Moyes praises 'technician' Heitinga's bolt from the blue

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The Independent Football

Everton manager David Moyes insists he was not surprised by John Heitinga's equaliser in the 1-1 draw against Birmingham on Wednesday night, even though the Netherlands international had not scored for Everton before.

Heitinga opened his account in spectacular fashion, firing an effort from the edge of the box into the roof of the net 10 minutes before the interval at Goodison Park to cancel out Jean Beausejour's 17th-minute header for the visitors.

The sight of the 27-year-old, who joined Everton from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2009, demonstrating such striking prowess was somewhat unexpected, although Moyes said yesterday it was something he knew Heitinga was capable of.

"He has got great technique," Moyes said. "It doesn't take me by surprise because he is a really good striker of the ball. He is very good with both feet. He plays centre-half most of the time, but he is a really good technician and he showed that with his finish."

Everton suffered an early setback when Mikel Arteta had to be substituted within the first 10 minutes nursing an apparent hamstring injury, robbing Moyes' side of a key playmaker. Although they dominated possession for most of the contest, they were generally unable to make the most of it and in the end Heitinga's leveller was the only time they showed a clinical touch in front of goal.

"I think we had quite a few opportunities but we weren't pulling the trigger," Moyes said. "I thought [Birmingham goalkeeper] Ben Foster made some good saves as well."