Everton's next step on the road that they hope will lead to Wembley took them to Hertfordshire to take on Stevenage for the second time in cup competition this season. In a curious twist of fate, the two clubs were drawn together for their first ever meeting in the League Cup second round back in August, and this evening they faced off again, this time in the FA Cup Fourth Round.
Roberto Martinez made a couple of surprising yet understandable changes for this tricky tie at Stevenage, Hibbert starting, with Lukaku rested on the bench. The pitch didn't look too bad at the start as the teams changed ends and Everton kicked off, getting the ball up to Day early on. But Stevenage won an early corner.
It was nervy stuff inside the second minute, when Robles dropped the ball after poor play by Stones and the follow=up shot struck Stone rather than the Everton net, a real let-off. But up the other end, a shot in by Mirallas, followed by a good cross in from McGeady causing all sorts of problems, the ball spinning back to Naismith poaching on the goal area line, scooped the ball high into the home goal for Everton to take the lead.
Everton won a free-kick wide right but it came to nothing. Oviedo took a really heavy blow stopping Heslop just as he was about to shoot and appears to have broken his leg or ankle as a result, adding a massive blow to a continuing injury crisis for the Blues. Osman came on to replace him but from the free-kick, Robles had to make a fingertip save. they scampered up the other end and Osman at the far post lashed over when it looked easier to score.
Another fright came with a dangerous free-kick given away on the edge of the Everton area, Stevenage again coming close. But Everton were gifted a nice second goal for Naismith as he anticipated a nice ball from Osman that came rather easily through Ashton, and the Scot finished confidently under Day to give Everton a respectable first-half lead.
Hartley went in the book for a poor foul on McGeady who tried to chip in the follow-up. Six minutes of added time at the break to cover the Oviedo injury.
Johnny Heitinga came on to replace captain Phil Jagielka and as Everton strengthened their grip on the game, he was perfectly positioned to head home a very ambitious overhead kick from Mirallas that was way off target.
Naismith got booked for scoring his third goal... that was adjudged to be offside, presumably because he should have heard the whistle as he chipped the ball over Day. Ridiculous refereeing.
In an almost identical play, he got the ball caught among his feet and could not complete his hattrick. But Magaye Gueye made it four, played in by Osman, and taking his time to slide the ball home as he lost his balance,
Stevenage came close at the death, Robles making a fantastic stop with Heitinga on the ground trying to scoop the ball away from the Everton goalline, and a goalmouth scramble resulting in the Blues finally scrambling it away to safety.
A confident and professional display of superior football by the Blues in the end, despite the massive shock of Oviedo's horrendous injury.
Scorers: Naismith (5', 32'), Heitinga (55'), Gueye (84')
Stevenage: Day; Smith Y:60', Hartley Y:38', Charles, Ashton; Jones (72' Parrett), Morais (81' Andrade), Freeman, Heslop, Zoko (86' Deacon); Akins.
Subs not Used: Wedgbury, Burrow, Tounkara, Smith.
Everton: Robles; Hibbert, Stones, Jagielka (46' Heitinga), Baines; McCarthy, Barry; McGeady, Oviedo (22' Osman), Naismith Y:64', Mirallas (81' Gueye).
Subs not Used: Howard, Vellios, Lukaku, McAleny.
Referee: Anthony Taylor
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606 Posted 25/01/2014 at 17:02:35
607 Posted 25/01/2014 at 17:03:49
608 Posted 25/01/2014 at 17:05:17
610 Posted 25/01/2014 at 17:06:47
611 Posted 25/01/2014 at 17:12:39
Jon @610, Hibbert was starting to get a bit more adventurous before his injury. He was goiung forward more and his passing and crossing were getting better. You never know!
612 Posted 25/01/2014 at 17:15:06
613 Posted 25/01/2014 at 17:19:17
614 Posted 25/01/2014 at 17:50:50
615 Posted 25/01/2014 at 17:53:25
616 Posted 25/01/2014 at 17:55:06
617 Posted 25/01/2014 at 18:00:10
we have 2 goals now, take him off at half time.
619 Posted 25/01/2014 at 18:04:03
620 Posted 25/01/2014 at 17:57:45
621 Posted 25/01/2014 at 17:58:59
How many more,,?? For fucks sake why do none of them cheating horrible redshite never get injuries like this?
