Everton avoided a major upset with a routine 2-0 win over Boreham Wood in the FA Cup fifth round.
Two second-half strikes from Salomon Rondon ensured victory as Frank Lampard’s side restricted the non-league outfit to just 20% of the ball and one shot on goal.
On a miserable Thursday night, a packed Goodison was restless and evidently anxious at the prospect of an embarrassing exit to lowly opposition.
As a result, a sloppy first half performance from a reshuffled Toffees line-up was of little comfort.
The half-time introduction of Richarlison in place of raw debutant Nathan Patterson saw Everton’s attacks gain slightly more structure and on 57 minutes, Jonjoe Kenny’s simple pass into the six-yard area was tucked away by Rondon, giving the Premier League side the lead.
The Blues were unlucky not to double their advantage when Anthony Gordon’s deflected cross bounced in off Richarlison, but the Brazilian was rather harshly deemed to have illegally handled the ball.
But the second goal did arrive on 84 minutes with a header from Rondon that Boreham Wood goalkeeper Taye Ashby-Hammond could only claw away once it had passed the line.
It was by no means the glamorous display and ruthless demolition job Evertonians were hoping for but the Toffees never truly looked like exiting to Luke Garrard’s side and got the job done with relative ease.
The fans will now be dreaming of Wembley when they make the trip to Selhurst Park in a few weeks’ time to face Crystal Palace in the FA Cup quarter-final.