Winger Josh Bowler scored his first Everton goal as the Blues’ Under-23s and Accrington Stanley shared six goals in an entertaining friendly at the Wham Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
It was an end-to-end contest in the constant driving rain as Everton fell behind early on, fought back to lead at half-time, then allowed Accrington to take the lead again before finally making it 3-3 late on.
Young Blues captain David Henen squandered a one-on-one opportunity in the first minute and, 60 seconds later, the League Two outfit took the lead when Billy Kee converted a penalty.
Accrington preserved their advantage until the closing stages of the first half. On 42 minutes, left-back Antonee Robinson, who gave another impressive performance, provided the cross from which Henen produced a neat finish to level.
On the stroke of half-time Anton Donkor’s low centre was nicely converted by Bowler, who signed from Queens Park Rangers earlier this month, to send David Unsworth’s side into the break with a 2-1 lead.
Henen almost increased the advantage early in the second half but his fiercely-struck shot was well parried by goalkeeper Aaron Chapman.
Unsworth sent on nine of his substitutes just after the hour mark but it was Accrington who scored next with a Zehn Mohammed header.
The home side, who introduced former Everton reserve players Mark Hughes and Scott Brown as second-half replacements, had their tails up at this stage and a header from central defender Omar Deckles cannoned off the helpless Harry Charsley and scrambled over the line to make it 3-2 in the 64th
To their huge credit, Everton kept plugging away and played some attractive football against a more experienced side. Callum Dyson fired just over the bar from outside the box, before Danny Bramall grabbed the equaliser with another precise finish in the 72nd
It was nothing less than the young Blues deserved and they now head out to La Manga on Sunday for the next phase of their pre-season campaign.