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 Unsworth (1')
 Ferguson (13')
 Gravesen Sent Off (28')
(2-0) Malbranque (52')
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Everton v Fulham:
Prior League Games
 Overall  
 Everton 9
 Fulham 0
 Draws 4
 Premiership
 Everton 0
 Fulham 0
 Draws 0
 Last league meeting:

 Everton 5-1 Fulham
21 May 1968


 
It took the galvanising presence of David Moyes just 27 seconds of this game to have a dramatic and story-tale effect on the goal-shy Everton team, with David Unsworth hammering home a sweet left-foot volley into the back of the Fulham net.  What a start for the new manager!  And what a fantastic statement from the consummate Evertonian.

The match maintained the exciting pace created by that early stunner, and hardly 12 minutes had gone when Duncan Ferguson charged down a van der Saar clearance and slotted it into the net.  Pandemonium!  Duncan Ferguson's first goal in the league from open play this season.

Everton were playing like terriers, but the shine went off the game when Gravesen, who had been cautioned early on, managed to get himself sent off after 28 mins, following a second hard tackle.  Mad Dog?  Bloody idiot!

As the temperature of the game increased, Unsworth and Malbranque then got stuck in, and both were booked.  Calm down, Calm down!

Everton finished the first half nervously despite their two-goal advantage as the defenders became nervous about making challenge in front of the card-happy Graham Barber.  More fouls and free-kicks went against Everton; one of them was headed off the line by Duncan Ferguson to preserve a nervous clean sheet at half-time.  Heart-pounding stuff!

The only change at half-time was Joe-Max Moore coming on for Radzinski who picked up yet another injury.  And it did not match the impact of those made by Tigana, with Hayles doing great work to beat Hibbert on the bye-line and setting up Malbranque who couldn't miss.  Thirty-seven nervy minutes remained and the Fulham pressure continued almost unrelenting as Everton were pinned back in their own half.

Moyes made another adjustment, pulling Ferguson who was wearing the captain's armband back into defence and leaving Joe-Max Moore to buzz around at the front.  Blomqvist was then brought on to replace Unsworth, who was still making very brave tackles despite being on a yellow.  A second red card would have been unthinkable.

Fulham hit the crossbar in the 85th minute but Ferguson was imperious in defence as finger-nails were nibbled to the quick.  The last 5 minutes of this game were simply UN-BE-LIEV-ABLE!!!

The whistle went, Everton won, and 35,000 Evertonians could look forward optimistically once again as the Moyes era began in excellent style.  

Welcome to Goodison, David Moyes!



M A T C H    F A C T S
 Sports Match Info  
  FA Premiership 2001-02, Game 30
3:00pm  Saturday 16 March 2002
Goodison Park, Liverpool
Referee: Graham Barber
Att: 34,639
Position: 16th
Line-ups Subs not used
Everton: Simonsen; Hibbert, Weir, Stubbs, Pistone; Gemmill, Gravesen (28' Sent Off!), Carsley, Unsworth (75' Blomqvist); Ferguson, Radzinski (46' Moore). Gerrard, Chadwick, Clarke.
Unavailable:  Campbell, Naysmith, Pembridge, Watson (injured); Nyarko (on loan).  Transferred:
Gascoigne 
Fulham van der Sar; Finnan, Brevett, Melville (c), Marlet; Collins, Malbranque Legwinski (77' Goldbaek), Saha; Boa Morte (46' Hayles), Goma (46' Ouaddou). Taylor, Harley. 
Playing Strips Formations
Everton: Royal Blue shirts; white shorts; blue socks. 4-3-3
Fulham: White shirts; black shorts; white socks 4-4-2
  Yellow Cards Red Cards
Everton: [Gravesen (14', 28')], Unsworth (26'), Moore (55')  Gravesen (28')
Fulham: Finnan (26'), Malbranque (30'), Brevett (37'), Hayles (74') --


