Everton's pre-season preparations came to a close this afternoon with their third defeat of the summer, this time against Bundesliga newcomers SC Paderborn.
Chris Long scored a wonderful goal to put Everton ahead in the first half but Tim Howard conceded a penalty to hand the Germans an equaliser through Moritz Stoppelkamp.
Marvin Duksch and Daniel Bruckner added two more in the second half for the hosts who looked sharper and better organised overall.
Roberto Martinez had already ruled out Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas and raised the possibility that neither player will be risked in next weekend's Premier League opener when the team is expected to hit the ground running as the real business of a highly-anticipated season starts.
Muhamed Besic made his first start in an Everton jersey, however, after two substitute appearances since he arrived from Ferencvaros while Academy product Long got a chance to show what he can do in Everton's sparse-looking attack.
The game had a lively start, Everton defending an early free-kick before Besic was yellow-carded in just the 3rd minute after one of his trademark sliding tackles was judged to have been a little too strong.
There was a long break after a bizarre incident where a Paderborn defender injured his keeper who had run out of his area and collided with him, Chris Long trying to profit but having the ref whistle for a non- existent foul.
A nice move down the left, started by a good Besic pass out to Baines, ended in fine fashion with Chris Long collecting a good ball, spinning with consummate skill, and stroking a superb shot high over the keeper and into the far top corner of the Paderborn goal.
But SC Paderborn went up the other end and won a questionable penalty when Howard came out to the left edge of his area and produced the second sliding tackle of the game to draw the ref's ire, Stoppelkamp sending Howard the wrong way to even things up after 15 mins.
The rest of the first half was somewhat uneventful, the Blues still looking a little lacklustre, with Besic having to watch his step. Osman replaced Barkley for the second half.
Naismith replaced Pienaar just before the hour-mark as Everton continued to lose possession a little too easily, with few players performing to their ability. Paderborn rotated out eight of their players soon after, and then scored a second goal when a badly sliced shot turned into a good cross that evaded Alcaraz, allowing Duksch to move behind the line and nod the ball past Howard for a rather soft-looking goal.
McGeady was looking lively and made some good movement toward goal but his shot was a little too like so many last season — just off target. Everton did apply some good pressure but SC Paderborn surged back and a shot was parried out to Bruckner who slotted it back past Howard with ease to make it 3-1 for the home side.
James McCarthy replaced Chris Long with around 12 minutes left as Naismith almost created a goalscoring chance. Osman then came close with a nice chip that just drifted away from the far post.
Hallum Hope came on near the end but hardly got a touch as Everton's pre-season fizzled out to a rather disappointing end, with another defeat... but it's really all about gaining fitness and sharpness for next weekend's big opener at Leicester.
Lyndon Lloyd & Michael Kenrick
* Unfortunately, we cannot control other sites' content policies and therefore cannot guarantee that links to external reports will remain active.
Get rid of these ads and support ToffeeWeb
Bet on Everton and get a deposit bonus with bet365 at TheFreeBetGuide.com
* Everton deducted 10 points for PSR breachView full table