Everton 3 Norwich City 1

Last updated : 08 January 2004 By Footymad Previewer

Everton ensured their fourth round place in the FA Cup after a hard-fought 3-1 win at home against Norwich City.

After last year's third round upset against Shrewsbury Town, Everton were determined not to have the same result.

But Norwich, sitting at the top of the first division table after winning their last four games, were not going to be an easy pushover.

Everton got off to a flying start dominating play for most of the first half.

Three chances within three minutes saw Canaries keeper Robert Green at full stretch.

A cross from Everton's Kevin Kilbane into the box set Duncan Ferguson up for a header which just bobbled over the crossbar.

Three minutes on and Norwich fought back and Darren Huckerby tried to take advantage of a rare opportunity.

A well-timed tackled by Thomas Gravesen stopped the Norwich fightback.

Gravesen proved his strength at both ends of Goodison Park and in the 12th minute he pushed a powerful cross into the box.

James McFadden tucked the ball over for Wayne Rooney to turn and strike a shot that skimmed the crossbar.

Finally the pressure from Everton paid off as Marc Edworthy brought down Gary Naysmith close to the Blues' goal.

Another free kick by Gravesen in the 15th minute was knocked into the back of the net with a scooping header from Kilbane to put the home team a goal in front.

The game remained one-way traffic with Norwich keeper Green being forced to make some marvellous saves.

A powerful header by Ferguson was superbly cleared off the line by the Canaries keeper.

In a rare change in play Norwich caused the biggest upset of the first half. A Naysmith challenge on Paul McVeigh just outside the box gave Norwich the lifeline they needed.

In the 26th minute a McVeigh free-kick found the feet of Canaries player Damien Francis.

A half-clearance off the line led to number 11 Jim Brennan scoring an unlikely equaliser with his first goal for the club.

Everton fought back with several near misses by wonderboy Rooney.

Then in the 36th minute a foul on Alan Stubbs in the Everton box gave the home team the chance they needed.

Ferguson swaggered up to take the penalty and expertly landed it in the back of the net to put the home side in the lead.

However, feisty Norwich were not prepared to give up the fight for a fourth round place.

They launched into full attack mode on the Toffees with Huckerby leading their battle.

The forward displayed his superb skill as he pressurised the Everton defence.

But the Blues' back four could not be broken down and they managed to clear any dangerous crosses that came their way.

Then in the 69th minute a mirror image challenge by Iwan Roberts on Stubbs caused the second penalty of the game.

Despite protests by the Norwich players Ferguson once again stepped up to give Everton a 3-1 lead.

Norwich manager Nigel Worthington replaced goalscorer Brennan with youngster Ian Henderson.

And just seconds later the change looked like it would prove fruitful.

The number 22 turned and blasted a shot on target forcing Everton keeper Nigel Martyn to tip the flying ball over the top of the crossbar.

Despite the valiant effort by the first division side they could not provide their boisterous travelling fans with the scoreline they wanted.

Last minute chances by substitute Ryan Jarvis went just wide of the goal and were the last chance Norwich had to pull back another goal.

The marvellous display by the first division team failed to outshine their Premiership rivals.