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 FA Premiership (36); Molineux, Wolverhampton; Saturday 1 May, 2004; 3:00pm
  Camera (55') 
Cort (84')
 
Attendance: 29,395
Halftime: 0-1

Stats
Facts
Reports
Osman (2')


Referee: Mike Riley
 

Match Summary

Leon Osman made his long, long, long-awaited full debut in the Everton senior team after knocking hard at the door with an impressive loan spell with Derby County.  Not the ideal baptism of fire, perhaps, given Everton's dragging need to finally scrap their way to mathematical safety that still eludes them. 

With injury problems hitting hard, Moyes was forced to make other changes: Tony Hibbert made a now-rare start, as did Lee Carsley.  McFadden played too, but not in his preferred forward role, with Rooney and Radzinski leading the line.  Linderoth was dropped to the bench; Stubbs was there too but probably unfit, along with Kevin Campbell and Francis Jeffers.

And a fantastic start it was for Leon Osman inside 2 mins, the diminutive midfielder who is TOO SMALL for the Premiership, dashed in front of the Wolves defence to connect with an excellent ball played in by McFadden and nodded it clinically past Jones!  Take that, David Moyes!!!

Radzinski then got a wonderful chance off a defensive mistake and fired in a superb shot, but Jones saved fantastically well to deny Everton a second.  Martyn was on his toes to stop the Wolves reply as the passion and tempo of the match reached fever pitch. 

Wolves responded well to the setback, and piled the pressure on Everton in a very open and fast-flowing game, with the Wolves forwards able to get past a labouring Everton defence with worrying frequency. 

Nyarko combined well with Rooney, who ran well off his defenders and clipped it over Jones but it was just a fraction past the post — a beautiful goal spurned.  Camera went straight down the other end and stung Martyn's knuckles with a fierce shot in reply. 

Everton were worryingly unable to build on their early advantage before the break, with Rooney now taking all the Everton corners, as Wolves were just that — wolves snapping and snarling at the Blues.

Radzinski and Rooney combined well again just before the break, with Rooney again screwing his final shot just wide when he really should have scored.  Then, 10 mins into the second half, and out of nothing from 25 yards out, Camera fired a ferocious shot into the left-hand corner and Wolves were level.

Wolves continued to attack, with Martyn called upon yet again as Wolves piled on the pressure, and Everton as usual rued those golden opportunities that were missed in the first half.

Ince and Camera then combined brilliantly and another superb shot saw Martyn produce another magnificent save to keep the scores level.  More chances came to Wolves as they piled on the pressure and seemed well capable of carving through a nervy-looking Everton defence.

David Moyes appeared to figure out Everton were reeling and prepared to swap out his defensive midfielders as another goalmouth melee threatened the Everton goal, with Rooney and Yobo both standing firm.  But it was David Jones who made the critical substitutions that would turn the match...

Hibbert was a liability as Camera dispossessed him and Everton conceded a corner, all hands to the pumps, with Rooney clearing aimlessly as Everton desperately hung on to a point that would see them almost certainly safe. 

Everton still got the breaks and created more opportunities, and continued to spurn them with amazing profligacy.  After great work by Osman, Rooney went in studs-up a tad late on Jones with the ball there to play.  Yellow card for Wayne Rooney. 

Moyes finally made a substitution — Jeffers on for McFadden — but inevitably the goal Wolves threatened finally came from a free-kick, with Kennedy playing it in and Cort rising to nod it past Martyn.  Oh dear me... 

And the response from David Moyes was to throw on Kevin Campbell.  Oh deary, deary me!  Someone has definitely lost the plot as Everton continue to flirt with relegation in a most nerve-wracking manner.

Postscript:  Wolves were relegated despite their win today, as Manchester City scored an important victory over Newcastle, giving Liverpool a significant edge in the chase for the fourth Champions League spot.  Everton's continuing embarrassment at their inability to secure their own Premiership status was saved on Sunday by Leeds who crashed 4-1 at Bolton and thus confirmed their own relegation alongside Leicester City and Wolves.
 


Leon Osman: With Gravesen out for the season, David Moyes finally gives the lad a start in the team.


Wolves v Everton:
Prior League Games
 Overall  
 Wolves 29
 Everton 19
 Draws 9
 Premiership  
 Wolves 0
 Everton 0
 Draws 0
 Last Time: (Dec 1983)

Wolves 3-0 Everton 



Premiership Scores
Saturday 1 May 2004
Arsenal 0-0 Birmingham
Blackburn 1-0 Man Utd
Charlton 2-2 Leicester
Chelsea 4-0 Southampton
Man City 1-0 Newcastle
Portsmouth 1-1 Fulham
Wolves 2-1 Everton
Sunday 2 May 2004
Bolton 4-1 Leeds United
Aston Villa 1-0 Tottenham
Liverpool 2-0 Middlesbro
 


 

Finalι:  A few minutes at the end of this game for Francis Jeffers constituted his final appearance in an Everton shirt.

