James McCarthy made his first appearance for Everton's first team since last January in a friendly against Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia tonight.

Goodison Park hosted the SportPesa Cup final, a historic fixture in that it was the first occasion an East African club played a Premier League team on English soil.

Gor earned their night under the lights on Merseyside by beating Simba SC Tanzania back in June.

Of more significance to Everton, and especially Republic of Ireland fans however was the sight of McCarthy coming off the bench in the 62nd minute.

He played 90 minutes for the Under-23s ten days ago and looked sharp in a 1-0 win against Manchester City.

McCarthy's appearance tonight, in a game the hosts won 4-0, gives him more encouragement as he continues the slow, gruelling recovery process from the double fracture he suffered after a challenge from Salomon Rondon against West Brom ten months ago.