Conor McAleny´s double secured three points for the Under 21´s moving them up three places to 11th in the table.
Everton´s Under 21´s moved into the top half of the league table with a deserved 2-0 win over Stoke City at the Merseyrail Community Stadium.
Two well-taken goals from McAleny in either half provided the evidence that the striker is getting back to his best after recovering from a broken leg.
His first saw him bend a superb 20-yard strike into the top corner not long before half-time and then sealed the victory 13 minutes from time after breaking clear from the Stoke defence and slotting the ball past the keeper.
Alan Stubbs´ side featured eight players with first-team experience including Apostolos Vellios, Magaye Gueye and John Lundstram – their quality and experience clearly just too much for their opponents. There was also a return for keeper Mateusz Taudul after spending four months on the sidelines with a shoulder injury.
The result means the side have now recorded back-to-back wins and are perfectly poised to attack the teams above them in the table with three games in hand.
McAleny´s inch-perfect 20-yard effort flew into the top corner of the net, leaving Stoke keeper Daniel Bachmann’s with absolutely no chance.
Everton´s lead thoroughly deserved as well as the they dominated the game up until the goal with John Lundstram playing a vital role in midfield on his first appearance since returning from his loan spell at Yeovil.
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Eddy Lecygne came close to making the score level for the Potters before the break when he curled a free-kick into the side-netting from outside of the box.
Shortly before half-time, Vellios found himself in a good position but was unable to direct his shot on target, with the ball going narrowly wide of the left-hand post.
Everton’s dominance continued into the second half as they pressed forward to extend their advantage.
The three points were sealed on 77 minutes after Lundstram played a ball behind the Stoke defence, allowing McAleny to get goal-side and strike the ball past Bachmann into the net. From then on Everton saw the game out comfortably in front of Graeme Jones, Duncan Ferguson and Dennis Lawrence – who were all watching from the stands.
With Everton in need of another striker, should the likes of McAleny be given a chance in the first-team? What do you think Blues? Share your thoughts!