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 Pre-season Friendly (8); Constant van den Stock Stadium, Anderlecht; 
 Tuesday 6 August 2002; 8:00pm CET
   de Bilde (pen:16')
 Zane (86')
 
 
Attendance: 22,730
Halftime: 1-0

Facts
Reports



Referee: Mr J Ver Eecke
 

A pretty healthy crowd turned out in the pouring rain to watch Everton's penultimate pre-season friendly but the visiting Evertonians were let down by a weak performance by a team hitherto unbeaten in pre-season. 

Unfortunately, it seems as though heavy-handed treatment by the police has made it look as though the traveling Everton fans were causing trouble which, from the accounts we have received, does not appear to have been the case.

Apart from the usual pathetic racial slurs by a minority and the odd thrown bottle, it sounds as though the Blues' supporters behaved themselves pretty well.

   

 

Match Facts
Anderlecht (4-4-2)
_ shirts, _ shorts, _socks
De Wilde
Vanderhaeghe
De Boeck
Zewlawkow (56' Deschacht)
Baseggio
Kolar
Hendrikx
Seol Ki
Mornar (64' Dindane)
De Bilde
Tihinen

Subs Not Used:
Jestrovic, Zane, Hasi, Crasson, Zitka


Yellow Cards: 

Red Cards:





 
Everton (4-4-2)
_ shirts, _ shorts, _socks
Wright
Hibbert (70' Watson)
Stubbs (75' Carsley)
Weir
Unsworth (70' Pembridge)
Alexandersson (83' Tal)
Naysmith
Gravesen
Linderoth
Rodrigo (56' Rooney)
Radzinski (83' McLeod)

Subs Not Used:
 
Simonsen, Gemmill.

Yellow Cards: 
Hibbert.

Red Cards:

Unavailable: 
(No visas:) Tie, Weifeng
(Injured:) Yobo, Campbell, 
Ferguson, Chadwick, Moore?
 
Match Reports
 


 





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 "We do this for every game"
Steve Milne Need to find the goal again
Links to Other Media Reports
Sky Sports Match Report
Liverpool Echo Match Report
Daily Post Match Report


Highlights

Tomasz Radzinski was afforded a fabulous reception from the Anderlecht supporters when the two teams ran out in the torrential rain that has swamped Brussels all day.

The first effort of the evening came from Rodrigo who created half a yard of space for himself before firing the ball straight at Filip De Wilde in the home goal.

From there though, it was Anderlecht who began to ask the questions with Ivica Mornar looking particularly lively.

Only a splendid, last ditch challenge from Gary Naysmith denied him a shot on goal and then he curled an angled effort wide of the target.

Anderlecht took the lead in the 16th minute.

Richard Wright blocked a close-range effort and when the follow-up effort was charged down by Naysmith, the referee pointed to the penalty spot.

By Naysmith's reaction he obviously disagreed with the decision but Gilles de Bilde converted the spot-kick.

The Blues came close to a leveller on 26 minutes when Thomas Gravesen's shot was pushed away by De Wilde and Radzinski's scooped header from the rebound just cleared the crossbar.

Everton were looking a bit more settled by the half hour mark and Radzinski was involved again when he outpaced Hannu Tihinen and was illegally blocked by the defender.

Alan Stubbs took the free-kick from 20 yards and blasted the ball along the ground and through the wall only for De Wilde to make a good save.

At the other end, Richard Wright made a terrific save to deny Ki Hyeon Seol when the Anderlecht striker looked odds on to find the back of the net with a header from just six yards out.

11 minutes into the second period, David Moyes made his first change when he withdrew Rodrigo and sent on Wayne Rooney.

On 61 minutes the Blues were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box when Radzsinski was up-ended, and Unsworth curled a low shot past the wall but into the arms of the keeper.

The second forty-five minutes were a bit more scrappy than the first but there was a couple of efforts from distance mid-way through the half.

