Liverpool U21s were forced to settle for a point against rivals Everton on Monday night after the Blues fought back from a goal down to earn a 1-1 draw at Southport's Haig Avenue.

Jordan Lussey handed Alex Inglethorpe's side the lead with a clever header mid-way through the first half. However, with just four minutes remaining, Ibou Touray clinched an equaliser for the home side.

This was the first mini-derby at U21 level since the two teams met during the 2011-12 season - and the fact that more than 1,000 spectators flocked to watch it underlined the demand for this fixture.

There were some familiar faces in the crowd, too. For Everton, Roberto Martinez joined the likes of Duncan Ferguson and Kevin Sheedy, while Colin Pascoe, Mike Marsh and Kenny Dalglish were in attendance to cheer on the Reds.

It took six minutes for the first flashpoint to arrive - and in typical Merseyside derby fashion there was a bruising outcome. Chris Long burst through on goal, but Ryan Fulton rushed out to meet him, punching the ball clear before colliding with the Everton man.

For Long, the game was over and Courtney Dufus took to the field in his place - but Liverpool were careering forward at the other end of the pitch with Connor Randall on the ball. He fed Jack Dunn, who sprung onto his left foot and arrowed straight into the 'keeper's gloves.

Then the breakthrough came. Joao Carlos Teixeira, who has been in sparkling form for the U21s in recent weeks, was the creator. Stepping in from wide, the Portuguese looped into the penalty area and Lussey, back to goal, flicked the ball home with a clever header.

Joe Williams swerved over the bar from range at one end, before Teixeira let fly with a strike of his own at the other, sending Mateusz Taudul scrambling across his goal-line to smother the ball.

Brad Smith flew down the right flank, drilled a low cross into the middle, where Rossiter was waiting to hammer a curling effort narrowly over in what was the last meaningful act of an impressive first-half display from Inglethorpe's men.

Everton were stronger after the interval - and Alan Stubbs' young side forced Liverpool back, seeing plenty of possession. However, they were unable to truly lay siege to Fulton's goal.

Liverpool looked dangerous when they broke away with Rossiter leading the charge, surging forward before nudging into the path of Dunn, whose rocket of an effort was deflected wide by a brave Jonjoe Kenny block.

Everton almost fashioned an equaliser in the 78th minute when Gethin Jones sprinted down the right and fizzed a cross into the centre. The ball fell to Magaye Gueye, but the Blues striker saw his effort blocked by Lloyd Jones.

Randall was surging forward again, however, and he slipped the ball to fellow Scouser, Dunn, who squared for Peterson, but the young Swede was denied by Taudul when he shot from close range. 

Then came the leveller in the 86th minute. Gueye arced a cross into the centre, Ledson connected unmarked and his effort rebounded into the back of the net via Touray.

Liverpool U21s: Fulton, Randall, Smith, Paez, Jones, Rossiter, Peterson, Williams, Dunn, Teixeira, Lussey.