Everton Under-18s boss Paul Tait saluted match-winner Luke Butterfield’s “unbelievable strike” and his team’s collective work-ethic and spirit after the young Blues’ exceptional 1-0 FA Youth Cup win at holders Manchester City.
Substitute Butterfield rifled home a first-time, left-footed effort from the edge of the area in the eighth minute of stoppage time to book Everton a fifth-round meeting at Chelsea.
The Toffees performed with resilience and quality against a highly talented City outfit, who currently sit second in the U18 Premier League (North) table.
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MOMENT EVERTON U18s STUNNED MAN CITY WITH 98th-MINUTE WINNER
While City enjoyed a greater share of possession and Everton goalkeeper Zan-Luk Leban made several fine saves, the Blues grew into the contest and carried a consistent threat on the counter-attack.
And boss Tait revealed his pride after his players’ determined display was rewarded with a stunning last-gasp winner.
“I’m really proud of the players,” he told evertonfc.com.
"They worked ever so hard. We had a tactical plan in our heads, but the lads had to carry it out. It all comes down to hard work and concentration, because City test you.
“City are a fantastic team and we had to stay in the game at times. We rode our luck a bit and Zan made some superb saves. The two centre-halves [Reece Welch and Eli Campbell] defended magnificently.
“We knew, when we got the ball, we had to keep it better than we did in the first half.
“We thought halfway through the second half we had to give them something more to think about. The game changed a bit, we got some momentum and started to look a threat.
“And then Luke Butterfield comes up with brilliant winner. What an unbelievable strike that was with his left foot!
“I’m made up for the players.”
Everton’s performance was typified by dymanic midfielder Lewis Warrington.
The 18-year-old combined energy and bite with composure and ambition in possession throughout the 90 minutes at the City Academy Stadium.
“Lewis has been with the Club for a long time – he’s a massive Evertonian,” Tait explained.
“He’s played number 10 for quite a bit of time at the Club and we’ve changed him to a number six this season.
“He’s got good body strength, he can look after the ball and he can pass and move. He was magnificent against City.”
...AND THIS IS WHAT IT MEANS! 🤩👏#EFCU18 🔵 #FAYouthCup pic.twitter.com/7GXwztB6X8— Everton Academy (@EvertonAcademy) April 3, 2021