<%@LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT"%> ToffeeWeb Season Diary, March 2004
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[Season Diary]

March 2004

If it happened and it was Everton-related, it's right here in the comprehensive Season Diary.
Items are in reverse chronological order (more recent first). 

Navigate to previous months and seasons using the links directly below:

 March 2004

News Headlines & Features

The price of fame?
31 Mar - Wayne Rooney, who picked up his 11th cap for England in Sweden today, has spoken at length about the great party thrown at the weekend for his finace Colleen's 18th birthday. He expressed his frustration that the fun was spoiled by some idiots who started fighting when the free bar closed at 2am, obviously upset that some tabloid newspapers (surely not The Sun?) made this out to be a mass brawl between the two families.

Radzinski strike not enough
27 Mar - Everton scored in the 78th minute for the fourth game in a row but also conceded late on to throw another two points away in the increasingly painful struggle to pull away from the drop zone. After three-quarters of the game had yielded little in the way of excitement, Tomasz Radzinski fired the Blues ahead with 12 minutes to go. However, less than 5 minutes later, Joseph Desire Job was involved in the 'Boro equaliser that squirmed past Nigel Martyn.

Everton Res 0 - 0 Middlesbrough Res
24 Mar - An Everton Reserves side looking a lot more like a Youth Academy team except for the presence of Richard Wright in goal ground out a scoreless draw with Middlesbrough on Wednesday night. In addition to the seven players out on loan [... er, make that six], notable by their absence were Steve Simonsen, Paul Gerrard and Francis Jeffers. One player who could savour this game, however, was Christian Seargeant, making his debut at this level.

Under-17s are the tops!
22 Mar - Everton's Youth Academy scored a major achievement by winning Group A in the FA Youth Academy Under-17s League. They won their final group game on Monday, beating Crewe 3-0 in the second half after a very nervy first half; Steve Milne was there. The tight group of youngsters include Paul Hopkins (6 goals in the last 5 games) and Andy Fowler (wonder who he's related to?).  They now get home advantage in the first game of the playoffs.

Last-minute away day woe... again
20 Mar - Marcus Bent headed a dramatic stoppage time equaliser to cap a controversial encounter that saw Everton again drop two vital points away from home.  After a scrappy first 40 minutes, Duncan Ferguson proved once again that he has no self control, allowing Leicester to rile him up and get sent off for repeated offences.  [His reaction to the red card when he physically assaulted Stefan Freund may see more serious charges brought.]  Ironically, Everton were better with 10 men and with 15 minutes left, Wayne Rooney fired past Ian Walker to make it 1-0.  Gravesen then ran the length of the pitch on a scintillating run but the chance eventually went begging.  But in injury time Nigel Martyn produced a wonder save, tipping a shot onto the post and Marcus Bent headed home from the resulting corner.  Reports from Paul Traill and Colm Kavanagh

Reserves held by Leeds
16 Mar - Everton started brightly when Jamie McFadden laid on a goal for youth striker Michael Symes after just three minutes.  But the team featuring Richard Wright, David Weir, Lee Carslely and Nick Chadwick failed to score again despiote a number of good chances and allowed Leeds to levle the score on 68 mins.

Rooney makes the crucial breakthrough
13 Mar - Everton laboured to a narrow 1-0 win over struggling Portsmouth thanks to a 78th-minute strike by Wayne Rooney that hands David Moyes a win on his second anniversary in charge and the Blues their first "double" of the season.  A disappointing first half yielded few chances as the midfield pairing of Alex Nyarko and Tobias Linderoth forced on Moyes by Thomas Gravesen's suspension struggled to inspire.  The visitors, yet to win away so far this season, had the best chance of the first 45 minutes but Eyal Berkovic missed with an open goal at his mercy.  Tomasz Radzinski turned a Steve Watson pass over the bar from 10 yards out and then had a great chance early in the second half but he shot wide from 6 yards.  With the match dragging on towards a seemingly inevitable draw, Rooney pounced and could have had two more but fired agonisingly wide both times.

