Everton frustrated as Oldham cause more Cup drama
OLDHAM, United Kingdom (AFP) – Oldham’s Matt Smith caused more FA Cup drama as the League One giant-killers snatched a late equaliser to hold Everton to a 2-2 draw in the fifth round on Saturday.
Smith had scored twice in Oldham’s surprise win over Liverpool in the previous round and he came off the bench to frustrate the blue half of Merseyside in a thrilling tie at Boundary Park.
Jordan Obita shocked Everton with the opening goal early in the first half, yet Everton looked on course for the quarter-finals when Victor Anichebe netted the equaliser and Phil Jagielka headed the Premier League team in front soon after half-time.
But there was a sting in the tale for David Moyes’ men as Smith, a former shelf stacker in a supermarket, headed the equaliser with virtually the last touch of the game to set up a replay at Goodison Park.
Since their win over Liverpool, Oldham had dropped into the League One relegation zone and dismissed boss Paul Dickov, leaving Tony Philliskirk in charge on a caretaker basis, but their ability to trouble more illustrious opponents remains intact.
Everton were at full strength and England defender Leighton Baines went close to opening the scoring early on when his free-kick clipped off former Everton player Jose Baxter’s head and flashed just wide.
Yet just hours after Arsenal’s shock defeat against Blackburn, another upset was on the cards as Obita, a 19-year-old making his first appearance in the FA Cup, threatened to write his own chapter in the competition’s rich history.
Lee Croft broke clear down the left in the 13th minute and drilled a low cross to the far post, where on-loan Reading forward Obita was just onside as he escaped his marker and slotted home for his first Oldham goal.