Everton Yth v Aston Villa Yth
A fantastic late goal by Conor McAleny gave Everton a 3-2 victory in the FA Premier League semi-final play-off at Finch Farm.
The contest appeared to be heading for extra-time when McAleny created space for himself twenty-yards from goal before unleashing a terrific shot that flashed past the keeper into the top corner of the net.
It was just about what the young Blues deserved from an enthralling match.
Coach Neil Dewsnip had to reshuffle his pack early in the game when Johann Hammar was forced off with a knee injury. Jake Bidwell moved into the centre of defence, where he had a fine game alongside Eric Dier.
Villa drew first blood in the 23rd minute when Graham Burke fired past Adam Davies but parity was restored just six minutes later when Thomas Donegan chased a long punt forward and kept his composure to push the ball past the Villa keeper Calum Barrett before slamming it into the net.
Everton continued to press and took the lead in the 39th minute when Gerard Kinsella found the net with a well-placed right foot shot from 12 yards.
The second period was just as exciting with both sides pushing forward at every opportunity.
Villa substitute Malcolm Melvin should have equalised early in the second period but he headed over from an unmarked position six yards from goal.
At the other end, McAleny had the beating of the Villa rearguard but after skipping past two challenges in the 50th minute he produced a weak finish that Barrett comfortably smothered.
Villa drew level with twenty minutes to go through another substitute, Michael Drennan, who took advantage of some hesitant Everton defending before lifting the ball over Davies.
It was anybody's game now with chances at both ends. Ebby Nelson-Addy wasn't far away with a fine effort from distance and McAleny ran through the Villa defence again before feeding Anton Forrester who shot straight at Barrett.
Everton, and McAleny, were not to be denied though and that wonder goal five minutes from time means that the Blues will now face either Fulham or Sunderland in the national final.