Arouna Kone ended his agonizing year-long absence from Everton FC action as he completed 45 minutes for the Blues U-21s.
The striker, who signed for £5m from Wigan in July 2013, featured in the first half of the young Toffees 1-1 International Premier League Cup draw with Celtic at Goodison last night.
Kone, 31, was eligible as the competition allows three overage outfield players and an overage goalkeeper in the matchday squad, and enjoyed a lively cameo on his return to competitive football.
Roberto Martinez can now hope to have the Ivorian, who damaged knee ligaments last October and has never started a Premier League game for the Blues, available for the first team in the next few weeks ahead of a busy run of fixtures for the Blues over Christmas and New Year.
He created a good chance for midfielder Liam Walsh on the stroke of half-time, and linked-up well with striker partner Chris Long to create a prime opening for Connor Grant earlier.
It did not take the forward long to find his feet.
In the first 10 minutes he flashed an effort over the bar after doing well to find space on the edge of Leo Fasan’s box.
The Glasgow giants led 1-0 at the break, courtesy of Filip Twardzik’s tap-in.
Kone was only ever scheduled to play the first half as his return to full fitness is carefully managed, and he was replaced by Kieran Dowell for the second period.
But David Unsworth’s Everton side began to press with real hunger and eventually got their just rewards when Courtney Duffus, given a run-out alongside Belgian loan prospect David Henen, converted Gethin Jones’ cross.
Sunday’s Premier League trip to White Hart Lane to face Spurs is likely to come too soon for Kone to be involved, but there is at least light at the end of the tunnel for the former Wigan striker who has almost become a forgotten man on Merseyside.