Thursday 03 April 2014
Zoltan Gera scored the only goal as West Bromwich Albion took another step towards a remarkable escape from relegation from the Barclays Premier League.
Gera struck in the 63rd minute to give the Baggies a second successive victory which moved them one place in the table to 18th and go level on points with 17th-placed Southampton.
West Brom seemed down and out at the turn of the year but they raised real hopes they could become the first side to avoid relegation from the Premier League having been bottom at Christmas.
Baggies manager Bryan Robson said: "There’s still a long way to go and we know it’ll be difficult but we’re giving ourselves a chance. It’s a big win for us because Everton are a good side.”
Everton were looking for a win which would have taken them four points clear of rivals Liverpool in fourth place and moved them closer to Champions League qualification.
But they almost fell behind early on when Albion's Thomas Gaardsoe crashed a header against the bar from Jonathan Greening’s free-kick.
Marcus Bent was denied by goalkeeper Russell Hoult at the other end but there were few other clear chances in the first half.
The goal arrived when Gera headed home a cross from Greening at the far post.
Albion then hit the woodwork for the second time when Martin Albrechsten hit the post after he had run on to Kieran Richardson’s pass.
A powerful shot from Bent was saved as the Toffees piled on the pressure but the could not find an equaliser.
"I think it's terrific someone is breathing down our necks in fourth position," Everton manager David Moyes said. "At least we’re not at the bottom end of the table."
Although West Brom only earned one more victory in their closing seven matches, against Portsmouth on the final day of the season, that was enough to see them survive by a point ahead of Crystal Palace and Norwich City.
Everton won three of their final seven fixtures to pip Liverpool to fourth place by three points.