<% Dim oMRTCs, oMRTRs, strSQL set oMRTCs = server.createobject("ADODB.Connection") oMRTCs.Open "Driver={Microsoft Excel Driver (*.xls)}; DBQ=" & Server.MapPath("/season/06-07/data") & "/premtable.xls;" strSQL = "SELECT * FROM [Summary$] ORDER BY Pos, Team ;" Set oMRTRs = oMRTCs.Execute(strSQL) %> ToffeeWeb: Season 2006-07 - Everton vs Charlton Athletic
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Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool
 Sunday 15 April 2007; 3:00pm
Lescott (82'), McFadden (91')
Half Time: 0-0
Bent (89') 
Attendance: 34,028
Fixture 34
Referee: Mark Halsey

Match Summary

This game was moved to a Sunday to accommodate the Grand National in Aintree yesterday.  James Beattie came in as expected for James Vaughan, who is recovering from the severed vein in his ankle, with all others present and correct from the Bolton Battle no sign of Manuel Fernandes, who misses his fourth match with a thigh strain.

In the second minute, a great chance for Johnson came from a Beattie header with a mistake by Diawara, he had to shoot, but took an extra touch instead and the chance was gone. 

It was a while before the next good chance from some nice work by Osman, the ball deflected past Carson but brushing the outside of the post.  From the corner, Johnson dived in but it went out for another corner.  Another chance came from the next corner.  Then a free-kick in a dangerous area, Carsley went close with a nicely executed volley.

Arteta set up the next good attack, Lescott swinging across a great ball for Beattie to head directly into the hands of 'keeper Carson.  Another great piece of work from Arteta to set Beattie up again, but Beattie couldn't time his jump properly, got under the ball and headed it over.  Another glorious chance gone begging... 

Arteta had been switching from left to right, causing havoc but Beattie, the main one to profit from his genius, was still somewhat below par, getting caught offside, or or not getting his body in the right place to take full advantage. 

From a free-kick for high foot by El Karkuri on Johnson, Arteta's execution was superb and it seemed Osman would easily score but his shot looked more like a cross that Beattie again evaded.

It wasn't all Everton, Yobo having to clear off the line as Bent clipped the ball goalwards over Howard. 

A fantastic flowing move involving Beattie, Osman, and Arteta, ended with Osman mis-kicking it completely, with  Carsley.  Another great move started by Lescott intercepting, through Arteta to Osman, but Beattie was too far behind the play and the final ball to Carsley was not the best option.

A poor throw from Howard, Osman could not control it and Howard had to make the save.  Zheng Zhi got away from Lescott, who had made a mistake and it was Carsley who saved an almost certain goal, pulling the ball off his toe.

So... total dominance in the first half, loads of very good chances, and no goals.  Ho hum...

Soon after the restart, Arteta had a chance to volley a shot but it was blocked.  Beattie should have done better on the next attack.

Everton continued to attack but the Charlton defense was resolute.  Four clean sheets for Charlton in the last four games... and it was showing!  Holland came on for Faye... what about a change, for the Blues, eh, Moyesie?  Instead, Bent shot narrowly wide after being fed in by Zheng Zhi a close shave! 

Sure enough, on the hour, McFadden came on for the useless Beattie, who had failed yet again to take his opportunity.  Then Moyes changed things at the back, pulling off Stubbs, who was getting beaten for pace, Naysmith coming on at left-back with Lescott moving inside to his natural position as centre-back. 

Osman played a nice ball into McFadden who went down and it could have been a penalty.  From the corner, great work again by Arteta to feed Osman who could only drive into a packed goal area.  Bent got away, though, from a mistake by Neville, and it was a last-ditch defending from Hibbert. From the corner, Zheng Zhi should really have scored, it was straight to him,. but Howard was able to save.

Back at the other end, more great play trying to get a chance for Osman, the game having opened up somewhat for a few minutes after the substitutions.  But, with 20 minutes left, Everton were running out of ideas, and it looked ominously like Charlton would take their hard-earned point home, frustrating Everton's quest for a Uefa Cup place. 

Zheng Zhi nipped in past Hibbert and fired a ferocious shot just over the bar.  Neville then made a mistake, letting in Darren Bent, who fired too early to trouble Howard.  Another good ball in saw Johnson get his head on it but it evaded the goal. 

