Everton signed off for 2014 with a disappointing 3-2 defeat at Newcastle United despite Arouna Kone netting his first goal for the Club.
The Ivorian spearheaded a much-changed team at St James' Park, but goals from Papiss Cisse, Ayoze Perez and Jack Colback inflicted too much damage before Kevin Mirallas' late strike.
The Blues had to contend with what continues to resemble a never-ending injury list after a bruising battle against Stoke City on Boxing Day, while Steven Naismith was forced to sit out the trip to the northeast through a one-match suspension.
In total, there were seven changes to the Toffees' line-up from the game against the Potters just 48 hours earlier.
Tim Howard and Phil Jagielka's half-time withdrawal through injury meant Joel Robles and Sylvain Distin were drafted in - and Martinez's admission that Mirallas and John Stones did well to see out the 90 minutes against Stoke was proved as Aiden McGeady and Antolin Alcaraz were named in the XI instead.
Elsewhere, there were first Premier League starts in a Blue shirt for Luke Garbutt and Kone, while Samuel Eto'o looked to assert himself from the off against the Magpies.
The inclusion of two natural left-backs in the XI may have perplexed Newcastle's players and manager alike - and, as it turned out, Garbutt's adoption of defensive duties allowed Baines to roam in the left area of central midfield to troubling effect.
The opening goal came inside five minutes as a finely-weighted pass from Aiden McGeady released Seamus Coleman down the right and the right-back duly crossed low into the path of an onrushing Kone.
The Ivorian has looked hungry since his return to first-team involvement after a long-term lay-off with the knee injury he sustained in October 2013. In fact, it was Kone's first Premier League start for the Blues and he marked it with a bang, meeting Coleman's centre on cue to side-foot past young Jack Alnwick in goal.
And with that kick of the ball, he became the 500th different scorer in Everton's history.
The shine from that bright start would fade by half-time as Newcastle levelled, although their goalscorer was highly fortunate to still be on the pitch.
Not for the first time this season, a controversial decision swiftly preceded a goal against the Blues.
Cisse was marshalled by Coleman in the box as Everton defended a corner, but the Republic of Ireland international was felled by a thrusted elbow which connected square with his face.
Referee Craig Pawson missed the incident and it would rile the away support further when the Senegalese hitman ran away in celebration just three minutes later.
Playing a corner short, Cheick Tiote whipped the ball deep to the back post where Mike Williamson helped it back across goal for Cisse to volley home.
The Blues looked to respond immediately as Garbutt's set-piece deliveries frequently asked questions of a shakey Newcastle defence and Kone came close to making one count but his header drifted wide.
Everton continued to press in response before the interval as McGeady showed fine footwork to create a yard of space inside the area before blazing a shot over.
Ross Barkley entered the fray for James McCarthy for the second half, yet the midfielder had barely had a touch before the Magpies went ahead.
A stray pass inside his own half from McGeady presented Tiote with the opportunity to feed in Perez; the former Tenerife striker's low shot squirming through the legs of Everton defenders.
Mirallas replaced McGeady on the hour-mark and soon after, Baines carved out a great chance for Eto'o, but the Blues' number five got too much under the cutback and fired it into the stands.
Baines then crossed for Kone who couldn't poke the ball on target and the Toffees were soon made to pay for not being clinical.
Goalscoring has not been a problem this term, but uncharacteristic errors at the back have led to an increase in the number conceded.
And when Barkley miscontrolled in his own box, Jack Colback seized on the loose ball and poke through the legs of Joel.
Lukaku was immediately summoned from the bench to replace Kone, but it was Everton's other Belgian who provided late hope.
Quick thinking from Baines resulted in a quick pass through the middle for Mirallas to chase. The lightning fast winger showed composure and finesse to dink beyond Alnwick.
But four minutes' injury time was not enough to provide an Everton third and with half of the Premier League games now played, the Blues will seek to rediscover their early 2014 form in 2015 - starting at Hull on New Year's Day.