Everton v Oldham Athletic
Everton dealt with Oldham at the second attempt to book a home FA Cup quarter final against Wigan.
But the visitors hit back straight away through Matt Smith – who else – to ensure an uncomfortable final 25 minutes.
Everton were deprived the services of Maroiuane Fellaini through injury but his compatriot Mirallas turned in an impressive first half display.
As early as the third minute Mirallas jinked away from three defenders before being felled by Jean Yves Mvoto on the edge of the box. Baines’ free kick flew into the wall but Everton would continue to dominate.
Just before the quarter hour Steven Pienaar tumbled under pressure in the box but there was nothing doing from ref Michael Oliver.
Moments later Mirallas had put the Blues ahead. The Belgian flyer ghosted into the box and calmly sidefooted Gibson’s beautifully measured cross past Dean Bouzanis.
It was Everton’s 10th goal of this season’s FA Cup campaign and was netted by the tenth different scorer.
Oldham almost hit back straight through Jose Baxter but the midfielder was denied a dream return to Goodison when his curling effort struck the inside of the post.
Keenly aware of the precariousness of a single goal lead, the home side pushed for a bigger cushion. In the 28th minute Baines seized on a loose ball after Pienaar had been halted and drew a sharp save from Bouzanis with a fierce low drive from 30 yards.
Everton doubled their lead 10 minutes before half time when Seamus Coleman galloped to the byline and sent over a cross which Connor Brown inexplicably handled.
Baines stepped up and squeezed one of his less clinical penalties under the unfortunate Oldham custodian.
Jagielka slashed wildly over after Jelavic had recycled a corner at the start of the second half, while Osman couldn’t get the necessary purchase on another excellent Coleman centre.
Oldham threw on their FA Cup talisman Smith with 35 minutes of the game remaining and his presence seemed to provide his side with a shot in the arm as they enjoyed their best period of the game.
Lee Croft fired wide on the hour mark but the visitors ascendency was cut short when Osman glanced a cross into the corner of the net with Bouzanis seemingly distracted by the presence of Jelavic.
It was the academy graduate’s 50th goal in the Blue of Everton.
But far from being put to bed, Oldham promptly got themselves back into it when Smith rose unmarked to head home seconds later.
Coleman sent a rasping angled drive wide at the other end and Everton then set about maintaining possession and drawing the sting from the Latics.
It was largely successful and the Blues could even have added to their league had Gibson kept his cool when presented with an excellent chance after a swift counter attack.