Everton U21s 3-1 Reading U21s
Everton U21s 3 (Long 22 & 28, Browning 45) Reading U21s 1 (Tshibola 70)
Young midfielder Aaron Tshibola bagged his first goal of the season but Reading's under-21s fell victim to Everton's clinical first half display on Monday night.
In the early stages at Southport's Merseyrail Community Stadium, the Royals were swept aside by a tenacious Toffees outfit - who took the lead midway through the first 45 when striker Chris Long finished a well worked move from 10 yards out.
Six minutes later John Lundstram played a neat ball into Long, who again slotted past Reading goalkeeper Jon Henly to make it two.
It got worse just before half time when a mix up at the back allowed Everton captain Tyias Browning to capitalise to give the hosts an unassailable 3-0 advantage.
Our skipper Jake Taylor had the Royals best chance of the first half, but Toffees 'keeper Mateusz Taudul made an impressive point-blank save, while Dom Samuel also shot over the bar for us.
Martin Kuhl's men were a lot better after the interval, and were the dominant side throughout - boasting the lion's share of possession inside Everton's half. Tshibola had an effort fly agonisingly over the bar, before the midfielder did get on the scoresheet. The Royals were causing all kinds of problems from set pieces, and one eventually led to a scramble inside the Toffees six-yard box, and Tshibola was the man to toe an effort into the net.
Samuel and Gozie Ugwu both went close with chances either side of the post, but Taudul was on top form to prevent any potential comeback from Reading - despite a much improved second half display.
Our youngsters are next in action in a fortnight's time, against Fulham at Hogwood Park behind closed doors.
Everton: Taudul, McLaughlin, Garbutt, Browning, Duffy, Pennington, Grant, Lumdstram, Hope, Long, Kenny.
Subs: Springthorpe, Touray, Ledson, Jones, Green.
Reading: Henly; Stacey, Griffin, Partridge, Sweeney (McLennan 71); Kuhl (Fosu 68), Taylor (C), Tshibola, D'Ath (Murombedzi 85); Samuel, Ugwu.
Subs not used: Moore, Shaughnessy.