Classy Everton Hold Off Lincoln With Lookman, Bernard On Target

Jan 05 - by Everton FC for SportPesa News

League Two visitors kept at bay by Marco Silva's Blues who advance to the fourth round of the FA Cup

Ademola Lookman celebrates scoring for Everton FC against Lincoln City in their FA Cup third round clash at Goodison Park on Saturday, January 5, 2018. PHOTO/Everton FC

  • Lookman skillfully headed in on 12 minutes and fellow wide man Bernard doubled Everton’s advantage when he applied the decisive touch to a flowing move shortly after
  • Everton number one Pickford was utterly helpless to do anything about the goal which brought the League Two side right back into the game on 28 minutes
  • Lookman’s intuitive understanding with Baines on the left spoke volumes for the younger player’s football intelligence. Baines is a master of the art of dovetailing with the man in front of him

LIVERPOOL, England- Ademola Lookman and Bernard both struck inside three first-half minutes to propel Everton past Lincoln City and into the FA Cup fourth round in a 2-1 win at Goodison Park on Saturday night.

Lookman skillfully headed in on 12 minutes and fellow wide man Bernard doubled Everton’s advantage when he applied the decisive touch to a flowing move shortly after.

Lincoln pulled one back with the half-hour mark approaching when Michael Bostwick forced home from close range.

But Everton enjoyed the bulk of possession and created the game’s clearest openings as they held their League Two visitors at arm’s length for the remainder of a feisty contest.

Everton were in complete control when Bernard beautifully dinked over Josh Vickers just before the quarter-hour.

The Brazilian’s goal was the result of some fabulous approach play, indicative of the confidence seeping through the hosts following Lookman’s opener.

Gylfi Sigurdsson received a pass from Tom Davies and played forward to Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the penalty area. 

Advancing Vickers

The striker’s exquisite toe-poked pass released Bernard for a lovely finish up and over the advancing Vickers.

Lookman had already sent one shot whizzing fractionally too high when he met Leighton Baines’ deep cross from the left with a header which directed the ball back over Vickers.

Defender Bostwick desperately tried to clear but would likely have been relieved the ball had crossed the line given he’d otherwise have been red carded for swiping it away with his right hand.

The breakthrough briefly set Lincoln back on their heels, the energy which had seen Sigurdsson and Bernard have shots blocked at close quarters early on temporarily dipping.

Lookman flashed another effort over the bar after dashing in from the left on 20 minutes. Soon after Calvert-Lewin surged through the middle – blue shirts flooding forward to accompany him – but was denied one-on-one by Vickers.

Lincoln surfaced as an attacking force when captain Lee Frecklington strode forward to blast a shot too high to trouble Jordan Pickford.

Everton number one Pickford was utterly helpless to do anything about the goal which brought the League Two side right back into the game on 28 minutes.

Jason Shackell’s header from a free-kick hung up from the left by Michael O’Connor drew a fabulous point-blank stop from Pickford – but the ball fell for Bostwick to toe home. 

Ferocious drive

Kurt Zouma slung his body in the way of a ferocious drive from Frecklington as Lincoln sought to grab the initiative.

Everton started the second half with Cenk Tosun and Andre Gomes on for Calvert-Lewin and Tom Davies.

Portuguese Gomes shot into a crowd of bodies on 58 minutes – 60 seconds after Sigurdsson had trapped a dropping ball and let fly with a strike which was arrowing into the bottom corner before Vickers dived to his left to save.

Gomes had another pop, this one scorching over the top from 25 yards 

Everton were dominating the ball – midway through the second half the hosts’ possession share read 75 per cent – and forcing Lincoln deeper and deeper.

Baines on the left was consistently proving an extra body in attack. The defender’s cross on 70 minutes following his umpteenth overlap just evaded Tosun at the front post – this moments after a sustained bout of keep ball had ended with Idrissa Gana Gueye thrashing a shot into a defensive body.

Referee John Brooks ignored Everton’s penalty appeals when Baines tumbled in the area. And with 10 minutes to play Bernard drilled too high from distance

The South American's effort was the cue for Lincoln to go on the offensive. Kenny diverted a free-kick behind and from the subsequent corner substitute Richarlison – on for Sigurdsson – cleared Shackell's goalbound header from in front of his line.

Another raid from the tireless Baines created a shooting opportunity for Richarlison who bent his right-footed strike past the far post. 

Tosun prod

Tosun's prod from yet another Baines delivery was gratefully clutched by Vickers.

The announcement of four minutes' stoppage time generated a giant roar from the mammoth travelling support. So too a corner awarded to Lincoln during that period. There was nothing doing for Lincoln, though, and Everton closed the deal with a minimum of fuss.

Lookman was fit to return following three weeks out and the winger picked up where he left off before sustaining a minor ankle problem.

Lookman injected thrust and directness into Everton’s football when he came on at Manchester City on his most recent outing.

He was similarly forceful from the off, here. The 21-year-old had sent his first shot at goal inside 60 seconds, cutting in from the right and sending a left foot strike flashing narrowly over the top.

Confident off both feet, he drove infield from the left 20 minutes later before crashing his right boot through the ball and guiding it narrowly past the far post.

Between times, Lookman had made one of the day’s pivotal contributions. Lincoln City contested the opening 10 minutes of this match on an even footing. They were the team with nothing to lose and Danny Cowley’s fearless bunch – flush with the confidence of a fabulous season which sees them stretching ahead at the League Two summit – approached their task accordingly.

For all Lincoln’s spark, their fizz in the tackle and brave commitment to attack, it was Lookman who broke the deadlock.

Rather easy

He made it all look rather easy, too. Lookman was already on the move, peeling off the back of his marker, as Leighton Baines received the ball out wide.

When the left-back swung over the cross, his winger at the far post was nicely positioned to meet the delivery with a header skilfully directed across Lincoln goalkeeper Josh Vickers.

It was cleverly done by Lookman, who demonstrated his versatility by seamlessly swapping flanks with fellow counterpart Bernard.

Lookman’s intuitive understanding with Baines on the left spoke volumes for the younger player’s football intelligence. Baines is a master of the art of dovetailing with the man in front of him. 

Indeed the partnership formed down Everton’s left by Baines and Steven Pienaar was the byword for telepathic interplay once upon a time.

The manner in which Lookman moved off the ball opening up space for Baines, allied to his awareness of where his teammate was running off it, belied his relative inexperience.

Likewise, Lookman is prepared to take responsibility for making thins happen. With this game still in the balance he was forever trying to prise open Lincoln’s crowed rearguard.

Reviewing a throw-in from Jonjoe Kenny on the right, Lookman wriggled free of the man at his back to progress inside and get his shot away.