Everton Under-18s 1 (C. Duffus 49)
Stoke City Under-18s 0
Stoke City’s Under-18s failed to secured back-to-back victories after they slipped to a narrow 1-0 defeat away to Everton on Saturday morning.
The Potters, who progressed to the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup on Monday evening, succumbed to an early second half header from Courtney Duffus.
John Perkins’ side laid siege to the Everton goal for the final half hour in the hope of drawing level but came up against a stubborn Blues defence who gave little away.
It was the hosts who had the first opportunity of the match after six minutes when George Green found space just outside the area before unleashing a ferocious drive which Daniel Gyollai expertly pushed behind for a corner.
City responded with a chance of their own minutes later when good link up play between Joel Taylor and Joe Hulme released the latter down the left, before the defender pulled the ball back to Yusuf Coban who saw his shot blocked as it headed for the bottom corner.
Everton coped better with the blustery conditions as the half wore on and went close through lively duo Tyrone Duffus and Green but City’s ‘keeper and back four stayed resolute to thwart the Blues.
Stoke always remained a threat on the counter attack with the pace of Joel Taylor and Charles Weston-Hayles, and it was the former who went close to putting the visitors ahead on 41 minutes when he turned on the edge-of-the-area and forced a good save from Russell Griffiths.
It was Kevin Sheedy’s side who finished the first half in the ascendancy, though, as Green saw a free-kick from the corner of the box fly just over before the playmaker was denied once more by Gyollai who got a strong left hand to his 25-yard effort.
Everton carried their superiority into the second period and within four minutes of the restart they broke the deadlock. Callum Dyson stood the ball up to Courtney Duffus at the far post and the powerful forward headed past substitute ‘keeper Dominic Kurasik.
City had a golden opportunity to level matters seven minutes later when Eddy Lecygne played the ball over the Everton defence for Weston-Hayles to run onto, but the forward lifted his shot over the crossbar with the keeper stranded.
Stoke pushed hard for an equaliser and dominated the final half hour of the game but found it difficult to unlock the Blues’ backline as Lewis Banks twice had efforts blocked inside the box before Taylor’s last minute shot was tipped over by Griffiths.
Everton: Griffiths, Jones (c), Thorniley, Connolly, Langton, Shannon, Dyson, Charsley, C. Duffus, T.Duffus, Green (Dowell 64). Subs not used: Hewelt, Adelson, Newell, Davies.
Stoke City: Gyollai (Kurasik 46), Banks, Strong (Pickerill), Lecygne (c) (Shields 64), Edwards, Hulme, Weston-Hayles, Monlouis, Coban, Shenton, Taylor. Subs not used: Rene-Pringle, Douglas.