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.

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!

About The Author

Becki Cookson

LJMU Journalism graduate & aspiring sports journalist Writer for GrandOldTeam