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 Pre-season Friendly (7); The Racecourse, Wrexham; Saturday 3 August 2002; 3:00pm
   

 
 
Attendance: 6,507
Halftime: 0-1

Facts
Reports
Radzinski (41')
Rodrigo (pen:48')


Referee: Mr D Pugh
 

David Moyes decided to rest a substantial number of what will probably constitute his first-team line-up, while continuing to give his World Cup stars 45 more minutes each to get back into the swing of things.  No sign of any trialists in this, the seventh pre-season match, with Said back in Egypt.  

Radzinski and Rodrigo were paired up front and the combination eventually paid off just before half-time, when Radzinski, looking suspiciously offside, fired home.  Four subs entered after half-time, including the Chinese Li's and Idan Tal, who won a penalty for Everton a few minutes later, Rodrigo converting in style.  

Not much other action to report in the second half, although Radzinski nearly scored.  Rooney came on for his customary brief opportunity to score a hat-trick in 25 mins, making him the only player to see action in all seven games so far...

Match Facts
Wrexham (4-4-2)
Red shirts, _ shorts, _socks
Rogers (46' Whitfield)
Whitley (61' Holmes)
Roberts
Carey (82' Pejic)
Jones
Trundle (61' C Edwards)
Morrell
P Edwards (61' Sam)
Bennett (46' Lawrence)
Phillips
Thomas  (46' Barrett)

Subs Not Used:
—


Yellow Cards: —

Red Cards: —




 
Everton (4-4-2)
_ shirts, _ shorts, _socks
Wright
Watson (85' Southern)
O'Hanlon (46' Hibbert)
Clarke
Naysmith
Alexandersson (46' Tie)
Carsley (46' Gravesen)
Linderoth (46' WeiFeng)
McLeod (46' Tal)
Rodrigo (73' Rooney)
Radzinski

Subs Not Used:

 Gerrard

Yellow Cards: —

Red Cards: —

Unavailable: 

(Injured:) Yobo, Ferguson, 
Pistone, Gemmill, Chadwick
 

Match Reports
 


 





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Stroll in the Sun

I had absolutely no intention of going to this one today — I was supposed to be on a hot date.  But when you're blown out, you're blown out.  So Wrexham, ah, go on then.

A lovely sunny day, real pre-season feel.  Good showing from the Evertonians — we easily filled our end and had to spill into the main stand.  Usual subdued pre-season atmosphere, a couple of lads trying to get it going throughout, a bit of a burst of song at the start, but all quite low key.

The Racecourse is a pleasant, well developed, lower-league stadium with piss-poor catering facilities.  Three sides all seater and one home end of terracing. 

The weirdest thing about these friendly games in summer is figuring out who is who on your own team.  A swap of haircut, a summer tan, a bit of extra weight can make it hard enough to instantly recognize even the regulars you know and love after a couple of months — never mind new signings and kids being given a run out — all of whom without names on backs.  It took me the first 10 minutes to get my eye in.  Which was quicker than the bloke next to me took the whole first half to realise that Carsley isn't Gravesen.

Suppose the most interesting thing about our starting line-up was the choice of Clarke and O'Hanlon as center-backs.  Neither did anything wrong, neither caught the eye.  Can't say that of Mr Wright.  He had nothing whatsoever to do the whole game, save a couple of easy clearances in the first 20 minutes.  He fluffed three of them, and handed them a guilt edge chance that was only kept out thanks to the lick of paint on the woodwork.  One wag tried to get a 'Are you Gerrard in Disguise' going but folk were feeling too generous to join in.  It's pre-season, the whole point is to get those early nerves out the way for him... hopefully!

All in all, it was a very tame first half.  Our only chance of note came when McLeod whipped in a great cross for Alexandersson.  Nice jumping header.  The bar kept it out.  Other than that, we had nothing until just before the break when Radzinski latched onto a Rodrigo through-ball and, calm as you like, the Tomasz put it away. So, in front at the break.

The second half was more interesting.  We saw Tal, Hibbert and Tommy G enter the game.  But of more significance was the debut of our new Chinese contingent, WeiFeng and Tie.  The midfielder and central defender.  Don't ask me which is which — I haven't sussed that yet.  Both proved that there is more to their signings than making up the numbers on the sponsorship deal.   They can both clearly play a bit of football and made an immediate positive difference.  The centre-back looked skillful, calm and assured.  The midfielder confident and with a sublimely measured pass.  They impressed.

Tal also seemed to have the bit between his teeth when he came on.  He won the penalty and looked determined to take it, but  Rodrigo was more determined, won the battle of wills between them, and coolly slotted home.  He enjoyed it.  Looks another good signing.

Wrexham brought the game to us a little.  Their crowd had a couple of strong shouts for a penalty waved off.  These incidents were at the other end so I can't confirm or deny their assertions that the referee was a scouser in disguise.

We were reminded we were in the lower leagues when the net fell down midway through the second half and Freddy Boswell was sent on with his milk crate to repair it.  All good stuff.

Rooney came on for the last 10 or so but didn't get too much of a chance to make any impression.  Radzinski should certainly have made it three in the last minute.  Still, a stroll in the sun when all said and done.  2-0.

I never read too much into these games; Wright looked nervous at the beginning, the two Chinese looked great.  Bear in mind that on the basis of previous pre-season showings I have predicted that Slaven Bilic and Jon Oster were destined to become Everton legends and I've well learned to keep my mouth shut now.  Nothing means anything for another fortnight.



Report

Another jaunt into a foreign country, even if it is only 30 miles from home.  Everton brought with them the League of Nations, with 9 international players on the team sheet, the Chinese players with a posse of press following their every move.

Rodrigo showed his skill in the fist 2 mins with a shot from 18 yards out that was on target.  Then Alexandersson should have scored but his header hit the crossbar from pinpoint McLeod cross.

Again Rodrigo was showing his Brazilian class: twice in 3 mins  saw him in the thick of the action, with a shot using the outside of his boot just glancing past the right hand post from inside the area.   Then he put Radzinski in with a killer ball, after beating a couple of defenders; Radzinski could not fail to score.

Half time: Wrexham 0 - 1 Everton

Little action in the second half.  The second goal came via a deep pass from midfield when Li Tie saw Tal in a bit of space, who brought the ball down with his chest.  He was fouled in the process; penalty!  Rodrigo right footed for his first goal in an Everton shirt.

With 10 min's to go Radzinski having been put though by Watson wasted yet another scoring chance, put the ball wide from inside the area.

On the bright side: seven played, six won, drawn 1 and we have scored 29 goals.  How long since we have scored that many pre-season?

Right where is my passport….

Steve Milne




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