Match Facts
 Wolverhampton Wanderers  (4-4-2)
 Gold shirts, black shorts, gold socks
Everton   (4-4-2)
 Blue shirts, white shorts, blue socks
  Jones
Irwin (76' Ganea)
Naylor
Okoronkwo
Butler
Newton
Ince {c}
Cameron (71' Rae)
Kennedy
Camera
Cort

Subs not used: Oakes
Iversen, Luzhny

Yellow Cards: —

Red Cards: —
Martyn
Hibbert
Yobo
Weir {c}
Pistone
Osman
Carsley
Nyarko (87' Campbell)
McFadden (83' Jeffers)
Radzinski
Rooney

Subs not used: Wright,
Stubbs, Linderoth,

Yellow Cards: Rooney (81')

Red Cards: —


Unavailable:

(Unfit:) Ferguson,
(Injured:) Gravesen, Gemmill, Kilbane,
 Li Tie, Naysmith, Unsworth, Watson
(On Loan:) Chadwick, P Gerrard,
Symes
 
Match Reports

2003-04 Match Reports Index


Everton Web Sites
ToffeeWeb Match Summary
EvertonFC.com Match Report
When Skies Are Grey Match Report
Blue Kipper Match Report
Everton Fans' Reports
Andy Williams Giving the game away
Links to Other Media Reports
BBC Sport Match Report
4 the Game Match Report
Sky Sports Match Report
Sporting Life Match Report
SoccerNet Match Report
The Observer Match Report
The Guardian Match Report
Liverpool Echo Match Report
Daily Post Match Report
Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Arsenal 83
2 Chelsea 75
3 Man Utd 71
4 Aston Villa 55
5 Liverpool 53
6 Newcastle 53
7 Bolton 50
8 Fulham 49
9 Charlton 49
10 Birmingham 49
11 Southampton 45
12 Middlesbrough 45
13 Blackburn 43
14 Portsmouth 41
15 Everton 39
16 Tottenham 39
17 Man City 38
18 Wolves 32
19 Leeds 32
20 Leicester 30
After 2 May 2004


Match Preview

Things change quickly in the mind of the frustrated Evertonian.  Three weeks ago, in the middle of a run that included just one defeat in nine games, David Moyes's side comprehensively destroyed Tottenham and everything looked rosy again.

Optimism was high that the Blues had finally got their act together and were to make a late drive for the top half of the table, picking up precious reward money in the process.

Sadly, as is Everton's wont after meting out a good hiding, the performance against Spurs was not carried through to the three subsequent games — let's be honest if a touch churlish, it wasn't really carried through to the second 45 minutes of that match! — and so, having suffered the ignominy of Blackburn Rovers recording the "double" over us, safety from relegation is still not assured.

On top of that, there has been uproar at the club's decision to hike season ticket prices by 30% in one fell swoop. Unfortunately, to rub salt into the wounds, they chose a day to announce the change when the team was especially dire.

With all that in mind, this weekend's trip to Wolverhampton represents the perfect opportunity for the players to re-inject a little feel-good factor as the season winds down.  Realistically, 13th is the highest the team can finish in the Premiership this season (mathematically, 11th is attainable but that we would be relying on Southampton and Middlesbrough losing all their remaining games) which represents £1.3M in additional revenue... not that cash has appeared to be much of an incentive for the players in recent weeks.

If Everton win this one it would be their first double of the season, only their second away win and, if Manchester City get a point or more from their game against Newcastle, it will officially confirm Wolves' return to the Nationwide League after the predicted single season back in the top flight.

With Thomas Gravesen and Kevin Kilbane both crocked for the remainder of the season, two great opportunities have opened up for Moyes to give youth a chance once more.  James McFadden will surely be first in line for the left midfield slot — despite the fact that he has struggled there in a starting role in his time at Goodison — but the fans will be especially keen to see Leon Osman get his first senior start in central midfield.

Whether or not his manager finally gives in to the weight of expectation and plays "Ossie" from the start remains to be seen, but there will be a lot of head scratching if the 22-year-old doesn't play some part in the proceedings at Molineux.  Don't be surprised to see Linderoth and Nyarko in the starting XI and Osman on the bench.

Wayne Rooney and Tomasz Radzinski are expected to lead the line again.  Rooney is the club's top scorer and both will no doubt be hoping to reach double figures before the end of the season.

At the back, look for David Weir to continue alongside Joseph Yobo, flanked by Alessandro Pistone and Gary Naysmith, the latter confident of again playing through his groin injury.

Despite our pitiful away form, this is a game we should win to eliminate the mathematical possibility of going down and restore some pride after a difficult week for all concerned.

