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Blues too strong for Plymouth
Sat 08 Jan, 7:35 PM

Everton edged out Championship battlers Plymouth to secure their place in the FA Cup fourth round with a 3-1 victory at Home Park.

The Premiership side started brightly and took the lead when debutant James Beattie played his part in setting Leon Osman on his way to goal and the midfielder lifted the ball over the advancing Romain Larrieu in the 16th minute.

And the Blues soon made it two when James McFadden rided several Argyle tackles in the area to slot neatly past the Pilgrims custodian 90 seconds later.

However, Plymouth fought their way back into the match and Bjarni Gudjonsson finished neatly after latching onto a long bal and slotting past Richard Wright.

Beattie could have restored Everton's two-goal advantage, but he blasted over the ball from just three yards out after the ball came to him at pace in the area.

Clearly boosted by their strike just before the interval, Bobby Williamson's side came out for the second half in a determined mood and quickly took the game to their more illustrious rivals.

The Pilgrims may have levelled on 52 minutes when Wright had to be alert to prevent Mickey Evans' header sneaking in, while some desperate defending by Alan Stubbs and Alessandro Pistone prevented David Friio from getting a clear sight of goal.

As the hosts continued to apply the pressure, Everton's defence was put under more pressure with first Evans trying his luck from the edge of the area, and then Gudjonsson seeing an effort narrowly miss.

David Moyes opted to freshen things up in a bid to relieve some of the pressure, the Everton boss bringing on Thomas Gravesen and Nick Chadwick in place of Marcus Bent and James McFadden.

And it was home-grown striker Chadwick who settled matters with just six minutes left when he sprinted clear of the Plymouth defence to comfortably slot the ball under Larrieu's body.

To their credit, Plymouth still battled on in a desperate bid to get back into the match, but there was no way through as the Blues held tight to secure their place in the fourth round.
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