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17:19 11th December 2010


Solid display from Latics earns valuable point at Goodison



Report by Paul Chialton

A hard-fought and solid performance by Latics to secure a fine result at Goodison Park which could have gone either way were it not for some fine goalkeeping at both ends.

Ali Al Habsi thwarted the home side on numerous occasions, his full-stretch saves coupled with authority inside his area.

After the break the Omani international was called into action time and again as Everton tried to force the game.

Superb saves from Steven Pienaar, Seamus Coleman and Marouane Fellaini frustrated the home fans, as did the Latics defence.

James McArthur was introduced for Hendry Thomas, whose yellow card rules him out of next week's game, and was a calming influence in-front of the defence and did well to take the play forward.

Together with Ben Watson the two were the ideal outlet and did their jobs fantastically well.

The longer the game went on the more Roberto Martinez's side looked threatening going forwards.

Momo Diame got forward more to support the attack and almost put his side into the lead mid-way through the second-half, linking-up with the industrious Hugo Rodallega on the edge of the area but scuffing his shot harmlessly at Tim Howard.

The Everton 'keeper again came to his side's rescue in the dying minutes when Ben Watson's cushioned through-ball found Ronnie Stam in space.

The Dutchman hit his shot well but a fine reflex save from Howard kept the scores level. It was a good effort from the winger who was a half-time substitute for Tom Cleverley.

Tim Cahill had hit the post for the home side earlier and was the closest to scoring for the Toffees, and although they found a way through the away defence on the odd occasion they lacked the composure to make it count.

A good day then for Martinez and an important point at a notoriously difficult venue.

Al Habsi; Gohouri, S. Caldwell, Alcaraz, Figueroa; Thomas (McArthur, 66), Diame; N'Zogbia, Watson, Cleverley (Stam, 46); Rodallega

Subs: Pollitt, G. Caldwell, Gomez, Boselli, McManaman, Mustoe

Everton: Howard; Coleman, Distin, Jagielka, Baines; Neville, Fellaini, Rodwell, Pienaar (Anichebe, 67); Cahill, Saha (Beckford, 60)

Subs: Mucha, Bilyaletdinov, Osman, Yakubu, Duffy

    Data provided by Press Association