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Southampton (A) Sat 20 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Strikers Delight Stubbs

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Alan Stubbs has praised his strikers after they fired Everton Under-21s to a stunning victory against Chelsea on Monday night.

Having trailed 2-0 at the break, Hallam Hope struck a double to pull the Blues level, before teammate Chris Long bagged the winner with just seven minutes remaining.

Hope's third and fourth goals of the campaign came from two instinctive finishes, while Long reacted quickest after John Lundstram's penalty had been parried by goalkeeper Jamal Blackman.

"Hallam's goals were just goalscorers goals," Stubbs told evertontv. "He was alert, he followed one in and he closed the keeper down for the other one.

"They weren't necessarily great individual goals but they were proper poachers goals and he was nice and bright for them, which is nice to see.

"I've said to Hallam that he looks like he's going to get chances and score in every game at the moment, and as a striker that's all you wish for.

"A lot of people on a penalty just watch and are then on their heels on the edge of the box, so it was great for Chris to follow in like he did.

"Confidence-wise, he likes to score - like every other striker - and I thought in the second half his overall movement was very, very good."

As for having to lift his side off the deck, Stubbs added: "I told them at half-time that the next goal would be important and that if they got the next goal they would be right back in the game, because I felt they [Chelsea] would concede goals.

"We actually started the game quite well but we got caught for the first goal positionally, and before we knew it they'd scored a second. At that time, I thought we'd not actually done an awful lot wrong.

"But to come back from 2-0 down, whatever level you're at, is a great credit to them.

"The one thing you can't give players is character and they showed an abundance of that. That's pleasing from my point of view and they should be proud of what they did."

To see what else Stubbs had to say about the game and how his youngsters will have benefited from a run out at Goodison, watch the video above. For match highlights, click here.

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