The Toffees twice hit the woodwork in a second half they clearly shaded after United had been on top for the opening 45 minutes. With Anderson and Fabio in the starting line-up, there were a number of positives to take from the game despite a rare blank for Warren Joyce's team.
Even though there was a lack of goals, the first half was an absorbing affair with the Reds largely in control. Fabio was a constant menace down the left and Mason Stringthorpe was the busier of the two keepers as he made saves from headers by the Keane twins during the opening stages.
Ben Amos also had to be on his guard to deal with a Hallam Hope snap-shot and a Tony Hibbert effort following a corner. Yet United continued to use Fabio as an outlet and he created a chance that was steered wide by Tom Lawrence and then teed up Anderson for a shot that cannoned off Hibbert's back.
Will Keane could only drag wide with his left foot after Lawrence flicked a Larnell Cole pass into his path and the champions continued to press. After Cole flashed wide, Lawrence was presented with a gift by Stringthorpe but could only find the side-netting as the young keeper rushed from his goal in a desperate bid to atone for the error.
Stringthorpe did redeem himself with a superb save to deny Will Keane on the turn after more approach work by Fabio and the Brazilian then insisted on taking a free-kick, only to fire it well off target. Although Amos had to be alert to thwart Hope with a fine reflex save, United went back up the other end and Cole stung the palms of Stringthorpe with Fabio yet again supplying the pass.