Yakubu strikes as Toffees edge Potters

30 October 2010 05:12
Ayegbeni Yakubu struck his first goal since April to maintain Everton's Premier League revival with a 1-0 win over Stoke at Goodison Park.[LNB] The Nigeria international, linked with West Ham in the summer and criticised for lacking match fitness early in the campaign, hit the only goal of a cagey Goodison Park encounter after 67 minutes.[LNB]Matthew Etherington had a late chance to equalise for Stoke but shot wide when well placed.[LNB]The game only came to life in the second half but Everton deserved their victory having dominated possession and created the better of the chances.[LNB]Yakubu showed a brilliant striker's instinct to snatch his chance after Tim Cahill had hit the post.[LNB]His goal was the first from an Everton striker this season and finally justified manager David Moyes' faith in him after featuring in the eight previous games.[LNB]Victory extended Everton's unbeaten run to five games and continued their march up the table after sitting bottom with six games gone.[LNB]Stoke's promising start is now beginning to fade after three consecutive defeats.[LNB]It took Everton some time to get into their stride despite the return of fit-again Mikel Arteta, who passed a fitness test on a hamstring injury.[LNB]Stoke were without goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen due to an elbow injury but replacement Asmir Begovic was not seriously tested in the first half.[LNB]Everton did have an early opportunity when Yakubu was tripped after turning Ryan Shawcross on the corner of the area but Arteta blasted the free-kick well over.[LNB]Kenwyne Jones, who overcame flu to play, got an unexpected shooting chance for Stoke after Sylvain Distin smashed a clearance straight at Arteta but sliced wide.[LNB]Begovic required treatment after coming out of goal to prevent Seamus Coleman reaching the ball and getting an accidental kick in the face for his trouble.[LNB]Everton attacked again after the resumption with Steven Pienaar setting Yakubu away but the Nigerian lacked pace and was unable to test Begovic with a firm shot.[LNB]Pienaar also had a shot from distance after collecting a neat flick from Yakubu but Begovic comfortably gathered.[LNB]Arteta created another good opening by finding Phil Neville in space in the box but Faye got back to deflect the Everton captain's shot into Begovic's arms.[LNB]Tim Cahill also tried his luck from long range but his effort flew into the stand.[LNB]Stoke had a rare chance five minutes before the break after winning a corner but an unmarked Abdoulaye Faye shot well wide after receiving the ball at the back post.[LNB]Arteta lined up another free-kick early in the second half after being tripped by Marc Wilson but Jonathan Walters blocked his powerful shot.[LNB]Everton then pieced together a good move which appeared to break down on the edge of the box as Coleman lost control.[LNB]But the Irishman showed tenacity to win it back and burst into the area after playing a one-two with Neville, only to shoot tamely at Begovic.[LNB]Nevertheless, the game had finally started to warm up and Leighton Baines picked out Cahill with a good cross which the Australian headed over.[LNB]With 50 minutes on the clock, Stoke finally enjoyed a good spell with first Wilson cutting in from the right to shoot over.[LNB]Shawcross then spurned a glorious chance from 12 yards, slicing wide after team-mate Robert Huth had a shot blocked.[LNB]Tuncay claimed a goal at the far post after bundling the ball over the line but referee Lee Probert correctly penalised the Turk for barging into the back of Baines.[LNB]Everton replied with a quick counter-attack but John Heitinga blazed over.[LNB]Tuncay won a free-kick after being felled by Baines but Etherington could not take advantage.[LNB]Everton finally grabbed the lead after Pienaar broke clear of Collins on the right.[LNB]Faye chose to let the ball hit his shins instead of clearing and Yakubu nipped in to set up Cahill.[LNB]The midfielder drove a powerful shot at the base of the post and Yakubu again quickly picked up the loose ball.[LNB]This time the former Middlesbrough striker cut inside and fired an unstoppable left-foot shot into the roof of the net.[LNB]Stoke responded by throwing on former Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant.[LNB]The visitors should have equalised 10 minutes from time after Etherington broke down the left but the midfielder dragged his shot across goal.[LNB]Yakubu, satisfied with his contribution, was withdrawn five minutes from time and replaced by Diniyar Bilyaletdinov.[LNB]The Russian could have added a second in injury time but fired narrowly wide from close range.

Source: Team_Talk