Walter Bassagio fired wide for Anderlecht and David Weir, on a rare forray forward, blasted a shot from 25 yards high over the bar.

The second Anderlecht goal came in the 85th minute when substitute Clayton Zane poked the ball home from no more than five yards out.



"We do this for every game"

This was a day of ups and downs; of disbelief and double-takes; of anxiety; of shame; not quite your normal match day - at least not for me.

An early start (5 am) at a B&B in Takeley, adjacent to Stansted, to get there and checked in for the 06:40 Ryanair Toffee Special (not to be confused with Thornton's Special Toffee) to Brussels South/Charleroi. The plane must have been over 50% full of bleary eyed Evertonians on their way to the game. That favourite game of beat thy neighbour was in play as the challenge to find the cheapest seat saw a 1p each way winner; me? I was
nowhere to be seen for my 35p each way. Robbed I was!

On arrival at Charleroi, it was a case of whom to believe. I'd posted directions earlier in the week, based on information available on various web sites (most notably Charleroi Airport and Belgian Railways, but the touts were out telling those gathered to use this bus or this cab as it was all cheaper than the 68 and the train. As my son, Peter and I were booked in to the IBIS GARE at Charleroi for the night (early start for the early flight back and right next to the airport bus stop as well as the station) we opted to stick with the 68. At 1.65 euro it was a bargain, taking us
straight to our hotel - all checked in and back on the road to Brussels by 09:30. Train fare was 6.80 euro each way, a total of 8.45 euro to get to Brussels. How that compares to the other alternatives offered I can't say (though I was taken aback at the 85 euros taxi fare Mark Edwards paid!) - my estimate of 40 euros was way, way of the mark (pun intended?).

Anyway, met an Irish lad (Gavin) from Dublin on the platform, shared his company to Brussels. He was meeting friends in O'Reilly's, which was Everton HQ for the game. Having got to Brussels we went down to Grand Place together, got drenched as the heaven's deposited the North Sea on our heads
and went our separate ways.

Peter and I, now uncaring about our sodden states, decide to wander around Brussels, doing the sights. Blues in many places, all sitting drinking (mainly tea and coffee in the cafes around town), smiling faces, enjoying the atmosphere. It boded well. Lunch in The Danish Tavern (sadly a C****berg bar), with a nice range of Belgian beers. Peter and I lunched there and sampled the Duvel - a wimp of a beer at 8.5%. More sightseeing, a
trip to O'Reilly's, more sightseeing, more drenching. So it went on.
Eventually, whilst looking for John Shearon, bumped into Frank Hargreaves, directed him and umpteen down to O'Reilly's headed back to the Danish, where JS eventually turned up along with several others - post Hagen-Daas.

From there a tour of bars and beers, a coffee and at 7.00 off to the game, kick off 8:00. That's when it all started to go wrong.

The Metro ticket office at Brussels Central Station has a sign up - for Anderlecht get off at Sint Guido station. Fairly explicit, so we got our tickets (return) to Sint Guido. Met a guy from Vienna (a Rapid supporter, who laughed when we reminded him of Rotterdam and Hans Krankl), asking if he was likely to be able to get a ticket. Got off the train, went up to the outside world, to be greeted by Police in riot gear asking if we were Everton fans. Simple response - "Yes". Simple request back - "Can you go
back down and catch the next train and get off at the next stop, its better for you, closer to the away end and it'll keep you away from the trouble. We'll come with you to make sure everything is ok." No problem, I'm all for keeping away from trouble, so off we troupe, down to catch the next train Police in tow. The train arrives, we get on, the Police stay there grinning on the platform.

We get off at the next stop and find the place deserted. Up top there are a few riot gear bedecked Police lounging around, no apparent sign of trouble, and we're waved casually "Up there". Up the street to a roundabout with several exits. Any body to assist? Right in one. No. We find a mounted officer, ask a question about which way to go and are shown the way. More stomping up to the ground. A bit like walking the length of Priory Road with Stanley Park on your right. This time it was Astrid Park.

