Apter Strike Not Enough As Everton Edged Out At Chelsea

Matthew Apter's long-range strike was not enough as Everton Under-18s were edged out 2-1 at Chelsea in the Premier League Cup.

Leighton Baines' side got off to the perfect start in the group-stage contest at Cobham when midfielder Apter's speculative shot on 15 minutes was not dealt with by goalkeeper Max Merrick and found the back of the net.

With the one-goal advantage, Everton had a golden chance to double their lead as captain Halid Djankpata made the most of Chelsea losing possession but, clean through on goal and with just Merrick to beat, the midfielder fired wide.

That was to prove costly as the hosts levelled just before the half-hour mark when Tyrique George cut inside onto his right foot and smashed a shot past Dylan Graham.

Then, on 34 minutes, George netted what would prove to be the winner, getting on the end of Donnell McNeilly's lay-off to finish in the left-hand corner.

Baines brought on Martin Sherif and Callum Bates - who signed his first professional contract on Thursday - just after the hour mark as Everton searched for an equaliser.

But it wasn't to come, even after goalscorer George was sent off for Chelsea with 15 minutes remaining.

Everton Under-18s return to Premier League (North) action next Saturday when they travel to Stoke City (11am BST).