Match Report: Everton heed David Moyes warning to end Oldham's FA Cup adventure

Everton 3 Oldham Athletic 1

Goodison Park

The way Everton capitulated when a big FA Cup semi final with Liverpool dawned last April has not been forgotten. There was a kind of a haunting that day and one which was still occupying minds here tonight, with Wembley beginning to appear on the horizon. “Disappointment” was David Moyes' word. “Pain,” said Phil Neville.

The moment may arrive soon enough when Everton's ability to travel beyond a grand old Goodison night and reveal themselves as a side belonging on the big stage will be questioned again. They will believe that they can progress beyond a home quarter-final with Wigan Athletic on Saturday week. But what can be said without fear of contradiction is that they possess a particular type of hunger for the competition, not universally evident, which will make them a popular challenger for those who are neutral.

There was time here for Oldham Athletic's Matt Smith to establish his credentials as the scourge of Merseyside, with his fourth goal against a Premier League Merseyside team in a season when he has managed only three against League One opposition. Smith admitted he was disappointed not to start, despite being fit, in a game when he took fewer than 10 minutes to spin away from a static Sylvain Distin and score. "I'm not one to throw the toys out of the pram," Smith declared. "It's disappointing the adventure is over."

It may be the cause of a haunting for Oldham's caretaker manager Tony Philliskirk. "I knew I was going to get that question," he said when the decision to hold Smith back until the 55th minute came up. "Hindsight is a wonderful feeling. I may be criticised for not starting the lad but all decisions are made in good faith."

However, this was a comfortable progression, even though individual defensive errors contributed much to Everton putting behind them five FA Cup defeats at Oldham's hands, to record their first win over the club in the competition since February 1912 – two months before the Titanic went down.

Moyes' programme notes hinted at his fears that things might just be close. The "expectation mustn't turn into impatience" he cautioned, and though there was a hint of that in the early stages, Everton's ability to find space and operate between the lines was manifest and Darron Gibson was able to control and dictate with comfort.

"At half time the players were saying how difficult it was to pick up [Leon] Osman, [Kevin] Mirallas and [Steven] Pienaar," reflected Philliskirk. "Just saying those names! Top players find space on a football pitch."

The first half was full of good things from Gibson but few better than the fine cross he lifted in from the right after quarter of an hour which Mirallas, whose movement and capacity to take up good positions were striking, darted ahead to tap in on the half-volley while Oldham's Jonathan Grounds was still looking for an offside flag.

Philliskirk rightly praised his side's indefatigability, even when 3-0 down before a raucous 4,000-strong visiting contingent. That sentiment also went for their near immediate equaliser from the sweet right boot of Jose Baxter, who seized a loose ball, advanced into the left of the Everton area and bent the ball against the inside of Tim Howard's post. For a 21-year-old whose four years at the club did not deliver the career he had hoped for, it would have been a precious moment, though it was only a minor incursion into the story of Everton's domination.

Oldham's right-back Connor Brown, who impressed overall, "foolishly" handed Everton their second, as Philliskirk saw it, slipping and handling Seamus Coleman's cross into the box, with Baines converting the penalty under goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis who dived too early and watched the ball slip beneath him.

Oldham considered delivering Smith immediately after the break and in the ten minutes spent waiting to see how the second period would go, Osman had put the game out of sight. Oldham were finally dominating play when Osman levered an angled header into Pienaar's whipped ball from the left just past the hour, sending it looping in through the grasp of Bouzanis, who was distracted by the oncoming Nikica Jelavic.

Smith then arrived, whirling away impressively from Distain before striding back into the six-yard box to convert Grounds' corner. But with Gibson still having time for the miss of the night, sidefooting over from a neat Jelavic layback, the delay was academic.

Oldham return to a League One in which they stand a point and a place above the relegation zone. Everton are 90 minutes away from a chance to go back and exorcise some ghosts. "We've gone close a couple of times in this competition," said Baines. "It's whetted our appetite. Made it a target. So we want to go further."

Man of the match Mirallas.

Match rating 6/10.

Referee M Oliver (Northumberland).

Attendance 32,688.

Sixth round draw

Saturday 9 March Everton v Wigan (12.45pm, ITV); Manchester City v Barnsley (5.30pm, ESPN)

Sunday 10 March Millwall v Blackburn (2, ESPN); Manchester Utd v Middlesbrough/Chelsea (4.30, ITV)

Sport
sportGareth Bale, Carl Froch and Kelly Gallagher also in the mix for award
News
Japan's Suntory Beverage & Food has bought GlaxoSmithKline's Lucozade and Ribena
news
News
A tongue-eating louse (not the one Mr Poli found)
newsParasitic louse appeared inside unfilleted sea bass
Life and Style
The reindeer pen at the attraction
lifeLaurence Llewelyn-Bowen's 'Magical Journey' and other winter blunderlands
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Tana Ramsay gave evidence in a legal action in which her husband, Gordon, is accusing her father, Christopher Hutcheson, of using a ghost writer machine to “forge” his signature
peopleTana Ramsay said alleged discovery was 'extremely distressing'
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Windsor and Aljaz Skorjanec rehearse their same-sex dance together on Strictly Come Dancing
TV
Money
Anyone over the age of 40 seeking a loan with a standard term of 25 years will be borrowing beyond a normal retirement age of 65, and is liable to find their options restricted
propertyAnd it's even worse if you're 40
Arts and Entertainment
Perhaps longest awaited is the adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road with Brazil’s Walter Salles directing and Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart and Viggo Mortensen as the Beat-era outsiders
books
Arts and Entertainment
theatreSinger to join cast of his Broadway show after The Last Ship flounders at the box office
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'