Everton Under-18s fell to a 2-0 loss to City of Liverpool in Tuesday night's Liverpool Senior Cup quarterfinal clash in Bootle.
After scrappy opening exchanges, Everton created the first real chance of the contest. Direct play saw Callum Whittaker drive at the City of Liverpool defence. He then threaded an expertly-weighted through ball to Liam Higgins, but the onrushing keeper was alert to the danger.
Despite much of the first half being controlled by the hosts, the young Blues continued to create chances. Higgins dropped deep to entice a free-kick as Rhys Hughes crossed for a rising Joe Anderson, but he was unable to direct his header on target.
Swirling winds made it difficult for Everton to find any rhythm in the first period and it was the hosts who made the breakthrough.
The Blues were unable to deal with a low corner and the ball popped out to the edge of the box for McEllin to strike, as the midfielder drove the ball into the bottom left-hand corner just shy of the interval.
An instant response beckoned as Hughes came agonisingly close to drawing Everton level moments later. The midfielder created some space just outside the 18-yard area to let fly, but he could only watch as his dipping effort struck the crossbar and bounced out.
With the score in the home side's favour, the Blues came out for the second half looking for a route back into the contest. Great harrowing by Whittaker won the ball back in the centre of the pitch and, with all the time in the world, he slipped the ball inside to the feet of Tom Cannon, but the forward was unable to get his shot away.
With time running out, Tait started to ring the changes. Katia Kouyate, John Anderson and Sean McAllister all being introduced, with the latter nearly making an instant impact, his unmarked header sitting up comfortably for the hosts' keeper.
As the game wore on, Everton continued to search for the equaliser. Hughes caused problems in-between the lines once again as he skipped past the City of Liverpool midfield, only for his eventual shot to drift high and wide.
Despite a much-improved second-half performance, the hosts doubled their lead. With just under 15 minutes of the match remaining, Brown found himself unmarked in the Everton penalty area and was able to easily guide his header has Harry Tyrer in the Blues' goal.
Everton U18s: Tryer, Whittaker, Higgins, Hughes, Joe Anderson, Cannon (Kouyate) (Jon Anderson) (McAllister)