Everton Blitz Southampton at St Mary's

Everton Under-23s ran out convincing 5-0 winners against Southampton in their penultimate Premier League 2 game of the season.

There were five different goalscorers and the division’s bottom-placed side were no match for David Unsworth’s impressive youngsters, who will have enjoyed their runout at St Mary’s Stadium.

The tone was set as early as the second minute, with Nathan Broadhead continuing his terrific form in front of goal with a fine opener.

Charlie Whitaker and Stan Mills continued a dominant first-half display with goals on 19 and 42 minutes, the latter coming after the Saints lost defender Allan Tchaptchet following two bookable offences on the outstanding Whitaker.

The Blues’ offensive superiority continued after the break with substitutes Sean McAllister (pictured) and Tom Cannon getting in on the act on 67 and 79 minutes, respectively.

And there could have been more as Everton revelled in their surroundings with an eye-catching attacking performance which was backed up by a defensive display that produced a welcome clean sheet.

The win takes the Blues up to fifth in the table, with both sides set to do it all over again in five days time.

Everton got off to a flying start, with Broadhead firing them ahead inside two minutes.

Rhys Hughes picked out the run of the Welshman with a pinpoint pass from the left and the frontman raced down on goal before rifling his effort past Southampton keeper Harry Lewis at his near post for his 11th goal of the campaign.

It was the ideal start for the Blues and with confidence clearly high their forward play continued to cause the hosts problems.

Hughes had the chance to add a goal to his early assist but dragged wide from the edge of the Saints box.

Whitaker's attempt at the outrageous nearly paid dividends when he narrowly missed with an audacious overhead-kick, following a powerful run from right-back Kyle John.

Meanwhile, Broadhead's surging run from deep in his own half and one-two with Whitaker deserved more than a block that ended the move.

All that came within the opening 10 minutes, with a Nathan Tella effort, smartly saved by Harry Tyrer, all the hosts could muster in that dominant spell.

Southampton thought they had earned a penalty and a chance to get back on level terms on 14 minutes after a foul by Con Ouzounidis on Tella.

Yet that decision was soon overturned by an offside decision – and the Saints' disappointment was compounded when Whitaker scored Everton's second with a nonchalant chipped effort that totally bamboozled Lewis on 19 minutes.

That goal came from another scorching run from John down the right - and was just reward for Everton's early eye-catching display.

Tyrer was called into action to deny Tella, again, and Alex Jankewitz.

However, it was the Blues who continued to pose the greatest threat, with Hughes and Mills seeing efforts blocked.

A third was on its way - it was only a matter of time.

And Everton's superiority strengthened when Southampton centre-back Tchaptchet saw red following a second bookable offence on Whitaker on 33 minutes.

The defender left the field with his head down – and his teammates would have felt equally disheartened when Mills added to the 10 men's problems.

On 42 minutes, Hughes kept control of the ball along the touchline and passed it back to the waiting winger, who curled a fabulous effort into the top corner of the net with his left foot.

In a bid to rescue something from the game, Southampton did their best at the start of the second half to at least register on the scoresheet, led by the experienced Dan Nlundulu.

The Blues defence were certainly being tested more, yet it was the visitors who continued to pose the greater threat.

The impressive made-in-Wales Hughes-Broadhead combination that opened the scoring nearly worked again on 64 minutes when another pinpoint pass set the latter free down the left.

Broadhead was subsequently denied by the fingertips of Lewis.

But there was nothing the home keeper could do minutes later, when the striker turned provider for Everton’s fourth goal.

McAllister and Mathew Mallon replaced Lewis Warrington and Mills following the hour mark and the former's impact was immediate following a pass from Broadhead.

The Northern Ireland youngster went one-on-one with Lewis, and kept his nerve to calmly slot the ball past the onrushing keeper.

Another substitute in Cannon, made it 5-0 within minutes of coming on.

Entering the fray on 77 minutes for Broadhead, he was celebrating 120 seconds later after angling the ball past Lewis.

The goal came from another crisp Blues move, with the hosts longing for the final whistle.

That arrived without any further Everton goals.

The team's meet again on Friday when Everton will aim to complete their campaign with back-to-back victories.