Seamus Coleman played 60 minutes on his comeback as Everton Under-23s secured a 3-0 win over Portsmouth at Goodison Park.
The right-back made his first appearance since breaking his leg in a World Cup qualifier for the Republic of Ireland against Wales back in March 2017. But he showed no ill effects in completing an hour before making way for Nathangelo Markelo.
Bu that point, the young Blues were two goals to the good thanks to Nathan Broadhead’s tidy finish and a stunning dipping strike from Bassala Sambou.
Sambou added his second later in the second half to secure a win that boosts Everton’s chances of reaching the knockout rounds of the Premier League Cup.
The Toffees assumed early control of the tie, with Antony Evans taking the opening shot at goal. A neat flowing move ended with the young forward looking to try and curl a left-footed shot into the far corner. But Bass in the Pompey goal was down low to make the save.
Evans then lashed wide from a narrow angle as the Blues continued to enjoy their early dominance, David Unsworth a satisfied observer on the touchline.
Hornby fired wide before the hosts took the lead via a cool finish from Broadhead, who was in the right place at the right time to shoot low past Bass following a flowing move from Everton.
It finished 1-0 at the end of the first half, but the second period was just minutes old when Sambou bent a terrific shot over Bass and into the net to double the hosts’ lead.
Morgan Feeney glanced a header inches wide from a Luke Garbutt as the Toffees continued to hunt goals.
Coleman then clipped a deep cross into a crowded box for Fraser Hornby to nod straight at Bass, with Sambou going close seconds later.
That would be the right-back’s final contribution as he was withdrawn on the hour, with Markelo his replacement.
Still Everton came forward in search of a third - Evans sent a dipping shot on target only for Bass to tip is over.
But Sambou made sure of the victory when adding his second of the night on 67 minutes, interpreting a pass out from Bass to steer the ball low past the stranded Pompey goalkeeper.
Garbutt and Evans could have added additional gloss to the scoreline with efforts late on but the Blues comfortably saw out the remainder of the game to secure a result that moves them up to second in their Premier League Cup group.