Everton pepped up a little as Charlton looked a little tired, and from Arteta's corner, Everton kept pressing, the ball finally falling for Johnson to get in a good shot that rebounded out and Joleon Lescott finally scored, to the massive collective relief of the massed Evertonians, ramming the rebound home from a few yards out.  What a relief!

Alan Pardew rolled the changes, bringing on Bougherra and Everton's nemesis, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in one final attempt to get the result he thought his players had in the bank.  It led to a testing final few for Everton, who needed to stand firm, with Arteta struggling after picking up a knock. And it was Brazilian Anderson da Silva who finally got his Everton debut.

Seconds later, Darren Bent got inside the Everton area, loads of space as Everton reorganized to accommodate the Brazilian, final minute of the game, and he fired the ball home with ease.  Would ya credit it?  Hasselbaink and El Karkouri then combined to put Howard under pressure. 

Just as the despondent Everton crowd started to disperse, having the Blues throw away two vital points, McFadden started a nice move to Naysmith, the ball came back to him on the full, he took it over the defender, and from edge of the area, it was James McFadden himself who volleyed in a fantastic shot in stoppage time, to win the game for Everton.  Fantastic stuff!

The first time this year that Everton have won two successive home games... now, if only we can make that back-to-back wins against those other relegation candidates West Ham next week!

Michael Kenrick

McFadden stunner caps thrilling finale

James McFadden returned from injury-enforced absence to cap a thrilling finale with a sumptuous volleyed goal two minutes into stoppage time that lifts Everton back into fifth place on goal difference over Bolton.

It was a moment of brilliance in a second half that had been characterised by a noticeable lack of quality and invention by Everton in the final third as they battled both a stubborn Charlton defence and their own lack of cutting edge. Then, having made the breakthrough with nine minutes of normal time remaining when Joleon Lescott swiveled home from close range, the Blues looked to have thrown two points away by letting Darren Bent wriggle free and fire past Tim Howard in the 89th minute.

But McFadden, who had replaced the industrious but ultimately frustrated James Beattie after an hour's play, made the telling intervention to secure a dramatic and vitally important win.

As expected, David Moyes was forced into drafting Beattie in to replace the injured James Vaughan and with Manuel Fernandes still not available, the rest of the side remained unchanged as the home side looked to capitalise on Bolton's defeat at Arsenal 24 hours earlier.

They set about the task diligently enough, Andy Johnson having the first real chance of the game when he was put through on goal after Diawarra's slip but his effort was tame and the opportunity was lost.

Then Osman hit the woodwork with a curling effort, Carlsey fired narrowly over from distance and Beattie came within inches of his first goal from open play when he headed wide.

For the visitors, Darren Bent was a constant threat, available as he was to race onto anything sent down the channels for him to chase. One such chance was closed out by Joseph Yobo in the 36th minute and when the England striker did find room for a clear effort on goal a few minutes later, he shot straight at Howard.

In between, Osman dragged another shot wide of the post from 18 yards before Zhi Zheng almost profited by a badly mis-placed pass by Lescott in first-half injury time.

No changes by either side at the break but the game began to descend into a war of attrition, with Everton asking most of the questions and Charlton content to soak up the aerial pressure and hit the Blues on the break. And 11 minutes into the second half, it should have been 1-0 when Zhi Zheng slipped the ball through for Bent and he screwed his shot wide with just Howard to beat.

Eight minutes later, Bent beat the offside trap and marauded forward once more but Hibbert sped across and effectd a magnificent saving tackle to deny a goalscoring opportunity. From the resulting corner, Charlton's second gilt-edged chance arrived when the ball was glanced across goal to Zhi Zheng who, with the goal at his mercy from two yards out, fluffed his lines and Howard gathered the loose ball.

Up to that point, Everton's efforts following the interval had been restricted Arteta's 48th-minute volley that had been blocked by a defender. Although Moyes's side were clearly on top in terms of possession, they seemed singularly unable to create anything tangible with it, either in the air with balls forward to Beattie or along the ground where inspiration to unlock the Charlton defence was in short supply.