Automatic 3-match ban for Weir
11 Mar - David Moyes is not best pleased, to say the least, over the prospect of losing his recovering central defender David Weir for three games starting with the important clash against Middlesbrough in a fortnight.  Unless Everton can stage a successful appeal the prospects for which must be significantly reduced after Davd Moyes candidly observed that "refereeing standards in the reserves games are poor"(!!!) Weir will serve the automatic ban.

Weir sent off; Wright impresses
10 Mar - Richard Wright put in a strong performance keeping goal for the reserves tonight at Blackburn. He stopped everything Blackburn could throw at him, only to be beaten by an own goal when Brian Moogan gave him no chance off a Blackburn cross. David Weir wont have helped his recovery by getting sent off for pushing Amaruso; he will now be unavailable for Everton's first-team clash against Middlesbrough.

125th Anniversary Dinner
6 Mar - No off-the-field Everton event would be complete without the rousing commentary that Ian Madonald faithfully provides... and this one is no different even if it has taken him a week to gather his thoughts and put down in glorious detail the stirring emotions and magic moments that made up the 125th Anniversary Dinner, put on last Saturday night by the Everton Shareholders Association. Guest speakers included Barry Horne, Brian Viner, and Gordon West.

Bray Wanderers 0 - 4 Everton
2 Mar - David Moyes used this weekend's upcoming break in the league programme as an opportunity to get in some more match practice for his win-shy squad and give recovering injury victims Richard Wright and David Weir a chance to stretch their legs. Francis Jeffers opened the scoring against Bray Wanderers of the Eircom league, and added a second just on half-time. Second-half goals from Jamie McFadden and Nick Chadwick rounded out the action.


Snippets & Rumours

Sweden 1 - 0 England
31 Mar - Wayne Rooney hit the post and narrowly failed to score with one of England's better chances as the national side were unable to beat Sweden yet again, going down to an Ibrahimovich goal a few minutes before the hour mark, when Rooney was part of a four-way substitution.

McFadden on the mark for Scotland
31 Mar - James McFadden may be struggling to find his feet at Goodison but he scored again for Scotland today as they lost their international friendly 2-1 to Romania at Hampden Park.

Liverpool Senior Cup
31 Mar - A young Academy team represented Everton in the semi-final of this season's Liverpool Senior Cup at Southport last night and sneaked a 1-0 win over the Haig Avenue senior side.

Bernard Murphy, RIP
30 Mar - The funeral for Bernard Murphy is being held on Tuesday afternoon at St Aloysius Church in Liverpool. Everton Independent Supporters have raised over 2,000 in his memory. ForFoxSake.com, the unofficial Leicester website, continue that club's wonderful response to his tragic passing with a nice tribute.

Ferguson cleared on race slur
30 Mar - After an investigation by the FA, Duncan Ferguson has not been charged in the business over racial insults levelled byFulham's Luis Boa Morte due to lack of evidence.  However, Duncan will plead guilty to the more obvious case against him over his conduct at Leicester.

Newcastle game on TV overseas
30 Mar - Everton's game at Newcastle on Saturday will be broadcast live or on tape-delay in many parts of the world. Not a good omen considering the live cameras have yet to cover a victory for the Toffees this season...

Player of the Month - February
30 Mar - Signalling a return to form (which he has carried through into March), Wayne Rooney was voted your ToffeeWeb Player of the Month for February, way ahead of two-time winner, Kevin Kilbane.

Along for the ride?
29 Mar - Wayne Rooney is travelling to Gothenberg with the rest of the England squad but a sore back and/or an injured ankle could still keep him sidelined for the friendly against Sweden on Wednesday.

Birthday Bash
29 Mar - A nice party laid on for Wayne Rooney for his fiance's 18th birthday degenerated into a mass brawl as the couple's familes came to blows in the early hours of Sunday morning... or maybe it's all a pack of lies from The Sun? Apparently so...

