FA Cup: Everton 3 Oldham 1
By Football News
Goals from Kevin Mirallas, Leighton Baines and Leon Osman fired Everton to a 3-1 victory over Oldham in their fifth-round FA Cup tie.
Mirallas opened the scoring after 15 minutes at Goodison Park with a side-footed half-volley from close range before Baines doubled the home side's lead with a successful penalty 18 minutes later.
Oldham goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis fumbled Osman's 62nd minute header to gift the home side a 3-0 lead but Matt Smith gave the travelling fans something to smile about with a headed goal of his own almost immediately after the restart.
The underdogs started strongly and attempted to take advantage of Everton's recent vulnerability in defence, but the hosts managed to find their feet after a few nervy opening minutes and exerted pressure on the away side with a constant stream of possession.
Oldham looked exposed down the flanks from the start and that proved to be the case when Everton scored their opener. A perfectly placed Darren Gibson cross found Mirallas in front of goal and the Belgian striker broke away from the static defence and half-volleyed the ball past Bouzanis.
The visitors were almost immediately back on level terms after a defensive mix up at the other end allowed Oldham's Jose Baxter a chance, but his great effort from the edge of the area hit the post and bounced clear.
The home side's continued pressure paid off when another cross caused Oldham problems, this time resulting in a penalty after Connor Brown needlessly handled the cross from Seamus Coleman.
Bouzanis got a hand on Baines' spot-kick but it still found its way into the back of the net to give Everton a 2-0 lead heading into half-time.
With no signs of improvement on the horizon, Oldham's super-sub Smith, who's last-minute goal earned the replay, entered the fray 10 minutes into the second half, and his introduction clearly had a positive effect as the 23-year-old helped the away side carve out their first real chances of the game in quick succession.
But Oldham's pressure was short-lived as Everton made it 3-0 in the 62nd minute after Osman's backwards header was fumbled into the net by Bouzanis.
Fan-favourite Smith gave Oldham a sense of hope when he headed in himself from a corner just a minute later to make it 3-1, but the goal proved to be too little too late as Everton held on to book a quarter-final tie with Wigan.