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25 January 2014
• The Lamex Stadium, Stevenage, Hertfordshire
Referee: A. Taylor
• Attendance: 6913
S. Naismith 5', 32'
J. Heitinga 55'
M. Gueye 84'
That's it from me, Kevin Blundell. Although we didn't see an upset in the FA Cup today, Stevenage's valiant effort and willingess to attack shows that the magic is still alive - giving smaller clubs an opportunity to compete with the best. Thanks for tuning in, and on to the next round!
It hasn't been all positive news for Everton today, though. Bryan Oviedo has been rushed to hospital after picking up a horrific injiury midway through the first half. The Costa Rica international has been in impressive form this season and will be sorely missed in the coming games.
In Lukaku's absence it was another Belgian who stole the show this evening. Kevin Mirallas was in miraculous form, controlling the game from the off and unlucky not to get on the scoresheet himself. Martinez will be pleased to see he has such depth in his squad that he can rely on several players to step up when others are not playing.
A ruthless display in front of goal sees Everton dispatch Stevenage in relatively easy fashion. The home side started brightly, but were unable to bounce back after falling behind.
That's it! Full time here at Broadhall Way and both sets of players stay on the pitch to applaud the fans.
90' + 2'
A wayward shot by Aikens pretty much sums up Stevenage's day. The ball falls to him on the edge of the box and the forward swings wildly at it, and results in him nearly reaching the car park.
GOAL MOUTH SCRAMBLE! Oh so close for Stevenage. It's just not gone right for them today, has it? The ball is blocked on the line by Robles and Heitinga before being cleared to the home side's dismay.
Stevenage fans still singing in the final minutes, despite being four goals down. You've got to love what the FA Cup brings to football.
This has been a clinical display by Everton - scoring their four goals from just seven shots on target today, and all without having to bring on their main striker in Lukaku.
Goal Magaye Gueye
GOOOOOOOOAL! Gueye makes it 4-0 with a lovely finish after Osman puts him through on goal. The Everton midfielder has got two assists since replacing Oviedo in the first half.
PENALTY SHOUT! Naismith races through on goal in search of his hat trick, but Day comes off his line to collect the ball and takes a bit of the man, too. It would have been harsh on Stevenage to give that.
I've hardly seen him in the second half, but Morais is replaced by Andrade. A disappointing performance by the former Chelsea man who disappeared after a lively start to the match.
Surely Martinez's mind is firmly fixed on his side's trip to Anfield as he looks to make another substitution in this match and see the game out. Mirallas comes off for Gueye.
Too many balls are being kicked out of the ground! The ballboys have got a job on their hands this evening, and rumours have it there are only three balls left.
Mayhem in the Everton six-yard box! The corner is delivered into the near post and a deflection sees the ball heading in before Robles makes a superb reaction save.
Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dean Parrett enters the fray. Can he help Stevenage get a consolation goal and give the fans something to shout about?
SO CLOSE! Zoko nearly keeps up his record of scoring in every round of the FA Cup this season, but after a nice first touch his resulting shot ends up trickling wide of the goal.
Naismith and Heitinga might have the goals, but this is the Kevin Mirallas show! The Belgium international might be up against a lower standard of opposition today, but he's been majestic.
Stevenage fail to clear their lines and the ball falls at the feet of Mirallas who once again beats his opponent - this time with a lovely nutmeg - before being fouled.
Fantastic play down the left by Freeman who beats two men before putting in a teasing cross. No-one is there again, though, and Robles comes off his line to clear the ball.
Yellow Card Steven Naismith
Graham Westley is cutting a disconsolate figure on the touchline. At least his side will be able to concentrate on improving their league form I guess.
Yellow Card Jimmy Smith
Jimmy Smith receives a yellow card after a cynical challenge on Mirallas who continues to impress in this FA Cup tie.
There are gaps everywhere in Stevenage's system now. Despite putting in a valiant display, this could turn into a massive defeat for the side from League One.
