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Match Report


Posted Sat 16 Feb 13 at 21:50 PM

Latics v Everton

Matt Smith scored a dramatic injury-time equaliser which earned Latics a FA Cup with Budweiser, fifth-round replay at Premier League Everton. 

The substitute found the net in the fifth minute of stoppage time to provide the perfect ending to another pulsating tie in this remarkable cup journey. 

Latics again showed great resilience and a never-say-die spirit as they refused to concede defeat, even when behind with seconds to go against a full-strength Everton side. 

Manager David Moyes certainly wasn't taking any liberties as this was his strongest line up with 11 internationals in the team at kick off. 

In a remarkable cup tie, Latics took an early lead through Jordan Obita before Everton hit back with goals from Victor Anichebe and Phil Jagielka. 

It was fitting that Smith, who scored two goals in the dramatic win against Liverpool, should have the last word.

What a night for caretaker manager Tony Philliskirk in only his second game in charge. 

He said: "We showed passion, drive, determination and effort. It is amazing what hard work does for you. 

"It is not about me but the players who never gave up." 

Philliskirk added that the return of players after injury has also strengthened the squad and helped Latics' cause.

He continued: "It has enabled me to change things from the bench which I did. 

"I thought every player that had a part to play in the game was outstanding. 

"Had we not scored late on, I would still have been saying the same things. 

"The fact we scored with the last kick of the game to get a draw was fantastic. 

"The biggest thing is what the draw means to the club, the financial reward, a day out for the fans while it continues the feel-good factor." 

Philliskirk added he told the players to enjoy tonight, but warned them they have arguably a bigger game on Tuesday at Stevenage where a win will probably lift them out of the bottom four. 

He said: "I am convinced if the players continue to show the spirit of the last two games, and bits of quality as well as effort and determination, they will get themselves out of trouble. 

"With the quality and passion we have, it would be unthinkable to think we might go down." 

Philliskirk started the side which kicked off last Saturday against Milton Keynes Dons as the fit-again Smith and Robbie Simpson on the bench. 

Latics made a bright start and shocked Everton taking a 14th minute lead after a terrific break. 

Lee Croft burst down the right and fired over a low ball across the face of goal for Obita, ghosting in at the far post, providing a clinical finish at the far post. 

Everton drew level midway through the half through Anichebe. 

Darron Gibson played a long ball forward which was flicked on by Nikica Jelavic for Anichebe who turned Jean-Yves M'voto before firing home an unstoppable shot from the edge of the box. 

Latics were unlucky not to regain the lead within 60 seconds when Obita's drive took a deflection and hit the inside of the far upright. 

Everton brought on Belgium international Kevin Miralles at the break and he provided the assist for Jagielka's goal which gave them a 2-1 lead. 

Miralles sent over the corner and Jagielka beat Lee Barnard and keeper Dean Bouzanis to head home from inside the six-yard box. 

Leon Osman came within a whisker of making it 3-1 but couldn't get on the end of a Miralles corner as it flashed across the face of goal. 

Smith replaced Chris Iwelumo just after the hour and not long after Dean Furman took over from James Wesolowski who had produced a tireless display. 

Simpson took over from Obita, who had been suffering from cramp, with 13 minutes left and made an immediate impact setting up Smith whose shot was brilliantly saved by Tim Howard. 

It was as though the introduction of three substitutes gave Latics second wind as they produced a barnstorming finish. 

Striker Barnard, who put in a selfless display including some terrific defensive work, had a shot deflected narrowly wide for a corner. 

Simpson then eluded the offside trap only to be denied by further Howard heroics. 

The ball rebounded to Simpson who, under pressure, shot into the side netting from a tight angle. 

There was to be one final twist, however, when Latics equalised at the death. 

An inswinging corner from Jonathan Grounds was met in a crowded goalmouth by Smith who headed home. 

And the goal was allowed to stand by referee Phil Dowd despite claims by Everton that goalkeeper Bouzanis, who had gone upfield for the corner, had fouled Jagielka. 

There was barely time to kick off again when the final whistle sounded and wild celebrations began as there will be a further chapter in this great cup adventure.

Latics (4-4-2): Bouzanis; Brown, Tarkowski, M'voto, Grounds; Croft, Wesolowski (Furman 66), Baxter, Obita (Simpson 77); Barnard, Iwelumo. Subs (not used): Cisak, Byrne, Millar, Winchester. 

Everton (4-4-2): Howard; Neville, Distin, Jagielka, Baines; Osman, Gibson, Fellaini, Pienaar (Oviedo 79); Anichebe (Miralles 46), Jelavic (Duffy 90+2). Subs (not used): Mucha, Heitinga, Naismith, Hitzlsperger. 

The goals: Obita (14), Smith (90+5) for Latics. Anichebe (24), Jagielka (48) for Everton. 

Booking: Neville (54) for Everton. 

Referee: Mr P Dowd. 

Attendance: 9,473 (2,784).  

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