Jeffers proves his worth as Everton draw

 

Everton 1 Fulham 1

Francis Jeffers did his hopes of a permanent move to Everton the power of good with a last-ditch equaliser to keep Everton in the FA Cup.

The on-loan Arsenal striker was only on the pitch for the final six minutes as manager David Moyes' last throw of the dice against Fulham, who led through a 49th-minute goal from Sean Davis, the midfielder Everton tried so hard to buy last summer.

That looked like sending Fulham in to round five until Jeffers forced home the equaliser to secure a replay.

Moyes continued with his three-striker policy with Duncan Ferguson, Tomasz Radzinski and Wayne Rooney launched at Fulham from the start.

Fulham had former Everton striker Brian McBride unavailable and Ian Pearce cup-tied but offered a battling display.

Everton instantly attacked the Fulham right and Radzinski was put away by Kevin Kilbane, who cut inside Moritz Volz to fire a dipping 20 yarder just over the crossbar.

Ferguson went close on 14 minutes when he met a Kilbane cross and saw the effort turned off the line and over by Carlos Bocanegra.

Fulham were frustrated with referee Dermot Gallagher, who had ignored two body checks on Luis Boa Morte and failed to see Thomas Gravesen flick a boot at the Portuguese striker.

Everton continued to press and when Rooney and Alan Stubbs combined to set up Kilbane, the Irishman's shot did not have enough power to trouble Edwin van der Sar.

Fulham defended in depth, but were able to break swiftly and when Barry Hayles emerged on the right of the box for a clear shooting chance, Nigel Martyn turned the ball around a post with his legs.

Fulham were grateful when referee Gallagher disallowed a Kilbane goal for handball.

Everton's pressure continued and Alessandro Pistone lashed a shot into the side netting, while Davis drilled a low shot just wide.

Kilbane then saw a powerful goalbound header hit Bocanegra a yard from the line following a 38th-minute Gravesen corner.

Kilbane again, scorned another good chance after Pistone and Rooney had set him up, shooting wide.

Everton's best plan of attack continued to be Radzinski down the left against Volz, but a flurry of crosses and corners at the start of the second half failed to give Everton the breakthrough.

That came at the other end on 48 minutes. Steed Malbranque's searching run from midfield created a crossing chance for Lee Clark. The ball sped across the box to Bocanegra, who turned it back for Davis to fire in after Everton failed to clear.

Kilbane was by now attacking down the left with Radzinski in a central role alongside Ferguson, but still chances would not fall Everton's way.

Alex Nyarko forced his way past three men to get into the box but the chance went begging and the efforts of Zat Knight and Alain Goma continued to frustrate Everton. Fulham always looked dangerous on the break. On 68 minutes Davis' control in the box left Hayles with a glittering opportunity, but he shot into the side netting when he could have killed off the game.

Everton's pressure mounted. Rooney unsuccessfully claimed handball against Knight in the box and van der Sar produced a fine reflex stop to beat out an angled Ferguson drive.

Goma was booked for blocking a surging run from Tony Hibbert on 77 minutes as the strain began to tell on Fulham's hard-pressed defence.

With 10 minutes to go, Facundo Sava replaced the hard-working Hayles.

Everton's response was to put on another forward with six minutes left, Jeffers replacing full-back Pistone.

A minute later Gravesen's chip into the box found Ferguson unmarked but his lunge at the ball sent it wide.

But they finally broke through with a minute left. Gravesen's corner was met by Ferguson's head, and when the ball dropped into a packed six-yard box after van der Sar's save, Jeffers forced it over the line.