That is harsh on Stevenage considering their good start to the second half. It's going to have to be an unbelievable collapse from Everton now.
Goal John Heitinga
HEITINGA HEADS HOME THE THIRD! Mirallas tries an overhead kick, but his effort is going well wide before Hetinga heads home on what could be his last appearance for Everton.
Great ball into the box by Stevenage, but Zoko doesn't commit to the cause and Robles comes out and punches the ball clear.
Jagielka looking comfy on the Everton bench. Martinez didn't feel it was worth the risk by putting him out for the second half with a massive game against Liverpool coming up.
Again, it's Stevenage who make the better start to the second half out of the two sides. Zoko floats a ball to the back post but no-one is there to get on the end of it to his dismay.
However, Stevenage haven't come from behind to win a game since defeating Brentford 2-1 in October 2013. Can they buck the trend tonight?
Everton have conceded a goal in each of their last four games away from home. Graham Westley needs to inspire his men during the break, and should take note of their opposition's weaknesses at the back.
The main talking point for Everton fans, however, will be the injury to Oviedo who looks to face a long spell on the sidelines after coming off midway through the half. The latest news is that he's been taken to hospital to discover the full extent of the injury.
Well, after a sluggish start for Martinez's side - it's Everton who find themselves ahead after 45 minutes and they will feel confident of going into the hat for the next round.
45' + 6'
One last attack by Everton as Mirallas plays another cracking pass through to Naismith, but the Scotland international can't reach his pass and it's cleared by Day. That's half time here!
45' + 4'
It's all gone a bit quiet down at Broadhall Way. The Stevenage fans will be disappointed to see their side two goals down, especially considering they've had arguably the clearest chance of the game so far.
45' + 2'
Zoko gives away another foul deep in the Everton half and the away side attack immediately. Osman breaks into the box before putting the ball into the six-yard box, only for it to be hoofed clear.
Jagielka comes off for Heitinga at the start of the second half - this will boost the confidence of Stevenage as they look to find a route back into the game.
Luke Freeman drives forward with the ball before shooting well wide of the goal. If Stevenage are to get back into this game, this man will be key to their charge.
Kevin Mirallas has been at the heart of everything for Everton so far. Again, he brings the ball forward with great confidence, but this time Naismith can't get on the end of his ball forward.
Zoko pressing and probing, but commits a foul as he attempts to win the ball back right by the corner flag.
If Westley's men continue to press in the manner they have so far, then it's only a matter of time before there's another goal in this game. Whether it be Everton or Stevenage, there are more goals to come.
Yellow Card Peter Hartley
Everton showing just what they're made of here today. The pitch is torn to shreds, but the Premier League side have adapted well and continue to pass the ball about in great fashion.
How much will Aikens regret missing that chance now? If the home side had gone ahead then they could have sat on their lead, but have since been chasing the game.
Graham Westley looks disgusted with his side's defending there. His defence were far too high up the pitch and were made to pay for their mistake.
Goal Steven Naismith
NAISMITH DOUBLES THE LEAD! Cracking ball through from Leon Osman sees the Stevenage defence split open, and Naismith gets his fourth goal of the season with a cool finish.
Mirallas with a risky dribble inside his own box, but he gets away with it. Martinez won't want to see him doing that again!
Reports are coming through that Bryan Oviedo has been taken straight to hospital to find out the extent of the injury he incurred earlier in the half. Let's hope it's not as bad as it looked.
Everton have dominated possession so far today with 59%, but it's the home side that have created the best chances and have had six shots on goal compared to Everton's five.
Filipe Morais goes close from the resulting free kick, but Joel Robles make another outstanding save to deny the flamboyant winger the equalising goal.
Former Arsenal man Luke Freeman is scythed down and Stevenage are awarded another free kick outside the box.
WOW! A wonderful free kick straight from the training ground forces Joel Robles into a smart save. The pressure's on for Everton.