Lyndon Lloyd

Matchday Stats

This will be the 124th meeting between Everton and Wolverhampton Wanderers in all competitions, and the 61st away to Wolves.  This match will be the 2nd meeting in the Premier League.

Everton's full record against Wolves is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

1

1

0

0

2

0

Division One

112

53

20

39

190

159

Division Two

2

1

0

1

5

3

FA Cup

7

2

2

3

8

9

League Cup

1

1

0

0

4

1

TOTALS:

123

58

22

43

209

172

Our record away to Wolves is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Division One

56

19

9

28

76

108

Division Two

1

0

0

1

1

3

FA Cup

3

0

2

1

2

4

TOTALS:

60

19

11

30

79

115

The last match between the two sides was earlier this season on 22 November when Everton won 2-0 at Goodison Park thanks to goals from Tomasz Radzinski and Kevin Kilbane, whose goal was his first for the club.  The last meeting between the sides at Molineux was on 27 December 1983 when Wolves won 3-0, in what was their last season in the top flight.

Everton's biggest victory at Wolves was 5-2 on 2 December 1905, although they have also won 3-0 on three other occasions, the last being 23 January 1982.  Wolves' biggest home win against Everton was 7-0 on 22 February 1939.  Despite this, Everton went on to lift the title at the end of that season.

The most common victory for Everton, at Wolves, is shared between 2-1, 3-0 and 4-2, which has happened three times each in Everton's 19 victories at Wolves.  Wolves' most common home victory over Everton is 2-0, which has occurred eight times, in Wolves' 30 home victories in the series.  The most common draw between the sides is 1-1, which has happened seven times in the 11 draws in total.

Everton's record for 1 May is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

2

0

1

1

1

3

Division One

8

3

2

3

10

10

TOTALS:

10

3

3

4

11

13

This will be the first meeting between the sides on this date.  The last match played on 1 May was in 1999 when Everton were beaten at Chelsea 3-1.  The only other Premier League game on this date was in 1993, when Everton "entertained" Arsenal in a 0-0 draw.

Brian Godfrey was born on this day in 1940 in Flint, and made just 1 league appearance for Everton in the 1959-60 season.  He was sold to Scunthorpe United in June 1960 after signing for the club as an apprentice in May 1958.

Also, Tommy Eglington, Peter Farrell, Dan Donovan and Jimmy O'Neill played for Ireland in their 1-0 victory over Holland on this day in 1955.

Joe Royle made his England debut on this day in 1968 when he came on as a substitute in England's 4-0 victory over Hungary, with Royle getting one of the goals.  This match also saw Tommy Wright playing the full 90 minutes for England.

Dai Davies played for Wales in their European Championship qualifier with Luxembourg on this day in 1973, with the Welsh winning 3-1.

Trevor Steven made his third England appearance as an Everton player in a 0-0 draw with Romania in a World Cup qualifier in 1985.

Robert Warzycha played for Poland in a European Championship qualifier on this day in 1991 against Ireland, who included Kevin Sheedy in their side.  This match also ended in a 0-0 draw.  On the same day, Stuart McCall played his last match for Scotland as an Everton player in their 2-0 win over San Marino, which also saw Pat Nevin making a substitute appearance.  Kevin Ratcliffe and Neville Southall played for Wales on the same day in their qualifying match against Iceland, with Wales winning 1-0.

Milestone's that can be reached in this game:

  • It is now impossible for either Wolves or Leicester City to match Everton's 39 points.  But, to be mathematically safe from relegation, Everton need to win.  If we don't win, then it depends on the outcome of Leeds United's visit to Bolton Wanderers on Sunday.  Basically, Leeds need to win this match to stand any chance of finishing above Everton, although they can do it if they draw and we lose - but even then Everton's goal difference is superior by 29 goals. 
  • If Steve Watson plays any part of the match, it will be his 100th league appearance for Everton.
  • If Joseph Yobo plays any part of the match, it will be his 50th league appearance for Everton.
  • If Lee Carsley starts the match, it will be his 50th start for Everton in all competitions.
  • If Everton score at least three goals, then the third will be Everton's 200th against Wolves in league matches.

Steve Flanagan



Giving the Game away

My first ever trip to Molineux but, who knows, we may be going back there next year.  I can thoroughly recommend the "famous" chicken balti pie and, to be fair, the Wolves fans make a lot of noise, with a hearty rendition of "Hi Ho, Wolverhampton" before kick off (bless them and their little Nationwide ways...).

Less endearing though was the nasty atmosphere and sporadic violence around the ground before and after the game.  What is it with Midlands fans?  It's not just the songs that are still rooted in the seventies... 

