SAINTS U23s were thrashed 8-2 against Everton at Southport FC – after leading 2-0 against the Premier League 2 champions.

Christoph Klarer and Marcus Barnes scoffed the first two goals but Everton winger Anthony Gordon netted a brace to make it 2-2 at half-time – and Radhi Jaidi’s side was hit for six in the second half.

Jaidi told “We have to hold our hands up tonight and say that the performance wasn’t good enough.

“Certainly the result was not good enough and everyone is very disappointed. We cannot hide from that.

“There are players that I expect better from, who just didn’t perform at the right level tonight.

“Everton are a good side who won the league last year and played with a lot of experience, compared to us who were very young.

“The circumstances were difficult, but still we didn’t give a good account of ourselves. The message has to be now that, from a development point of you, I expect the boys to react and bounce back very quickly.

“It was a very poor performance but we need to put it behind us quickly because we face Forest Green on Tuesday, who will be an even tougher test than Everton.”