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Heitinga Happy To Avoid Replay

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John Heitinga has dedicated his match-winning goal against Bolton to Everton fans who braved the snow and ice at the Reebok Stadium on Saturday.

The second-half substitute put the Blues into the fifth round of the FA Cup with a stoppage time screamer, setting up a meeting with Liverpool's conquerors Oldham Athletic in three weeks' time.

It was the Dutchman's first goal of the season and only his fourth for Everton since his switch from Atletico Madrid in 2009.

But it was a strike that ensured the tie was settled on the day and avoided putting an extra date in Everton's fixture schedule.

A busy fortnight sees David Moyes' team entertain West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa at Goodison Park before travelling to Premier League pace-setters Manchester United on Sunday week.

"To be fair, I have scored a few good goals but not for Everton, unfortunately. But I'm really happy to hit the winner today," Heitinga told evertontv.

“It's a fantastic feeling because Everton supporters came today in their numbers and they supported us really well. It's always nice to score a goal, especially right in front of the fans."

He continued: "They [Bolton] played okay. The first half we started really well, we were the better team and the game turned over and they were the better team.

"But it's not easy to play the FA Cup games, especially away, and we won, so that's the most important thing. We don't have to play a replay and we can focus on the game against West Brom.”

Next on the agenda for Heitinga and company is the visit of the Baggies on Wednesday evening, the first of two home fixtures within the space of four days.

And according to the former Ajax man, it’s a must-win game if the Blues are to continue their push for European qualification.

He added: “It's important because we're fighting for a place in Europe and you must play game by game, and the next one is always important.

“If you want to play in Europe, you need to win the game against West Bromwich.”

Tickets are still available for both of the back-to-back home fixtures against West Brom and Aston Villa - to reserve your seat call 0871 663 1878, visit the Park End Box Office, Everton Two or the TicketQuarter, or buy online by clicking here.

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