x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

FA Cup: Oldham threaten to claim another Merseyside scalp as Smith equaliser denies Everton

Matt Smith was the goal hero for Oldham once again as his last minute equaliser ensured a replay at Goodison Park in a frenetic final few minutes.

Oldham's Matt Smith knocks home the equaliser against Everton as during a penalty box melee at Boundary Park.
Oldham's Matt Smith knocks home the equaliser against Everton as during a penalty box melee at Boundary Park.

OLDHAM ATHLETIC 2 EVERTON 2

Oldham: Obita 13', Smith 90'
Everton: Anichebe 24', Jagielka 48

David Moyes paid tribute to Oldham Athletic's efforts after the English League One side almost claimed their second Merseyside scalp of this year's FA Cup.

Matt Smith's last minute equaliser gave Oldham a fifth round replay at Goodison Park later this month, having beaten Liverpool in January.

Afterwards the Everton manager was quick to praise Tony Philliskirk's side, who are battling relegation from their division, but felt his side should have wrapped up the tie at 2-1, with off-colour striker Nikica Jelavic once again proving profligate.

"I'm delighted we are still in the hat for the cup," he said.

"It is a tough place to come - Oldham made it difficult and I think they deserved to get their replay.

"But then I also think we had great chances to wrap it up when it was 2-1. We missed a couple of big chances to make it 3-1 and we didn't do so.

"But hey, that is what the cup does. Give Oldham credit - they have taken some big scalps in this competition already and they nearly did it again."

Oldham set alarm bells ringing on Merseyside again on-loan Reading winger Jordan Obita gave them a 13th-minute lead.

Victor Anichebe ensured Everton were level midway through the first half, before Phil Jagielka's headed goal from a Kevin Mirallas corner at the start of the second half game them what looked a comfortable lead.

But Smith, playing his first game from the bench since suffering a shoulder injury during his two-goal display against Liverpool, once again used his physicality to good effect and had the final word.

The equaliser came from the second of two corners in a frantic finish, but Moyes felt goalkeeper Tim Howard had been impeded.

"I think there is a foul on the goalkeeper when the first corner kick comes in," he added.

"I think in most games in the Premier League that would be given as a free kick and it wasn't today.

"Most of our players are used to it (environments like this). Most of the players have been brought up through this level and we warned them and told them - we have played quite a few games like this, and we have lost quite a few games like this.

"So there has to be a bit of credit for how we stuck at it and did the job.

"Other teams have come and it has not happened that way. We did and we'll have a second chance to try to get through."

Philliskirk, who took over as Oldham caretaker manager after Paul Dickov's dismissal two weeks ago, was satisfied with the result.

"Everyone was jumping about around me and I was just smiling to myself," he said of the rapturous scenes that followed Smith's equaliser.

"I'm under no illusions about what it means to the club financially and at the end of the day that's the most important thing.

"Simon (Corney, the Oldham chairman), I'm sure that he won't like me saying this, has struggled through over the last few years and he keeps the club afloat. He works ever so hard with the board.

"It's troubled times for everybody, there's no money about. The team haven't done that well this year and attendances have fallen.

"All in all, hopefully it generates a feel-good factor, it'll encourage people to come back but, more than anything, it's what that means to the club - another game, at Goodison, possibly on TV again."

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