Moyes sounds depressed
28 Mar - David Moyes was not in upbeat mood after watching his team throw away another two points from a winning position against Boro.  But he was able to blame Boro's goal on the Ref, who pulled Watson out of position while letting a free-kick be played that led to the fateful corner and scrambled equalizer.

Bernard Murphy, RIP
27 Mar - The Club marked the tragic and untimely death of Everton fan Bernard Murphy before last week's game at Leicester with a full page obituary in today's matchday programme, and flowers placed in the centre-circle for an impeccably observed moment of silence before today's kick-off.

Naysmith will need surgery
26 Mar - Gary Naysmith has been withdrawn from the Scotland squad to limit the amount of football he plays until the end of the season, since he needs surgery on a niggling groin proiblem.

CPS spit out Rooney charge
25 Mar - The Crown Prosecution Service has ruled out charging Wayne Rooney (Nicola Sunenberry accused him of spitting in her face at the Manchester nightclub Ampersand last month) beacuse there was "insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction".

Bury miss out on Schumacher
25 Mar - A loan switch was on the cards for another of Everton's young hopefulls before yesterday's 5pm deadline but the Clubs realized that his current loan at Oldham runs for another week, and FA rules prevented transfer of the loan to Bury until that time — after the deadline had passed.

Leigh Mills says No to the Blues
25 Mar - Swindon Town's 16-year-old star, Leigh Mills was to have been part of a swap deal for Sean O'Hanlon but he has turned down the chance to join Everton.

Paul Gerrard loaned to Forest
25 Mar - Nottingham Forest have secured the services of Paul Gerrard on loan until the end of the season. Gerrard becomes the seventh Everton player currently out on loan (surely some sort of record?), and is unlikey to return as his contract expires in June.

Sean O'Hanlon makes move
24 Mar - After two months on loan with Swindon Town, young Everton Reserves player Sean O'Hanlon has made the move permanent. He never got to play for the senior Everton side.  The move was a free transfer, despite claims in some otherwise reputable journals that cash-strapped Swindon stumped up 150k for the lad: simply not true.

Prof Cannon asking questions
24 Mar - Professor Tom Cannon, a prominent member of Everton Shareholders Association, has asked for more openness and transparency from Everton FC when it comes to explanations for where the millions have been frittered away. He cites two examples: payments to consultants over the Kings Dock fiasco, and the dealings with True Blue Holdings on the takeover from Peter Johnson.

Ferguson charged by FA
24 Mar - Duncan Ferguson has been charged with violent conduct after a red mist followed the red card on Saturday, and his reaction gets a mention in referee Barry Knoight's report to the FA. He has 14 days to respond and could easliy end up with a big fine at least an additional 3-match ban.

Symes on loan to Crewe
24 Mar - Michael Symes becomes the seventh Everton player farmed out on loan as he joins Crewe Alexandra for one month.

Spurs game live in North America
23 Mar - The home clash with Tottenham on April 9 will be shown live on Fox Sports Net in the US and Canada, 3pm ET/12noon PT.

Turner gets the call
23 Mar - Everton's young goalkeeping prospect, Iain Turner, who is on loan with Chester City, has received the call-up for Scotland's Under-21 squad for a game against Romania next week.

Snow Blue and the Seven Bluenoses
23 Mar - It's not quite April the First, but the Royal Court in Liverpool will be staging what claims to be the first football panto: "The villains of Anfoldia try to steal the Golden Boots of Dixie Dean from Goodisona in an effort to get the Blue Noses to sell them Wayne Rooney".  And Bill Kenwright is nowhere in sight!

MV Everton in trouble
23 Mar - An ocean-going tanker by the name of Everton caught fire yesterday, off the coast of Oman, after colliding with a fishing vessel.  The Yanks on USS Yorktown made 'best speed' to rescue 24 of the 25 seamen on board.

Dunc: Enough already!
23 Mar - Feelings on Duncan Ferguson are mixed, with some blaming the ref rather than the big man himself. But John Jennings has watched Everton for over 40 years and he's had enough: he thinks Dunc is a disgrace to the club.

