Vauxhall 0, Everton XI 1: HISTORY was made at Rivacre Park last Wednesday as Everton became the first Premiership club to field a representative side against the Motormen, writes Christopher Beesley.
Although the visitors named a youthful line-up that did not include any play-ers with first-team experience, there were still a couple of familiar names.
Goalkeeper Iain Turner was part of Chester City's Conference championshipwinning team last season during a loan spell at the Deva Stadium while the Blues were captained by Anthony Gerrard, cousin of Liverpool skipper Steven.
Vauxhall manager Owen Brown said: 'These sort of games show that we're mixing in the right company. There might not have been any big names in the Everton side but they're all Premiership players in their age group. It might not have been an exciting match but we competed well and were perhaps worth a draw.'
A minute's silence was held before the kick-off in memory of the former Everton Academy goalkeeper Alex Cole who was killed in a car accident on a M53 slip road three days earlier.
The Motormen looked the sharper of the two sides in the opening exchanges with Peter Cumiskey firing over the bar after home skipper Robbie Lawton had robbed Alan Moogan of possession.
Gerrard was also caught napping soon after by trialist striker Joe Feeney, released by Wrexham, who nicked the ball off him and darted towards goal, only to be denied when Turner quickly closed him down.
The only goal of the game came on 17 minutes when a slip by Mike Tomlinson allowed James Vaughan to play in Paul Hopkins, who casually slipped past James Glendenning before finishing smartly low to Tim Dittmer's left.
After the break, substitute James Hallam went close for the hosts with a header from Cumiskey's right-wing cross while the visitors were denied a second goal as both Carl Nesbitt and Wayne Mc-Dermott cleared efforts off the line to thwart Vaughan and Mark Hughes.
With 11 minutes remaining, the referee 'asked' Everton to substitute Moogan after a clash with Nesbitt, which gave 16-year-old Icelandic whiz-kid Bjarni Thor Vidarsson a late runout.
Vauxhall: Dittmer, Spell-man, McDermott, Glendenning, Tomlinson, Dennis, Nesbitt, Lawton, Feeney, Griffiths, Cumiskey.