Tranmere Rovers drew 1-1 with an Everton XI at Prenton Park on Saturday afternoon, as a Connor Jennings header and Stan Mills penalty proved the only goals of the game.
The early exchanges were fairly balanced, with both teams taking time to get into their respective strides.
Kieron Morris had the first real chance of the game on 11 minutes, cutting inside from the right to force a save from Joao Virginia. Sam Taylor forced Virginia into action once again from the resulting corner but the Portuguese stopper was equal to it.
Rovers had another chance from a free-kick five minutes later, Regan Hendry sending the ball into Tom Davies, but Mason Holgate was in to intercept.
Paul Lewis found space to shoot from 25 yards soon after, winning a corner, and the midfielder was able to poke Hendry’s in-swinger towards goal but Virginia caught the effort.
Everton’s youngsters grew into the game, and Stanley Mills forced Luke McGee into an excellent save from close range in a central position ten minutes from the break.
Sam Taylor forced Joao Virginia into an equally great close-range save at the other end on the stroke of half-time, before Everton went up the other end with Lewis Dobbin testing McGee once again.
Despite the late flurry of chances before the break, we were goalless at half time.
Two minutes into the second half on his Prenton Park return, Connor Jennings nodded in a Hendry corner to put Rovers in the lead.
Jordan Turnbull entered the fray for the second half, and was on hand to turn a cross into the box from Mills around for a corner which McGee was eventually able to boot clear.
Dobbin ran the length of the pitch just short of the hour mark and stormed into the Rovers box, but Lee O’Connor slid in to tip the ball behind for a corner.
Harvey Saunders replaced Taylor on the hour mark and tested fellow substitute Billy Crellin in the Everton goal, but the keeper was equal to the powerful shot from just inside the box.
McGee was called upon shortly after at the other end, Tyler Onyango shooting after a sweeping Everton move but the summer signing stopped another certain goal.
Charlie Jolley came on for Jennings, to a warm applause for the returning hero, and the young striker unleashed a fierce effort at Crellin’s goal soon after but the ball was deflected behind for a corner.
Everton won a penalty with 7 minutes remaining for a handball in the box, which Mills slotted into the bottom right corner to level the scores.
Saunders was typically energetic after entering from the bench, and gave Crellin a scare at the other end just after the equaliser, but his shot from the edge of the box was just over the bar.
The scores finished level in the end as Ian Dawes’ squad benefitted from more valuable minutes ahead of the season’s start.
Tranmere Rovers: Luke McGee, Lee O’Connor (McAlear, 76), Jake Leake (Merrie, 76), Tom Davies (C) (Hockenhull, 76), Joe Yarney (Turnbull, 46), Kieron Morris, Paul Lewis (Walker, 63), Regan Hendry (Hughes, 76), Josh Hawkes, Connor Jennings (Jolley, 70), Sam Taylor (Saunders, 60).
Subs: Brad Walker, Jordan Turnbull, Charlie Jolley, Joe Murphy, Ben Hockenhull, Chris Merrie, Rhys Hughes, Harvey Saunders, Reece McAlear.
Everton XI: Joao Virginia (Crellin, 61), Liam Higgins (Heath, 72), Mackenzie Hunt, Mason Holgate, Ryan Astley, Lewis Warrington, Katia Kouyate (Sherif, 68), Tyler Onyango, Francis Okoronkwo, Stanley Mills, Lewis Dobbin.
Subs: Billy Crellin, Isaac Heath, Martin Sherif, Matthew Apter, Bradley Moonan, Jack Barrett.