Date: 26th September 2007 at 9:43pm
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Wednesday crashed out of the Carling Cup at the third round stage as a brace from Scotsman James McFadden and a Yakubu strike put Everton through despite a battling effort from an improved Wednesday side.

The finishing proved the difference on the night as the Owls kept pace with the Premiership club for 80 minutes but couldn’t find their finishing touch in front of goal.

Owls boss Brian Laws made five changes to the side that beat Hull at the weekend with Peter Gilbert, Richard Hinds, Wade Small, Jermaine Johnson and Marcus Tudgay coming in to replace Tommy Spurr, Michael Johnson, Etienne Esajas, Steve Watson and Deon Burton respectively.

Wednesday got off to the better start as former Toffee Francis Jeffers wriggled free of his marker and came close before Graham Kavanagh also had an effort on goal after getting the better of Lee Carsley and Jermaine Johnson sent his shot just wide of goal.

And the Jamiacan international showed what the Owls fans had been missing in recent weeks with another winding run and shot which again swept just wide of the Everton goal.

The chances were few and far between for David Moyes’ men but they got a dangerous free-kick after half an hour after Richard Wood had clashed with James McFadden on the edge of the Owls box, but Alan Stubbs hit a typical centre-back free-kick straight at the Wednesday wall.

Wade Small was causing problems for the Everton defence after being recalled to the side in place of Esajas and it was the former MK Dons man who carved out a chance for Marcus Tudgay to fire high over the bar from the edge of the box.

Former Blade Phil Jagielka didn’t get the warmest of welcomes back to Hillsborough and he finished the half off with an effort which went high and wide in to the back of the Owls’ Kop to the enjoyment of the majority inside S6.

And there was still time for Wade Small to get the ball in to a good position but send his shot wide of the goal in the four minutes of added time at the end of the first half.

Half-Time: Wednesday 0-0 Everton

Everton made one change at the break with former Manchester United man Phil Neville coming on at the break in place of Tony Hibbert to fill in at right-back, while the Owls remain unchanged.

And Neville almost made an instant impact as he went charging down the Everton right and produced a superb cross which was dealt with by Graham Kavanagh, although the travelling Everton fan shouted for handball by the Sunderland loanee.

The Toffee substitute again caused the Owls defence problems as he overlapped his team-mate before producing another dangerous cross for Leon Osman.

But Wednesday soon got back in to the game as Jermaine Johnson had another effort while Wade Small saw a shot blocked by Alan Stubbs.

The Owls were playing well until the finish but Everton showed their Premiership expertise as former Middlesbrough man Yakubu timed his run perfectly and broke the Owls offside trap to feed James McFadden with the easiest of chances to break the deadlock.

The Scot bagged a superb goal for his home nation in the Parc Des Princes to give Scotland a shock 1-0 victory over France not long back but he couldn’t have had an easier chance to give the visitors the lead.

But Wednesday didn’t let their heads drop and they saw Graham Kavanagh hit a dangerous free-kick inches over the bar before Deon Burton somehow blazed an effort over from bar from just six yards when it was easier to score.

Jermaine Johnson performed well and could have won a starting place for the league clash with Norwich at the weekend and it was he who was replaced by Burton as Laws looked to add more attacking experience to the pitch.

Wednesday still looked the more likely to bag the next goal and Glenn Whelan struck a powerful effort just over the bar from long range.

Laws continued to tinker with his team to try and find a way through the Everton defence as Francis Jeffers was brought off to be replaced by Akpo Sodje and Graham Kavanagh was replaced by Kenny Lunt for the last ten minutes.

But the quality in the final third paid off for Everton as McFadden stole in for his second of the match with seven minutes to go after netting a superb Phil Neville cross to make the game all but safe.

And it took just minutes for Everton to bag their third of the match as Yakubu broke through to net while one-on-one with Lee Grant to put the icing on the cake for the Toffees.

The Owls didn’t deserve to lose by such a heavy scoreline but the quality in the final third proved the difference between the two teams.

Full-Time: Wednesday 0-3 Everton

Wednesday: Grant; Simek, Hinds, Wood (c), Gilbert; Small, Whelan, Kavanagh (Lunt 80), Johnson (Burton 68); Jeffers (Sodje 72), Tudgay. Subs: Burch, Bullen, Lunt, Burton, Sodje

Everton: Wessels; Valente (Baines 64), Lescott, Stubbs (c), Jagielka; Hibbert (Neville 45), Carsley, Osman, Pienaar; McFadden, Yakubu (Anichebe 86). Subs: Ruddy, Baines, Neville, Anichebe, Johnson