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5 December 2016

Premier League Cup defeat for Blues

Pompey Reserves were beaten 3-1 by Everton in their latest Premier League Cup group stage fixture.

There were a number of first team players involved at Southport, with Tom Davies, Milan Lalkovic, Kal Naismith and Conor Chaplin all featuring.

And it was Naismith who grabbed the only goal of the night for the visitors, although it proved nothing more than a consolation.

The Toffees were first to threaten on a chilly evening in the north-west, with Kieran Dowell’s 20-yard effort palmed clear by Liam O’Brien.

There were not too many clear-cut chances at the other end and an effort from Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain was comfortably dealt with by Mateusz Hewelt in the Everton goal.

It was the hosts who broke the deadlock on 15 minutes when Dominic Calvert-Lewin collected Dowell’s pass and rounded O’Brien before slotting home.

Pompey pushed for a leveller and sent some dangerous crosses into the box, while a speculative shot from Naismith flew wide.

Ben Close finally forced Hewelt into serious action early in the second half, with the keeper getting down quickly to smother the ball.

But Everton should have then doubled their advantage when Tom Davies tripped Calvert-Lewin in the box, only for O’Brien to save Jonjoe Kenny’s penalty.

It proved to be a brief respite for the Blues, however, as just a few minutes later, the ball ricocheted around their box, hit an unfortunate Tom Davies and bounced into the net.

And the hosts added a third goal just past the hour mark when Harry Charsley stole possession and crossed for Calum Dyson to powerfully head home.

Naismith did reduce the deficit by turning in a cross-shot from Calvin Davies to spark faint hopes of a comeback.

And Close almost ensured a nervy finale for the Toffees with a header that was deflected narrowly over the crossbar.

The Blues looked the more dangerous side in the closing stages, but Lalkovic could only fire straight at Hewelt following a quick counter-attack.

Naismith then curled a free-kick around the wall, only to see his shot pushed clear as time ran out for the visitors.

Everton: Hewelt; Kenny, Browning, Connolly, Jones (Feeney 46); Davies, Walsh (Broadhead 31 (Sambou 85)); Charsley, Dowell, Dyson; Calvert-Lewin
Subs not used: Renshaw, Evans

Pompey: O’Brien; C.Davies, May, T.Davies, Haunstrup (McDowell 63); Oxlade-Chamberlain, Close; Lalkovic, Bedford (Wakley 72), Naismith; Chaplin (Bradbury 63)
Subs not used: Bass, Woodward

Referee: Joe Johnson

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