Baines - No blame for officials

Defender admits goalline decision was a 'tough call'

Baines: Wants strong finish

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Everton defender Leighton Baines did not want to blame the match officials after a Jermaine Beckford effort against Aston Villa added to the goal-line technology debate.

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"It was probably quite a tough call for the linesman given the speed we were attacking at and the speed the ball was travelling."

Leighton Baines

Quotes of the week

The Goodison Park match ended 2-2, but the main talking point came in the build-up to Darren Bent scoring his and Villa's second goal.

Beckford crashed a shot against the crossbar which bounced down close to the line and away.

Replays failed to prove 100% conclusive, but did appear to suggest the ball had crossed the line and Everton had a right to feel aggrieved.

Villa played on and seconds later were 2-1 ahead, leaving Everton dependent on an 83rd minute penalty, which Baines converted after Jean Makoun was adjudged to have fouled Phil Jagielka.

Baines said of the controversial Beckford effort: "It was probably quite a tough call for the linesman given the speed we were attacking at and the speed the ball was travelling.

Pull together

"It may have just crossed the line but I don't know how conclusive the replays have been.

"In the few seconds afterwards we were looking around hoping the referee was going to signal and give a goal and they went up the other end to add to the disappointment and get one themselves."

Injury-hit Everton could still feel satisfied with the point having named a seven-man bench with not a minute's Premier League experience between them.

David Moyes' team are now unbeaten in five league games and looking to finish the season strongly.

Baines said: "Both sides won't feel too disheartened by the point.

"We have got quite a lot of players out at the moment and had pretty much everyone we had out on the pitch.

"We have got to pull together, work hard and look after each other.

"We have always had a small squad. This is what we have to work with and we are trying to do the best we can."

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