EVERTON secured their passage to the quarter-final of the FA Youth Cup with an emphatic 4-2 victory over 2009 winners Arsenal at Underhill.
Despite going behind to an early Chuba Akpom strike, goals from Matthew Pennington, Chris Long, Conor Grant and Harry Charsley helped the young Blues see off Arsenal’s youth in magnificent fashion.
The home side began the game with confidence enjoying much of the early possession and broke the deadlock on 11 minutes, when Anthony Jeffrey whipped a dangerous cross in from the right touchline for Akpom to convert from inside the six-yard box.
The lead didn’t last long and minutes later Matthew Kennedy, who was a constant thorn in Arsenal’s side, forced a free-kick on the edge of Arsenal’s area.
Captain Tom Molyneux measured his delivery to perfection as Pennington, who scored in the fourth round victory at Port Vale, rose unchallenged to power his header in.
The away side took the lead in the opening moments of the second half when Long’s deflected strike nestled in the top corner.
Moments later, Long’s cross from the right gave Arsenal’s defence problems and Grant was on hand to scramble home Everton’s third.
Gnabry then hit the post for Arsenal as they tried to force their way back into the game before an Everton counter-attack which resulted in Pennington crossing from the right for Charsley to tap it in at the back post.
Arsenal managed a consolation with the goal of game from Gnabry but Kevin Sheedy’s young side hung on.