The Moores soccer city dynasty?
22 Mar - This total non-story commands four pointless paragraphs in the Liverpool Echo.  Why?  Surely even a child could have produced more of a story?

Osman's loan extended
22 Mar - Midfielder Leon Osman will remain on loan with Derby County for a third and final month, having impressed manager George Burley.

SuperKev R&B: 2 Wikid!
22 Mar - We missed this story from Saturday's Independent  in which Brian Viner interviews Kevin Campbell about music and football.

Chadwick on target for the Lions
21 Mar - Nick Chadwick got the last goal in Milwall's 4-1 mauling of West Ham as they chase a playoff place in Division 1.

Everton fan dies in Leicester
20 Mar - A 40-year-old Everton fan, Bernard Murphy was killed by flying debris caused by the high winds, while on his way to the Walkers Stadium today.

Goal hero now misses two games
20 Mar - Wayne Rooney scored the goal that should have given Everton victory at Leicester, but his tenth booking of the season moments earlier will cost Everton dear as the young star now misses crucial games against Newcastle and Spurs.  Ferguson will only miss one game — the Newcastle match — unless he is sent back to Barlinnie for common asault...

Chadwick back at The Den on loan
19 Mar - Nick Chadwick has rejoined Milwall for a second loan spell this season, and has a chance to be part of thier great run in the FA Cup.

Stubbs recovers from head wound
19 Mar - A serious gash to the head that was sustained late on in the Portsmouth game and needed half a dozen stitches will not rule Alan Stubbs out of the Leicester clash on Saturday.

Nation's favourite scouser?
18 Mar - Well, as determined by a poll of a paltry 2,000 people, Wayne Rooney snagged first place in anticipation of wait for it International Scouse Day... Nurse!

Boa Morte cleared of offensive gestures
17 Mar - Fulham's Luis Boa Morte has een cleared of making offensive gestures to Everton fans at Loftus Road in January, the FA declaring the case against him was "not proven". A decision on his rascist complaint against Duncan Ferguson is still pending...

Weir's red card appeal fails
17 Mar - THe FA Disciplinary Committee were unimpressed by Everton's case, supported by video showing that contact between Weir and Amoruso was minimal when the referee showed him a straight red in the reserves game at Blackburn.  He will miss the games against Boro, Newcastle, and Spurs.

Player of the Month: February
17 Mar - Voting is belatedly open for the February PotM poll. Cast your vote for the player you thought was the pick of the bunch now.

China tour is cancelled... again
16 Mar - Everton's proposed post-season tour in China has been cancelled for the second year running. Last season it was down to SARS, this time it's a clash with the opening of the Chinese league season that's to blame.

Only two stay from Youth Academy?
16 Mar - In this strangely worded piece from the Official Everton site, it would appear that only two of the current crop of U-18s and U-19s will be offered professional contracts with Everton: Daniel Fox and Anthony Gerrard.

Ferguson pulls a hamstring
15 Mar - Duncan Ferguson left the field early against Portsmouth with a hamstring pull that may keep him out of the game at Leicester on Saturday... and maybe for up to a month!

Carke's Coventry loan ends
14 Mar - Peter Clarke returns to Everton after playing his last game on loan for Coventry City, before a four-match ban comes into effect following a red card he picked up against Cardiff a couple of weeks ago.  That was his second dismisal of the season after picking up a pair of yellow cards in the Reserves match at Liverpool last September.

T G Jones Obituary
13 Mar - A belated memorial to the great T G Jones, Everton centre half around the time of the second world war, written by James Corbett, author of Everton, The School of Science.

Moyes accepts blame
13 Mar - It must be hard for David Moyes to admit that he is partly to blame for Everton's poor record so far this season, which sees them back in the same position as on the day he took over two years ago.

Weir to appeal red card
12 Mar - Everton appear intent on trying ot appeal the red card given to David Weir for supposedly kicking Amoruso in the reserves game at Blackburn this week, but David Moyes is not that hopeful of seeing it rescinded.

