Thierry Small struck two late goals as Everton Under-18s recovered from 2-0 down to win a thrilling encounter 3-2 against 10-man Burnley and extend their unbeaten start to the season to a fourth game.
Tom Cannon (pictured) began the fightback with a 70th-minute penalty after Sam Unwin and Joe McGlynn struck either side of half-time for the hosts.
Burnley started well and had the first half-chance of the game just minutes in. Everton failed to clear a corner and Zan-Luk Leban was forced into an acrobatic save to tip over the bar.
The Clarets had Paul Tait’s side pinned back for most of the opening 15 minutes, having a succession of set-pieces. Everton’s defence dealt with the threats well, though.
Luke Butterfield had the Blues’ first shot of the game after 19 minutes. However, his shot was well wide of Sam Waller’s far post.
Burnley made the most of their decent start, opening the scoring just before the half-hour mark. Leban pulled off a fantastic save at the front post but couldn’t stop Unwin burying the rebound.
Tony Phillskirk’s side could have doubled their lead moments later but Everton keeper Leban denied McGlynn at his near post post.
Waller was forced into his first save of the game by Butterfield, the Burnley goalkeeper denying a shot down to his right with Everton failing to capitalise on the resulting scramble.
Small repeatedly got forward from left-back and had a chance to equalise minutes before half-time but Waller matched the attempt again.
Burnley doubled their advantage one minute into the second half through McGlynn, making amends for his earlier miss. He beat multiple Everton defenders before dispatching into the top corner.
The referee reduced Burnley to 10 men 20 minutes into the second half. Matty Carson punished for a challenge on Charlie Whitaker.
Cannon halved the deficit from the spot, the same player having struck the post with an effort moments earlier.
Katia Kouyate could have levelled the score as the game entered the last 10 minutes but his effort was parried by Waller.
Everton equalised with fewer than five minutes remaining. Again, Waller denied the Blues but Small was there to finish the rebound.
The swashbuckling full-back won the game for Everton in added time, advancing onto a ball on the the edge of the box to unleash a drive past Waller.
Everton will bid to maintain their terrific start when Leeds United visit USM Finch Farm in a fortnight.