Everton Under-18s returned to winning ways with a 3-2 win over Blackburn Rovers at USM Finch Farm on Saturday morning.
The hosts got off to the perfect start on 17 minutes when Stephen Duke-McKenna and Ellis Simms combined before the latter released Nathan Moore down the left. Moore swung in a pinpoint cross for the onrushing Simms to head the ball into the far corner of the net.
Two minutes later and the young Blues had a second. Tom Warren broke clear down the right before checking back inside and finding Duke-McKenna. The Blues number 11 then fed Korede Adedoyin who finished right-footed into the bottom corner of the net.
In the second half first, Hansen denied Blackburn before both Tom Scully and Tom Warren saw long-range efforts comfortably dealt with by their goalkeeper.
But with 17 minutes remaining, Rovers handed themselves a lifeline. Hansen's clearance was seized on and crossed for a first-time finish past the helpless Hansen. And with eight minutes remaining, Rovers got the leveller. A corner was not cleared and when the ball was crossed back into the box, it was flicked into the bottom corner of the Everton net.
To their credit, though, Everton rallied and with five minutes to go, Warren's cross was only half cleared with the ball falling to substitute Pawel Zuk, who drilled a shot into the bottom corner.
Rovers twice went close to levelling in the closing stages, only for Hansen to deny them and secure the victory.
Everton U18s: Hansen, Moore, Warnock, McKeown, Richards, Collins [Y], Adedoyin (46' Zuk), Warren, Simms (82' Anderson), Scully, Duke-McKenna.
Subs not used: Murphy, Stanley, Ball.
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