DAVID MOYES admitted Oldham Athletic had deserved a replay out of their FA Cup fifth round meeting, and accused his Everton side of “panicking” in the closing stages at Boundary Park.
Matt Smith’s header, in the fifth minute of stoppage-time, ensured a gruelling contest ended in a 2-2 draw, and secured the struggling Latics a lucrative replay at Goodison Park a week on Wednesday.
For the League One side, it was reward for a strong finish to the game, though Moyes, whose side had led through goals from Victor Anichebe and Phil Jagielka, was more concerned with his own side’s inability to see out the game.
“Oldham deserved their replay,” said the Blues boss. “I couldn’t stand here and say they didn’t. Fair play to them.
“When you have a minute to go, you think you are through. We hadn’t played great and we missed a couple of chances that might have finished the game off. They had a couple of opportunities but you would have expected it.
“We just couldn’t get a head or the goalie’s hands on it. I thought we could see it out but in the last five minutes we looked as if we were panicking a bit and we didn’t do the right things.”
Moyes admitted he had feared at one stage that Everton were heading the way of Merseyside rivals Liverpool, who were beaten here in the fourth round. As it stands, though, his side have a potential quarter final tie with Wigan to look forward to.
“Oldham have got pedigree in the FA Cup,” he said. “They had beaten Nottingham Forest and Liverpool, so it was always going to be a tough game for us. I was worried. I didn’t think they had that many chances but the chances they had were too many for me.
“We have lost these ties before and we could have lost this one. We set out to try and win it and we did everything we could (by naming a strong side). The credit goes to Oldham.
“We are still in the FA Cup but we are disappointed that we didn’t win it because we should have done better to either score another goal or to see it out.
“We had the chances to get the third goal but when you score two goals in any game you hope to win it.”