That is damn sad for Bryan Oviedo one of the most likeable players at the club and if he misses the World Cup its a tragedy it is. It also means that Baines is back in his comfort zone again, providing he can stay fit.
Martinez must surely now have a re-think about the comments saying Traore is our last business in January. Does he really think that we are not going to get anymore injuries this season? This is Everton, the club is jinxed with injuries, we have players dropping like flies.
2-0 now thanks to Naismith..Done ok he has took his goals well enough. The more pressing matter now has to be this horrendous injury crisis. Kone, Gibson,Deulofue, Barkley,Oviedo, Coleman and Pienaar, we may aswell add Traore to that if what Martinez says is accurate.
Fuckin gutted even though we are 2-0 up.
622 Posted 25/01/2014 at 18:07:21
I wouldnt say it was so much amazing what Naismith has done, you have to take into account the opposition really.
I agree that Naismith is more useful played central and I don't think I have ever had complaints about the lads work ethic, plus he is more than good in the air, I believe if Naismith was used regularly you would see something similar to a Tim Cahill type player.
Limited technically but will always make a real nusiance of himself.
624 Posted 25/01/2014 at 18:09:15
Traore is not fit and will only be available for about ten games according to Roberto so where are we gaining strength????
Gutted for Oviedo, seems a great lad and he fitted right in to our tactics under our new manager.
633 Posted 25/01/2014 at 18:25:00
635 Posted 25/01/2014 at 18:21:47
Now. RM, please don't leave Mirallas on too long, if he pick up an injury, the derby will be too much a climb.
Who should make it back from injury for the Derby, Colman? Pienaar? Delboy? ........... Ross? fingers crossed.
644 Posted 25/01/2014 at 18:36:42
645 Posted 25/01/2014 at 18:34:52
I feel so sad for Oviedo, who had outshone Baines this season, never thought I would be saying that before this season started but its fact.
646 Posted 25/01/2014 at 18:33:33
Bad link but the pitch looks like it has been freshly ploughed. Judging by the rain this afternoon in NW London, there may well be reasonable questions about whether this would have been played without bright lights of TV shining down.
655 Posted 25/01/2014 at 18:52:30
We have wrapped the game up, its just what we wanted today an easy game so now get out of the match without anymore shit happening.
Lets not forget that we have to beat the referee on Tuesday aswell, we know that Liverpool F.C get away with bear hugging in the box when defending corners, I am not sure if its some unwritten law that was made that its ok when their defenders do it. So taking into account that we will be up against the ref aswell on Tuesday with injuries its going to be hard.
661 Posted 25/01/2014 at 19:30:39
663 Posted 25/01/2014 at 19:23:09
Bryan O may have a chance for the world cup if it is a clean break that can be set easily. 3 months for the bone to heal, and then intensive training for a couple of months may put him in the frame (if there is no associated ligament damage). Unlikely to be turning out for us again this season though.
666 Posted 25/01/2014 at 19:26:35
Barry is probably only Baines's natural replacement at LB now, so there's even more urgent need for CM cover. I'm so gutted with the amount of injuries and I really hope RM hasn't finished recruiting this month.
667 Posted 25/01/2014 at 19:33:03
Get well soon Bryan, COYB!!
669 Posted 25/01/2014 at 19:34:47
670 Posted 25/01/2014 at 19:40:20
672 Posted 25/01/2014 at 19:39:31
674 Posted 25/01/2014 at 19:42:59
675 Posted 25/01/2014 at 19:38:18
Good win today - calm the nerves for Tuesday.
I thought Mirallas looked a lot happier in the middle. Naismith looked confident - he always knew where Mirallas was. Baines looked a little uninterested - not very many attacks from him. We definitely need cover at LB now. Robles looked sound but his distribution was shocking - hoof balls against Stevenage? McGeady looks useful, let's hope Martinez can coach some final ball into him.
Feeling very good about RS though, bring on Tuesday.
