Bootle v Everton Under-21s
Everton Under-21s suffered a penalty shootout defeat in the Liverpool Senior Cup at Bootle on Monday evening.
The young Blues headed to the Delta Taxis Stadium following a quarter-final victory at Marine, but were to miss out on a place in the regional tournament showpiece in the cruellest of fashions.
Chances were sparse in the 90 minutes amid blustery conditions and as the game went on, it was little surprise spot-kicks would be the only way to separate the sides.
And with Bootle in clinical form from 12 yards, saves to deny John Lundstram and Calum Dyson would ultimately swing the tie away from the Toffees.
Looking to bounce back from their 5-0 defeat at the Hawthorns on Friday, Alan Stubbs made just three changes for the semi-final tie.
Conor Grant, on his second successive start since returning from injury, went close in the opening 45 minutes when he glanced George Green's left-wing cross narrowly over.
Hallam Hope forced the Bootle goalkeeper into a flying save before the break, while Jindrich Stanek was called into action soon after the restart.
Despite both sides making substitutions in search of the win, there was to be no breakthrough in normal time and so the referee signalled for the shootout.
With Bootle netting first and Lundstram seeing his effort saved, the momentum was with the home team.
Joe Williams, Harry Charsley and Curtis Langton all replied to successful spot-kicks, before Bootle struck the post with their fifth and Ibou Touray forced sudden death.
Matthew Pennington and Ben McLaughlin both found the back of the net but substitute Dyson was denied to close the shootout at 7-6 to Bootle.
The Under-21s return to league action at home to Southampton on Monday.