Everton Under-18s produced an impressive performance to beat Leeds United 3-0 in an entertaining U18 Premier League (North) clash at USM Finch Farm on Tuesday night.
First-half goals from Lewis Dobbin and skipper Sean McAllister put the young Toffees in the driving seat at half-time.
A wonderful strike from Tom Cannon early in the second half secured a second successive 3-0 victory for Paul Tait’s side, who beat Derby County by the same scoreline last time out.
Dobbin threatened for the Blues in the opening minute of the match when he curled a long-range effort just wide.
Charlie Allen nearly opened the scoring for the visitors on 15 minutes. The Leeds midfielder forced his way into the Everton penalty area before firing his effort low and hard towards goal. Zan-Luk Leban was equal to it, though, and got down well to save with his feet.
Dobbin came close for a second time when his looping header bounced off the top of the Leeds crossbar.
But it was third time lucky for the tricky forward in the 25th minute. McAllister advanced down the left-hand side before picking out Dobbin at the far post. This time he made no mistake and calmly slotted home past the helpless Harry Christy.
Leeds came close to equalising minutes before half-time. Jimiel Chikukwa found space inside the Everton penalty area but his thunderous effort clattered off the crossbar.
Leban appeared to get a slight touch on the ball, in which case it was a fantastic save to divert it onto the woodwork.
However, the impressive McAllister doubled the Toffees lead right on the stroke of half-time.
The midfielder picked up the ball midway inside the Leeds half. He progressed forward and struck his effort low from 20 yards into the bottom corner.
The young Blues extended their lead eight minutes into the second half. Cannon got on the ball on the edge of the Leeds penalty area, shifted it out of his feet before hitting a sumptuous strike into the top corner with his right foot.
Ethan Kachosa came close to pulling one back immediately for the away side, but his fizzing low cross was somehow turned away on the line by Leban after a scrappy goal-mouth scramble.
Charlie Whitaker nearly added a fourth for Everton, but his deflected effort was clawed behind magnificently by Christy.
Leeds fought hard to pull one back in the second half, but they couldn’t find a way through the stubborn Everton defence.
Sam Leverett almost added a consolation with 10 minutes to go, but his first-time volley from 12 yards was parried away by Leban.