home team
Mampala (1', 1') Collins (41', 42')
2
Walker (49', 49')
1
away team
Mampala (1', 1') Collins (41', 42')
Walker (49', 49')
Saturday 09 September 2017, 12:30 Finch Farm
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  • Everton U18
  • Mampala 1'
    Mampala 1'
  • Collins 41'
    Collins 42'
  • Adedoyin 74'
  • Middlesbrough U18
  • Walker 49'
    Walker 49'
Report
Everton Under-18s coach Paul Tait expressed his delight after first-half goals from Manasse Mampala and Michael Collins handed his side a deserved 2-1 win over Middlesbrough at USM Finch Farm. 

Fresh from an emphatic 7-1 victory away at West Bromwich Albion in their last outing, the young Blues continued their fine form here, with a dominant display against their North East counterparts.  


The young Blues couldn't have got off to a better start either, as with less than a minute on the clock Tait's side broke the deadlock. 

Alex Denny pounced on a loose ball before finding Stephen Duke-McKenna, whose defence-splitting pass released Mampala to finish first time into the far corner of the net. 

Everton might have been handed a chance to double their advantage soon after but saw their appeals for a penalty turned down. Anthony Gordon drove into the Boro box and, just as the midfielder seemed set to let fly, he was sent tumbling by Nathan Guru, only for the referee to award a corner. 

Tait's side continued to dominate proceedings and went close again when Duke-McKenna released Gordon, who saw his effort blocked by Zach Hemming in the visitors’ goal. 

Gordon then turned provider, the Blues' number 10 crossing for the unmarked Denny, who headed over from 10 yards out. 

But three minutes before the interval, the hosts would get the second goal their dominance deserved. 

Duke-McKenna swung in a lovely, arced corner from the right and it was powerfully headed home by Blues centre-back Collins at the near post. 

Middlesbrough’s best chance of the first half came in stoppage time. Connor Malley and Liam Cooke combined before the latter teed up Kian Spence, who curled just over from the edge of the box. 

Four minutes into the second half, the visitors did reduce the deficit as Stephen Walker latched onto Malley's through ball before finishing past Joe Hilton. 

Despite the set-back, Tait's side rallied well and went close to restoring their two-goal cushion when Gordon and Duke-McKenna combined down the right, before the latter's cross was turned over by Mampala. 

The Blues continued to press for a third, with Sid Kerr firing over from the edge of the box, before Hemming denied McKenna with a superb save. 

The right-winger latched onto the impressive Gordon's through ball but his low-drive was superbly tipped on to the post by the Boro keeper.

"I'm absolutely delighted with the three points,” Tait told evertonfc.com.  

"The first-half was by far the best we've played this season, both individually and as a team. 

"We spoke at half-time about not letting them back in the game as 2-0 can be a difficult scoreline. But we've come out and got caught on the counter, which is disappointing from our perspective.

"However, the way we then saw the game out in the second period was fantastic. I’m absolutely delighted."

Next up for the young Blues is the small matter of a mini Merseyside derby away at Liverpool on Friday 22 September. 

Everton: Hilton, Richards, Moore, Collins, Ouzounidis, Denny, Duke-McKenna, Kerr, Mampala (Adedoyin), Gordon (Simms),  Anderson (Scully). 

Substitutes not used: Johnson, Zulk.

Middlesbrough: Hemming, Hood, Dale, Spence, Guru, Wood-Gordon, Cooke, Dodds (Watts), O'Neill, Malley, Walker. 

Substitutes not used: Jones, Robinson, Wearne, Hackney.