Well it’s been a flaming bin of a season for Everton so far, but this was an encouraging night. Fine performances from Lookman, Hornby and a couple of the other kids, and a win. This presumably won’t have any impact on the season overall, other than perhaps a few more games for Lookman, but it’s better than what they’ve hitherto been serving up. Sam will have been sat at home, possibly eating five or six sausage rolls, enjoying himself thoroughly.
90 mins + 1: One last sub for Everton - Charsley goes off, and Alexander Denny is on.
88 mins: Change for Everton, as Mirallas goes off, and the 16-year-old Anthony Gordon comes on.
87 mins: A lovely pass through from Broadhead sets Vlasic away, he toe-ends it just past a defender then slots a neat left-footed finish under the keeper and into the net.
GOAL! Apollon 0-3 Everton (Vlasic 87)
Tops off in the crowd, Everton are three up.
86 mins: Everton look happy just to knock this around for a few minutes now...
84 mins: Great work straightaway from Broadhead, showing some neat footwork to carve out a chance for Vlasic, but for some reason he doesn’t shoot, instead trying to shift it to Lookman, and they’re crowded out.
81 mins: Winding down a bit now, this. Robles absolutely larrumphs a clearance towards Hornby, and while he wins the header there’s nobody there to collect the knock-down.
78 mins: Well. Pitian comes forward from the back and tries an effort from about 40 yards out that we’ll call...ambitious. And predictably enough it sails gently through the Cypriot night air, and into the stands. Sachetti then goes into the book for a pretty spicy challenge on Vlasic, although he might have slipped a little to make it look worse.
74 mins: Some slightly mysterious aggro. Baningime gets a yellow card for...I’m not certain...then Allan takes exception to Mirallas shielding the ball for some reason. Papoulis shows up and gives the Belgian a shove, and for a moment there’s some light jostling. Not really sure what that’s all about, but everyone seems to be friends now.
72 mins: Some more neat passing across the edge of the Apollon box finds Mirallas. He gets a spot of luck as it breaks into his path, but his shot is saved by Kissas’s feet. And then Hornby finds himself through on goal, but again the effort is too close to the keeper, and it’s saved once more.
70 mins: Charsley gets down the left and loops a cross into the box, but it’s just to high for Hornby in the middle. He didn’t quite have the range*...
*This is a reference to Bruce Hornsby and the Range, a light American rock combo who did that song Tupac sampled. Ask your fusty uncle.
68 mins: Mirallas attempts a run from the right after nice work by Baningime, but he eventually loses control of the ball and a foul by Lookman ends things as far as that attack is concerned.
66 mins: Lovely dancing feet from Lookman, as he tip toes through the tulips of the Apollon defence, the ball breaks to Hornby but he can’t get the shot away, and the attack ends when Vlasic’s cross drifts through to Kissas.
64 mins: Curiously, after little more than an hour, Pitian appears to have some cramp. Get some salt tablets down you, son.
61 mins: Double change for Apollon - Schembri and Sardinero are off, Emilio Zelaya and Antonio Jakolis are on.
60 mins: Joao Pedro tries a Coutinho-esque under-the-wall shot from the free-kick, but the Everton players rather selfishly choose not to jump, so it rebounds harmlessly away, and the second shot is blocked too.
59 mins: Ooooof - Apollon are given a free-kick millimetres outside the box, for a handball by Klaassen. Replays suggest it might - might - have been inside, but it’s still a fine shooting chance for the home side...
57 mins: Lovely interchange between Hornby and Vlasic, who then plays a backheel to Lookman. He befuddles Pitian and lollipops his way around the defender, the angle is tight but his eyes are like saucers as he sees a hat-trick in his immediate future. He shoots, it’s saved, and Vlasic, just a boy standing in front of an open goal, flaps his arms in exasperation.
56 mins: Everton taking a bit longer to get going. Lookman attacks down the left, plays a ball infield but it’s behind Hornby, and the move peters out.
53 mins: That free-kick is half-cleared, but a corner is conceded....which is also cleared, Everton counter and Mirallas booms a long pass from left to right looking for Lookman, but that one is cut out.
52 mins: Ooof, Lookman gets himself into a bit of tangle and clumsily takes down Martinez on the Apollon right. Free-kick in a dangerous position here.
50 mins: Apollon have definitely started with a bit more vim in the second-half. They claim a penalty after the ball sort of goes near Feeney’s arm, but there’s no way that was going to be given. Sardinero tries to fling a cross into the middle, but it’s headed clear by Feeney.
49 mins: Allan - the midfielder on loan at Apollon from Liverpool - tries a rasper from outside the box, but despite a bit of wobble in the air, Robles shovels it away.
47 mins: Jander makes a strapping run towards the box from the left, but he’s crowded out, falls to the turf and let me tell you, he doesn’t look happy about it. No sympathy from the ref, though.
The players are out, further football is imminent. Looks like no changes for either side.
Apollon might’ve had a penalty just at the end of the half there, as Sardinero broke into the box from the right and goes down after a sliding challenge by Besic, but replays are unclear on how much contact there was. Still, a good half by Everton’s collection of kids and misfit toys, with Lookman and the big lad Hornby up top particularly impressive. The defence is a concern, but considering it’s comprised of three kids, two of whom are really midfielders, and Besic, who is also most definitely a midfielder, that’s perhaps to be expected.
45 mins: Slightly odd moment as the referee blows for a free-kick against Everton in the Apollon box, Charsley carries on anyway and is legged up on the edge of the six-yard box by Kissas. The referee then holds up the whistle and looks at Charsley as if the youngster has taken a whizz in his gin and tonic.
43 mins: Papoulis is the main threat for Apollon: he makes a driving run into the box, bursting between Schneiderlin and Baningime, but he slices his shot wide of the post.
42 mins: More neat work from Everton sets up another chance. Charsley battles to win the ball on the left, slips it in to Lookman who in turn plays it on to Mirallas, he waits just long enough to set Vlasic up on the right side of the box. He shoots low and with power, but was too close to Kissas who saves with his shins.
40 mins: Replays of that one aren’t entirely clear on whether Papoulis got a touch to it at all. Still, he might have been deemed interfering with play in any case.
GOAoh no it’s been disallowed
39 mins: Apollon get a free-kick deepish on the left, Sardinero whips it into the middle and it’s glanced home by Papoulis, but three or four Apollon players were about half-a-yard offside, and that’s enough for the flag to shoot up.