Everton Under-21s claimed a penalty shootout victory over League Two side Harrogate Town in the Papa John's Trophy to pick up the bonus point and move up to second in group A.
Stanley Mills fired Paul Tait’s young Toffees in front after 10 minutes, clinically slotting past Mark Oxley from the edge of the box after an excellent breakaway move.
Harrogate came back into the tie but the Blues were resilient and dogged, with Mills wasteful on the counter as Everton went in search of a second.
However, the hosts were patient and, eventually, their pressure took its toll, with Daniel Grant’s effort getting the better of Žan-Luk Leban on 72 minutes.
Moments later Grant was then presented with a huge chance to win it for Harrogate, but his effort from 12 yards flew wide.
The ever-lively Tom Cannon also had a chance to win it in stoppage-time for Everton, only for Oxley to deny the striker's attempt which looked set to creep into the bottom corner.
And so to penalties it went, with the Toffees determined to issue a response after being narrowly beaten on spot-kicks to Morecambe in their opening group A match in August.
Cannon got the Blues off to a flier, with Leban saving Harrogate’s opening penalty. Misses from Francis Okoronkwo and Alex Pattison meant the scoreline remained unchanged before Isaac Price handed Everton a two-goal cushion.
Mills converted a third spot-kick and then Seb Quirk added a fourth to cap off a fine performance and earn the young Blues a 4-2 penalty shootout victory.