Strikes from Liam Walsh and Kieran Dowell secured a 2-0 win over Southampton that restored Everton’s six-point lead at the top of Division 1.
Walsh netted a fourth-minute opener in front of a bumper crowd at Goodison Park – who helped raise funds for ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’, a campaign led by David Unsworth’s players to help vulnerable young people in Merseyside.
Dowell doubled the lead late on with a superb strike from outside of the penalty area, leaving Everton six points clear of Manchester City with five matches remaining.
Saints remain in eighth place, one point above the relegation zone.
Everton’s next fixture is away to Portsmouth in the Premier League Cup at Havant next Monday, while Southampton face Newcastle United in the same competition at Whitley Park the previous day.