Date:Thursday August 29 2013
Wednesday, August 28, 19:45
Everton secured their first win under new manager Roberto Martinez, however they were made to work for it as they came from behind to defeat a gallant Stevenage side 2-1 after extra time. Stevenage's Luke Freeman capitalised on a rare Stevenage counter attack, however goals from debutant Gerard Deulofeu and Marouane Fellaini's 116th min strike secured the victory for Martinez and his men. Everton will now face Fulham at Craven Cottage in the 3rd round of the League Cup.
Roberto Martinez hinted at making several changes ahead of the cup tie and he certainly did, in total there was nine changes to the side that faced West Brom on the weekend, including handing starting debuts to Robles, Stones, Deulofeu and Kone. Stevenage were unchanged from the side that recorded their first win of the season on the weekend against Notts County.
It was a typical cup clash with Everton dominating the possession and Stevenage happy to put numbers behind the ball and try and grab the odd goal. In the first half, Everton were creating chance after chance with youngsters Barkley and Deulofeu trying attempts from outside the box however to no avail. Deulofeu was impressive in his debut consistently beating his man and really should have had an assist when he beat his man and put in a good delivery only for Kone to miss a sitter, somehow managing to scoff his chance from a yard out. Kone was then handed another golden chance as some neat work on the left between Oviedo, Naismith and Osman enabled Kone to have a shot from 6 yards but lacked composure in front of the goal and blasted it above the bar.
Everton were made to rue their wasteful finishing as a rare Stevenage attack in the 36th minute saw substitute striker Tounkara latch onto a long ball, then managed to hold the ball up and picked out a run from Luke Freeman who made no mistake with the finsh to give the League 1 a surprising lead.
Everton then continued to press and try and find an equaliser and then found one on the stroke of half time as the impressive Deulofeu went on an impressive run where he beat two Stevenage defenders and then calmly slotted the ball into the bottom corner to draw Everton level heading into half time.
The 2nd half was more of the same, with Stevenage putting 10 and 11 players behind the ball as they tried to push the match into extra time. Everton again wasted some good chances with the best chance falling to new signing Arouna Kone who was put through by Naismith only to see his effort saved by the Stevenage keeper. Leon Osman, Ross Barkley and Gerard Deulofeu all had chances to score, but failed to do so as the match ended 1-1 after the 90mins.
In extra time, it was more of the same, as Everton tried desperately to find the winner and again Arouna Kone was handed a golden chance to take the lead, where similar to his effort in the first half, saw him scoff his chance from a yard or two out. Substitute Marouane Fellaini also had 2 chances to try and win it for Everton but saw his effort from 12yds saved by the keeper and seeing his free header from a corner go wide. However, as the match was heading to penalties, Marouane Fellaini capitalised on a poor Stevenage clearance and made no mistake from 6yds to book Everton's passage to the 3rd round.
I guess in the end, all that matters in the cup is that you progress which we did, but the performance and the result hardly filled the Everton fans with confidence. Similar to their first 2 performances in the season, a toothless Everton wasted chance after chance in front of goals and really had to rely on a mistake from a Stevenage player to score the 2nd. Everton are going to have to improve, especially in front of goal, creating 31 attempts and only scoring twice is not a good conversion rate especially given some of the chances we had. Everton now face a tricky away trip to Cardiff, who were very impressive in their 3-2 win over Man City last weekend, and hopefully can secure their first win of the league.
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Date:Thursday August 29 2013
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