David Unsworth highlighted the impressive contributions of Tom Davies, Kieran Dowell and Dominic Calvert-Lewin after watching his Everton Under-23 side defeat Portsmouth 3-1.
The young Blues moved two points clear at the top of Group D in the Premier League Cup, following the third round of fixtures, with another three to play.
Calvert-Lewin converted Dowell’s cross to set the Toffees on their way after quarter of an hour, before an own goal and Calum Dyson’s powerful header ensured the Pompey’s late goal was little more than a consolation.
Speaking after the clash on a chilly evening at Southport’s Merseyrail Community Stadium, Unsworth said: “It was a decent performance against a different type of football, particularly in the second half when Portsmouth were very good and caused us a few problems with the long ball.
“We scored good goals at good times, perhaps we could have scored a couple of more - but overall it was a good performance.
“I thought Kieran Dowell was back to his best in the number 10 role. I’m delighted for him because he’s stuck in there and some of his play was superb.
“Dominic [Calvert-Lewin] was a real threat as well and I thought Tom Davies was the best player on the pitch tonight. He was outstanding.”