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By ESPN Staff

Gerrard returns at Tranmere

Steven Gerrard stepped from the courtroom straight into a surprise appearance for Liverpool's reserves on Friday - and then scored a trademark goal.

The Liverpool skipper was at Prenton Park for a friendly against Tranmere just hours after being found not guilty on a charge of affray in a high-profile court case.

Gerrard was part of a very youthful Liverpool side, who fell behind to a Chris Shuker goal just before half-time.

But before being substituted after 63 minutes, Gerrard blasted a fine equaliser with a low drive from outside the box.

Gerrard's trial had lasted a week and forced him to miss Liverpool's Far East pre-season tour.

His lack of fitness and match practice meant that it was decided he should play against Tranmere, and his presence generated a healthy crowd for the Birkenhead club.

But just 13 minutes after his departure, Tranmere took the lead again with a header from defender Gareth Edds.

Liverpool hit back with a penalty equaliser in injury-time when former Anfield youngster John Welsh brought down Adam Hammill in the box, with the 21-year-old substitute getting up to score from the spot himself.

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