Everton sweat in shoot-out

<preform>Bristol City 2 Everton 2 aet</br> <i>(Everton win 4-3 on penalties)</i></preform>
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The Independent Football

Everton may have made their best-ever start to the Premiership but you wouldn't have known it from this performance.

Everton may have made their best-ever start to the Premiership but you wouldn't have known it from this performance.

After cruising to a 2-0 half-time lead, David Moyes' team allowed Bristol City to draw level and only reached the third round of the Carling Cup, where they face Leicester or Preston at home, via a penalty shoot-out.

Two goals in three second-half minutes brought the League One side back into the match before keeper Steve Phillips pulled off a superb penalty save five minutes from the end of normal time. But he couldn't keep out Everton in the shoot-out and after Steve Watson had missed their first spot-kick, the Premiership side's players kept their nerve with Lee Carsley slotting home the winning penalty.

Everton made six changes to the side that beat Middlesbrough on Saturday to go third in the Premiership. The goalkeeper Richard Wright played his first game for a year and striker Duncan Ferguson started for the first time this season. Their slick passing and movement kept City on the back foot but they created the better chances, Christian Roberts nearly opening the scoring when Leroy Lita's pass gave him sight of goal but he shot wide of the posts.

On the half-hour, Ferguson put Everton ahead when Tony Butler handled just inside his own area and the veteran striker beat Phillips from the spot.

Everton doubled their lead just before the break when Nick Chadwick, who had only just come on as a substitute for the injured Leon Osman, headed in Gary Naysmith's free-kick.

But Bristol hit back five minutes into the second-half when Scott Murray's right-wing cross was turned into his own goal from six yards by Alan Stubbs. The Everton defence creaked again down the left three minutes later as Roberts reached the line and Lita smashed home his low cross at the near post for his eighth goal of the season.

Everton had a golden opportunity to seal the tie five minutes from time. When McFadden was brought down by Jamie Smith in the area, the young Scot saw his penalty kick saved by Phillips, who then kicked over his headed rebound.

In extra time, the City keeper saved superbly when McFadden's corner was headed goalwards by Stubbs and at the other end, Wright tipped over Lita's free-kick.

"The job we came to do was to get through and we did that," Moyes said. "We're disappointed because we should have seen the game out at 2-0."

However, Brian Tinnion, the Bristol City player-manager, said: "I knew tonight that if the lads went out and played as they can then they could give Everton a very good game and they did that."

Bristol City (4-4-2): Phillips; Smith, Coles, Butler, Hill; Murray, Doherty, Orr, Wilkshire; Roberts, Lita. Substitutes not used: Heffernan, Miller, Fortune, Gillespie, Brown.

Everton (4-4-2): Wright; Hibbert, Yobo, Stubbs, Naysmith (Pistone, 69); Watson, Carsley, Cahill, Osman (Chadwick, 43); McFadden, Ferguson (Campbell, 81). Substitutes not used: Turner (gk), Weir.

Referee: P Crossley (Kent).