Five-star Everton rout Cheltenham

07 January 2013 10:17

Everton swept into the FA Cup fourth round with a 5-1 rout of League Two minnows Cheltenham on Monday.

Although Everton are flying high in the Premier League and harbour genuine ambitions of qualifying for the Champions League, Toffees boss David Moyes refused to rest his key players and sent out a strong side at Whaddon Road to guard against a potential third round giant-killing.

And his senior stars proved too hot for fourth-tier Cheltenham to handle as Nikica Jelavic's early goal and a Leighton Baines penalty put the result beyond doubt within 21 minutes.

Leon Osman added Everton's third goal soon after half-time and although Russell Penn got one back for Cheltenham there was never any chance of a comeback.

Seamus Coleman and Marouane Fellaini rounded off the scoring to ensure Everton, beaten by Liverpool in the semi-finals last season, earned a last 32 clash with Bolton or Sunderland later this month.

With 67 places between the clubs in the English league system it was hardly surprising to see Everton, featuring eight of the team that won 2-1 at Newcastle last weekend, take charge right from the kick-off.

The Toffees opened the scoring after 12 minutes when Fellaini's curling shot from the right crashed against the far post and Croatia forward Jelavic alertly slotted home the rebound for his seventh goal of the campaign.

Everton were cutting through the home defence with ease and Jelavic shot wide after more good play by Fellaini before Brown produced a superb save to keep out Baines' curling free-kick.

Baines wasn't to be denied and the England left-back doubled Everton's lead from the penalty spot in the 21st minute.

Cheltenham captain Alan Bennett was harshly ruled to have fouled Fellaini and the resulting spot-kick from Baines contained too much power for Brown.

Moyes' men killed off the tie after 49 minutes when Osman slotted the ball past Brown after taking a Baines pass in stride.

Cheltenham pulled one back two minutes later through Penn's powerful finish after good play by Kaid Mohamed.

But Coleman re-established Everton's three goal lead in the 58th minute with a clever flick over Brown after exchanging passes with Victor Anichebe.

Belgian midfiedler Fellaini rubbed salt into Cheltenham's wounds in the 89th minute with a close-range finish from Anichebe's cross.

Source: AFP