The heavens have continued to empty and we're beyond the drowned rats stage. But with all this messing about, from being about 15 minutes away from the ground at 7:00 and waiting for our Metro train, we've missed the kick off. On arrival we're greeted by lines of riot Police all shepherding us into individual searches. Again no trouble as we file peacefully into the ground. Not once though, for all the fuss that appeared to be made of only allowing
us to travel if we had Official ID cards, not once where we asked to produce them. Even when they were proffered they were waved away with comments of "We don't need those."

Once into the ground we were faced by a completed stadium, nothing like a "reduced capacity; ongoing work" stadium that we were led to believe would be the case; instead 22,730 individuals were there. Anderlecht were up for it. So were the riot police. A whole line of them, behind glazed partitioning; helmets on; shields up; expecting (or offering?) trouble. Twenty minutes later as Anderlecht buzzed and Everton dallied, they'd decided that this was a non-event and went down to the front, took off their
riot gear and stood talking and watching the game.

We were poor, Rogrigo (did it say Rodrigol on his shirt?) showed some good touches, Linderoth covered every inch in the midfield, Gravesen was almost equally industrious, but all the skill and real invention was from Anderlecht. We had no idea up front with Radzinski ploughing a lone and unproductive furrow. Give them their due, the Anderlecht fans cheered (not jeered) him on, the drum banging out and them chanting his name. They seem
to adore the little guy.

Then a break, a telling ball, splits the Everton defence, a cross, Naysmith clears with his chest for a corner (back to referee, linesman unsighted) - Penalty!

Stunned disbelief from the travelling Evertonians is followed by jeers and cat-calls to the referee. The Anderlecht player steps up to take it, sends Wright the right way (to his, that's Wright's, left) and sees the ball squirm under the Everton Keeper on the slippery turf. 1-0 - and so it remained until half-time. An interesting observation (well, I think so) on the goal announcement technique employed....the announcer calls out "The goal scorer is Gilles.." and the crowd finishes it of off, in chorus, with "De Bild" .... audience participation.

The second half was more of the same, except we seemed to offer a bit more up front when Rooney came on for Rogrigo. A few other changes were made (Tal for Radzinski [great ovation from the home crowd], Carsley for Stubbs, Pembridge for Unsworth), but we still didn't conjure up anything, until in one quick moment of skill, Rooney found himself free to swing at a ball, but he was dragged back and couldn't reach it, but the referee saw nothing wrong
with the challenge, two yards inside the box. Almost immediately down the other end Wright made a terrific diving save, to push the ball out for a corner. More pressure from Anderlecht and the ball rebounds off the post with Wright beaten, courtesy of Carsley, and then as the pressure continues a great cross from the right, a defender's attempt at the far post and the ball finds the back of the net off a mis-kick. 2-0 - deserved, but
inappropriate at that moment.

After that the game wound down. We didn't deserve anything out of the game and were disappointing. Some satisfaction from a cohesive team display, but we lacked a cutting edge and invention - again. Mid-table obscurity, on that performance, would be the very best I would hope for.

During the game, we'd bumped into Gavin from Dublin again; he'd spent most of the day in O'Reilly's and was nowhere near as wet as me, in his Irish Toffees shirt; though he had drunk a lot, he forgotten to eat, so he went off to see if he could find some food. Whatever became of him I don't know as I didn't see him after that. A less than lively Ian Macdonald, was also there - hope you're feeling better, Ian - and it wasn't a case of too much
Stella, either! We'd also bumped into Olly from Cologne, sporting his CD Everton shirt from yesteryear. He refuted suggestions that he was Billy Williams in disguise or had even heard of him.