Everton hit the home side on the break after that free kick and after great work in getting the ball up the pitch, Leon Osman fires over from close range. Nearly an instant impact by the Everton legend.
While Oviedo is attended to by the medical staff, Hibbert and McGeady have words with each other about their respective defensive duties. Hibbert clearly unhappy with the winger's work rate.
Horrible moment for Bryan Oviedo who looks to have picked up a serious injury in the early stages. He gives away a free kick, but comes off worse after landing awkwardly.
Baines with a poor free kick into the box for his standards, but the ball falls to Oviedo who looks for Naismith in the box. The Scot can't get on the end of the ball and it's swept up by Day.
End to end stuff here at Broadhall Way as the home side continue to fight on despite going behind. Aikens and Morais look lively for Stevenage tonight.
Baines is begining to get into Stevenage's half on a regular basis and links up well with Oviedo, but the attack comes to nothing in the end. Positive move by Martinez's men.
Stevenage continue to attack - impressive stuff from the underdogs. They continue to ask questions of the youngster Stones at the back and will be confident of getting back into this one.
Goal Steven Naismith
GOAL! So harsh on Stevenage as Everton open the scoring after great play by Kevin Mirallas leaves Steven Naismith with a tap in from six-yards out. Can the League One side come back?
CHANCE! Aikens misses an absolute sitter as a mix up in the Everton defence sees him with the goal at his mercy only for Stones to make a decisive block to prevent him from scoring.
A poor corner from the former Chelsea man is cleared by Everton, but Stevenage have started brightly and got the ball moving.
Start as you mean to go on, eh? Day pumps a ball way up the pitch and Filipe Morais threatens down the right side of the pitch before Barry intercepts.
And we're off! Stevenage and Everton go at it again after playing each other in the Capital One Cup earlier in the season.
Stevenage have only reached the fifth round of the FA Cup just once in their history (2011/12) - with the rain falling heavily at Broadhall Way who would bet against them doing it again this evening?
The Boro will be looking to their main man up top to fire them to an unlikely victory over the Premier League side. Francois Zoko hasn’t had the most illustrious career, but the 30-year-old has been in solid form this season and is Stevenage’s top scorer with 6 goals.
The home side have their own injury worries, though. Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dean Parrett will start on the bench for the visit of Everton due to an ongoing knee injury, and Stevenage could struggle to create chances in his absence.
However, the Toffees will be without their star man so far this season in the form of Seamus Coleman. Club legend Tony Hibbert fills in for the Ireland international and this could be an area that Graham Westley looks to exploit.
Everton fans will be delighted to see Aidan McGeady make his debut for the club and will be hoping he can get off to the best possible start against their lower league opposition.
Stevenage substitutes: Deacon, Smith, Andrade, Tounkara, Parrett, Burrow, Wedgbury.
Stevenage (4-4-2): Day; Smith, Heslop, Ashton, Hartley; Morais, Freeman, Akins, Jones; Zoko, Charles.
Everton substitutes: Howard, Heitinga, Osman, Gueye, Vellios, McAleny, Lukaku.
Everton (4-4-2): Robles; Hibbert; Stones, Jagielka, Baines; McGeady, McCarthy, Barry, Oviedo; Mirallas, Naismith.
It’s been a completely different story for Roberto Martinez and his Everton side, however. Since David Moyes’ departure for Old Trafford in the summer, Everton have gone from strength to strength under the Spanish gaffer, and continue to challenge for a place in the Champions League as the season goes on.
The two sides meet in cup competition for the second time this season after a thrilling encounter in the Capital One Cup, and manager Graham Westley will be hoping his lads can put in another valiant display this afternoon.
Good evening sports fans! I’m Kevin Blundell and today we’re down at the home of Stevenage FC who welcome high-flying Everton to Broadhall Way for their FA Cup fourth round clash. Get ready for a pulsating tie as Stevenage look to show that the FA Cup magic is still alive & kicking.
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