Everton U18s v Fulham U18s
Everton Under-18s' five-match winning streak came to an end as they were beaten by the odd goal in three against Fulham at Finch Farm.
Just a day-and-a-half after their dramatic extra-time FA Youth Cup victory over Port Vale, Kevin Sheedy's team couldn't produce a repeat result in the Academy Elite Group clash with the Cottagers.
The Blues were trailing 2-0 entering the final quarter of the game, and although George Waring halved the deficit, Everton's scholars were unable to claw themselves back level and earn a point.
Coach Sheedy said: "We played on a really heavy pitch against Port Vale on Thursday and that really sapped the players' legs. Unfortunately it proved to be a game too far.
"Not many teams will play a game on a Thursday and Saturday like we did. In the Europa League, if you play on a Thursday your league game is put back to a Sunday.
"We couldn't fault the players' efforts as they were outstanding and played really well.
"We started the game lively against a very good Fulham side. In the first half we hit the post and Harry Charsley had a good chance from a corner.
"Fulham eventually played their way into it and after half-time we conceded a very sloppy goal. Their second, a penalty, was another soft goal.
“We got ourselves back into it with 15 minutes to go when George Waring scored an excellent goal following a move down the right-hand side.
“We continued playing like we had all season. We didn’t resort to going long ball and kept to our principles.
“Just on the day, the quality wasn’t there with the final ball, but the effort and commitment was first class. What cost in the end was playing two games in close proximity.
“Every player gave 110 per cent commitment and they showed what it means to them when they pull on the blue Everton shirt. We will dust ourselves down, regroup and look forward to the next game.”