FA Cup: Everton Stunned by Late Oldham Equaliser

Paul MullaneyContributor IIFebruary 16, 2013

OLDHAM, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 16:  Matt Smith of Oldham Athletic scores his team's second goal to make the score 2-2 during the FA Cup with Budweiser Fifth Round match between Oldham Athletic and Everton at Boundary Park on February 16, 2013 in Oldham, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

It's a cliché, but that really is what the FA Cup—and cup football in general—is all about.

A ramshackle old ground, a frenetic and often chaotic 90 minutes and a last-minute goal by a player—Matt Smith—who not so long ago was playing for Solihull Moors in the English Conference North.

This game had everything.

Caretaker manager Tony Philliskirk will now take his Oldham side to Goodison for a replay, making it a result which could have a huge impact on the club's finances. Oldham are a club so strapped for cash they had to ask their players not to swap shirts with their opponents after the final whistle.

Everton will of course be heavy favourites at home in front of their own fans, but they'll be disappointed they made things so much more difficult for themselves, having led Saturday's game for almost the entire second half after Phil Jagielka had put David Moyes's team in front.

They fielded a strong side too, but it was Oldham who got off to a flyer, taking the lead after just 13 minutes through on-loan Reading forward Jordan Obita. Lee Croft broke quickly after an Everton corner came loose at the edge of the area, and although there was a hint of offside as he played the ball across goal, there was no dubiety about Obita's emphatic close-range finish.

The lead, however, was short-lived, and when a fortuitous bounce gave Victor Anichebe a chance inside the area, he made absolutely no mistake from about 10 yards out. His powerful strike gave Oldham 'keeper Bouzanis no chance whatsoever.

The sides were level at the break, but it didn't take long for Everton to get on top shortly after the teams came out for the second half. Phil Jagielka seemed to caught up in some sort of wrestling hold courtesy of an Oldham defender, but he managed to turn his header home from Kevin Mirallas's corner to give his side the advantage, 2-1, and surely to put them through to the next round.

Everton should have been able to close the game out from there, but you always felt they needed a third goal, and they squandered several chances to double the deficit and to put the tie beyond doubt.

Pienaar, Jelavic and Osman all had opportunities to score, but Oldham held on, and Matt Smith's towering stoppage-time header ensured we'd need extra time to separate these two teams.