Belfast Telegraph

Howard feels for keeper after goal

Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard has expressed his sympathy for opposite number Adam Bogdan after he managed to beat the Bolton stopper with a freak goal from his own area in "cruel" conditions at Goodison Park on Wednesday evening.

Howard opened the scoring for the Toffees in the 63rd minute when he launched a huge kick downfield which - assisted by the wind - travelled towards the Wanderers box and bounced over the stranded Bogdan into the net. It was a memorable strike, but the American seemed reluctant to celebrate too wildly.

He told the Liverpool Echo: "It was cruel. You saw the back fours and the keepers not being able to believe balls all night, and at the back one wrong step, and it can be a nightmare. For our goal I was disappointed from a goalkeepers' union standpoint. You never want to see that happen. It's not nice, it's embarrassing, so I felt for Adam."

Everton's lead lasted only four minutes before David Ngog slotted home the equaliser with a smart finish, and the Toffees eventually ended up empty-handed as Bolton skipper and Chelsea target Gary Cahill sealed a 2-1 victory for Wanderers by smashing home the winner with 12 minutes remaining.

By that stage, the hosts had had three of their players - Phil Jagielka, his replacement Jack Rodwell and Leon Osman - limp off.

Howard feels the loss of the trio was important, but would not use it as an excuse for the defeat.

"The changes hurt us, we had to make some key substitutions," Howard said.

"I think it was tough for Jack to get in the game, then he had to come off. And Ossie is one of the guys we look for to solidify things in midfield and he had to come off.

"Losing Jags was mentally difficult for us because he's our rock. It didn't help but it's not an excuse. We need to look at ourselves in the mirror because it wasn't good enough, we were all kind of lost for words.

"It was very poor and that's why we're all so bitterly disappointed. At the very least we needed a point from that game, that was the minimum."

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