Paul Tait saluted Ellis Simms’ “deadly finishing ability” after the prolific striker hit four goals in Everton Under-18s’ 6-0 victory over Sunderland at USM Finch Farm on Saturday
Simms has now scored a remarkable 31 goals in 20 U18 Premier League (North) matches this term.
Bobby Carroll and Korede Adedoyin also got on the scoresheet as the young Blues produced a devastating display of attacking football against the Black Cats.
The comprehensive win lifts Everton up to third in the table with just one match left to play. The Toffees will round off their league campaign at Manchester United on 27 April.
Boss Tait highlighted the variety of Simms’ finishing as a key attribute – and he believes the talented young frontman can add even more weapons to his armoury.
“Ellis can score goals with both feet, and we’ve seen that all season,” Tait told evertonfc.com.
“His finishing with his both his right and left foot has been deadly – he very rarely misses the target, which is a very good sign.
"He can get slipped in and finish, he can turn at the edge of the box and score, and he can hit them from long-range because he has got real power in his shooting.
“He combines well with the other players, too.
“What we [the coaching staff] have been working with him on is improving his heading – he is 6’ 3’’ so he’ll be expected to score goals with his head. That’s an area he wants to strengthen.
“He’s had an excellent season, though, and the Sunderland game was another great day for him.”
Simms set Everton on their way against the Black Cats, slotting home on 14 minutes after being played in on goal by Mackenzie Hunt.
The Toffees had their second six minutes later, Carroll capping off a wonderful team move with a smart finish from the edge of the area.
Everton continued to dominate, and Simms had his second just before half-time. The 18-year-old rifled a shot into the bottom corner after spinning two Sunderland defenders.
Tait’s side continued to press after the break and Adedoyin skilfully cut in from the right-hand side before nutmegging Sunderland keeper Jack Newman for Everton’s fourth.
Simms completed his hat-trick midway through the second half, getting on the end of a Michael Collins cross and guiding the ball home with his left foot.
And the in-form striker rounded off the scoring 20 minutes from time with a fine individual effort. Simms dribbled into the box before producing another clinical finish.
Manager Tait said the 6-0 scoreline was a fair reflection of his team’s superiority on the day.
“We dominated the game from start to finish,” he added. “We opened them up countless times and probably should have scored more goals.
“You could see the confidence come back when we got the first two goals and we played some exciting football. We got the ball forward and created chances.
“It was a positive day all round. We’re made up with the performance.”