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Sunday 21 September K.O. 16:00



Abbey Business Stadium | 7th January 2013 19:45

Cheltenham v Everton

Everton's FA Cup adventure got off to the perfect start as they eased into round four with an emphatic victory over Cheltenham Town.

An upset never looked on the cards at Whaddon Road as goals from Nikica Jelavic, Leighton Baines, Leon Osman, Seamus Coleman and Marouane Fellaini secured the Blues' safe passage through.

The result means David Moyes' men can now look forward to a trip to either Bolton Wanderers or Sunderland, with the two set to meet in a replay later this month.

Moyes had vowed to take the meeting with League Two's fourth-placed side seriously and proved he meant business by selecting a starting line-up boasting 10 internationals.

Indeed, the Blues boss made just three changes to the side that won 2-1 at Newcastle United as Victor Anichebe, Bryan Oviedo and the fit-again Seamus Coleman came in for Steven Pienaar, Steven Naismith and the injured John Heitinga.

Nikica Jelavic CheltenhamNikica Jelavic celebrates his opener

Predictably, the home side made a lightning-quick start and after winger Kaid Mohamed's jinking run down the left, striker Jeff Goulding may have done better with a chance from 12 yards out.

As it was, Everton survived the mini scare and, just 12 minutes in, got the early breakthrough they craved.

It started with a positive surge from Oviedo, the Costa Rican's endeavours carving out a shooting chance for the lively Fellaini. The Belgian's first-time effort came back off the post but the situation was read perfectly by Jelavic, and the Croatian threw himself to convert the rebound back past goalkeeper Scott Brown.
If that was the perfect potion to settle the nerves, a second nine minutes later saw the visitors completely seize the initiative.

Jelavic had already blazed a good opportunity wide before a Baines free-kick was expertly clawed away by Brown. However, when the ball was pumped back towards the box, referee Kevin Friend spotted a foul on Fellaini and had little hesitation in pointing to the spot. The duty fell to Baines and, though Brown guessed right, the left-back's effort was simply too powerful, too accurate; too good.

Leighton Baines doubles the advantage from the spot

What's more, the strike saw Baines become the first Everton player in history to score in four successive third round ties, the England international having also netted in wins over Carlisle, Scunthorpe United and Tamworth in recent campaigns.

Cushion established, Everton stepped off the gas a little, seemingly content to see their lead through to the break.

The only real threat to that wish came courtesy of Jermaine McGlashan, but while the winger's volley stirred the home fans to their feet, it was always drifting high and wide of Tim Howard's goalframe.

Yet Moyes would have been preaching the need of a third goal - and his side got it with just five minutes of the second half played.
Osman surged forward to meet a cut back from Baines and scooped up the ball before craftily slinking past his marker and slotting a low left-foot shot under the body of Brown.

Cheltenham's response was to immediately pull one back through midfielder Russell Penn but the three-goal advantage was quickly re-established - and in breathtaking fashion.  

Leon Osman CheltenhamLeon Osman nets the third

Coleman, making his first appearance since the 1-1 draw at Stoke in mid-December, burst down the right, played a neat one-two with Anichebe and capped the move by nonchalantly lifting the ball over Brown and into the side of the net.

Mission accomplished, Moyes was able to begin resting players with Saturday's visit of Swansea in mind and sent on Magaye Gueye, Naismith and Thomas Hitzlsperger to spare Baines, Osman and Jelavic.

And there was still time for Fellaini to add a fifth late on, the midfielder capitalising on excellent work from the impressive Anichebe to steer home and complete a good job well done.

By Adam Clark at Whaddon Road



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