Everton´s U18s are through to the Liverpool Senior Cup final, beating Bootle 6-5 in a penalty shootout after the game had ended 1-1 after extra time.
After 120 minutes of football and gridlocked at 1-1, a 6th penalty despatched by captain Matty Pennington at sudden death gave Everton the advantage as Ryan Wilkinson saw his effort saved by Polish keeper Mateusz Taudul as Everton progressed to the final of the Liverpool Senior Cup to face Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park.
A healthy crowd ascended at the Delta Taxiâ€™s stadium to contest the Liverpool senior cup semi final, Kevin Sheedy was taking the game very seriously having watched them himself only two weeks previously.
It was Bootle playing in all blue who created the first scare with a nice back heel from Michael Carberry to Wilkinsonâ€™s feet only to drive into the side netting.
Higgins â€˜s cross found Forrester who tested keeper Mawdsley on the 15 minute mark from close range but the keeperâ€™s reflexes were astonishing.
Orenuga was attacking on the right whenever possible but Everton lacked in the final third with Hope being seen as the threat having been marked by two men.
It was Hope who managed to free himself to unleash an effort on the half hour but again Mawdsley responded well by saving with his legs and bringing the crowd to react with applause.
8 minutes before the break Bootle got themselves in front with a corner from the right which caused problems in Evertonâ€™s defence with a series of scrambles upon scrambles, Anthony Miley got the final touch to give Bootle the lead.
HALF TIME BOOTLE 1 EVERTON 0
The opening 15 minutes of the 2nd half showed very little between the sides with Bootle creating a couple of chances but nothing to trouble Taudul.
Bootle were pressing and were denied a chance as Higgins made a solid block and kept Everton in the tie.
George Green was introduced and his presence gave Everton a massive lift as they got more involved.
The visitors got level on 76 minutes with a very quick break as Evertonâ€™s rearguard cleared a corner, the ball fell to George Green who ran like a greyhound covering loads of ground to unselfishly find Hope to ram the ball into the net and set the tie back on level terms once more.
The hostâ€™s never let their heads drop and were quite willing to take the game to Everton one more time with Black the number 6 making a sturdy run to reach the byline then cross only for Taudul to intervene with a comfortable catch.
Forrester was guilty of missing a glorious opportunity when he rounded the keeper and somehow managed to send the ball over the bar with extra time looking favourable.
FULL TIME BOOTLE 1- EVERTON 1
The teams went through their instructions as both managers finalised their plans with 30 minutes awaiting them and a possibility of penalties should there not be a winning goal in that time.
Jonesâ€™s shot was blocked but the rebound fell to Higgins who hammered over also Oâ€™Connor stung the hands of Taudul in the first period of extra time, Everton survived another goalmouth scramble at the end of that period as both teams remained even going into the second period.
Both teams failed to find the net in the second period with tired legs becoming evident on a pitch with long grass, so it was down to spot kicks to decide the outcome.
Both teams managed to find the net despatching all 5 penalties each. Now to sudden death.
Matty Pennington took the ball to the spot and coolly composed put Everton in the driving seat knowing a miss from the hosts would send Everton through.
Wilkinsonâ€™s penalty was hit cleanly as Taudul guessed right and send Everton into the final,.
FULL TIME BOOTLE 1- EVERTON1 AET (5-6) ON PENALTIES