Roberto Martinez stuck by his promise to give youth its chance as four players made their debuts in Everton's 1-0 defeat to FC Krasnodar.
Already assured of top spot in Europa League Group H, the Toffees chief could afford to take a glimpse at some of the budding stars rising through his ranks.
He did so as Ryan Ledson, Kieran Dowell, Chris Long and Gethin Jones all pulled on the royal blue jersey for the first time.
A first-half strike from Ricardo Laborde would ultimately settle the contest but the exercise for Martinez was a useful one.
The talk in the build up centred on who the Spaniard would pick.
Ledson - at 17 years and 114 days - became the 10th youngest starter in Everton's history, while Tyias Browning and Conor McAleny came in for their first competitive starts.
Following his fine display in Wolfsburg two weeks ago, Luke Garbutt was also recalled at left-back as Martinez made a total of 10 changes.
Among the other notable inclusions were Arouna Kone - back in action for the first time since October 2013 - and Bryan Oviedo, appearing for just the third time since suffering that horrific double leg break at Stevenage in January.
Gareth Barry, suspended for next Monday's visit of Queens Park Rangers, was the only man to survive from the defeat at Manchester City but switched to centre-half to join another player returning from injury, Antolin Alcaraz.
However, having no doubt pondered on his teamsheet for a fortnight since Wolfsburg, Martinez was forced into an early change.
In drawing a cynical foul from Andreas Granqvist in the opening moments, Christian Atsu had shown a flash of his threat. Yet the Ghanaian's night was to come to a swift end as he hobbled off on six minutes clutching his hamstring.
Whoever Martinez called upon would be thrust into a first-team debut and it was Dowell who got the nod. Just 52 days younger than Ledson, the Ormskirk-born midfielder became the 11th youngest player ever to represent the Blues.
In between Atsu's departure and the youngster's arrival, Alcaraz had Everton's first clear-cut opportunity but headed narrowly wide from Garbutt's corner.
On 14 minutes, Kone came alive in midfield, burst forward and unleashed a 25-yard shot that goalkeeper Andrei Sinitsin had to palm behind for a corner. A test for the Ivorian's once damaged right knee, it seemingly passed with flying colours.
Moments later, Wanderson, one of Krasnodar's plethora of Brazilians, got in down the Everton left. From a tight angle, the forward shot with all his might, his effort striking Joel Robles - in goal for the first time this season - flush in the face. Stunned and a little bloodied, the Spaniard required attention from the Everton physios but was quickly able to continue.
Delay over, Everton broke almost immediately and captain for the night Steven Pienaar tested Sinitsin with a skidding shot the Russian did well to push to safety.
Yet, Krasnodar weren't exactly on the back foot and when Marat Izmailov's perfectly floated pass found the run of Laborde on the half-hour mark, the Colombian put the visitors ahead.
Taking the ball wide, the Colombian seemed to have passed up the opportunity to score, but bided his time, turned and beat Robles low at his near post.
The same player had a golden opportunity to make it 2-0 less than three minutes into the second half, though this time Robles narrowed the angle and stood tall to gain some sort of revenge.
In response, Everton threw play to the other end and Kone turned on a sixpence inside the box to force a smart save from Sinitsin.
The fit-again striker was also a touch unfortunate not to get more from a bustling charge forward later in the half, while Dowell saw a shot blocked after being fed by an excellent ball from Oviedo.
Keen to give more of his youngsters a taste of Goodison Park, Martinez sent on Long for McAleny on 79 minutes.
An 89th-minute replacement for Browning, Jones had to settle for a shorter cameo, though, when the disappointment of defeat fades, the pride of the moment will surely remain.
The same can be said for all four debutants. A night they'll never forget but one they'll hope is just the beginning.