Mark Jackson’s took charge of his Under-23s side in Premier League 2 away at Everton on Monday evening, following the return to action after the international break. The Whites into the match looking to get back to winning ways away from home following defeat last time out on the road, at Leicester City.
The match got underway at The Pure Stadium in Southport in front of a good size crowd. The first chance of the opening period went the way of Jackson’s side, with Nohan Kenneh seeing an effort deflected wide.
Amari Miller was next to come close but his effort was saved, before the hosts had a real opening of their own through Stan Mills, but he couldn’t connect properly at close range.
Leeds did go into the lead on the half-hour mark. A superb ball over the top from Kristoffer Klaesson picked out the onrushing Miller, who beat the offside trap to control well and finish with his right-foot to put the Whites ahead.
Seconds later, Klaesson was involved again down the other end, making a fingertip reaction save to tip Mills’ effort onto the bar.
Jackson’s side would then extend their lead 10 minutes before the break. Kris Moore - who had been lively throughout the half - broke free down the wing and crossed into the box, where the ever-dangerous Sam Greenwood volleyed home to make it two.
The hosts did hit back before the interval though, from a set-piece. The out-swinging corner picked out Eli Campbell who looped a header over everyone into the back of the net.
HALF TIME: Everton 1-2 Leeds United
Leeds made three changes the interval, with Joe Gelhardt, Cody Drameh and Stuart McKinstry coming on in place of Greenwood, Crysencio Summerville and Leo Hjelde.
It was the hosts who started the brighter though, and they equalised shortly after the restart. A quick break down the wing saw them have a three-on-two situation, allowing Mills to square across goal for Lewis Dobbin to finish well past Klaesson and level the game up.
In what had been a fast start to the second period, next to go close was recent Premier League debutant and second half substitute, Gelhardt. The forward collected a ball inside the box and hit a low effort which was well blocked.
Chances were in short supply for much of the second period, with both sides limited to set-play opportunities, which the vast amount saw the defence deal with comfortably at both ends.
With five minutes remaining, the turnaround was complete as Everton went into the lead for the first time in the match. Tom Cannon’s shot deflected and landed kindly for Charlie Whitaker, who controlled and finished well to pat his side ahead.
With the match entering stoppage time and Leeds pushing forward looking for an equaliser, the hosts made it four and wrapped up all three points in doing so. Rhys Hughes won the ball high up the pitch and struck a low effort into the bottom corner to seal the points.
FULL TIME: Everton 4-2 Leeds United Premier League 2
Everton 4 (Campbell 42’, Dobbin 53’, Whitaker 85’, Hughes 90’)
Leeds United 2 (Miller 29', Greenwood 36’)
Everton: Tyrer (GK), John, Campbell, Welch, Astley (c), Warrington, Mills (Hughes 80’), Price, Whitaker, Onyango (Butterfield 82’), Dobbin (Cannon 68’).
Subs not used: Barrett (GK), Andorson.
Leeds: Klaesson (GK), Hjelde (Drameh 45’), Kenneh, Cresswell (c), Moore, Jenkins, Bate, Greenwood (Gelhardt 45’), McGurk, Miller, Summerville (McKinstry 45’).
Subs not used: Van Den Heuvel (GK), Hughes.
Referee: M. Woods
Booked: Butterfield, John, Campbell (Everton) Miller, Cresswell (Leeds)