It was a 20th birthday to remember for Under-23s forward Antony Evans on Sunday as he hit his third goal of the season in the young Blues’ 6-0 success against Tottenham Hotspur.
The youngster played an integral role in what boss David Unsworth described as a “close to perfect display” from his charges at Goodison Park.
The victory sent the Toffees top of the Premier League 2 table, where they lead Arsenal and Chelsea on goal difference.
Evans struck the Toffees' fourth against Spurs – slotting home at the Howard Kendall Gwladys Street after a cutback from rampaging left-back Brendan Galloway.
The skilful forward says he is determined to build on his impressive start to the campaign and help the young Blues mount a challenge for the Premier League 2 title.
“It was perfect way to start my birthday – winning and scoring, and at Goodison as well,” he said.
“I think from the first whistle to the final whistle, we were the better team. Everyone was better than their opponent in their position and when you do that, most of the time you end up winning, and we did comfortably.
“Personally, I’ve scored three goals now and had a better start than last season. I want to kick on from here and get more goals.
“As a team, we’re a good bunch of lads and we want to get that title again. We’re together every day. We’re with the lads more than we are at home!
“We’re all best mates and when that happens, it always shows out there on the pitch. I think it did against Spurs.”
Evans had predominantly played on the right-hand side of midfield so far this team, but was deployed in a number 10 role against Tottenham, linking up with powerful striker Fraser Hornby.
The Liverpool-born forward – who joined Everton aged nine - revealed he relished the opportunity to drive at the heart of the opposition defence.
“It’s natural for me, playing as a number 10, a bit higher up the pitch,” he said.
“It’s harder to get the ball sometimes, because you have the deep-lying midfielder trying to get mark you. But once you get past him and turned, there’s nothing betting for me than running at the defenders, seeing runs, sliding people in and getting shots off.”
Next up for Evans and the Under-23s is a Checkatrade Trophy clash with League One side Bradford City at Valley Parade on Tuesday night.
Evans had a spell on loan at League Two outfit Morecambe in the 2016-17 season, where he played 14 games and scored two goals.
He insists the chance for the Blues’ emerging talents to test themselves against senior opposition will prove invaluable.
“We’re playing a League One first team, you don’t get chances like that very often,” he explained.
“To play at Under-23 level and make that step, it is an eye-opener. I went on loan to League Two and you certainly learn a few things.
“For some of the lads who haven’t been on loan, it can be a bit of a shock, but you’ve got to take it in your stride. Hopefully we can put in a good performance.”