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v Wolfsburg

Thursday 18 September K.O. 20:05



Ricoh Arena | 2nd August 2009 12:30

Coventry v Everton

Everton had to settle for a share of the spoils against Coventry.

A low-key friendly encounter was sparked into life in the last five minutes - Aron Gunnarsson netting an equaliser for Coventry two minutes from time shortly after Jose Baxter looked to have won the match for Everton.

Baxter came off the bench to fire a cracking goal in the 85th minute, a year on from the memorable strike at Nottingham Forest which signalled his arrival as a player with first-team potential.

That put Everton 2-1 up, with Tim Cahill's fierce first-half strike equalised by former Southampton hitman Leon Best on a day Everton donned their striking new black and neon away strip for the first time.

Gunnarsson's close range effort denied Everton the win - but there were a number of pluses to be taken from the game for manager David Moyes.

A hip injury to Joleon Lescott gave him the opportunity to have a look at Jack Rodwell in the centre-half position alongside Joseph Yobo, whilst striker Jo produced enough efforts on goal and telling touches to suggest he is sharp for the season start.

The first keeper to be tested was Coventry's Keiren Westwood, who did well to claw away a Jo header from a Tony Hibbert centre in the seventh minute.

The Brazilian was looking sharp - as another effort in the 12th minute illustrated. Again, Westwood denied the forward.

The keeper made his hat-trick of stops from Jo in the 16th minute, but his parried save from the kow drive went only as far as Tim Cahill. The Aussie international opened the scoring for the Toffees by blasting into the roof of the net from 15 yards.

A minute after that opener, Everton had to be grateful for the combined efforts of Carlo Nash and Jack Rodwell. The keeper blocked a low-range effort from Clinton Morrison and at the back post Leon Best's shot was cleared off the line by Rodwell - playing in a central defensive position for the first time in pre-season.

Everton enjoyed the greater share of possession, with Tony Hibbert, Jo, Leighton Baines and Tim Cahill looking particularly sharp for the players in the eye-catching new black and neon pink away kit.

A series of corners and a fierce Leon Osman drive that flashed inches over the bar underlined their dominance.

Which made the equaliser in the 35th minute all the more frustrating. Michael Doyle was the goalscorer from close range, tapping in at the back post from a Morrison centre.

Westwood denied Marouane Fellaini from distance shortly after the restart to ensure thev opening period ended with the scores level.

Jo continued to terrorise the Coventry defence in the second period, firing wide and then sending a header wide.

Fellaini rounded off a flowing move with a great strike on his left foot approaching the hour mark but again Westwood, enjoying an impressive afternoon, was on hand to deny the Toffees.

It was left to Baxter to finally beat Westwood, ending a neat flowing move with a powerful strike having entered the contest as a second half substitute.

It should have been the winner - but a defensive lapse allowed Gunnarsson to steal a goal and secure a share of the spoils for the home side.

Jack Rodwell challenges Clinton MorrisonJack Rodwell challenges Clinton Morrison


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