Everton's Under-18s slipped to a 4-2 defeat away to league-leaders Bolton Wanderers on Saturday afternoon.
A very young Blues side dominated the game in terms of possession, but saw a 2-1 lead disappear as the hosts worked the counter-attack to perfection.
Despite Everton looking comfortable in the opening stages, Bolton drew first blood on 25 minutes.
The response was quick however, with the visitors finding themselves level on the half-hour mark.
Conor Grant and Jasper Johns worked the ball well down the left and Wales Under-19 midfielder Gethin Jones was able to get on the end of the resulting cross.
And soon after, the Blues took the lead. Great play by George Green released Chris Long into a one-on-one with the Wanderers' goalkeeper and the striker duly finished.
Parity was then restored on the stroke of half time, as a cleared ball was forced back into the Everton penalty area, with the net bulging moments later.
Two breakaway Bolton goals followed in the second half, including a penalty after Curtis Langton was judged to have fouled inside the box.
Coach Neil Dewsnip insisted the scoreline could appear deceiving, stating his pride at the bulk of what his side produced,.
"Our attacking play was outstanding," he told evertonfc.com.
"Defensively, we need to show a more mature attitude and less naivety at times. But we're a very, very young team and we will mature over the course of the season - there's no question about that."
"All four of the goals we conceded came from us being happily in possession. We gave the ball away in dangerous areas and paid the price.
"I was very pleased with how we controlled the game, that was a big positive as it's what we try to teach them to do. The only negative was that we created their goals for them."