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Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

There was no quiet start to the New Year for David Moyes and his players as Everton squeezed in six matches during the opening month of 2013.

Off the pitch, John Stones was the only arrival of the transfer window, the teenage defender joining  from Championship outfit Barnsley with just an hour of deadline day to spare.

Going out of Goodison Park were Ross Barkley and Magaye Gueye, who agreed loan moves to Leeds United and Stade Brest respectively, and youngster Anton Forrester, subject of a free transfer switch to Blackburn Rovers.

The year began with a late night trip to the North East to take on Newcastle United - an evening warmed by a stunning Goal of the Season contender from Leighton Baines.

John Stones

Behind to Papiss Cisse's first-minute opener, Baines let fly with a 35-yard free-kick three minutes before half-time to bamboozle goalkeeper Tim Krul and silence the disbelieving Toon Army.

And things went from bad to worse for the home support on the hour-mark as Victor Anichebe, only moments off the bench, stuck out a leg to steer a neat winner past Krul and send Everton up to fifth in the league.

Five days later Moyes' men headed towards the other end of the country to get their FA Cup campaign underway at League Two Cheltenham Town.

Flying high in the fourth tier, the Robins proved no match for a rampant, full-strength Toffees line-up as Seamus Coleman grabbed the pick of the goals in a 5-1 rout.

Nikica Jelavic, Leon Osman, Marouane Fellaini and Baines also netted at Whaddon Road, kick-starting a run that would see the Club's first 10 goals in the competition scored by 10 different players.

Next the Blues headed home for the first Goodison game of the year and the visit of Michael Laudrup's Swansea.

The spectacle was one to forget however as  Moyes' charges were held to the first of two successive goalless draws.

The second came the following Monday night after a long journey down to Southampton, Argentine Mauricio Pochettino marking his first game in charge of the Saints with a precious but somewhat fortunate point.

Heitinga Goal Bolton

Attention then moved back to the FA Cup, the reward for overcoming Cheltenham a fourth round trip to Championship Bolton Wanderers.

The game at the Reebok Stadium only went ahead after both clubs appealed for volunteers to clear snow from walkways around the stadium - and it was the Toffees who benefitted, a 2-1 win coming courtesy of a Steven Pienaar fluke and an injury-time thunderbolt from substitute John Heitinga.

That just left the Premier League visit of West Bromwich Albion, a double from Baines securing a 2-1 victory to avenge September's disappointing defeat at the Hawthorns and keep Everton breathing down the necks of the league’s top four.

>>> Pre-order the Everton End Of Season Review DVD now.

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