MOTHERWELL 1 EVERTON 1
STEVEN NAISMITH enjoyed his first run-out in Royal Blue this afternoon, just down the road from where he caught Everton's attention.
After international clearance for his signing was finally given last night, the former Glasgow Rangers striker came on for the final 21 minutes at Motherwell.
But he was denied a goal on his debut by a sharp Lee Hollis save as Motherwell came from behind to claim a draw at Fir Park.
Shane Duffy headed Everton into a first half lead, but a sweet Nicky Law half-volley levelled 10 minutes after the interval.
Leon Osman, Apostolos Vellios and Tim Cahill all went close in an entertaining first half, before Shane Duffy celebrated his first senior goal for the Blues after 34 minutes.
Victor Anichebe was still wide left where he had just taken an unprofitable corner, when the ball came back to him.
He curved a much better cross into the edge of the six yard box where Shane Duffy rose above Apostolos Vellios to guide a header back across goal and in off the far post.
Motherwell are just 10 days away from a Champions League qualifier with Panathinaikos and only two weeks from the kick-off of the Scottish League season, but Everton started more positively.
Fellaini showed some great footwork to pass out wide to Cahill, who got to the byline, crossed left-footed and Osman did well to arrive late and power a header narrowly over.
Motherwell openings came largely of Everton's making.
Distin tried to nick the ball away from Humphrey after 12 minutes, but the Motherwell midfielder got the better of him, squared to Higdon and he lofted the ball over the bar under pressure.
Fellaini then gave away a foul on the edge of the penalty area and Chris Hammell almost celebrated the perfect testimonial when his free-kick was deflected onto roof of the net with Howard struggling.
Tim Howard saved with his face from Jamie Murphy, Vellios had a close range half volley blocked then Cahill's low left footed drive was tipped round the post by Darren Randolph for a corner.
Darron Gibson, Jack Rodwell, Francisco Junior and Nikica Jelavic were all introduced at half-time for Osman, Cahill, Vellios and Anichebe and almost had an immediate impact.
The Blues started the second half brightly and Coleman might have done better than drive straight at substitute goalkeeper Lee Hollis from 12 yards.
Motherwell equalised 10 minutes into the second half when Nicky Law connected with a sweet half-volley from 20 yards leaving Howard clutching at thin air, then Higdon clipped the outside of the post as the home team rallied.
Everton wasted a great chance to restore their lead when Fellaini played a precise pass through to Junior who could have shot, but unselfishly squared to Rodwell.
The goalkeeper cut out, the Blues midfielder was faced with a goal guarded by a solitary defender – but succeeded only in hitting him with his shot.
Steven Naismith came on for the final 20 minutes and was denied a goal by a decent Lee Hollis save.
But Tim Howard had to palm away a Tom Hateley free-kick five minutes from time as an entertaining pre-season game ended all square.
MOTHERWELL: Randolph (Hollis 45), Hammell (Francis-Angol 78), Law, Hateley, Humphrey, Ojama, Higdon Kerr 62), Murphy (Daley 62), Lasley, Ramsden, Cummins (McFadden 62). Unused subs: Hollis, Hetherington, Murray.
EVERTON: Howard, Hibbert, Duffy, Distin (Naismith 69), Neville; Coleman, Osman (Rodwell 45), Fellaini (Heitinga 69), Cahill (Gibson 45); Vellios (Jelavic 45), Anichebe (Junior 45).
SEE Monday's Echo for analysis and interviews from Fir Park.