Beattie's removal for McFadden and Naysmith's replacement of the injured Stubbs seemed to usher in a sufficiently subtle change in the Blues' pattern of play but it took time for further chances to come. Instead, Zhi Zheng fired narrowly over the bar following a rare lapse by Hibbert while Bent's speculative effort from outside the box having been matched for pace by Yobo was indicative of the Addick's hesitance to throw numbers forward in support of their main striker.

With the final 10 minutes looming, though, Everton's pressure started to tell. First, Johnson glanced Arteta's free kick agonisingly wide and then came what at the time looked to be the winner. Arteta's cross fell to McFadden who mis-kicked with a right-foot half volley, Johnson's reflex snap-shot was parried well on his line by Scott Carson and Lescott, lurking unmarked at the back post, had all the time he needed to ram it home.

The wave of relief at finally having breached the Charlton defence was tangible. Moyes, no doubt sensing the frustration in midfield, had prepared Andy van der Meyde to come on as a last-ditch substitute. But with the goal came a more defensive posture and when the third and final substitution did come in the 88th minute, it was the Brazilian, Anderson da Silva, who replaced Arteta, removed as a precauation after getting up very gingerly following a high-speed collision with two defenders.

Everton's attempts to defend their slender lead failed, however, when Matt Holland beat Neville in the air just inside the area and the ball fell to Bent who patiently engineered space for a shot before firing across Howard and into the far corner to utterly deflate the Goodison faithful. There was just a minute remaining of normal time.

Four minutes of injury time offered hope, however, and the Blues set about making the most of the opportunity by pushing forward in search of the winner. They were rewarded within three minutes when Naysmith did what Everton fullbacks do so rarely and skipped to the byline and chipped the ball into the danger zone.

Luke Young beat Johnson in the air but his headed clearance fell only as far as McFadden on the edge of the box and as Bougherra charged out to close him down he deftly flicked the ball up to evade the challenge before lashing a volley past Carson and into the net.

Goodison went bezerk in celebration and the lead was successfully defended for the 90 seconds that remained on the clock. Fifth place had been secured along with the perfect platform on which to prepare for the final four games of the campaign.

For long periods, this game had an air of goalless inevitability about it. For all their clear superiority, it looked as though the Blues weren't going to find the key to unlocking the Charlton defence and that were going to rue those chances missed in the first half. Contrarily, though, you still had the feeling that everything would come together due to the law of averages and they would nick a goal in the closing stages.

There was a lack of incisiveness and coherent passing in midfield, very little of it due to the opposition — had Everton not won they would really only have had themselves to blame — and they will require a very different performance against Manchester United in two weeks' time.

Pleasingly, Hibbert was terrific in defence and seems to have settled into his usual rhythm after a long lay-off and Yobo's pace was a God-send against the ever-present threat of Bent. In midfield, Phil Neville put in another impressive display, patrolling the centre with Carsley and, in answer to recent critics of distribution, stretched the Charlton midfield in the closing stages with some intelligent passing to the flanks.

In the creative department, Arteta played his familiar role of provider but Osman, whose dip in form has been a discussion point among many fans recently, was all over the map, causing the visitors all sorts of problems and hitting the post one minute, then taking the wrong option or miskicking completely the next. By the time Van der Meyde was readying himself for action after 80 minutes, you would have put your money on Ossie being the man to be replaced.

Up front, it was the usual story of Beattie's industry but lack of end product — not for the first time it wasn't all his fault — but his confidence is visibly low, perhaps encapsulated in a moment in the second half when a promising break came to an abrupt halt when he failed to trap Johnson's layoff, the ball scooting under his foot and straight to his marker earning groans from the crowd.

McFadden, on the other hand, looked up for it on his return to action with some nice moves, an inadvertant assist in the first goal and, of course, that sublime winner.

With Chelsea and Manchester United contesting the FA Cup Final next month, there are now three Uefa Cup places up for grabs; with Everton's five-point cushion and superior goal difference, they are well placed to claim one of those precious qualification spots. Key to their chances will be the confidence and monentum they have gleaned from what is now a terrific run of form and a single-minded focus on the prize.

Lyndon Lloyd

Match Preview

As David Prentice points out in the Echo, Everton have an absolutely appalling record in the last five games of the season since the inception of the Premiership.

