COLUMNIST PAUL TRAILL
For various reasons, it's become more difficult to get the lads to come the game now and it tends to just be Ste, Gary and me, though for John Achterburg’s testimonial this evening, we managed to get Mike, who occasionally goes, Greg, who never goes and Gaz, who hasn’t been able to go for some time.
With all of us but Gaz being Wirral-based and Ste living just a five minute walk from Prenton Park, Ste’s was the easiest place to congregate and from there we walked to the Halfway House for a couple of quick beers before the game.
I’d unnecessarily gone to the bother of getting tickets for this one but as we got into the Cowshed end we realised I needn’t have bothered with the Everton end, like the whole ground, very deserted. I didn’t have the benefit of a match programme and the players didn’t have names on their shirts so forgive me if the player’s names are completely inaccurate but I’m going from what we sorta figured out between us.
Carlo Nash began in goal with I think Moses at left back with two giants in the centre of defence. Irving was right back. The midfield two were Akpan and Wallace with Gosling also featuring in the midfield. Kissock played just off ex-Arsenal trainee Kieran Agard. I’ve no idea who was playing for Tranmere, other than John Achterburg of course.
We attacked the kop in the first half and were soon ahead when Agard picked the ball up some 40 yards from goal, ran at a couple of defenders before unleashing a fierce shot into the corner of the goal. 1-0 Everton. Nicely done.
The second goal arrived when a free kick delivery from Forshaw was smartly headed home by a practically unmarked Duffy. As if that wasn’t enough, Agard managed to add a third goal with a diving header before the break putting Everton out of sight.
I felt a bit sorry for Achterburg in the second half as he stood a lonely figure in front of the Everton fans. He’d done nothing all game but pick the ball out of the net three times as his team in front of him put up a meek attempt to play a game of football against our reserve side and for a servant as good as he’s been, I’d have hoped for more from my team mates.
Regardless, it was the Everton kid’s night. Agard looked impressive, toiling with the Tranmere defenders well throughout. Irving looks decent. Kissock looks a good player though not a Premier League one but the one class act it seemed was Hope Akpan, whom at 18 looks to have the maturity to become an excellent player though I guess you can never really tell at that age. Earned my Man of the Match anyway.
Final score: Tranmere Rovers 0-3 Everton XI. Poor Achterburg!
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