Report by Mike Taylor
Everton Under-18s secured their place in the end of season league final with a 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park on Sunday evening.
Substitute Michael Donohue’s second-half strike was enough to clinch it for the Blues in an evenly-contested semi-final.
Kevin Sheedy’s side will now meet Manchester City in the final of this year’s competition.
The first opportunity of the game went to the visitors as William Miller waltzed his way through the Blues’ backline and found teammate Emmanuel Sonupe.
But the Spurs winger could only blaze his shot high over the crossbar under pressure from Jordan Thorniley.
The Blues responded with neat build-up play around the Spurs penalty area, but the eventual chance fell to Joe Williams who could only scuff his effort wide from long range.
Everton went close again when Delial Brewster and Gethin Jones linked well down the right, however the latter’s deep cross was volleyed over by Calum Dyson from eight-yards.
The contest remained finely-poised and the visitors threatened to break the deadlock before half-time with a counter-attacking move.
Shayon Harrison latched on to a superb cross-field ball to launch an attack down the Blues’ left. The striker’s cut back found full-back Kyle Walker-Peters who forced a smart save from Everton stopper Russell Griffiths.
Tottenham continued to press after the break as Thorniley denied Harrison with an excellent last-ditch sliding challenge.
But it was by no means one-way traffic as the young Blues manufactured a chance of their own on the hour-mark after an inviting whipped ball from the right.
Courtney Duffus found himself unmarked in the area but could not get enough on his header to trouble Harry Voss in the Spurs goal.
Controversy followed as the Toffees thought they had opened the scoring when substitute George Green’s free-kick was met by a sea of Blues shirts in the six-yard area.
The ball was palmed onto the woodwork by Voss, but the referee remained unmoved despite appeals that the ball had crossed the line.
The deadlock was eventually broken on 75 minutes with another elegant move down Everton’s right flank.
Substitute Michael Donohue combined well with Jones and continued his run into the penalty area to calmly slot past Voss into the bottom right corner of the Gwladys Street net.
Spurs pushed for a winner in the closing stages and came close when a blocked effort fell kindly for Anton Walkes just inside the Everton area.
The unmarked Spurs substitute had time to set himself before placing the ball just over with the goal at his mercy.
A venue and date for the final will be announced on evertonfc.com in due course.