It didn’t quite have the excitement of Liverpool’s Istanbul comeback but a Reds side battled back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 with North West Counties team Clitheroe on Tuesday night.
But it certainly wasn’t a recognisable "Accrington Stanley" side with 10 trialists in the first half and, apart from a few familiar faces in Phil Edwards, Jimmy Ryan, Leam Richardson and Luke Joyce, there were more trying to impress Reds chief John Coleman after the break.
New keeper Alex Cisak did make his Stanley debut - having a jittery first half at a rain-swept Shawbridge but a better second half as the regular Reds players added more bite to the team.
Midfielder Ryan certainly looked sharp while defender Richardson, who is out-of-contract, was lively, even hitting the woodwork with one cross although he claimed it was a shot.
The trialists which stood out were ex-Tranmere winger Andy Parkinson who had a couple of attempts on goal; battling midfielder Ray Putterill who certainly got stuck in and ex-Bradford striker Rory Boulding who grabbed a goal back for the Reds - although goalline technology would have been useful as Clitheroe appealed it hadn’t crossed the line.
Edwards struck with one of his trademark headers while ex-Burnley trainee Oliver Devenney got the other.
To be fair, Clitheroe - managed by ex-Stanley man Pete Smith - took their three first half goals well while former Rochdale frontman Marcus Magna - who came on against Stanley last season - played up front alongside a French named as Vesseko Gramero although neither could make an impression.
Ex-Macc captain Sean Hessey and Northern Ireland defender Dermot McCaffrey played a full game while ex-Liverpool wideman Michael Byrne, former Hull midfielder James Bennett and ex-Wigan player Michael Juke also featured.
"There were a lot of trialists in the first half and it makes it difficult," said boss Coleman.
"It was a lot more stable in the second half when we got more of our regular first teamers on and put them under pressure.
"It was an entertaining game which the fans seemed to enjoy as there was plenty of banter.
"It is hard as the trialists don’t know each other and it is difficult to get the balance right but you can usually tell after 20 minutes who are up to the standard and who aren’t.
"The purpose of these games is to narrow down the number of trialists by spotting players who are possibilities."
Stanley: Alex Cisak; Ben Hoskin (Leam Richardson 46), Sean Hessey, Danny McDonough (Phil Edwards 46), Dermot McCaffrey; Andy Parkinson (Michael Jukes 46), Ray Putterill (Luke Joyce 75), James Bennett (Oliver Devenney 46), Michael Burns (Jimmy Ryan 46); Marc Manga (Rory Boulding 46), Vessoko Gramero (Ryan Kendall 46). Attendance: 410.