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v Arsenal

Saturday 23 August K.O. 17:30

2

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Bloomfield Road | 4th August 2009 19:45 | Attendance - 8859

Blackpool v Everton

Everton's penultimate pre-season fixture has ended in defeat.

The Blues were beaten 2-1 by Ian Holloway's Championship outfit in a testing encounter at Bloomfield Road - David Vaughan and Jason Euell netting either side of Jo's third goal of the summer.

The sight of the Brazilian striker hobbling off with an injury 15 minutes from the end added to the sense of frustration on a night when Joleon Lescott, Steven Pienaar and Louis Saha were also absent because of knocks.

Everton now have one final pre-season fixture before the big kick-off against Arsenal at Goodison on August 15.

Malaga will arrive on Merseyside on Friday for a suitably stiff encounter.

But David Moyes' men should be prepared for a competitive game - having faced some impressive opposition so far in pre-season.

The Seasiders looked strong and eager to impress their new boss and home fans just days ahead of the Championship kick-off.

David Vaughan wasted no time giving the home side the lead, tearing through the heart of the Everton defence five minutes into the game before sliding a low right-footed shot beyond Tim Howard and into the corner of the net.

With the Seasiders in buoyant mood, they almost doubled their advantage two minutes later when Jason Euell found the base of the post with a headed effort.

It was a flowing move from the left-back position culminating in a shot from Jo 10 yards out that finally gave an indication of Everton's superior pedigree. But keeper Mark Halstead denied the Brazilian.

The equaliser materialised on 19 minutes - with the two most eye-catching hairstyles in the Blues' line-up combining.

Jo was the scorer, poking home at the back post after Marouane Fellaini's effort from a Leighton Baines corner was deflected into his path.

A flying header from the lively Vaughan almost restored the home side's advantage on the half hour but his header sailed over the bar. The home fans were not frustrated for long though, Euell charging down the inside left channel and side-footing beyond the advancing Howard.

Jo, again looking a potent attacking force after an impressive display at Coventry, was unlucky in the 34th minute to see a chip float over the bar.

Halstead denied him shortly after the restart with a straightforward stop and then, with 52 minutes on the clock, produced acrobatics to fingertip a drive from the edhe of the box over the bar.

The Goodison chief introduced three youngsters for the final 30 minutes - Shane Duffy, James Wallace and Jose Baxter given outings in place of Phil Neville, Tim Cahill and James Vaughan.

Jo had an effort cleared off the line by Rob Edwards, Fellaini fired wide and Baxter was unlucky with a decent as the second period progressed. Add that to a great stop from Halstead to again frustrate Everton's Brazilian and it was clear the visitors were beginning to dominate.

The worrying sight of Jo hobbling off 15 minutes from time to be replaced by Kieran Agard further dampened the mood.

Youngster Hope Akpan was introduced late in the contest along with striker Lukas Jutkiewicz, who sent a header wide as the game entered its final moments.

But the 1,684 travelling fans were not provided with a late strike to savour. And now the focus turns to Malaga on Friday night.

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