Everton Under-21s were beaten 3-0 by Rangers B team in Glasgow on Wednesday afternoon.
Paul Tait’s side were up against a far more experienced opponent at the Rangers Training Centre, with several of the home players already boasting first team, or Scottish League, experience.
Everton almost took the lead inside the opening minute of the game. Martin Sherif ran onto a through pass and guided the ball around the keeper but when he pulled it across the face of the goal, Isaac Heath just couldn’t apply the finishing touch.
And that was as good as it got in a first half that saw Rangers create a plethora of chances.
Former Tranmere Rovers loanee Josh McPake drilled a low shot wide that Blues keeper Billy Crellin probably had covered. Connor Allen headed just over from a corner and Scottish Under-21 international Alex Lowry was also off target from 12 yards.
Crellin then had to be alert to deny Ross McCausland but he had no chance with the opening goal a couple of minutes before the break. Aaron Lyall was the scorer, curling a splendid effort into the top corner of the net from the edge of the box.
A sliced clearance by Crellin presented Rangers with a great chance at the start of the second half but the Blues keeper atoned with a smart save.
On 56 minutes, he did even better when he somehow managed to touch a fierce drive from Lowry onto the crossbar.
The hosts wouldn’t be denied for long though and it was Nigerian striker Thompson Ishaka who found the back of the net in the 58th minute, giving Everton substitute keeper Fraser Barnsley no chance.
The third goal came from McCausland who produced another fine finish for Rangers to put the outcome beyond doubt.
Barnsley did well late on to keep out an angled effort from Alex Hutton, but this was very much Rangers’ day – as it should be given the experience and the age difference within their ranks.