David Moyes' men put their poor home form behind them to come from behind and progress to the fifth round of the FA CupEverton deservedly came from behind to beat Fulham 2-1 and progress to the fifth round of the FA Cup at Goodison Park on Friday night.
Danny Murphy’s early penalty gave the visitors a perfect start, but David Moyes’ men fought back through goals from rare-starter Denis Stracqualursi and Marouane Fellaini. Landon Donovan assisted on both goals.
Following a subdued opening, the game sprang into life in the 12th minute when the visitors were awarded a blatant spot-kick after Jonny Heitinga slid in and blocked Clint Dempsey’s goal-bound shot with his hand.
Referee Howard Webb immediately pointed to the spot and Danny Murphy, who hadn’t missed 11 of 11 penalties prior to this game, stepped up to cooly send Tim Howard the wrong way.
This woke the hosts up, and minutes later Shane Duffy wasted a glorious chance to equalize when he headed narrowly wide from Magaye Gueye’s inswinging corner after nobody picked up the young Irishman.
A series of corners followed as Everton continued to threaten, with Gueye having a shot blocked and Tim Cahill seeing a close-range header punched wide by Stockdale.
The one-way traffic soon reaped reward as Donovan’s inviting cross was seized upon by Denis Stracqulaurski, and the Argentinian striker made no mistake to clinically head home and open his account for the club just before the half hour mark.
Bryan Ruiz had a golden chance to put Fulham back into the lead soon later when Dempsey’s long-range effort fell into his path in the middle of the box, but Howard did remarkably well to cling on to his powerful effort.
Donovan replied at the other end with a powerful 25-yard effort that Stockdale smothered to safety, as Everton went in looking the stronger side at the interval.
Dempsey had a decent opportunity to put Fulham back into the lead minutes into the second period when he latched onto Ruiz’s incisive cross, but the American blazed his header over.
On the hour mark the club came even closer when Johnson dangerously cut into the box, but his low shot lacked conviction as Howard gratefully gathered.
Everton replied when Darron Gibson sent a dangerous ball across the box following a break on the counterattack, but nobody in blue was there to capitalize.
David Moyes decided to introduce Royston Drenthe in place of the ominous Gueye, which sparked a change in fortune for his side.
The turnaround was completed when Donovan demonstrated more technical quality by delivering a pin-point cross for Marouane Fellaini, who towered above the Fulham defense to head into the far corner past an outstretched Stockdale.
Tim Cahill, who was going in search of his second goal in two games following a barren spell in front of goal, then rattled the bar from Phil Neville’s cross as the hosts looked to put the game to bed.
Ruiz nearly drew the game level in the closing stages, but Howard was equal to his effort as Everton put itself into the draw for the next stage of the competition.