Everton duo Phil Jagielka and Jack Rodwell have played 90 minutes for the club’s reserves on Tuesday night, and will now be in contention to return to first-team action this weekend against Tottenham.
Jagielka has been on the sidelines with a knee injury since January, leaving David Moyes decidedly short at the back.
Victor Anichebe, Leon Osman, James McFadden and Seamus Coleman all featured in the 0-0 reserve draw with Liverpool also, in a boost for the club.
“The fact that our side was more well-known definitely motivated them,” reserve coach Alan Stubbs told the club’s official website.
“It can sometimes be harder as manager when you make a lot of changes but that is what reserve team football is all about.
“The game will benefit our lads. It will benefit Jags to get 90 minutes, Faddy got some good match time, as did Jack Rodwell, Leon Osman and Victor.
“It is also a good opportunity for our younger players to play at Goodison. They need to show that they can cope with the big occasion and you learn a lot about them in situations like this,” he concluded.