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Posted on 26 August 2006  - 12:00

Martin Jol said he knew we were in for a tough test once Everton got their noses in front at the Lane on Saturday.

Martin Jol said he knew we were in for a tough test once Everton got their noses in front at the Lane on Saturday.

It was a hard enough test anyway as we aimed for back-to-back home victories in the Premiership with Everton boss David Moyes opting to split up his new strike partnership of Andy Johnson and James Beattie and go with Johnson up front, five in midfield.

Predictably, we enjoyed the lion's share of possession but chances were hard to find, even when Kevin Kilbane was sent off for a second bookable offence.

However, affairs took a turn for the worse when Calum Davenport turned Mikael Arteta's corner into his own net after 53 minutes. Then, after 66 minutes, Andy Johnson slid home the visitors' second and despite a late flourish, it stayed that way.

Martin reflected: "The first half we more or less controlled the game, but we didn't score. After the sending-off you got the feeling that it could be easier than you thought, but I always knew that it could be difficult.

"If you play at home and concede a goal against 10 men, they get more motivation, more ambition and we didn't play like we did on Tuesday against Sheffield United.

"We tried to get the ball out to Aaron Lennon but it was not easy because there was no space. Overall, if you have the blow of the first goal you can recover from it but the second goal was a real disappointment.

"When you play against 10 men the main opportunity they have to score is from free-kicks and corners and that's what they did, so you can't give free-kicks away. That is just about experience.

"Once they went 1-0 up, they looked a very good team, even though they were playing with 10 men. We worked hard and tried everything but we couldn't make a difference up front on this occasion. When you play 10 men you have to stretch them but we didn't do it.

"The players were down afterwards, very disappointed but not for themselves because we lost three points - we will bounce back - but disappointed for the crowd. They always want us to do well and we couldn't this time.

"I think we have the best fans in the world and we don't want to let them down. It just wasn't our day."