Everton Into Milk Cup Final
U15s beat Watford on penalties to set up County Antrim final.
Everton Under-15s are through to the final of the Milk Cup in Northern Ireland.
Less than 24 hours after the first-team beat Juventus on spot-kicks, the young Blues repeated the efforts of their senior colleagues to win their semi-final against Watford in a dramatic penalty shootout.
Everton looked to be heading out of the tournament after they were trailing 3-0 at half-time.
But a superb second-half rally - which included goals from George Withe, Tom Pearce and Tom Davies - saw the game decided on penalties.
And it was the Blues who held their nerve from 12 yards, with Michael Taylor scoring the winning spot-kick to ensure an excellent 3-2 shootout win.
Coach Sean Lundon told evertonfc.com: “We are pleased to get through but we were taught a good lesson at the same time. We didn’t start well and obviously found ourselves three goals down at half-time.
“But even then we felt that if we started to do what we are good at we had enough quality to get back into the game.
“At all different levels it’s been shown before that a 3-0 lead is not a done deal, so the lads have done fantastic in the second half. If the game had gone on for another five minutes I felt we would have won it.
“We have been practicing penalties, the lads kept their nerve and in the end we deserved it. I’m really proud of them.”
Everton will now meet County Antrim in the final on Friday after the Northern Ireland side ended the prospect of an all-Merseyside showdown by beating Liverpool 2-1 in the other semi-final.
“It’s going to be a tough game,” added Lundon. “They are a typical Irish side and they will test us in different ways. For us it’s all about finding a plan to overcome that.
“But the boys are really looking forward to it and hopefully we have got enough quality to win the cup.”
Log onto evertonfc.com on Friday evening for a full report of the final.