Quick-fire double sinks CityNORWICH City's Under-21s could not bounce back from their defeat to PSV at the start of the month as they were beaten 3-1 by Everton at Southport's Haig Avenue.
Dmitri Halajko's side started with an attacking line-up, with four forwards which included Jamar Loza and Jamie Eaton-Collins, as well as youngsters Todd Cantwell and Benny Ashley-Seal.
However, it was the hosts that started the brighter, forcing three early corners in the opening minutes.
As the first half wore on, City came into the game more and began fashioning chances of their own as a Cantwell free-kick was whipped into a dangerous area, but Mateusz Hewelt pulled off a remarkable save to deny Conor McGrandles from six yards.
Cantwell was then involved in the opening goal, winning a penalty after a collision which Jamar Loza duly converted on the half-hour mark.
Loza very nearly doubled City's lead soon after; some neat footwork on the edge of the Everton area worked space, and he rifled his shot against the inside of the post.
However, Everton restored parity on the stroke of half time from the penalty spot, when Afolabi Coker brought down Felipe Mattioni Rohde. Jonjoe Kenny then stepped up and sent Ben Killip sprawling in the wrong direction to level the scores.
The hosts then struck twice in quick succession midway through the second half. Mason Holgate put Everton into the lead from close-range after a corner, shortly before Callum Connolly strode forwards and rifled a low drive past Killip to make it 3-1.
Calum Dyson could not extend the lead further late on as he saw his first effort rebound back off the post and then sent his second attempt well over the bar.
Both Loza and Louis Ramsay then had chances to reduce the arrears but Loza sent his effort wide, whilst Ramsay brought a smart save from Hewelt.
Afterwards, Halajko said: "It's really disappointing to lose like that - it was just five minutes in the second half that cost us."
"I thought we were the better team in the first half, but we were as bad in that second half as we were good in the first. We need to look to bounce back now, and we'll be working hard to make sure we do just that.
"We also had three younger lads out there tonight who did really well, and they're now looking to stake claims for regular positions in the side."
FULL TIME:Everton 3-1 Norwich
TEAM: Killip (c); Toffolo, Coker, Efete, Norman; Grant, McGrandles, Loza; Cantwell, Ashley-Seal (Ramsey 67), Eaton-Collins (King 67).
GOAL: Loza (pen 32).
Referee: Mr J Hull