Post game we stood on the terrace chatting. Then came the riot police, ushering us out of the ground, helmets on, shields raised, batons drawn. The same ones who had been standing next to us, all game ignoring us because we were no trouble. I had to look twice, because I didn't believe what I was seeing. A second look confirmed that I wasn't having delusions. We were followed out at a discrete distance. Once we got outside we were unable to go any further. It seems that somewhere ahead of us some tear gas
had been launched and the departing Evertonians were seeking shelter back at the ground. Bear in mind here, that there was only one way out, we had riot police to our backs, so no way out there and we were enclosed on the left by fencing surrounding the car park "ground improvements" and the ground itself on the right. There was nowhere to go. So we stood there waiting for the
gas to clear and things to settle down. At this point we bumped into Steve Allinson and Chris Rouch. Chris has already posted his views.

A few minutes idle and then the police behind us start moving so we move forwards through the funnel into the area around Astrid Park. As we go through the exit turnstiles we're confronted by Brussels's finest. To our right a line of riot Police with two water cannons and lights. Ahead of us more of the same. It seems they wanted us to turn left. So we did. Intimidated doesn't describe the feeling. Then ahead of us a water cannon erupts into life and there's a cloud hanging over the front group of Evertonians. CS gas this time. People fall back again, children screaming,
people choking, eyes streaming. More waiting around. Eventually we're allowed to go and we're ushered down a prescribed route to the station (the other one, not Sint Guido) - the entire Everton contingent, all at once. We'd been followed all this time by seven mounted police , three ranks of riot police and a water cannon. Riot police acted as our "escorts" down either side, all side roads were blocked by police cars.

Now, in fairness, individual officers were quite approachable and
sympathetic, but the worst part about the whole thing was the intimidation; I'm reasonably rational, I'd stopped drinking early , so I wasn't a jabbering drunken wreck, unable to see what was happening, but I felt under siege, as a caged animal must feel. I was cornered, unable to go peacefully about my business, as I had done all day. Earlier I'd been a tourist. Now I was a visiting football fan. This particular leopard had obviously changed its spots when it stepped onto the Metro and it needed containing.
But I didn't; and neither, I suspect, did any of the visiting fans.

The station was a melee and was the sight of some unsavoury bits and pieces which I'll touch on later, but it was a case of get 1,000 or so onto the train and get them away all at once. No stragglers. To achieve this regular trains were waived through the station, till a "Reserved" train could arrive. This eventually did and we all boarded. There was still some debate (literally!) with the police going on, on the platform, but eventually that calmed down and everybody was on. A guard came down and I thought he said that the train was going to Central Station as that was close to O'Reilly's and the hotels. He must have said "the stop before
Central Station", because that's where we were asked to leave the train. Almost everybody else went upstairs after the initial confusion. I had a word with one of the police about continuing to Central, with my son, as if we didn't we'd miss our train to Charleroi. He told us to stay where we were and catch the next train through. We did, we made our train with 7 minutes to spare, a full hour and a half after the game finished, yet only
fifteen minutes from the ground.

Others will have their own versions of events; my direct encounters with the police were fairly mundane, but for others the effects of those encounters were all too real. Chris Rouch has already explained that this is apparently the "routine" for the police at Anderlecht. He's also mentioned the verbal abuse delivered upon a coloured officer at the Metro station. To my shame that wasn't all that I witnessed that has now caused me to rethink my wishes
for Everton in Europe. At the ground there were chants of "collaborators", "nazi-lovers", other things harking back to 1939-45. Try as I might, I can find absolutely no relevance to the politics and circumstances of life in Belgium 60 years ago to a football match today. People were severely provoked, from my viewpoint, after the game, but during the game there was
absolutely no need for some of what went on.

