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Report: Town 0-4 Everton

11 July 2015

TOWN'S first home pre-season friendly ended in a 4-0 defeat to Everton.

A strong Toffees side produced a second-half performance that saw them eventually run out comfortable winners after an even first period.

Town flew out of the blocks and forced a neat save out of Tim Howard early on when one of the trialists in red tried to bend an effort over the goalkeeper but the U.S. international was alert enough to back-peddle and knock the ball away for a corner.

In an entertaining first forty-five, the visitors would have the better of the chances. Seamus Coleman skewed a shot horribly wide while Steven Pienaar smashed an effort into the empty Town End. Meanwhile, Ty Belford kept out Toffees’ debutant, Gerard Deulofeu and Stephen Naismith with neat stops.

Some productive passing from the home side also carved out shooting opportunities for Michael Smith but Town’s big Number Nine couldn’t hit the target.

Nathan Byrne also curled an effort over the bar before Jon Obika drilled a shot into the advertising hoardings behind the goal.

Town began the second half as they had done the first – this time it was Jermaine Hylton who couldn’t sort his feet out in a good shooting position. Seconds later, the visitors took the lead. Half-time substitute, Kevin Mirallas was played in behind the Swindon defence and the forward made the most of the opportunity, rounding Belford before slotting into the empty net.

It wasn’t long before the Toffees had doubled their lead. Romelu Lukaku was the architect this time, holding off a challenge before sliding the ball across for the waiting Mirallas. The Belgian took a touch around Belford then caressed the ball over the line.

Mark Cooper then rang the changes before Jon Obika tried to make the most of a defensive lapse but he could not hit the target with his curling attempt.

Obika had another opportunity minutes later but, after cutting the ball back onto his right foot on the edge of the box, could only bend a shot narrowly wide of the far post.

Hylton then blazed a shot into the Town End before Lukaku was denied by the trialist Town ‘keeper.

As the clock ticked towards 90, Lukaku put the game beyond all doubt, smashing in a third for the visitors before Conor McAleny added a fourth late on, picking out the bottom left-hand corner from a tight angle.

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