FA Carling Premiership 2000-01 Game #20
3 pm Tuesday 26 December 2000
Goodison Park, Merseyside
|« Charlton Athletic (a)||Ref: Neale Barry||Derby County (a) »|
|[ Matchday Calendar ]||League Position: 15th||[ Results & Table ]|
Duncan Ferguson made a surprising but pleasing start for Everton as Walter
Smith dispensed with his cautious approach of nurturing the Big Fella slowly and carefully back to full fitness.
A fluid move, a wonderful cross, and a great header by Ferguson that produced an early save from Kirkland set the scene for this critical match. A great break by Cadamarteri followed, but only won a corner.
Everton continued to press with plenty of good movement but could not get past Kirkland. A clash between Cadamarteri and the Coventry goalie led to Danny getting booked as the first half degenerated into a scrappy affair, although Everton managed a number of good chances on goal.
As the first half drew to a close, Coventry finished strongly with Everton failing to make their early superiority tell. In the second half, Ferguson got the ball in the net but it was ruled out for offside.
Then, in the last 20 minutes, the bottom fell out of Everton's season as Hadji sneaked in to score. Gemmill eventually rifled home a terrific equaliser only for Garry Breen to snatch the winner two minutes later. An utterly dire result for Everton that cements a dire position deep in the wrong end of the Premiership, with Leeds United next up...
|Coventry City:||Hadji (69'), Breen (87')|
|LINEUPS||Subs Not Used|
Myhre; S Watson, Weir, Ball, Naysmith; Tal (72'
Unsworth), Gemmill, Gravesen, Pembridge (83'
Nyarko); Ferguson, Cadamarteri (72'
Unavailable: Gascoigne, Gerrard, Gough, Jeffers, Pistone, Xavier (injured); Alexandersson? Campbell, S Hughes (ill).
|Coventry City:||Kirkland, Breen, Williams, Konjic (22' Edworthy), Quinn, Thompson, Telfer, Carsley, Bellamy (84' Chippo), Hadji, Zuniga (77' Aloisi).||Hyldgaard, Eustace.|
|EVERTON:||Royal Blue shirts; white shorts; blue socks.||4-4-2|
|Coventry City:||Sky blue & white shirts; black shorts; white socks.||4-4-2|
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|EVERTON:||Cadamarteri (20'), Ferguson (65')|||
|Coventry City:||Breen (55').|||
|Sports.Com||Detailed Match Stats|
|REPORTS BY EVERTON FANS|
|Phil Pellow||Welcome back, big man|
|Ted Neeson||A few points|
Breen steals priceless victory
by Steve Thomson
Everton left feeling down after Breen's late arrival
by Alyson Rudd
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|Welcome back, big man|
Ferguson battled and fought the whole game against Coventry, and you
certainly couldn't fault his attitude – after about ten seconds, he
clattered into one of the centre backs and flattened him. Problem is,
we went straight back to the bad old days – after half an hour of
dominance brought no goals, we increasingly resorted to the long ball to
Duncan out of defence, and stopped playing football on the carpet – with
Coventry, seeing us run out of ideas, gained in confidence and got their own game together. Like at Charlton, the referee gave us nothing. Walter's tactical naivety is now becoming alarming. After lessening the width of the pitch to prevent any width/entertainment at Goodison, he then brings in Tal, who finds it hard to make space in wide positions. Ahem!
The decision to replace fat arse Tal with the lithe, pacey Unsworth just about top-hatted another dismal display. Two headed goals conceded at set pieces, following similar goals conceded in the previous couple of games, leaves a totally unacceptable position in the league and real worries about the drop.
A final word on Tommy Myhre. Can't kick for toffee; flaps at crosses; back in the old routine...
|[ Up to Reports Index ]|
|A few points|
A gasp of anticipation went up when Dunc's name was up on the electronic
scoreboard before the game, when the team was announced. We started
off brightly with Danny Cad getting to the by-line and getting a cross over
to be met by the Big man. We managed this feat another 3 or 4 times in
the first 15 minutes but then stopped... WHY? Tal did the same on the
left. We had them penned into their own half and then let them off.
The difference with the back four was that they were confident enough to head the ball back to Tommy Myhre and pass back to him as well when in trouble. Tommy came for high balls and caught most of them comfortably. However, he made one mistake for the second but he was not bad for a keeper lacking match fitness.
Duncan's first 90 minutes for two years. And he actually looked sharper than SuperKev (who has had 8 weeks to get back to match fitness).
The referee was totally crap and the Coventry players took to feigning injuries in order to slow the game down and put Everton off their stride (and it worked). Everton had more chances whilst Coventry's could be counted on the fingers of a single hand. What we are lacking is the rub of the green – it is a very fine line between good and bad luck but our time will come.
