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Finch Farm | 1st March 2014 11:00

Everton Under-18s v Manchester City

Goals from Tom Davies and Arlen Birch saw Everton Under-18s come from behind to leapfrog Manchester City and move into top spot in the Northern Premier League on Saturday.

Kevin Sheedy's side had trailed to an early Oliver Ntcham strike but recovered brilliantly to take all three points from their top-of-the-table clash.

A frantic start at Finch Farm saw the visitors in the ascendancy in the opening exchanges and their pressure told after just six minutes.  

A slip from Curtis Langton on the edge of the box was quickly seized upon by Ntcham and the young midfielder made no mistake in emphatically slamming the ball past Russell Griffiths in the Everton goal.

The lead, however, was to be short-lived as the Blues hit back just three minutes later to equalise with their first real opening.

Calum Dyson's whipped cross from the right found Tyrone Duffus at the back post and the midfielder's headed knock-down was tapped home by Davies.

City continued to press and almost regained their lead with a wonderstrike soon after. A cross from left-back Jose Angelino appeared to be well cleared by the head of Langton, but City midfielder Jack Byrne unleashed a rasping 25-yard volley which required an athletic diving stop from Griffiths to keep the scores level.

But Everton began to grow into the half and exerted some prolonged periods of pressure of their own.

A surging run from the tireless Delial Brewster found Dyson down the right, but his chipped effort sailed agonisingly over the crossbar with goalkeeper Billy O'Brien well beaten.

An end-to-end second period began with City coming close to doubling their advantage straight from the kick-off.

A flowing move fell to the feet of Ntcham, who was denied a second goal of the morning by the outstretched leg of Griffiths. The rebound was thumped well wide by Denziel Boadu.

Again, Sheedy's team turned the tide and looked the more likely to grab a winner as the half went on.

And so they did on 71 minutes, substitute Birch curling a sublime left-footed effort into the far corner from 15-yards with his very first touch.

The young Citizens pressed in the final moments of the contest, but man of the moment Birch blocked their best chance - a close-range effort from Brandon Barker - to secure a precious win for the hosts.

By Mike Taylor

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