WATCH: Table-Topping Under-18s Hit Six Past Blackburn

by Peter Lennox
@Everton

Paul Tait said his Under-18s side “played like a proper Everton team” after they maintained their 100-per-cent record with a thumping 6-0 win at Blackburn Rovers.

In-form striker Ellis Simms hit four goals to take his tally to eight already this season, while Mackenzie Hunt and Korede Adedoyin also got on the scoresheet as the Toffees ran riot.

Everton sit top of the U18 Premier League North table, three points ahead of Liverpool in second place.

While the scoreline may suggest it was a breeze for Tait’s side at Blackburn’s training complex, the Under-18s boss was eager to praise his players’ application against a hard-working Rovers side.

He added, however, his side’s vibrant attacking play “was a joy to watch”.

“It was really exciting,” he said. “I thought we played like a proper Everton team, the way we were on the front foot all game.

“At 1-0 the game was in the balance. Blackburn missed a penalty and that swung momentum a little bit. Blackburn kept pressing us but we went into another gear.

“We’ve got a bit of a run going now. It keeps confidence high but it’s our job to keep the players’ feet on the ground.”


The young Toffees got off to a flying start against Rovers, Simms putting Tait’s side in front after just four minutes with a pinpoint effort.

Hunt doubled Everton's advantage on 23 minutes, winning the ball back deep in the opposition half before lashing home from the edge of the box.

The visitors continued to dominate but had to wait until the 72nd minute for their third goal – Simms driving at the Blackburn defence before firing across the keeper and into the bottom corner.

The red-hot striker completed his hat-trick four minutes from time with a close-range finish, before Adedoyin’s powerful strike made it 5-0.

Simms still had time to net his fourth – and Everton’s sixth – finishing off an excellent team move with a neat finish at the back post.

Tait says the 17-year-old striker’s physical development over the past year has been a key factor in his impressive start to the campaign.

“He is scoring goals and his work-rate has gone up since last season,” he said. “You find the first-season scholars who progress to be second years physically change a lot.

“He is turning into a man, you see him running away from people – they can’t live with him physically. That has coincided with him scoring goals - he scored goals last season, too, of course – but he’s a real handful now.


“He can finish with both feet and we are really pleased with that. He has to improve with his head, though. That’s a work in progress because he is 6’ 3” and we’ll be looking for him to head goals in.

“But we are happy with how he is coming on.”

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