Ledson, Dyson (Sambou, 45), Evans, McAleny (C. Duffus, 64).
Unused substitutes: Gray, Robinson.