Premiership Scores
Saturday 9 Mar 2002
Charlton 1-1 Leicester
Wednesday 13 Mar 2002
Blackburn 2-1 Ipswich
Chelsea 4-0 Tottenham
Saturday
Middlesbro 1-2 Liverpool 
Bolton   1-3 Derby
Chelsea   4-0 Sunderland
Everton   2-1 Fulham 
Newcastle   2-2 Ipswich
Sotton 2-2 Leicester
West Ham  3-5 Man Utd
Sunday
Leeds   3-1 Blackburn
Aston Villa 1-2 Arsenal 
Monday
Tottenham 0-1 Charlton 
 


 
Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Man Utd 64
2 Arsenal 63
3 Liverpool 62
4 Newcastle 56
5 Chelsea 53
6 Leeds 51
7 Charlton 41
8 Aston Villa 41
9 Tottenham 38
10 West Ham 37
11 Southampton 36
12 Fulham 35
13 Middlesbrough 35
14 Sunderland 34
15 Everton 33
16 Blackburn 32
17 Ipswich 31
18 Bolton 30
19 Derby 29
20 Leicester 19
M A T C H     R E P O R T S
Everton Web Sites
ToffeeWeb Match Summary
EvertonFC.com Match Report
When Skies Are Grey Match Report
From The Terrace Match Report
Blue Kipper Match Report
Everton Fans' Reports
Steve Bickerton Everton Reclaimed
Phil Pellow Not bad for starters
Links to Other Media Reports
Electronic Telegraph Match Report
BBC Sport Match Report
FA Premier Match Report
Sky Sports Match Report
Sporting Life Match Report
SoccerNet Match Report
The Sunday Times Match Report
The Observer Match Report
The Guardian Match Report
The Independent Match Report
The Times Match Report
Liverpool Echo Match Report
Daily Post Match Report


Match Preview

The first match of a new, Smith-less era as his selected replacement, David Moyes, takes charge of his first game after just 24 hours in the hot seat.  What will it bring?  

The requirements are elegantly simple: play football as she was meant to be played.  Passing, structure, balance, organization, creativity, movement but above all... GOALS!. 

Perhaps the presence of a new face in charge albeit for just a day or so will be enough to inspire something better from Walter's squad of overpaid, under-performing super-stars, and hopefully set them on the intended path.

It would be nice to see Moyes ignore whatever "advice" Walter may have given him in a two-hour debrief session, and immediately start ringing the changes.  At least Chadwick is available but a number of other young prospects were ruled out by playing in the reserves on Thursday night.

Without some fresh injection of life, we will no doubt look agricultural as Fulham stroke the ball around in front of us.  If we defend deep, then we'll restrict them to long shots while we belt it upfront and let Radz run around totally unsupported.

Either Dunc or Campbell will play the Totem-pole role around which nothing will revolve.  Any creativity we might have hoped for from Ginola has been reduced to the level of a sick joke.  It really is becoming quite depressing.

Defence seems to be Everton's only real strength at the moment, but even there it is too much to expect that they can guarantee clean sheets.  The Smith fallacy of relying on defence when your forwards (or midfielders or defenders) can't score is thus laid  painfully bare. 

Malbranque, Collins and Legwinski will remind the blue hordes how a football should be passed around by a team that is actually coached and managed to play the game properly, although they have demonstrated a lack of a cutting edge which means we could grind them down... if only we could find a way to score.

At the back, they have recently started shipping goals: 4 to Arsenal, 2 to Liverpool and 3 to Chelsea...  Our strike force isn't quite of that standard however and we'll be very lucky to get one!

Prepare to be embarrassed by a recently promoted 2nd Division side giving Everton Football Club a lesson.  Fulham have never won a league game at Goodison Park... how more ominous can it get?  

Oh, how wonderful to be an Evertonian!

I love this club dearly; I believe in Kenwright's love of the club; I believe in the passion of the side; I believe that Kings Dock is our holy grail; I did until recently believe in Walter Smith; and, until he left, I believed we were now going down.

But now David Moyes is here and, once again, there is a feint whiff of optimism...

BlueForEver



Everton Reclaimed

by Steve Bickerton

A strange week... having finally come off the fence on Sunday and stumbled into the Smith-Out camp, feeling that on balance it was better he went than stayed, I can't say I was still 100% sure by the time the decision was announced.  By then I'd started to go into the "bury my head in the sand and all would be OK" mindset.  But, now that the decision has been made and having seen both the dignity with which Walter departed and the alacrity with which the board acted in getting David Moyes in place, I'm convinced that my misgivings about timing were misplaced.

