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14:08 30th April 2011


Tale of two pens at DW as Latics are left frustrated by Toffees

N'Zogbia, 21

Baines 77 (pen)
Arteta missed pen, 35

Report by Paul Chialton

A valuable point collected at the DW Stadium, but a game that should have rewarded Latics with three instead.

Having taken a heroic lead into the break, former Latics Leighton Baines scored a second-half equaliser from the penalty spot to pull back an Everton side who struggled to break through the home defence all afternoon.

Earlier Mikel Arteta had been thwarted from the spot by a stunning Ali Al Habsi save: the Omani international at full stretch to deny the Everton midfielder after Charles N'Zogbia had tripped Leon Osman inside the area.

The save protected N'Zogbia's opening goal midway through the half: latching onto James McCarthy's beautifully weighted chipped ball and steadying himself before finding the top-left corner.

The Frenchman came close to doubling the lead on the stroke of the break, firing through Tony Hibbert's legs only for Tim Howard to block his effort.

Gradually Roberto Martinez's men worked their way back into the game after the break and looked dangerous around the Everton area. Victor Moses replaced N'Zogbia and had two efforts in the space of as many minutes saved smartly by Howard.

The game opened up and after a succession of Everton corners, one resulted in the opportunity Everton had been hoping for: Hugo Rodallega penalised for hand-balling inside the six-yard-box and referee pointing to the spot for the second time during the afternoon.

Al Habsi could do nothing to stop the full-back's rocket into the top-corner, but the response was fierce.

Ben Watson, James McArthur and McCarthy battled to win possession in the middle and had the away side on the back-foot going into the final ten minutes.

Franco Di Santo chested and volleyed sublimely but couldn't get enough power on his effort to beat the 'keeper, before Watson drove an effort from distance which was kept out yet again.

Then came the big chance in the dying moments: a goalmouth scramble led to the ball dropping to Rodallega ten yards out, but the Colombian got under his shot and blasted over for the game's final chance.

A big opportunity for three points missed today, but a solid result the team must build on ahead of next weekend's clash at Aston Villa.

Al Habsi; Boyce, G. Caldwell, Alcaraz, Figueroa; Watson, McCarthy, Diame (McArthur, 44); N'Zogbia (Moses, 54), Cleverley (Di Santo, 79), Rodallega

Subs: Kirkland, Gohouri, Gomez, Sammon

Everton: Howard; Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Neville, Arteta (Beckford, 66), Rodwell, Osman; Cahill (Coleman, 66), Anichebe (Gueye, 82)

Subs: Mucha, Bilyaletdinov, Vellios, Duffy

    Data provided by Press Association