Morecambe 1-4 Everton: Rodwell & Anichebe on target as Toffees stroll to pre-season victory

Osman was in good form for the Toffees, bagging two assists in the first half as they eased past the Shrimps, while a number of youngsters also impressed in a successful friendly
Everton kicked-off their Premier League preparations with a comfortable 4-1 win against League Two side Morecambe at the Globe Arena.

Francisco Junior gave the 2060 travelling Toffees fans something to cheer early on as he put his side ahead, with Leon Osman setting up Apostolos Vellios and then Jack Rodwell for the second and third before half-time.

After the break the Premier League side took a while to get going once more with the game already won, but Victor Anichebe did manage to net a fourth mid-way through the second-half.

As well as the game posing as a pre-season run-out for David Moyes' side, it was also a testimonial to former Morecambe player and now manager, Jim Bentley who is a lifelong Everton fan and celebrated his 10th season of service to the football club.

Moyes mixed a number of young players with some familiar faces for the match as Rodwell, Seamus Coleman, Osman, Sylvain Distin and Anichebe started alongside the likes of 17-year-old academy goalkeeper Mateusz Taudul.

With various first team players, as well as higher profile youngsters such as England U-21 midfielder Ross Barkley, involved in international fixtures still away on extended leave, the Premier League side fielded a number of other youth prospects such as Junior, Sam Kelly and Jake Bidwell. However, the Scot did have more experience on the bench in the form of Tony Hibbert and Phil Neville.

Within 10 minutes Everton had the lead, though the goal was given in controversial circumstances. Junior fired home a magnificent effort from 25-= yards out, which beat Morecambe's Barry Roche, however the hosts were furious as the goalscorer's strikepartner, Vellios, was doing his shoelaces up in an offside position right in front of the opponents' keeper at the time.

Despite the early opener from the visitors, Morecambe came back into the game with a chance of their own through Lewis Alessandra, but teenage keeper Mateusz was equal to the effort.

Up until the half-hour mark the game remained an even affair, but as Junior continued to impress a second goal looked likely and it was the man at the centre of the controversy for Everton's first, Vellios, who doubled the lead with a tidy finish from Osman's pass after 37 minutes.

Just three minutes later, Osman's creativity shone through again as Everton looked far too strong for their League Two opponents, as he played in Rodwell to make it 3-0 with a delightful chip over the Morecambe keeper.

At the start of the second period Moyes threw two fresh bodies into the fray, with Conor McAleny and Hibbert replacing Kelly and Osman. The hosts also switched things around with five substitutes.

A prolonged period of uninspiring football in the second half was finally interrupted with just over 20 minutes remaining, when Anichebe seized an opportunity and fired home from outside the 18-yard box, beating Roche with a low strike to make it 4-0.

The inevitable flurry of changes were also made ether side of the goal, with Tyias Browning replacing Distin, and then shortly after Anton Forrester came on for one of Everton's goalscorers, Vellios. Morecambe also brought on three new faces.

As expected for pre-season, the intensity tailed off towards the end of the game, but there was a warm cheer around the ground for the introduction of lifelong Everton fan Jim Bentley, for his last game as a player in a Morecambe shirt, and he was fittingly allowed to score with the final touch of the match, with the Toffees defence looking on.

Moyes will be hoping that his side can carry on their good form ahead of the new campaign when they travel to Dundee United on Wednesday evening.