FA Cup - Last-gasp Smith earns Oldham replay at Everton

FA Cup fifth round, Boundary Park – Oldham 1 (Obita 13, Smith 90+4) Everton 2 (Anichebe 24, Jagielka 48)

FA Cup - Last-gasp Smith earns Oldham replay at Everton

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Oldham Athletic's Matt Smith (centre left) scores his teams second goal of the game PA Photos Oldham v Everton

Matt Smith was once again the hero as his header deep into stoppage time earned Oldham a 2-2 draw with Everton in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

The 6' 6" striker, who scored two goals in the previous round against Liverpool, sent Boundary Park into raptures by coming off the bench and heading home a corner in the fourth and last minute of injury time.

Goals from Victor Anichebe and Phil Jagielka looked to have sent David Moyes's men into the quarter-finals as they recovered from an Oldham opener by Jordan Obita.

However, Smith - playing for the first time since that famous win over Liverpool three weeks ago after recovering from injury - provided the late heroics after a period of sustained late Oldham pressure, earning the League One strugglers a deserved replay at Goodison Park.

Oldham scored early in that fourth-round upset over Liverpool and had their fans dreaming of a giant-killing again when Obita gave them the lead after only 13 minutes.

The goal was a classic counter-attack; after an Everton corner broke down, Lee Croft overpowered Leon Osman and stormed down the right. Obita made a great run up the centre and Croft put in a perfect low cross for the on-loan Reading teenager to side-foot home.

There were some suggestions that Obita might have strayed offside but replays suggested he might have remained level.

Everton took just 10 minutes to respond as Anichebe smashed home a no-nonsense equaliser.

The Nigerian showed great power to brush off Jean-Yves M'Voto and get to a flick at the edge of the area and he quickly turned and fired home a low finish to put Everton back on terms.

Oldham could have been back in front just a minute later though as Everton struggled to deal with a long throw but Obita saw a side-footed shot take a nick off a Toffee boot and agonisingly come off the post.

Both teams were relatively direct for the rest of the half, with Everton unsurprisingly having more of the play but the 1-1 half-time scoreline was a fair reflection of an entertaining opening period.

Everton came out of the blocks quicker after the restart and took the lead just four minutes into it.

Kevin Mirallas, on for Anichebe who was forced off with a knock at half-time, whipped a superb corner into the six yard box and Jagielka was able to nod home from a standing position as former Liverpool trainee Dean Bouzanis, perhaps distracted by his own defender, could not punch clear.

Everton looked to be in control of the game at that stage but the Oldham fans were relentless in support of their team and that gradually transmitted itself onto the pitch as their players began to believe a bit more.

Smith certainly gave them a big target to aim for when he came on just after the hour mark, but it was with his feet that he nearly levelled matters as he smashed a left-foot drive towards goal in the 81st minute only for Tim Howard to make a good save.

Howard was forced to make an even better stop in the 88th minute when he denied Robbie Simpson from point blank range, after the substitute striker had been found by a superb pass over the top from James Tarkowski.

Oldham kept pumping balls into the box though and their keeper Bouzanis even came up to help out for a corner deep into stoppage time.

Howard punched that corner out for another one but, with the second effort, Connor Brown put in a fantastic delivery which Bouzanis nearly got to but that Smith did as he headed into the corner to give Oldham a deserved second crack at their Premier League opponents.


Lee Croft (Oldham Athletic) – The winger usually does most of his damage going forward but was also great defensively at tracking Leighton Baines's forward runs.


Oldham:  Bouzanis 6; Brown 7, Tarkowski 8, M'Voto 7, Grounds 7; Croft 8, Wesolowski 7, Obita 8; Barnard 7, Baxter 6, Iwelumo 6.

Subs: Furman 6, Simpson 7, Matt Smith 8

Everton: Howard 8, Neville 5, Jagielka 8, Distin 7, Baines 6; Osman 7, Gibson 6, Fellaini 6, Pienaar 7 Anichebe 7, Jelavic 6

Subs: Oviedo 6, Mirallas 7, Duff N/A


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