It was far from a vintage performance from Everton, but a half-time team talk from Frank Lampard gave them the shot in the arm they needed to beat National League side Boreham Wood 2-0. Two second half goals from Salomon Rondon were enough to book the Toffees a place in the last eight for the second consecutive season, and keep dreams of a trophy this campaign alive.
Captain for the night Vitaliy Mykolenko led the teams out, draped in Ukrainian flags a shot saved early on before Jarrad Brainthwaite put a close range effort wide. That Brainthwaite effort was the best that Frank Lampard’s side produced in a slow first half as the away side allowed the Toffees the ball.
However, they were toothless in possession and lacklustre in the final third. Boreham Wood, who haven’t conceded a goal so far in this year’s competition, were happy to shift across to cover the space, settled in their shape.
The National League side sat in, more than comfortable to do so given their defensive solidity and reduced Everton half chances, at the best. It may have been a boring first half, but they went in at the break with the scores level and at 45 minutes at least, it was job done.
Richarlison’s introduction at half-time was a signal of Lampard’s discontent. Jonejoe Kenny was released on the right-hand side and whipped a brilliant ball into Salomon Rondon who somehow missed his header from six yards out. The start to the second half was a vast improvement for the hosts.
Kenny was then released on the right and this time Boreham Wood would pay. Rondon was handed too much space at the near post and squeezed the ball past Taye Ashby-Hammond. Goodison’s roar was one of relief, as Lampard’s half-time talk inspired an enthusiastic second half performance.
Richarlison thought he had doubled Everton’s lead as he finished from close range after Anthony Gordon thumped an effort towards goal. However, the ball hit his hand before going into the net and to the away side's bemusement - this was their first experience of VAR - they were let off the hook.
Ashby-Hammond got down well to deny the Brazilian again soon after but Everton would get their second and book their place in the last eight, thanks to Rondon. His towering header just made it over the line and ended Boreham Wood’s magical run in this competition.
It wasn’t a performance to remember for Frank Lampard, but it was a job well done. Everton will travel to Selhurst Park to take on Crystal Palace in the quarter-finals, and are now just one game away from Wembley.