Everton Under-18s Suffer Derby Loss

Everton lost a blood-and-thunder Under-18 Merseyside derby with all four goals scored before half-time at USM Finch Farm on Saturday.

An early Liverpool goal through Harvey Blair was ruled out by a precise Martin Sherif header in an exhilarating opening 10 minutes.

Everton were left frustrated however following another first-half strike by Blair and the visitors' third through Bobby Clark on the brink of half-time 

The away team were rewarded for a fast start when Blair opened the scoring on six minutes.

Centre back Lee Jones was able to carry the ball out from the back and pick out Blair, the Liverpool number seven drilling his shot from the right side of the box into the far corner to give his side the advantage.

Everton bounced back just four minutes later after some brilliant footwork by midfielder Jenson Metcalfe on the right wing gave him space to deliver a pinpoint cross.

Target man Sherif lost his marker and headed home from eight yards to draw manager Paul Tait's side level in a frantic start to the game.

The hosts took confidence from their equaliser and looked most dangerous when utilising wingers Isaac Heath and Owen Barker on the counter attack as the Liverpool full-backs were flying forward.

However, the away side were controlling most of the play and their high press seemed to be causing Everton problems.

A heavy defensive touch allowed Blair to steal in for his second of the match and restore Liverpool's lead on 36 minutes.

The winger dribbled into the area and smashed the ball past Zan-Luk Leban in the Everton net, the keeper left with no chance.

Liverpool made it three just before the break when James McConnell slid through Clark who slotted into the bottom corner from point-blank range.

The Blues began the second half brightly but were struggling to create any real scoring chances, with Liverpool’s pressure forcing them to play most of the game in their own half.

Tait’s youngsters continued to show desire, trying to push forward at any opportunity.

Emilio Lawrence was inches from halving the deficit on 75 minutes when the number 10 cut inside from the left flank but saw his effort smash against the far post.

And despite a concerted effort in the closing stages, Everton couldn't force the strike to set up a grandstand finish.

Tait will be hoping for a response when Everton welcome Leeds United to USM Finch Farm next Saturday.