Football: A late Johnny Heitinga strike gave David Moyes the perfect present on the anniversary of his 500th game in charge of Everton, as the Toffees booked their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup at Bolton’s expense.
Despite a lacklustre performance from the visiting Blues, the Dutch substitute’s injury-time winner was enough to break the home side’s resolve after cup specialist Marvin Sordell had cancelled out Steven Pienaar’s opener.
A relieved Moyes said: “It was great to get through, there has been many years when we’ve not gone through in ties that are similar.
“I thought Bolton did enough to earn a replay but if anyone was going to shade it, it was us.”
He added: “We’re through, we’re in the hat for the next round and hopefully we’ll get a good draw next.”
The defeat was harsh on Bolton who held their own throughout and manager Dougie Freedman felt that there were plenty of positives to take from the game.
He said: “We’re disappointed in the result but not the performance. We started nervously, they got a deserved goal, but for the next hour we played the best football we’ve played since I’ve been here.
“If you don’t concentrate for 95 minutes against a Premiership side they’re going to punish you, but we’re very happy with the performance.”
Pienaar’s 18th-minute goal put Moyes’s men ahead, the winger smuggling the ball home after connecting with Leighton Baines’s incisive cross.
Another inviting cross saw Bolton equalise 10 minutes later as Sordell, who netted in both third round matches with Sunderland, scored his fourth FA Cup goal of the season from Darren Pratley’s ball.
The strike handed the hosts the initiative with both Sordell and Alonso denied by smart Tim Howard saves, while Everton struggled after Kevin Miralles suffered a recurrence of his troublesome hamstring injury.
But Heitinga landed a match-winning sucker punch in injury time, rifling in from the edge of the area after Bolton failed to clear a corner.