The manner in which we won today's game wasn't what convinced me, though.  It was all the other things around the game, which suddenly felt right.

Firstly, it was the fact that Moyes allowed Andy Holden to pick the side and dictate the tactics.  In terms of experience, the only difference between the two is that Moyes has been a Number One before, but Holden at least knew the players and had shown his credentials in leading the reserves to the Premiership Reserves League Championship last year.  

Together, they might make a formidable team, with youth and ambition on both their side maybe something of a latter-day Clough/Taylor partnership not the useless Manchester City twosome of Nigel and Bob (did they ever play together?), but the steely and assured Derby County/Nottingham Forest championship (and European Cup) winning pair of Brian and Peter.

Secondly, it was the buzz of expectancy around Goodison Park no longer the air of despair.  Somehow, today, the faith if not the missing thousands had returned.

Thirdly, there was the sight of the Manager, out there on the pitch, leading the warm up, keeping the players on their toes, showing both them and the watching fans just who is the boss.

Almost above all, it was the calm and assured manner that David Moyes had eased himself into the Goodison hot seat.  Not the platitudes for him of "It's a great club"....  "It's a big job"... "The fans expect to win"...  No, he gets straight to the heart of every Evertonian and shows then that he understands how to run this club: "This is the people's club in Liverpool... the people on the street support Everton and I hope to give them something to be proud of over the next few years."

But above all, the thing that convinced me that a change was right and that Moyes is the man, was the fact that I rediscovered Everton Football Club this week.  Having been in the queue for Evertonians Anonymous, I'm now in the Born Again Blue camp.  I am now ready to shout my faith from the hilltops, rather than hide in the corner and pretend that I didn't care.

David Moyes won me over with his quick smile, his openness and above all his belief in his own ability.  Whether the players believed was another matter...  The evidence of that will come later perhaps as soon as next week when, following the Rams away win at Bolton today, the game at Pride Park takes on added significance.  Two clubs with two new managers.  One at the beginning of the "honeymoon" period, one maybe at the end.

Today was no more than a chance for the players and the fans to rediscover that joy in the Blue; that belief in the Toffees; that indefinable something that is Everton Football Club.

The Game

27 seconds was the Golden Goal time, not the 32 seconds talked about elsewhere.  A throw on the left by Pistone, a nod from Ferguson, a scuffle in the box and a terrific shot drilled from the edge into the bottom right-hand corner (as he faced it) by David Unsworth.  

Bedlam!!  

Rhino charged down the touchline, badge now in hand, now kissing the badge, delirium!; reminiscent of his charge down the line at Villa Park after his awesome strike last year.  

This time, though, it was delight and not defiance. This time it was accompanied by the unbounded joy of the home faithful than the cat-calls and derision.  Rhino may not be the world's most gifted footballer, but he oozes commitment and desire.  Contrary to the feelings of many others, I'd have him in my squad any time.

Fulham were stunned and pressed forward.  For almost five minutes we were pegged back, unable to get anything constructive going, but we weathered the storm and started to play some good-looking football.  

After about 12 minutes, the ball made its way back to van der Saar in the Fulham goal.  Captain for the day, Duncan Ferguson (an inspired choice, given the circumstances surrounding the game), harassed the keeper, who fluffed his kick off the Big Yin's left foot.  Unlike the usual luck that we have in such circumstances, the ball bounced back into the penalty area, away from the bemused keeper, with Ferguson in chase.  The Scot remained calm and swept the ball coolly into the empty net, despite having been caught by a despairing defender. 

All gloom was dispelled two goals in one game.  We were as giants, not the slumped world-weary apologists of last week.

Fulham were stunned and changed their tactics.  Having been playing neat football and trying to break down the Everton defence they started to play-act.  Players threw themselves down or left their foot back so that a pursuer could run into it (sounds a bit of a blue-glazed interpretation of events, but I'm sure that's what happened), with Gravesen who was definitely up for this one finding himself in the book for nothing more than uncontrolled enthusiasm. 