Someone with a pretty good view of what happened to their goalie reckoned Kirkland was faking being hit by a coin or missile. Something was thrown earlier that landed in the box but had landed nowhere near their keeper; however, when he went down like a sack of spuds, one of the other Coventry players went and picked up the item thrown earlier and indicated to the ref that it had hit their goalie. I do not in any way condone the actions of those mindless morons who feel inclined to throw litter or anything else at the opposition and who should be permanently banned if caught, but, with all the cameras around the place, there should be some video evidence available to discover the truth of the situation.
|[ Up to Reports Index ]|
|Everton left feeling down after Breen's late arrival|
|by Alyson Rudd, The Times|
The ghost of Christmas Past wafted ominously around Goodison Park. On Boxing
Day last year, Bill Kenwright announced that he would, finally, be taking
over the club that he loved. The fans were relieved and the team promptly
beat Sunderland 5-0. The atmosphere yesterday was very different.
Walter Smith, the manager, has been beset by injuries and this contest had the air of a relegation battle about it. Smith conjured one surprise: Duncan Ferguson made his first start for Everton since November 1998 and lasted the match. It said much for the parlous state of Everton’s resources that everything of note they created involved the least mobile man on the pitch. Ferguson is clearly not fully match-fit but consistently managed to cause Coventry problems in the air inside the penalty area.
With five minutes of the game left, Ferguson appeared to have helped to salvage a point when he set up Scot Gemmill for the Everton equaliser. Coventry had taken a deserved lead in the 69th minute, when David Thompson floated in a long free kick and Mustapha Hadji headed past Thomas Myhre.
Late in the first half Thompson and Telfer combined well to set up Craig Bellamy, whose shot was too ambitious. In the second half, Thompson came close when Zuniga pulled the ball back in another well-worked move.
Everton’s late equaliser did not seem to knock Coventry’s confidence at all. “Credit to them, they went back up the field and made a goal for themselves,” Strachan said. Again Thompson floated in a free kick and this time Gary Breen was on hand to score his first goal in three years.
“Thompson’s free kicks are absolutely phenomenal,” his manager said, although in this case Coventry were assisted by a mix-up between Myhre and Gary Naysmith, which left the defender to limp from the scene of their collision.
If Strachan was amazed by the late gift of three points, he hid it well. He frequently believes that the fates are against him when on his travels and he seemed resigned to it all going wrong again yesterday when he facetiously bowed in mock admiration of the referee, Neal Barry, after a decision went his team’s way.
Everton now loiter too close to the relegation zone for comfort and their cause will not be helped after Barry said that he would include in his report an incident in which Chris Kirkland, the Coventry goalkeeper, was struck on the back of the head by a small object.
Coventry are still in trouble, but if they can show this sort of spirit away from home for the rest of the campaign they will once again defy the drop.
|Report © Times Newspapers Ltd|
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|Breen steals priceless victory|
|Steve Thomson, Electronic Telegraph|
GARY BREEN'S first goal for three years clinched a rare away win for
Coventry four minutes from time and sent Everton closer to relegation
Walter Smith, the Everton manager, attempted to play down such fears by saying: "The situation's not a new circumstance for us. We knew we'd have to struggle over this period until we get some of our injured players back."
Indeed, key forwards Francis Jeffers and Kevin Campbell remain sidelined but the return of Duncan Ferguson for his first start since his Ł4 million return from Newcastle last summer failed to stop the rot that has now seen Everton go five games without winning.
Ferguson, booked after a bad-tempered clash with Breen, set up Everton's equaliser but he is still a long way short of match fitness, and on this sorry evidence some of his colleagues are similarly lacking in sharpness.
Coventry stay third from bottom, but this resilient showing could be the platform from which they launch their customary escape act.
Everton seemed to be under orders to exploit Ferguson's aerial power but despite rising well he failed to trouble Chris Kirkland with a couple of headers. Coventry's best hope lay in using the pace on the break of Craig Bellamy, whose woeful lack of confidence in front of goal was illustrated when he curled Paul Telfer's cross well wide.
David Thompson, the former Liverpool winger, prompted predictable derision from Everton fans by squandering two excellent chances shortly after the break only to stun them into silence in the 68th minute, delivering a deep free kick on to the head of Moustapha Hadji, who scored emphatically from close in.
Everton appeared to have salvaged a point six minutes from the end when Ferguson finally made a significant contribution, flicking the ball on for Scot Gemmill to drive in fiercely on the volley. Their respite was brief, another pinpoint free kick from Thompson this time picking out Breen, who gleefully headed in the winner.
|Report © The Electronic Telegraph|
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