Thankfully the undersoil heating saved the game played at a very bitterly cold Leigh Sports village.

Alan Stubbs turned out a mixture of first team squad players and also some participants of Kevin Sheedy’s U18’s who had played in the FA youth cup defeat to QPR last Thursday evening.

A first half hat trick by Greek Apostolos Vellios inflicted too much damage for Blackburn to show any fightback, but the home side did reduce the deficit in the second half but again Everton responded to kill the game off in style.

Everton showed first blood going in front on 5 minutes after a corner from Adam Forshaw that was met with a high leap from Vellios despite the efforts of full back Ribeiro who could not stop it from crossing the line.

Rovers chaesd for an equaliser but Hahnemann came to Everton’s rescue as he made avery important save from Nick Blackman’s effort but forward Jordan Slew failed to put away the follow up.

Both teams knew how to entertain the spectators on this cold evening, Vellios had an effort ruled out for what seemed a push on the goalkepper and Adam Forshaw’s effort came off the crossbar as defender O’connor cleared the danger with immediate effect.

The toffee’s were awarded a penalty 5 minutes from the interval as Vellios was brought down by full back Ribeiro but it was the fouled victim Vellios who sent Kean diving without a prayer as the visitors looked comfortable going into a 2 goal lead.

Just as the teams were ready for their half time refreshments Greek striker Vellios added Everton’s third and his hatrick with a spectacular finish and send the visitors in 3 up and leaving the Lancastrians with a mountain to climb in the second half.


Blackburn were hoping to restore some pride after their first half assassination from their visitors and were quickly off the mark as Jordan Slew who was guilty of a first half miss took his opportunity to despatch a ball under the body of Hahnemann and reduce the deficit.

Rovers had the bit between their teeth as they looked desperate to repair their pride and Hahnemann was the busiest of the keepers as the home side were guilty of wasting chances and they must have been wishing their efforts had gone their way as Everton’s Baxter (recently off his loan at Tranmere) put the away side further in front and give them a 3 goal cushion as his effort seemed to come off the woodwork and guarantee them the points.

Rovers showed the same attitude as they did at the start of the second half after conceding Baxter’s goal and a long throw from number 11 Aley caused problems in the Everton defence as Anderson did well to beat Hahnemann with a clever finish.

Blackburn tried and applied much pressure but Everton’s rearguard held firm and take the 3 well earned points abck to Merseyside.

The next game for Stubbs’s men is at Wigan on 24th January


Team; Kean, Ribeiro, Henley, Knowles, O’connor. Anderson, Blackman (c ), Morris,Slew. Hitchcock(Maclaren 76), Alley. Unused subs: Usai, Ramm, Hands, Laverty

Coach Gary Bowyer

Team: Hahnemann, Browning, Touray, Forshaw, Dier, Hammar, Gueye (Long 90), Baxter, Vellios (Lundstram 81), McAleny(Hope 79), McFadden. Unused Subs Davies (GK), Thomas

Coach Alan Stubbs

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