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Tuesday, 1 October, 2002, 21:39 GMT 22:39 UK
Wrexham 0-3 Everton

Teenage star Wayne Rooney stole the show with a stunning late double to become Everton's youngest-ever goalscorer in a comfortable Worthington Cup win over Wrexham.

The 16-year-old - who will sign a three-year, 10,000-a-week contract on his 17th birthday in three weeks - had until February to break the record set over 70 years ago by the great Tommy Lawton.

Two goals in six minutes secured his place in Everton history, and sent David Moyes' side into the third round.

Wrexham were also forced to field an inexperienced youngster in keeper Paul Whitfield in front of a full house at the Racecourse.

With first-choice Andy Dibble and back-up Kristian Rogers both out injured, Third Division manager of the month Denis Smith had no option but to blood the 20-year-old.

It meant that Whitfield, who has still to win his first Wales Under-21 cap despite several appearances in the squad, made his senior debut against the Premiership side.

But the worry about Whitfield being able to handle the big occasion did not depress Wrexham's confidence after a six-game unbeaten run.

Everton's greater control and passing ability slowly came to the fore, and having weathered Wrexham's early efforts, the visitors broke with pace to take the lead on 25 minutes.

Rooney wins acclaim

Li Tie's measured throughball into the box was collected on the left of the area by Kevin Campbell, who chipped a clever ball over Whitfield's dive and into the net for his sixth goal of the season.

Tomasz Radzinski was given a rest on 62 minutes when Rooney came on up front and 10 minutes later Duncan Ferguson took over from Campbell for his first senior game since April.

On 66 minutes, Lee Carsley wasted a glorious chance to settle the issue when a Gary Naysmith pass reached him, coming in unmarked on the far post, but he mishit the effort well wide from inside the six-yard box.

With time running out, Wrexham finally got within shooting distance of Richard Wright, who had to make a fine save to his right from Carlos Edwards, and then touch over a cross-shot from the same player.

And on 79 minutes Lee Trundle stormed in from the right and sent in a dipping drive that crashed against the bar.

But Everton made the game safe on 82 minutes when Rooney drilled home the second from Ferguson's flick on.

And when he repeated the act six minutes later, running clear on the right to crack home his second, Everton fans got the chance to acclaim their new young hero.


Wrexham: Whitfield, Pejic, Carey, Lawrence, Carlos Edwards, Whitley, Barrett, Ferguson, Paul Edwards, Morrell, Sam. Subs: Rogers, Trundle, Holmes, Thomas, Morgan.

Everton: Wright, Hibbert, Yobo, Unsworth, Naysmith, Carsley, Tie Li, Weifeng Li, Gemmill, Radzinski, Campbell. Subs: Stubbs, Ferguson, Simonsen, Rooney, McLeod.

Referee: A Kaye (W Yorkshire).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Charlie Lambert
"Rooney's chances snuffed out a Wrexham comeback"
Wrexham manager Denis Smith
"It was a good performance for 80 minutes"

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