TOWN were beaten 2-0 by Everton in their second trip to the Premier League club’s Finch Farm training complex in five weeks.
But development coach Steve Eyre was delighted with the behind-closed doors work-out against a side featuring Phil Neville, South African star Steven Pienaar and French winger Magaye Gueye.
Everton, watched by manager David Moyes, sealed the win with goals at the start and end of the second half, when they were playing with a strong wind behind their backs.
Irish defender Shane Duffy headed home a corner in the 47th minute before Greek striker Apostolos Vellios netted two minutes from time.
Eyre, whose line-up included Alan Lee, Sean Scannell, Adam Hammill, Scott Arfield, Anton Robinson and Tom Clarke, said: “This game suited both clubs due to the international break.
“Although a large core of the Everton were away, they also retain a lot of players who needed a game – just as our squad players did.
“We did the same just over a month ago and I think it is credit to us that David Moyes didn’t hesitate to invite us back for a second fixture. It’s good to forge links with Premier League clubs.
“The ball retention during the game was fairly equal, as were the opportunities on goal, and although we’re disappointed with the goals we conceded, I thought the players did very well.
“The fitness and organisational practice we get against opponents of this quality are very useful.
“It was also great for me to have a look at some of our development squad players alongside seniors like Alan Lee.
“That experience is invaluable to them – not just for the 90 minutes on the pitch, but throughout the entire day they can see how the senior pros prepare and warm down post-match.
“The young players have to grab opportunities like this and hopefully that should benefit the club moving forward.”
Town’s next Professional Development League game is at Barnsley on Monday (1.00).
Town: Allinson, McIntyre (Smith, 46mins), T Clarke, Boyle (Burke, 70mins), Kay (Loftus, 80), Scannell (Sinnott, 65mins), Arfield, Robinson, Hammill, Lee (Crooks, 65), Abadaki (Leonard, 80).
Town Juniors are in FA Premier Academy League action at home to Barnsley on Saturday (11.00) seeking a second win in three games.