Simms And Onyango Strike As Young Blues Defeat Chelsea

Jarrad Branthwaite made his return to action as Everton Under-23s defeated Chelsea 2-0 in the Premier League 2 at Southport FC on Sunday.

Ellis Simms broke the deadlock on 55 minutes when he pounced on a loose ball six yards from goal.

Tyler Onyango then secured the points 12 minutes later with a smart left-footed finish after a clinical break from Anthony Gordon.

David Unsworth had a strong squad at his disposal for the clash with the reigning Premier League 2 champions, with first-team faces Niels Nkounkou and Gordon available to play in front of Portuguese stopper João Virgínia.

Branthwaite also featured for the first time since September after going off with an ankle injury inside 25 minutes of Everton’s Carabao Cup victory over Salford City.

There was very little separating the sides after 45 minutes, with Gordon’s right-footed effort, that flicked off the top of the crossbar, after just two minutes the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock.

Everton stepped it up after the restart, and within 10 minutes took the game away from Chelsea’s grasp as Simms slotted home his sixth goal in as many games.

Nathan Broadhead forced the issue with a surging run, and when the ball rolled loose Simms was well placed to clinically poke home.

Everton doubled their advantage 12 minutes later when Gordon seized possession inside his own half, breezed forward and then showed composed quality to feed Onyango for his first goal of the season.

The result sees Unsworth's side return to winning ways in the Premier League 2, and move to within two points of third-place Chelsea.