Martinez gets a late lift

first_img But Everton piled on the pressure again towards the end of the game and after Potters substitute Jermaine Pennant upended his counterpart Leon Osman in the box in stoppage time, the resulting penalty was swept in by Leighton Baines. Martinez, whose side have slipped from fourth to fifth in the table, said after the match: “I thought today – given the conditions in terms of the wet weather and this moment in the busy Christmas period, with the squads getting really stretched – that whoever scored the first goal, that was going to be final. “And I felt in the first half, when we hit the woodwork twice, that it was not going to be our day. “Probably with the first real chance that Stoke had, a good strike from outside the box ended up in the back of the net and it seemed that it was the worst possible case for us at that moment. “I don’t think we were at our best by any stretch of the imagination. “But what we showed was an incredible reaction after we conceded the goal. “We forced Stoke back in their own box. We had two balls cleared off the line and then the penalty, earned through the magic feet of Leon Osman, was a good reward. “Even though there is a feeling we have dropped two points, I couldn’t be happier with the reaction and how we finished the game.” Everton boss Roberto Martinez revealed he had been feeling as if it was not going to be the Toffees’ day before a late equaliser saw them draw 1-1 at Stoke. The visitors were twice inches away from taking the lead in the first half of the New Year’s Day Barclays Premier League contest as Kevin Mirallas struck first the crossbar and then the post. Having survived those scares, Stoke subsequently went ahead in the 49th minute through Oussama Assaidi’s shot. Stoke manager Mark Hughes had no complaints about the decision to award the spot-kick for winger Pennant’s tackle. Hughes said: “He (Pennant) has made a mistake – he has made a challenge in the box and in those situations you want full-backs or defensive-minded players to be in those positions. “Unfortunately he miscalculated and it was a stonewall penalty. “He is an attack-minded player. It is not one of his strengths, trying to stop balls into the box and opposing attacking players.” The 12th-placed Potters went into the game against Everton, who beat them 4-0 in the reverse fixture on November 30, having lost their last two matches of 2013 by similarly comprehensive scorelines – 5-1 at Newcastle and 3-0 at Tottenham. And Hughes added: “We have taken one point off a very good Everton team and maybe before the game started we would have been happy with that. “I thought in the first half we played really well, and then in the second half we came out and got a good goal from Assaidi (who joined Stoke on loan from Liverpool earlier this season and has now netted four times for the Potters). He is really playing well at the moment and showing the threat he has. “You know at some point Everton will throw people forward, take chances and try to make something happen, but I was really happy with how we showed what was required, putting our bodies on the line and blocking shots. “You get to within a couple of minutes of the end of the game and you expect to see it out, but we made a mistake and we ended up with only one point. “But only a few weeks ago, we were getting beaten quite comprehensively by the same team at Goodison Park, so we turned that around. “And we have obviously had a difficult time over Christmas in terms of travelling and those results, but we have picked ourselves up today and put in a really good performance in my view.” Hughes confirmed Potters goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen had come off at half-time due to an Achilles problem. Stoke already have first-choice stopper Asmir Begovic out injured with a broken finger, so Jack Butland came on for his debut. Meanwhile, Martinez has said Everton defender Sylvain Distin, who did not feature at the Britannia Stadium because of a hamstring complaint, is likely to be sidelined for 10 to 12 days. Press Associationlast_img read more

Tommy DeVito’s shaky debut, other fast reactions to Syracuse’s 55-42 win at Western Michigan

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on August 31, 2018 at 10:19 pm Contact Andrew: | @A_E_Graham Short a quarterSyracuse looked poised to dominate the second half like it had the first. A third-quarter defensive meltdown bled a 27-point lead to six. The main victims were the secondary. After a half of inconsistent play but little duress, Western Michigan quarterback Jon Wassink started to develop a rhythm with No. 1 Broncos’ receiver D’Wayne Eskridge. Repeatedly, Eskridge outran SU corner Scoop Bradshaw and the safeties trying to help. Twice, he found the end zone.All told, Eskridge finished with eight catches for 240 yards and the two scores. After a long completion that Bradshaw managed to save the touchdown on, freshman Trill Williams replaced him as cornerback.And as WMU started to take control through the air, LeVante Bellamy started running wild. Still, with Dungey back in and a calmer fourth quarter, SU did just enough to prevail. KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The score at halftime — 34-7 — reflected the pummeling inflicted on the field. Syracuse dominated Western Michigan up front and in the run game. Starting quarterback Eric Dungey only needed to complete four passes to keep the offense well on track to earn more than 300 yards. Shortly before halftime, the lead grew to 27 and the heralded redshirt freshman Tommy DeVito took the reins.While DeVito was in, through really no fault of his own, Syracuse unraveled. An offense that opened the game with 17 points in less than seven minutes couldn’t score and the defense wilted, allowing three-straight touchdown drives in one minute or less in a single span.Eventually, Dungey came back in, and the defense recovered and the Orange escaped Waldo Stadium with a 55-42 win. Dominating the trenchesAdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse’s immediate success on Friday stemmed from the offensive line. Throughout training camp, coaches and players kept mentioning the experience of the group. Returning were Airon Servais, Cody Conway and Evan Adams. Aaron Roberts, the starting left guard on Friday, returned from an injury that cost him the 2017 season. Graduate transfer Koda Martin started previously at Texas A&M.And in the early portions of the opener, the pedigree showed. In the first half, Syracuse had seven rushes of 11 yards or more. Dungey clocked a 49-yard gash on 3rd-and-7 from his own 20 in the second quarter, SU’s longest run of the day.All told, the Orange finished with 334 rushing yards and five touchdowns on the ground.When SU did find a need to pass, the offensive line held up well. After giving up 32 sacks for 168 yards a season ago, the Orange’s big men only surrendered two on Friday for 11 yards. Both came when DeVito was in the game, and after the redshirt freshman quarterback had a chance to make his reads and scramble.Tommy DeVitoAlmost a year and a half since committing to Syracuse, Tommy DeVito finally made his debut for the Orange.Inheriting a 34-7 lead with minutes remaining in the first half, it seemed DeVito would get his looks, Syracuse would cruise to victory, and that would be that.But when DeVito came in, the offense struggled. Syracuse didn’t score during DeVito’s five drives and rarely moved the chains, save for when DeVito took a page out of Dungey’s book at takeoff.When he dropped back, DeVito looked good in the pocket, standing tall and making his reads, though occasionally taking too long and allowing for those aforementioned sacks. When he did get a chance to throw, DeVito looked confident but was often inaccurate.He sent a sideline out to Jamal Custis low and away for an incompletion. He airmailed Devin Butler multiple times on deep balls. On one of his final throws, DeVito and Butler looked to have miscommunicated and the route did not match the throw. But DeVito had bright spots, between the plays he made with his legs and a couple intermediate completions. His best pass was a wheel route to Dontae Strickland up the seam for 22 yards. Had Strickland not fell victim to a shoestring tackle, he had nothing but green grass.Eventually, Western Michigan closed the gap enough for Dungey to re-enter and put the game to rest. The redshirt freshman finished 4-for-9 for 42 yards. Commentslast_img read more