By Harvey Byrne

Everton Under-23s boss David Unsworth has hailed Matthew Pennington’s display against Arsenal on Monday evening as the “best performance” he’s even seen at that level.

The young Toffees faced their Arsenal counterparts at Southport’s Merseyrail Community Stadium where they earned a 1-0 win.

Young forward Nathan Boadhead’s goal settled the match, moving Unsworth’s team six points clear at the top of Manchester United in the Premier League 2 table.

But, it was the display of young defender Pennington which caught his manager’s eye and Unsworth, who has worked with the Under-23s since 2013 hailed the performance as the best he had seen.

“At the back, Matthew Pennington was faultless,” told Unsworth to the official Everton website.

“It was probably the best performance I’ve ever seen from a central defender at this level. He really is back to form now and I’m very pleased for him after what was a horrendous injury.

“He epitomises everything that I like to see in young players – he’s a workaholic, a learner and he’s a smashing lad. You want the good guys to do well, and he certainly is one of them.”

Pennington, 22, has been with the club since 2005 and made his senior debut in 2015 in an EFL Cup clash with Barnsley.

He has so far played in six matches in total for Everton’s senior team with four of them coming in the Premier League.

The youngster has also had loan spells with Tranmere, Coventry and Walsall during his career, playing 47 times for the then League One trio.

The centre-back is one of few not to have made the step into the Everton first-team this season, but fans will be hoping to see more of Pennington in the future.

In other Everton news, this Toffees 18-year-old has won a prestigious award.

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