Derby County Under-23s suffered their first defeat of the new 2020/21 Premier League 2 Division 1 campaign as they were beaten 4-1 by Everton.
Ellis Simms had given Everton an early first-half lead, and just after the break, Joe Anderson fired the Toffees into a two-goal advantage.
Tyree Wilson netted his first goal of the season as his free kick 10 minutes into the second half rebounded off the crossbar and went in.
However, Josh Bowler’s strong run and finish took the game away from the Rams, whilst Simms’ second of the evening ensured Derby came away pointless.
Derby were rocked in the early moments of the game as a nasty clash of heads in the middle of the park saw Cameron Cresswell depart the game early. He was replaced by Connor Dixon.
And a minute later, Everton took the lead. A slick move through the middle found the onrushing Simms and he fired past Henrich Ravas to give the home side the lead.
It could have been two soon after. Archie Brown was booked for the Rams for bringing down Josh Bowler on the edge of the box. The winger picked himself up and whipped his free kick against the post and the ball fell to safety.
The Rams worked their way back into the game but chances were at a premium. Joe Bateman’s tame header wide on the half hour mark was the closest Derby came to scoring.
At the other end, Callum Connolly, who was booked on the 35th minute, stung the palms of Ravas five minutes later as Everton went into the break with the one-goal lead.
The hosts doubled their lead straight after the restart through Anderson’s fierce strike. A corner into the box was not cleared properly and Anderson, who was all alone on the edge of the box, had time to pick his spot.
However, Derby reacted well and minutes later, Festy Ebosele’s won a free kick in a positive position for the Rams. Wilson lined up an effort and found the top corner to reduce the arrears.
There was an extra spring in the Rams’ steps, but three minutes later, Everton regained their two-goal advantage once again. Bowler’s pace saw him out pace the defence and he found the corner to score.
Derby continued to press and tried to pick holes in the Toffees defence but were met by a stubborn Everton defence.
With the Rams throwing men forward, Everton found the spaces and a long ball threaded through to Simms was finished well by the forward to put the gloss on the scoreline.
Everton: Tyrer, Pennington, Anderson, Baningime, Ouzounidis, Astley, Bowler, Iversen (Cannon 88’), Simms, Connolly, Hughes (Onyango 61’).
Substitutes: Quirk, Hansen, Carroll.
Derby County: Ravas, Ebosele (Minkley 62’), Brown, Brown, Solomon, Wassall, Wilson, Bateman, Stretton, Ibrahim (Borkovic 73’), Cresswell (Dixon 10’).
Substitutes: Foster, Thompson.