678 Posted 25/01/2014 at 19:46:26
680 Posted 25/01/2014 at 19:50:44
682 Posted 25/01/2014 at 19:55:28
684 Posted 25/01/2014 at 19:56:02
688 Posted 25/01/2014 at 20:00:30
689 Posted 25/01/2014 at 19:51:10
691 Posted 25/01/2014 at 20:15:57
693 Posted 25/01/2014 at 20:19:00
We might need some light relief. Anyone else seen this; Goole skipper loses it when he gets sent off today and dives into the crowd to attack Coalville supporters, shouldn't be funny I know, or perhaps gobsmacking is a better word
695 Posted 25/01/2014 at 20:16:23
The Premier League rules relating to temporary loan transfers are contained in Section 5, Rule V5 to V10 of the Premier League Handbook. They restrict the number of loan players a Premier League team can have in one season to four and no more than one player can be loaned from a particular club. No more than two players can be registered at one time by a club (unless that player becomes permanent or is an emergency goalkeeper). V6 of the handbook defines loans as being between premiership teams as well as from football league and 'non league' teams in England.
The Premier League rules do not contain such restrictions in relation to international loans. When a player joins a club from an international association, the premier league recognise that player as a new signing. They do not register that player as a loan signing but as a permanent transfer while FIFA recognise the player as being on loan. So, in essence, a team could have 11 international loan players in the team on a match day without breaking any Premier League regulations.
I suspect if do get top 4, this loophole will be closed next season to only allow teams to have two 'temporary' players regardless of whether domestic or international.
696 Posted 25/01/2014 at 20:18:18
Mirallas definitely man of the match. He won't get that rom in the PL, but it a position that gives him the opportunity to use the space and his skills. Naismith has always been a tidy finisher in the box and proved so again today. It will have done McGeady the world of good to get 90 mins in. Osman also played very well when he came on.
Barry had his worst game in an Everton shirt and Stones looked very hesitant at times. He's a great prospect, but I hope we don't have to play him in the derby.
699 Posted 25/01/2014 at 20:26:53
Good performance today and well done, Nais! All those who questioned my view of Robles must now agree. He tried hard to concede but his defence saved him from a self-destruct.
Add a new goalie to that emergency signing list.
700 Posted 25/01/2014 at 20:43:59
703 Posted 25/01/2014 at 20:48:57
705 Posted 25/01/2014 at 20:49:58
Its about time you retired.
706 Posted 25/01/2014 at 20:52:31
708 Posted 25/01/2014 at 20:55:53
709 Posted 25/01/2014 at 20:54:56
713 Posted 25/01/2014 at 20:58:31
I know he made 2 or 3 very good full length saves during the game, when it mattered.
Yes Phil, I'd sign him no problem.
714 Posted 25/01/2014 at 21:03:30
716 Posted 25/01/2014 at 21:03:19
717 Posted 25/01/2014 at 21:05:08
719 Posted 25/01/2014 at 21:11:17
721 Posted 25/01/2014 at 21:16:06
723 Posted 25/01/2014 at 21:17:03
725 Posted 25/01/2014 at 21:11:26
726 Posted 25/01/2014 at 21:18:20
727 Posted 25/01/2014 at 21:16:56
He had that pratt David James on the ropes in he interview after the game but the tit of a presenter nipped it in the bud before Joey went for the jugular.
728 Posted 25/01/2014 at 21:19:33
Do we have to ignore the evidence in the cause of worshipping this new god?
As I've oft repeated as soon as we lose two in a row his deity will be scorned.
733 Posted 25/01/2014 at 21:15:53
I agree that we could do with one or two reinforcements, especially with Oviedo out and Heitinga off. The tricky bit is finding players with enough quality that are available in January. Are there any free agents we could sign on short contracts who will see us through like Hitzelsperger did last year. I wouldn't want us to waste money on below par players who won't get a game when everyone is fit again.
734 Posted 25/01/2014 at 21:19:50
Naismith too would have got a lot of confidence from this game, Miralles I thought was superb - on a crap pitch he almost always managed to dribble past one or two defenders and seemed to have a lot of time on the ball. He deserved a goal.
Barry not quite at his best, and Baines looked busy but still nowhere near the heights he hit in 2012/13.
But the result absolutely overshadowed by what happened to Bryan. Chin up lad, hope for the best and look forward to seeing you in the blue shirt again before too long.
738 Posted 25/01/2014 at 21:27:05
740 Posted 25/01/2014 at 21:30:41
Very professional performance, clearly a game BT Sport thought we would struggle in but well done to Roberto and the lads.
741 Posted 25/01/2014 at 21:25:11
742 Posted 25/01/2014 at 21:29:55
744 Posted 25/01/2014 at 21:25:34
Also Phil, its complete crap when you say that Martinez is getting a free ride from criticism on here or from most Evertonians, after that very poor performance against West Brom he got plenty of criticism and rightly so.
