Coby Ebere scored a second-half equalizer as Everton drew 1-1 with Southampton in their Under-18 Premier League Cup group tie at Finch Farm on Saturday.
Both teams had chances to win the game, but a point each was probably a fair result.
The Saints started on the front foot. Samuel Amo-Ameyaw drilled a direct free-kick narrowly wide, Kamari Doyle forced Dylan Graham into an excellent save and Sonnie Davis had a fierce drive blocked.
The Blues entered the game and had chances of their own.
Ebere’s low effort was saved by Adli Mohamed, who then did well to also deny Halid Djankpata.
Jack Tierney’s far post header then went wide, but the angle was always against him.
Doyle should have put Southampton ahead in the 24th minute but he produced a poor effort when a one-on-one with Graham and then Tierney’s perfect challenge inside the box stopped Dominic Ballard in his tracks.
Ebere tested the keeper again just after the half-hour with a well-struck shot from long range, and at the other end Graham dived low to his left to keep out an effort from Amo-Ameyaw.
Early in the second period, Matthew Apter had an opening from the edge of the box, but he shot tamely past the keeper and in the 52nd minute the Saints took the lead when Ballard latched on to a deep pass and clipped Graham .
Doyle was close to making his second soon after as the visitors threatened to take control of the game.
Everton equalized just before the hour mark. Jack Patterson won a strong tackle in midfield and when the ball bounced at Ebere’s feet he smashed it past the keeper.
The contest opened very well with some good end-to-end football.
Djankpata hit a free-kick past Mohamed at one end and then Harry Wright cleared a Ballard effort off the line. The lively Djankapa also tried his luck from 25 yards but missed the target and Doyle also went wide with a late shot.