Capital One Cup: Everton dump Stevenage out of the cup

Luke Freeman takes on Steven Naismith

Luke Freeman takes on Steven Naismith - Credit: Archant

STEVENAGE took Premier League Everton to extra-time in the Capital One Cup second round and were knocked out by Marouane Fellaini’s 115th minute goal last night (Wednesday).

James Dunne knocks Fellaini off the ball in the middle of the park

James Dunne knocks Fellaini off the ball in the middle of the park - Credit: Archant

The Belgian, who has been linked to Manchester United, started the game on the bench.

Graham Westley and his players thank the Stevenage faithful for their support

Graham Westley and his players thank the Stevenage faithful for their support - Credit: Archant

But with the game tied at 1-1 and taken to extra-time, he was introduced by Toffee’s boss Roberto Martinez and was the man to break Boro hearts.

Stevenage began with the same starting XI which defeated Notts County 1-0 on Saturday, while the hosts made eight changes to the side which drew 0-0 with West Bromwich Albion at the weekend.

That meant a place on the bench for the hosts’ United targets Leighton Baines and Fellaini.

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The opening 15 minutes provided plenty of entertainment with Everton teenager Ross Barkley, who received his first senior England call-up this week, repeatedly trying his luck from 25 yards.

Boro had a sniff too with a dangerous Robin Shroot corner causing panic in the hosts’ box, while James Dunne and Jimmy Smith had goes at goal off target.

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Barcelona loanee Gerard Deulofeu looked a real prospect getting the better of Roarie Deacon to deliver a dangerous cross after which David Gray cleared Arouna Kone’s effort off the line, the Spanish winger then curled inches wide.

A Boro blow came on 26 minutes as striker Darius Charles was forced off by a Tony Hibbert challenge and replaced by Oumare Tounkara.

Everton’s Leon Osman bundled wide at the far post after another bit of magic on the wing from Deulofeu soon after.

The Boro faithful were in dreamland when Michael Doughty played a ball deep into the Everton half for Tounkara, he got to the byline and pulled the ball back to the penalty spot.

Smith scuffed an effort, but it fell to Luke Freeman who crashed a shot high into the net past keeper Joel Robles.

Everton had a golden chance to level as Steven Naismith teed up Kone 10 yards out and he blazed over.

But with the last kick of the half the hosts did equalise.

Dangerman Deulofeu was allowed to gallop into the Boro box, a half tackle saw the ball bobble back to him and he sent a low curler into Day’s right hand corner.

The start of the second half saw Day immediately in action palming away a Barkley right-footed attempt.

The Boro stopper then denied Kone deflecting the ball wide.

A surging run from the outstanding Barkley saw him forced wide, but still shoot just outside of the far post.

Everton controlled the second period, but struggled to breakthrough Graham Westley’s resolute and incredibly hard-working Boro side.

A half chance fell to skipper Jon Ashton who could only nod a Freeman free-kick to Robles.

Gray challenged Deulofeu in the box and with the Goodison Park crowd demanding a penalty the referee awarded only a corner.

Stevenage went close to a dramatic 90th minute winner sub Greg Tansey won the ball 25 yards out, skipped past a challenge and sent a dipping drive goalwards which Robles tipped over as the game went to extra-time.

The first period saw little goalmouth action, the best chance saw Deuloeu get in behind Deacon and cross low to the near post where Day, Ashton and Gray thwarted Kone.

A super save by Day low to his right denied Fellaini with 10 minutes of extra-time left, the midfielder then headed the following corner inches over.

He was not to be denied though as Boro twice failed to clear an Oviedo cross from the left, it fell to Naismith who in turn found Fellaini who turned and fired the late winner past Day.

It was a fantastic display from Stevenage, who certainly did the town proud as their boss had promised prior to the game.

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