Ten minutes later, that booking was to prove costly as, after another seemingly innocuous challenge, he was dismissed for a second yellow card.  This season, our disciplinary record has improved enormously but, in two games against Fulham, we've had two players dismissed and a 25,000 fine.  Just before, we could have been three up, as Carsley, admittedly from a long way out, failed to find an empty net as the Fulham defence was torn apart.

Following the Gravesen dismissal, the game deteriorated into something of a squalid affair, with petty fouls, aggravations and further bookings.  Not that the tackle on Radzinski, which flattened him from behind, apparently deserved one.  The worst tackle of the game thus far and not a word from the referee.  As a result of the injury, Radzinski didn't appear for the second half, although he finished the first.  Let's hope that its not too serious.

The second half saw Fulham go to 4-3-3 trying to take advantage of Everton being a man down in midfield.  Boy, did it work! Joe-Max Moore came on for Radzinski and ran himself ragged.  Sadly, ragged is a fairly generous assessment of his contribution overall.  We were like frightened rabbits in the headlights of an oncoming juggernaut.  We froze, we panicked, and we paid the price.  Seven minutes into the half, Fulham got a cross in from the left for Malbranque to side-foot home.

After that, it was all hands to the pumps, with Carsley and Gemmill adding to the overall desperation by continually passing to white shirts, putting their colleagues into impossible situations, or simply going missing.  When Blomqvist came on, I felt sure that one of those two would make way, but it was the outstanding Unsworth who deservedly left the field of play to a standing ovation!

We endured 45 minutes of unceasing pressure, during which Fulham showed that they could play beautiful football at times (we did let them, though) but were suffering from a dearth of strikers who could convert chances.  We hung on in there and came out as winners.  It was nail-biting, it was heart-lurching, but once more it was Everton OUR EVERTON!

Man of the Match: David Unsworth.

After-thoughts

Having come down a little from the cloud on which I was sitting, to look at the reality of the situation, I feel more than confident now that given Moyes's enthusiasm and determination, and a repeat of today's never-say-die attitude we will stay up.  

The close season will probably see something of a merry-go-round of ins and outs.  On today's performance, David Unsworth apart, nobody in the midfield looks safe.  The defence looked solid enough, if a little (sorry a lot) nervous, with Ferguson and Simonsen also likely to stay.  

I would think that we'll be hoping for a good World Cup for J-M Moore so that we can get a decent price for him.  Of the midfield, Gravesen needs to get control of his adrenalin levels if he can play to his full potential.  Given that he can do that, on balance I would keep him.  So, that's Carsley, Gemmill and Blomqvist on their way and a reprise for Gravesen.

Hibbert showed why he received such rave reviews in previous games.  Despite being left exposed time and again by Carsley, he kept Fulham at bay, for the most part.  As has been said elsewhere, he and those like him, are the future.

To close, I would like to add one more thing.  I've doubted of late that we were a "Big 5" club.  I know that, on current form and fortune, we're far from it.  But reality is a strange thing.  

Recently Derby County relieved Colin Todd of his duties; John Gregory was his replacement.  These were "big" stories at the times that they happened.  But the events of the last few days at Goodison Park have been treated as major news, receiving far more column inches and TV or Radio airtime than our current status would seemingly deserve. 

We are a "Big" club... that will never cease to be the case.  What we need to aim for once more is "Big 5".  We can do it.

Steve Bickerton



Not bad for starters, Then?

by Phil Pellow

David Moyes duly recorded his first win as Blues' Manager but boy was it close.  The terraces were awash with fingernail parings by the end, and we had been hanging on for so long our arms were getting tired.  Still, a win is a win, and we need 'em. 

On the drive to the stadium, Ian Mac is practicising cliches "We need to have a team of gladiators out there today, we've got to make Goodison Park like the Roman Amphitheatres of old I reckon Bill should tell Moyes to sign up Russell Crowe on Monday." And so on and so forth, bla-di-blah.  It's all great stuff, and he has us both laughing all the way to the Spellow. 

The sun is warm on our backs as we stroll down Goodison Road, having first passed the Blue House.  One of the Indie Blues lads is by the door as we pass.  