Gemmill farmed out on loan
12 Mar - Scot Gemmill, who has been unable to penetrate first-team selection this season, becomes the sixth Everton player currently on loan as he joins Preston North End and links up again with former Scotland boss, Craig Brown for a month.

Wright looks to return
10 Mar - Richard Wright will start the long haul to put pressure on Nigel Martyn tonight when he plays for Everton Reserves at Blackburn Rovers.  It will be his first competitive game in months, after the successful run-out at Bray Wanderers last week.

Farrelly moves on to Wigan
9 Mar - Garreth Farrelly, whose goal against Coventry City in May 1998 saved Everton from relegation, has moved on to Wigan after sending four years with Bolton.

Witness for the defence
9 Mar - Francis Jeffers is being asked to testify in the Boa Morte – Duncan Ferguson racial name-calling saga.  FA inspectors are then expected to compile their report on the matter.

Li Tie making slow recovery
8 Mar - Li Tie says that his fractured shin is still very painful and will need several more weeks for a full recovery.  He will remain in China for at least another month.

Turner extends Chester loan
8 Mar - Everton's young goalkeeper, Iain Turner, will stay on loan with Chester City until the end of the season to build up his match experience.

U17s extend their lead
6 Mar - Everton's U17s, managed by Gary Ablett, chalked up a 4-1 home win over Wolves to extend their lead at the top of their Academy section to four points.

Turner doing well at Chester
5 Mar - Everton's young goalkeeper Iain Turner has been putting in some impressive performances at Chester, and is looking to extend his one-month loan.

Schumacher joins Latics on loan
5 Mar - Reserve midfielder Steven Schumacher is the latest Blue to go out on loan, joining Oldham Athletic for a month-long spell.

Birmingham the model for Moyes
4 Mar - This article in The Guardian highlights how David Moyes's two years in charge at Goodison have come full circle. In it, the boss says that Birmingham City's financial model is one that Everton would do well to follow.

Radz: joint top scorer
4 Mar - This Canadian website uses last Saturday's timely contribution from adopted Pole Tomasz Radzinski to take a brief look at Everton's season and make the inevitable comparisons with last.

Clarke blown his chance?
4 Mar - After failing to impress David Moyes at Everton and going out on loan to Coventry City, Peter Clarke got himself sent off inside 3 mins of Tuesday's game at Cardiff City.

Ferguson takes Walter on board
3 Mar - Walter Smith has surprisingly been appointed as Sir Alex Ferguson's Assistant Manager until the end of the season. It is the former Everton boss' first footballing role since being sacked two years ago.

Pistone out for a few weeks
2 Mar - Damage to Alessandro Pistone's hamstring muscle has been confirmed with a scan.  The defender will miss a number of games while he recouperates.

No improved contract for Unsie
2 Mar - David Unsworth will not be offered any improvements on the terms of a one-year contract extension at Everton, and is now being touted for a move to Man City or Bolton in the summer a rumour that is strenuously denied by his agent.

ESA Chairman resigns
2 Mar - John Sinnot, Chairman of the Everton Shareholders Association Executive Committee, has resigned over personal differences concerning the publication of an earlier press release about a possible rights issue.

Too good to go down
2 Mar - One win and everything suddenly looks rosy?  Over at the SquareFootball.net website, Antony Melvin asserts that Everton will easily achieve the 36 points needed to stay up this season, with the help of such players as "Kevin Kyle" (who he?) and 'Graveson'.  Optimism is indeed a wonderful thing...

2 Mar - Nick Armitage feels compelled to have a good old moan about the man in the middle.

Schumacher loan confirmed
1 Mar - Stephen Schumacher will be with Oldham Athletic for a month on loan after playing twice for thier reserves side while there on trial.

Friendly in Dublin
1 Mar - Everton are taking a farily senior squad to the Carlisle Grounds in Dublin for a friendly with Bray Wanderers on Tuesday night. Kick off: 7:30pm.

Pistone may have hamstring damage
1 Mar - Everton's medical team hope that the hamstring injury which ended Alessandro Pistone's contribution on Saturday is not too serious, but they will send him for a scan.


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