David Moyes takes no chances as strong Everton side crush Cheltenham

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Cheltenham Town 1 Everton 5

Waddon Road

It was 10 years ago this month, in January 2003, that David Moyes suffered his most embarrassing defeat as Everton manager, when Nigel Jemson gave a Shrewsbury Town side bottom of the fourth tier a 2-1 victory over them at Gay Meadow.

The ESPN cameras were at Cheltenham Town last night perhaps hoping for lightning to strike twice but this a different Everton now, a team playing probably the best football of Moyes's 11-year reign, and they made light work of opponents placed 66 places below them on the league ladder.

Moreover, 10 years after Shrewsbury and five after a similar third-round embarrassment against Oldham Athletic, this is an Everton happy to do that unfashionable thing and actually make the FA Cup a priority.

Hence the strong team that Moyes sent out at a packed Whaddon Road and the emphatic 5-1 victory that followed. The Premier League side took a firm grip on proceedings with early strikes from Nikica Jelavic and Leighton Baines, the latter a penalty. Leon Osman, Seamus Coleman and Marouane Fellaini added further goals in the second period although Cheltenham, still to beat top-flight opposition after six attempts, did at least have a Russ Penn goal to cheer.

"I didn't want to make the same mistake that we did at Leeds when we made some changes and the players weren't up to scratch," said Moyes, recalling how an under-strength Everton side fell at Leeds in the Capital One Cup in September. This time there were only two changes from the victorious starting XI at Newcastle on 2 January, Victor Anichebe and Bryan Oviedo coming in for Steven Naismith and the absent Steven Pienaar.

Everton's reward is a fourth-round trip to Bolton Wanderers or Sunderland, who meet in their replay at the Stadium of Light a week today. When Everton faced Sunderland in last season's quarter-finals, Moyes actually fielded a weakened team in an Anfield derby days before the drawn first match at Goodison. That was refreshing evidence of his hunger to end their drought for silverware, Moyes still seeking to deliver Everton's first trophy since this competition in 1995 and also wants to earn his own first major honour as a manager after defeat in the Cup final in 2009.

Despite their current pursuit of the pot of gold that is Champions League qualification, the lure of this old pot is evidently strong. Captain Phil Neville said afterwards: "David Moyes told us yesterday he wants to win the FA Cup. We've got one game a week now all season so tiredness shouldn't be an issue."

For Cheltenham, things were no better than in the first 10 minutes. With a full house of 6,891 packed inside this neat, compact ground, Mark Yates's men began at a high tempo and gave Everton an early scare when winger Kaid Mohamed got the better of Coleman and cut into the box. Instead of shooting, however, he fed midfielder Darren Carter who scuffed his shot.

Unbeaten at home since October, Cheltenham were full of energy but their hopes were quickly dampened as Jelavic struck after 12 minutes. After Oviedo and Fellaini had linked up on the left side of the penalty area, the Belgian drove a low angled shot past goalkeeper Scott Brown and on to the far post. Jelavic was first to the rebound, stretching to turn in his first goal in six games.

Yates, the Cheltenham manager, said: "We started off fantastically, I was really pleased but all of a sudden the ball is in the back of our net."

Neville Southall kept a clean sheet for Cheltenham when Everton lost a testimonial match here in 1990 and home goalkeeper Brown soon made a save that might have satisfied the Welshman, diving across his goal to pluck away a Baines free-kick bound for the top corner. It proved in vain as the left-back soon added Everton's second. With Cheltenham unable to clear their lines, Neville sent a long throw into the six-yard-box where Alan Bennett was penalised for climbing on the back of Fellaini. It looked a harsh decision but Baines duly tucked the ball low to Brown's right.

Cheltenham heads did not drop and Jermaine McGlashan came close before the break when he flashed an effort over the crossbar. Even when Osman accepted Baines' low cross, rode a challenge and made it three with a typically neat finish after 49 minutes, the League Two side kept at it and they quickly got a goal back, Penn collecting a Mohamed pass and stabbing past Tim Howard at the near post.

"We kept going and showed a lot of commitment and quality coming up against a very strong Everton side," added Yates. "We've now got a 21-game season to get to where we want to be."

For Cheltenham, beaten in last term's League Two play-off final, that is League One and last night will have helped their promotion push – this tie earned the Gloucestershire team around £200,000, no mean sum given their broadcasting revenue from the Football League in the last tax year totalled £400,000. It has already allowed Yates room to manoeuvre in the transfer window, with two loan signings expected this week to boost his side's promotion push.

Their fans contributed to the occasion too, applauding both Baines and Osman as they left the field. By then the contest was over after Coleman had added an impressive fourth just before the hour, surging upfield to lob an Anichebe cross beyond Brown. Anichebe then teed up Fellaini at the death to complete the Merseysiders' comprehensive success.

 

Substitutions: Cheltenham Taylor (Carter, 66), Duffy (Goulding, 66), Deering (McGlashan, 80). Everton Gueye (Baines, 63), Naismith (Osman, 68), Hitzlsperger (Jelavic, 80).

Man of the match Fellaini.

Match rating 6/10.

Possession: Cheltenham 44%, Everton 56%.

Attempts on target: Cheltenham 3, Everton 8.

Referee K Friend (Leicestershire).

Attendance: 6,891.

Sport
sportWWE latest including Sting vs Triple H, Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing