A first-half goal by Harry Charsley gave Everton Under 23s a 1-0 victory against Derby County at Pride Park.
A young Toffees side had to work hard for the win against a far more experienced home team, who included no less than seven players with first-team experience in their starting line-up.
Everton moved the ball well in the opening period, with Dennis Adeniran particularly eye-catching in midfield with his strong running and accurate distribution.
The Rams defence was marshalled by Jason Shackell, who has played nearly 500 games in the top two divisions of the English game, including a spell alongside Michael Keane at Burnley n the Premier League, and for all their possession Everton were restricted to long range efforts during the early exchanges.
Beni Banigime, Bassala Sambou and Adeniran all tried their luck from distance without really causing Derby keeper Jonathan Mitchell too much concern.
The Blues took the lead on 29 minutes when Harry Charsley found space inside the box before sliding home a typically neat finish.
Everton had to survive some Derby pressure in the closing minutes of the first period but the lead was almost doubled on the stroke of half-time when Adeniran curled a lovely shot just wide of the target.
Scottish international left-back Craig Forsyth should have levelled for Derby two minutes after the restart but glanced a free header past the post.
The home side showed more of an attacking threat in the second 45 minutes but Everton defended resolutely to keep 17-year old goalkeeper, Joe Hilton, largely untroubled.
Indeed, an Everton foray forward almost created a second goal when a low effort from Antony Evans skidded off the rain-saturated surface and narrowly past the upright.
This was a fine win for the Blues and just reward for the gritty determination they showed to hang onto the lead as Derby pressed for an equaliser late on.
Derby County: Mitchell, Stabana, Forsyth, Thorne (Jakobsen, 14, Zanzala, 61), Wassall, Shackell, Thomas, Guy (Bateman, 46), Bennett, Bird, Babos.
Subs not used: MacDonald, Barnes.
Everton: Hilton, Jones, Garbutt, Baningime, Feeney, Gibson, Evans, Charsley, Sambou (Donkor, 73), Adeniran (Foulds, 73), Henen (Markelo, 80).
Subs not used: Hansen, Broadhead.