"Saw you on the telly the other night, Phil."  I smiled, trying to look suitably indifferent. 

"You were talking through your arse, as usual." Yes, folks, this is Merseyside! 

We pad into the Spellow, and after a couple of Buds with my boys and their partners, find Mickey Blue Eyes and the suitably unshaven Neil Wolstenholme, looking more like a nightclub doorman than an accountant type.  

After a while, a heated discussion breaks out between MBE and Keith Wilson, on the subject of Tommy Gravesen.  Is he a knobhead and a liability (MBE and me) or an inspirational figure (Keith)?  Hindsight might have changed Keith's opinion since then, but maybe not!  The Kippers arrive and take photos. 

I scuttle off to the bar and avoid the lens.  Dave (dad) and David (son) Atkinson arrive, after the short drive down from Elgin (800 miles round trip), and I make them feel better by announcing that it's along way to come for a nil-nil draw.  Kinda guy I am, okay? 

Roald is over from Norway, slightly farther away.  The kippers are raffling a Becky book, and we buy tickets, thinking it would be nice to give the book to Roald if we win.  No bother, the bugger wins it anyway who says there's no justice? (Okay, apart from Clive Thomas.  Oh yeah, and Heysel, of course that goes without saying. And obviously there was the Hansen hand ball, I mean that is a shoe-in) 

Anyway, where was I?  Still with us?  Oh good, I thought you'd already gone.  As we bimble across to the Gwladys, light rain is now falling.  We take our places, and David Moyes strolls out into the spotlight, arms held high in salutation.  Cue roars from the Amphitheatre! 

Andy Holden's team shows the return of Hibbert to right back, and Pistone restored to the left of defence.  The midfield four comprises three war dogs and Gemmo.  The Yin is back up front alongside the Rad, and is given the armband.  He has tied his socks up and combed his hair wow, is this the new Dunc? 

Moments after the start, Sandro plants one up the inside left channel, Dunc knocks it on to the Rad, who tees it up for the advancing Rhino.  Three thousand Park Enders reach for the crash helmets and the others merely duck.  Shame, 'cos they miss an Exocet into the far corner by the Chorley one. 

Unsie races towards the Gwladys like a hare at Altcar before being engulfed by swifter hounds.  A lucky general?  That'll do for me.  I catch a glimpse of Moyes snogging Holden.  They can't touch you for it in the circumstances.  

Not long later, Hibbo launches it long up the inside-right channel, and the ball flicks off a white-shirted defender's head towards van der Saar.  The big Dutcher sees a bigger bugger storming in at him and hesitates.  His clearance bounces off Dunc and free into the box, whereupon the Yin calmly plants it home, and we are in orgasm (although not, of course, in the biblical sense)! 

Fulham, shaken, still play the Tigana way: pass and move, pass and move.  The dogs bite in at their ankles.  Unsie, Carsley win tackles and ball and leave a bruise or two.  The Gravedigger misses the ball and boots the other guy.  Twice.  

As he trudges off for first use of the soap, Moyes turns away to discuss the weather with Jesper.  We are not amused.  Less than half an hour gone, then, and we're two up and one down.  

By a combination of sheer willpower and panic, we see it through to half time, but early in the second period, the opposition pull one back.  Hayles turns past the otherwise immaculate Hibbert, and sends it low across the box for Malbranque to side-foot it home with some ease.  Cue the Alamo!  

Fulham simply passed us off the park for the rest of the game, but somehow we held out.  A header smacks the bar; Hayles balloons it over from close range; Duncan is in the thick of it, heading away from the six yard box on four or five occasions.

Stubbs and Weir are, as ever, awesome.  They are all knackered, but we hold out.  Jubilation! 

Having partaken in a corner count of nil to eleven, we have still managed to grab the three points, despite Norbert the knobhead being sent off so early.  And all of the others have played their part. 

There are many problems, though, not the least of which is the ineffective Pepsi, who came on for the crocked Rad in the second half, and hardly got a kick of the ball, and our patent inability to string together any passing movement of note.  

Who cares?  We won.  Woof, Woof!  Next?



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