The difference between most of us and you is we choose to look at the positives after a 4-0 win against tricky opposition, with a lot of players out due to injury or being rested, you of course don't.
746 Posted 25/01/2014 at 21:37:09
747 Posted 25/01/2014 at 21:34:38
Clearly you are, but the rest of us (well you and a couple of others excepted) can see exactly what's going on.
Positive approach, no more negativity, lots of good football (there was some last season but nothing like this season).
Smiles on peoples faces, fans and players clearly enjoying themselves.
No fear, just a belief in the team that we are heading in the right direction.
Go on smile, it wont hurt :)
749 Posted 25/01/2014 at 21:37:45
I think its maybe bias, or one has no bloody idea what their watching!
752 Posted 25/01/2014 at 21:55:16
756 Posted 25/01/2014 at 22:03:43
760 Posted 25/01/2014 at 22:12:30
Robles- Not impressed, too many fumbles and panic kicks
Hibbert- Pretty good, given the long absence
Stones- Will be good but scares me for now, very raw
Baines- Competent but uninspired. Seems a bit out of sorts.
Barry- Not as bad as some on here are saying
McCarthy- Pretty anonymous, was he saving himself for RS?
Oviedo- Looked useful, as usual. Best wishes for recovery
McGeady- Encouraging start but faded
Mirallas- Easily our best player
Naismith- Better in this role than as wide midfield
Osman played well when he came on, Heitinga was as good (or as average) as Jags, Gueye wasn't on long enough but appears to have morphed into Rocky.
765 Posted 25/01/2014 at 22:16:38
770 Posted 25/01/2014 at 22:12:36
I have a lot more conference in this keeper than I did in Richard Wright, Paul Gerrard, Steve Simenson and uncle festa Mucha,
Gutted for Oviedo, one of the most liked players, even reds are messaging wishing the guy a speedy recovery, I doubt there is a fan anywhere who dislikes Oviedo.
Was having kittens over the length of time Miralles was kept on and pretty sure fellow Evertonans were praying the guy got subbed before he got an injury.
782 Posted 25/01/2014 at 23:27:54
785 Posted 25/01/2014 at 23:50:47
786 Posted 25/01/2014 at 23:57:53
795 Posted 26/01/2014 at 00:06:26
799 Posted 26/01/2014 at 00:33:30
Desperate to be right but still always wrong.
Good professional performance, well done Blues.
812 Posted 26/01/2014 at 01:06:34
849 Posted 26/01/2014 at 04:50:43
882 Posted 26/01/2014 at 10:13:09
887 Posted 26/01/2014 at 10:46:17
913 Posted 26/01/2014 at 11:46:52
Me, I'm pretty open about it. Couldn' t stand Moyes after the first 4 years or so. Didn't like his style of football, tactics, media style, dealings in the transfer market (generally), But didn't moan at everything he did on TW.
Go on, PW, tell us what's it all about.
917 Posted 26/01/2014 at 12:03:58
Also, I could be wrong, but I'm sure Phil said we would be fighting relegation under Martinez.
928 Posted 26/01/2014 at 12:31:30
For Phil, Moyes was a genius and Martinez would take us down.
It hasn't worked out that way and rather than him revising his position (like many have on Martinez without any loss of face) he throws his his toys (no doubt including a cuddly Moyesy bear) out of the pram with every post.
If he honestly believes any of us think his opinions on Martinez are based on facts or considered opinion rather than him wanting to be 'right', he is even more deluded than he appears.
932 Posted 26/01/2014 at 13:00:11
933 Posted 26/01/2014 at 13:01:30
934 Posted 26/01/2014 at 13:03:07
Cosmic grooves all the way.
936 Posted 26/01/2014 at 13:20:45
940 Posted 26/01/2014 at 13:27:19
I have an interesting way of working: no rehearsals or script — just turn up and create/develop something. I did a One-Man Piece in Koln recently and tried to explain to the promoter that I would make it up on the night, like Cool Hand Luke. I said "I've never planned nothing in my life" — they didn't quite get it but it was a tremendous night and they loved it.
Anyway, this is a football site; have a look at Facebook — The Dark House Blues for football. And my other work is on: www.yelowhouse.info.
I will keep in touch of course via Blue Stuff on TW.
Keep it cool — but mainly keep it cosmic.
941 Posted 26/01/2014 at 13:29:40
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