Nathan Patterson marked his first Everton appearance with an assist for Lewis Dobbin’s decisive goal as the Blues’ Under-23 side beat high-flying Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 at Southport FC on Monday night.
Scotland international Patterson – who joined Everton from Glasgow Rangers earlier this month – supplied a pinpoint cross which Dobbin met with a bullet header to put the Toffees in front on the stroke of half-time.
Patterson’s athleticism and quality in possession impressed as he completed 60 minutes of the clash, with the victory seeing David Unsworth’s side stretch their unbeaten run to seven matches.
Centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite also played for an hour of the Premier League 2 encounter, delivering an assured display to help the young Blues record a clean sheet against a free-scoring Tottenham team who sit third in the table, five places above Everton.
Spurs started the game brightly and enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in the game’s opening stages.
Everton strike duo Dobbin and Ellis Simms posed a consistent threat, though, and Simms had the Blues’ first opportunity on 20 minutes.
The attacker, who turned 21 earlier this month, used his strength and pace to drive into the Tottenham penalty area before firing a shot at goal, which Spurs keeper Josh Oluwayemi did well to keep out.
Everton stopper Harry Tyrer was then forced into action, making a terrific double save from Tottenham frontman Dane Scarlett.
The north London side then had another chance when Alfie Devine volleyed at goal, but Tyrer was well positioned again to make the stop.
Everton made the breakthrough just one minute before half-time, with Patterson heavily involved in a flowing team move.
The right-back played a clever reverse pass to Stanley Mills, who darted forward before laying the ball back to the Scotsman, who had continued his run on the right flank.
Patterson duly flighted in superb first-time centre, which Dobbin expertly headed home.
Everton gained greater control of the match in the second half and Branthwaite thought he had doubled the Blues’ lead, only for Oluwayemi to make an excellent save from his header.
The Toffees came even closer 10 minutes from time when Lewis Warrington struck the post with a fine effort.
Spurs applied some pressure in the game’s final stages, with Max Robson’s goalbound header on 86 minutes blocked by Reece Welch, but Everton held out to secure maximum points.