I can't comment on what sparked off the tear gas, CS gas and water cannon incidents, as I wasn't at the front where it happened. I spoke to a lad on the flight back from Charleroi this morning, who could hardly speak, still suffering from the effects of inhalation. His view was that there seemed to be a standard measure of catch the first ones out of the gate and the others
will be subdued. After that, it was the further provocation of numbers, dress and needless herding that caused some few to lose their heads. In truth it did seem only to be a few. How the numbers stayed so low is testament to the patience, control and overall sense of the Everton contingent. The initial denial of tickets by the local police and their subsequent "control and containment" measures was summed up by one officer, who looked confused by the whole situation as Everton fans walked peacefully and calmly through the streets. When asked "what's going on? We never get
treated like this in England?", his response was "I don't know, we do this for every game."

Others will be able to comment on any trouble (or lack of it) in the city later, as I was on my way to Charleroi. What I can say, is that if the police expected there to have been problems at Central Station, then they were sorely mistaken. The place was deserted. Not an Anderlecht fan in sight.

Other than a final score of 2-0 and an attendance of 22,730, I don't know what else to add.

Steve Bickerton
Who last night felt like a caged animal in a war zone, rather than a football supporter enjoying the delights of a beautiful city.



Need to find the goal again

Another first for me tonight, I have not been to this ground before, looks quite impressive, apart from the weather, it’s poured down all day.

The police are out in force, the full riot gear, and water cannon the whole 9 yards; just what they think is going to happen I don’t know.

Everton still with out two strikers, Yobo, Furguson both carrying knocks, now we find out that Campbell is also injured he did travel but is unable to play so the blues opt for the partnership of Rodrigo and Radzinski up front, With pre season games running out Moyes has to make his mind up who will be his starting two, tonight I would think some of our starting eleven tonight will make up a big chunk of who will start versus Spurs on opening day.

Anderlecht gave us our first taste of defeat, we did make a few chances, Graversen had a shot on target saved, and the rebound Radzinski saw his header just off target. Our best chance came via a free kick, Stubbs from just outside the area, forcing the keeper to make a save.

Richard Wright looked better tonight, he even had the Everton travelling fans chanting, England’s number one, and some of the saves he made will have given him just what he needs, a good 90 min’s playing time.

The goal came on 16 min’s a penalty, Naysmith on the line with the handball, De Bilde giving Wright no chance.

We faired no better in the second half, our only chance again came from a set play, Unsworth 20 yard’s out on target, not even the introduction of 6 sub’s could change the game, we found ourselves 2-0 down 5 min’s from the end, Zane who had looked dangerous since he came on, stuck his leg out from a cross from the right, in off the post.

We will have to do better on Saturday; we need to find the goal again.

Another first for me tonight, I have not been to this ground before, looks quite impressive, apart from the weather, it’s poured down all day.

The police are out in force, the full riot gear, and water cannon the whole 9 yards; just what they think is going to happen I don’t know.

Everton still with out two strikers, Yobo, Furguson both carrying knocks, now we find out that Campbell is also injured he did travel but is unable to play so the blues opt for the partnership of Rodrigo and Radzinski up front, With pre season games running out Moyes has to make his mind up who will be his starting two, tonight I would think some of our starting eleven tonight will make up a big chunk of who will start versus Spurs on opening day.


Anderlecht gave us our first taste of defeat, we did make a few chances, Graversen had a shot on target saved, and the rebound Radzinski saw his header just off target. Our best chance came via a free kick, Stubbs from just outside the area, forcing the keeper to make a save.

Richard Wright looked better tonight, he even had the Everton travelling fans chanting, England’s number one, and some of the saves he made will have given him just what he needs, a good 90 min’s playing time.

The goal came on 16 min’s a penalty, Naysmith on the line with the handball, De Bilde giving Wright no chance.

We faired no better in the second half, our only chance again came from a set play, Unsworth 20 yard’s out on target, not even the introduction of 6 sub’s could change the game, we found ourselves 2-0 down 5 min’s from the end, Zane who had looked dangerous since he came on, stuck his leg out from a cross from the right, in off the post.

We will have to do better on Saturday; we need to find the goal again.

Steve Milne




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