Anyway, this was one of those games which leave you seething with frustration for hours, no, days afterwards.  For once, out of expediency more than anything, Moyes put out a brave line up, with McFadden and Osman on the wings.  Our pace, movement and, yes, believe it or not, skill were just too much for Wolves in the first half.  We were one-nil up after three minutes, with Radzinski and McFadden combining nicely, before Faddy put in a lovely ball for "wee" Leon Osman to nod in at the near post.

The chances kept coming.  An awful back pass from one of Wolves' inept centre halves sent Rooney and Radzinski through 2-on-1 with Jones.  They both hesitated, before Wayne left it for Radz, who hit it straight at Jones.  Several clear 1-on-1s followed for McFadden, Rooney and Radzinski but all went begging.  Rooney also nearly scored a breathtaking goal as he lobbed Jones from a narrow angle, having been put through by Nyarko, who was getting forward to good effect.

At half-time it was still only 1-0 to Everton but it could/should have been 4-0 or even 5-0.  This being Everton, though, you just had that sinking feeling as we have barely put two decent halves together all season and you just knew we'd be made to pay.  Even when we were so much on top, Pistone and Hibbert looked vulnerable against Camera and Kennedy; Carsley was just plain useless in midfield.

The second half started in much the same vein with Nyarko playing Radzinski in with a beautiful through ball, only for him to hit it straight at Jones (again).

This proved something of a turning point as Wolves swamped us in midfield and Camera ran riot up front.  An equaliser was clearly coming, although it took a tremendous shot from Camera from outside the box to beat Martyn (who was heroic) and pull them level.  A series of narrow escapes followed, including a penalty appeal against Wayne for handball ("seen 'em given") as Carsley and Nyarko went AWOL in midfield.

There were then flashbacks to St Andrews last season as Wayne lunged in at Jones, studs showing, as (or after) he gathered the ball.  Most of the Blues around me were from the "the ball was there to be won" school of thought but, although I need to see the replay; it looked to me like Wayne launched himself after Jones had got the ball.

We had looked vulnerable at corners and set-pieces all afternoon and it was no surprise when Cort powered in a header from a free-kick for the winner, with about 7 minutes to go.

So, once again, we lost a game which we should have won handsomely.  And, once again, this game illustrated that this season was doomed from the moment we failed to sign a half-decent central midfielder last summer.  Unless we find some money for transfers this summer, we will be in serious trouble next year.

Ratings:

  • Martyn - 7 - missed a punch first half but made two superb saves in the second
  • Hibbert - 5 - looked a bit shaky at times but stuck to his task. Distribution as woeful as ever.
  • Weir - 6 - aside from a howler in the second half which nearly let Camara in, he was reliable enough
  • Yobo - 7 - MOM - easily our most composed defender, he was usually on hand to mop things up. Looks like Unsie may have been giving him some tips about passing, though.
  • Pistone - 3 - he has shown in the past that he is one of the most technically accomplished players at the club and, for that, I quite like him. Today, though, he was dreadful. Skinned by Camara time and again, he gave the ball away with practically every touch and, frankly, looked like he could not give a shit.
  • McFadden - 7 - looked the best player on the pitch during the first half. One beautiful feint and spin sent the defender running up towards Row K as the ex-Jedi scarpered down the wing. Lovely ball for Osman's goal but he should have scored when he was 1-on-1 with Jones. Looks like he may be getting the hang of the Premiership.
  • Carsley - 3 - anyone for midfield head tennis ? Lets face it, it's all he's good for. He was completely overrun second half. Still, he must be chuffed to be still in the running for a relegation hat-trick.
  • Nyarko - 6 - when he puts his mind to it, he's actually pretty good going forward, particularly in the first half when we were really motoring. He set up chances for Rooney and Radzinski with great vision and passing. Unfortunately, he still has the same flaw - he just can't tackle or break up play and I don't think he won a 50-50 ball all day. Not ideal for a Premiership central midfielder...
  • Osman - 6 - looked good first half. Took his goal well and got in good positions. He's clearly got the ability and the intelligence to use it but he has got some way to go as he missed a few tackles and occasionally gave the ball away in dangerous areas. Faded as we were swamped in the second half before picking up again near the end.
  • Rooney - 5 - I felt that Wayne was guilty of showboating and over-elaborating a bit today, particularly when it looked as though we would annihilate Wolves. One sublime lob landed just wide but he was guilty of missing a simple 1-on-1, going for one of his emphatic finshes but sticking it wide. Fortunate not to get sent off.
  • Radzinski - 5 - there's no doubting his movement or work rate and he linked up well with McFadden and Osman in the first half. But missing three or four clear cut chances lik he did today was just not acceptable.
  • Jeffers - 5 - ze fox got nowhere near ze box in the short time he was on
  • Campbell - 4 - negligible impact as we chased the game but, looking on the bright side, at least he is one week (and £30,000+) nearer the end of his contract.

Andy Williams



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