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September

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

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Another stop start opening to the season made September a huge month.

But with the Blues looking to kick start their campaign the period was once again a mixed one.

The first game of September saw Aston Villa visit Goodison. With both teams looking to shoot up the table, Everton took advantage of some poor Villa defending and some superb play between Tim Cahill and Leon Osman saw the blues take a 1-0 lead via a lovely slotted finish from Everton's number 21.

The second half started the same as the first and early exchanges saw chances missed. Just past the hour mark Stiliyan Petrov picked up the ball in the Everton half and curled a superb effort into the top corner of Tim Howard's net; an emphatic equaliser.

However, Everton re-took the lead when they were awarded a penalty and Leighton Baines made no mistake to put the Blues 2-1 ahead. It looked as if Everton would hold out for victory but as the story of their season so far had been, poor defending allowed Gabriel Agbonlahor to steal a march on the Everton back line and head home from close range to ensure the game ended 2-2.

The next game was Wigan at home, who had been struggling for form this season. Franco Di Santo put the Latics ahead with a deflected shot in 30th minute but Everton were level two minutes later; a header from Tim Cahill hit the bar and was nodded in by Phil Jagielka

Chances came thick and fast but just when the game was looking as if it were going to deadlock, second half substitute Apostolos Vellios headed Everton ahead, sending the Goodison crowd into raptures and notching his first Everton goal in the process.

The victory was confirmed in stoppage time when new boys Denis Straqualursi and Royston Drenthe linked up and the Dutchman slotted calmly past Ali Al Habsi.

The League Cup came next and West Bromwich Albion were the visitors to Goodison.

After a stale first half the game suddenly burst into life early in the second period when Peter Odemwingie was sent tumbling by Everton goalkeeper Jan Mucha and Chris Brunt put away the penalty.

The game seemed likely to slip away from Everton's grasp but an 88th minute goal from Marouane Fellaini rescued the tie and sent it to extra time. The game was won by a sublime piece of skill by Royston Drenthe who laid the ball off for skipper Phil Neville to send a left footed drive into the top corner and win it for the Blues.

The final game of September saw Everton make the trip to The City of Manchester Stadium to face big spenders Manchester City.

A deflected goal from Mario Balotelli and a calm finish from James Milner were enough for the big spenders who were enjoying a dominant start to the league campaign.