Oldham vs. Everton, FA Cup: Final score 2-2, Latics earn replay

Alex Livesey

Oldham had knocked out Liverpool in the 4th round of the FA Cup, and they managed a miracle comeback against Everton and Boundary Park, drawing 2-2 and ensuring that their cap adventure doesn't end just yet.

The visitors, unsurprisingly, began the match in the ascendancy. Everton pushed up high and spent the first 13 minutes on the attack, pressing hard for the opening goal. But their aggressiveness came at a heavy price. In their first adventure into the Toffees half, Oldham struck, with Lee Croft blazing down the right wing before sending a perfectly-weighted ball between Phil Neville and Darron Gibson for Jordan Obita to smash home from close range.

Unlike the Liverpool match, however, Everton's response was swift and emphatic. They weren't fazed by conceding, and continued to go after a goal of their own. It came on 24 minutes, when Nikica Jelavic's flick found Victor Anichebe, who brushed aside Jean-Yves M'voto and hammered a left-footed shot past Dean Bouzanis to make it 1-1.

Although one might have expected the Latics to collapse after seeing their early lead evaporate, the hosts immediately generated another fine chance, with excellent work from Lee Barnard resulting in Obita getting a shot off through a crowd of bodies. A deflection off Marouane Fellaini took the ball beyond Tim Howard, who was relieved to see Obita's effort ricochet off the base of the post and to something approximating safety.

But Everton were not to be denied and the Premier League team went ahead immediately after the restart. Bouzanis only had himself to blame as he got on the wrong side of Phil Jagielka, and despite the attentions of Barnard the England international was able to get on the end of Kevin Mirallas' delivery and steer the ball in.

Steven Pienaar very nearly doubled the Toffee's lead shortly thereafter following a sublime one-two with Fellaini only to see Bouzanis throw himself to his left for the save, and Leon Osman should certainly have made it 3-1 when he came in unmarked on another Mirallas corner only to glance his point-blank header wide of the post.

Both sides had chances in the second half, but it was the hosts who ended on top -- Jagielka had to save the Toffees with an vital block as time wound down and then Howard kept out Barnard on a one on one seconds later. It looked as through Everton were going to survive Oldham's late siege, but then, in the fifth minute of injury time, Matt Smith produced a miracle.

The hosts had won a series of corner kicks in the dying seconds, and Bouzanis was thrown into the fray as they scrambled for the equaliser. But it was Smith, on as a substitute, who rose above the defence to head past Howard, ensuring the match finished 2-2 and earning a replay at Goodison Park -- if you don't think it was a handball from Bouzanis, at any rate.

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