Stevenage 0-4 Everton : FA Cup Match Report
There are times when the gap in the English football ladder counts for nothing and the magic of the FA Cup prevails and does what it does best. Upsets. There are also occasions when the vast difference in quality and depth come to the fore and the Premier League side secure comfortable victories due to the class their opponents found lacking. The latter was the story at the Lamex after a brace from Steven Naismith and goals from Johnny Heitinga and Magaye Gueye made sure of Everton's place in the last 16 of the world's oldest cup competition.
Toffees boss Roberto Martinez may have claimed that Stevenage were the favourites and the fact that his side are challenging for a Champions League berth while Boro sit at the foot of the Sky Bet League 1 standings, consequently making the clubs 62 places apart in the football pyramid, meant nothing in the FA Cup, the considerable contrast in quality came into effect after only five minutes.
Two minutes after Boro forward Akins had hit his shot straight at John Stones, Naismith gave the visitors an early lead with a clinical finish in a similar scenario to the chance presented to Akins, only for class to tell.
Martinez's side soon doubled their advantage as Naismith bagged his second of the game. The Scotland striker, who has been repeatedly overlooked in preference of Belgian team-mate Romelu Lukaku this campaign, latched onto Osman's pass and poked it under Stevenage keeper Chris Day.
Following the break, Johnny Heitinga, who had replaced Phil Jagielka at half-time, made sure of Everton's victory after the Dutchman headed in an ambitious overhead kick from Mirallas, who was excellent all game and thrived in the probing number ten role, in what could be his last contribution for the Merseyside. The Toffees are awaiting an imminent bid from Turkish giants Galatasaray.
Substitute Magaye Gueye, who had not featured under Martinez this season, added gloss to the score-line with a well-taken finish. The 23-year old Frenchman twisted and turned before rolling home to score only his third goal for the Goodison Park outfit upon joining from Strasbourg in 2010.
However, Martinez's gratification will be tempered following a serious injury to Bryan Oviedo. The Costa Rica international will harbour a lengthy spell on the sidelines and is set to miss the World Cup.
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