Everton continued preparations for the competitive 2023/24 campaign with a valuable workout against Bolton Wanderers in a friendly that ended goalless.
The Blues impressed with some bright play and created a host of opportunities in the first half, before finishing the contest with a youthful-looking side following a swathe of half-time substitutions.
After a double-header of friendlies against Wigan Athletic and Tranmere Rovers on Saturday, manager Sean Dyche shuffled his pack for this trip to the Toughsheet Community Stadium.
Ashley Young, who scored the winner on his first appearance for the Blues at Wigan last time out, moved to left-back, with James Tarkowski, Michael Keane and Nathan Patterson completing a back four in front of goalkeeper Joao Virginia.
Dwight McNeil and Alex Iwobi started in wide midfield positions, with Amadou Onana and Andre Gomes both picking up their first minutes of pre-season in the middle of the park.
Youngster Lewis Dobbin, who came up against Bolton while on loan with Derby County in League One last term, deployed just off Neal Maupay in attack.
Everton started brightly and came close to opening the scoring with a superb team move inside five minutes.
Winning the ball back on his own byline, Keane found Young, who played a neat-one two with Onana before finding Dobbin in a central position.
The young forward displayed impressive composure to nutmeg his marker before releasing Iwobi, who cut back on to his left foot inside the penalty area only to see his shot saved by Nathan Baxter.
The Toffees threatened again 60 seconds later, when McNeil took aim with a 25-yard strike that initially wrong-footed Baxter, but the Bolton goalkeeper recovered well to parry it away.
Everton's passing looked sharp throughout the opening period but Iwobi's decision to square for Dobbin on the half-hour mark proved to be the wrong one after neat footwork by Maupay on the halfway line to evade his marker.
Bright play and half chances continued to flow for the visitors, as Young's fierce volley from a recycled corner flew narrowly over the crossbar before McNeil showcased excellent skill to beat two Bolton defenders before prodding an effort at Baxter.
Bolton's first opportunity of the contest came seven minutes before the half-time interval when, after a driving run by Randell Williams down the left flank, the ball fell to Kyle Dempsey, who could only flash a right-footed shot wide of the post from just inside the penalty area.
Both goalkeepers were called into action on the stroke of half-time, as Baxter stood tall to deny Dobbin and Virginia saved well from Dion Charles.
It was nearly all-change for Everton at the half-time interval, with boss Dyche making eight changes to the starting line-up as only Virginia, Keane and Dobbin stayed on the pitch for the beginning of the second half.
Ben Godfrey, Mackenzie Hunt, Liam Higgins, Katia Kouyate, Tyler Onyango, Lewis Warrington, Stanley Mills and Francis Okoronkwo were all introduced under the same 4-4-1-1 formation.
Ian Evatt's side were the first to threaten after the break but Virginia was again on hand to keep out Aaron Morley after the ball fell kindly for the Bolton midfielder 14 yards out.
Just after the hour mark, Onyango used his sizeable frame to shrug off a challenge 20 yards from goal but the curling effort that followed looped on to the roof of the net as the deadlock stayed intact.
The contest became increasingly disjoined as the half wore on, with Keane replaced by Ryan Astley on 68 minutes, either side of two rafts of changes for the hosts.
The best chance of the closing stages fell to Okoronkwo, but the forward's touch from Hunt's fizzed free-kick delivery was too heavy and whizzed wide of the target.
Next up for Everton is a trip to the bet365 Stadium to take on Stoke City on Saturday (3pm BST), before a home clash with Portuguese outfit Sporting CP to close pre-season seven days later.