It cost them a place in Europe in David Moyes's second season in charge when the Blues slipped out of the top 6 on the last day of the season with a fourth defeat in five games, earned the unbridled anger of the supporters the season after that as the team sliumped to 17th with four defeats in five, and almost cost them that 4th-placed finish in 2004-05.

Unlike past seasons under Moyes, however, this time around the Blues are at least in the middle of a terrific run of form that stretches back to early January.  And there don't appear to be many signs of that changing, although injuries to key players are starting to threaten their chances of securing a place in Europe.

Already shorn of Tim Cahill for the remainder of the season and forced to do without Manuel Fernandes for the last three matches, Moyes has seen both of his 18-year-old striking prodigies succumb to injury in the last week.

match photo
James Vaughan: ruled out as he recovers from a ruptured vein

First, Victor Anichebe hobbled off against Fulham with a ankle injury and then James Vaughan was stretchered off the pitch at The Reebok last Monday with a ruptured artery in his ankle.  While Vaughan is likely to be out for three weeks, Anichebe is close to a return but is unlikely to start against Charlton Athletic this weekend.

That honour is likely to fall once more to James Beattie who will get one last chance to prove he is not the £6.5M flop that his record to date suggests.  His manager has reeled off the usual motivational spiel but, as ever, it's down to the player himself... providing, of course, he gets the service.

Fernandes remains a doubt and that will give Phil Neville more playing time in central midfield alongside Lee Carsley. Indeed, Vaughan aside, it's likely that Moyes will field an unchanged team from that which started at Bolton.

The Addicks, who were seemingly condemned to relegation with back-to-back defeats by the top two in February, have put together a stunning run of form to climb out of the bottom three last week, although Sheffield United's emphatic win in Saturday's six-pointer with West Ham dumps the Addicks right back in the relegation zone.

However, despite that, four consecutive home wins and two goalless draws in their last two away games means that Alan Pardew's side come to Goodison with plenty of confidence.

They will be without key defender Hermann Hreidarsson (knee injury), though, and Marcus Bent won't play on his return to Goodison because of a hamstring strain.

Like Fulham, whom Everton thrashed 4-1 in the last match at Goodison, Charlton have only won once away from The Valley and even considering their recent form, they should be regarded as another opportunity to gain maximum points in the chase for Europe.  And with Bolton heading for defeat at the time of writing, 5th place beckons once again if the Blues can earn the win.

Lyndon Lloyd

Matchday Stats

May appear here later

Steve Flanagan

* Unfortunately, we cannot control other sites' content policies and therefore cannot guarantee that links to external reports will remain active.

Key Links
  Everton TV
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  Everton Teamsheet
  Away Teamsheet
  Premiership Scores
  Premiership Table
  Match Preview
  Pre-Match Stats
Match Reports
2006-07 Reports Index
< Bolton (A) West Ham(A) >
 Everton websites
 ToffeeWeb Summary
 Evertonfc.com Report
 When Skies Are Grey Report
 Bluekipper Report
 Everton fans' reports
 Lyndon Lloyd Report
 Paul Traill Report
 Other media reports
 BBC Sport Report
 4 the Game Report
 Sky Sports Report
 Sporting Life Report
 SoccerNet Report
 The Observer Report
 The Guardian Report
 Liverpool Echo Report
 Daily Post Report
EVERTON (4-4-2)
  Stubbs (60' Naysmith)
  Neville (c)
  Arteta (88' Anderson)
  Beattie (58' McFadden)
  Subs not used
  Van der Meyde
  Fernandes (injured)
  Anichebe (injured)
  Cahill (injured)
  Vaughan (injured)
  Boyle (injured)

CHARLTON (4-5-1)
  El Karkouri
  Thatcher :76' (83' Bougherra)
  Faye (56' Holland)
  Hughes (83' Hasselbaink)
  Song Billong
  Zheng Zhi
  D Bent
  Subs not used

Premiership Scores
Saturday 14 April 2007
Arsenal 2-1 Bolton
Man City 0-0 Liverpool
Middlesbro 1-3 Aston Villa
Portsmouth 2-1 Newcastle
Reading 1-0 Fulham
Sheff Utd 3-0 West Ham
Sunday 15 April 2007
Wigan 3-3 Tottenham
Everton 2-1 Charlton
Tuesday 17 April 2007
Arsenal -v- Man City
Man Utd -v- Sheff Utd
Wednesday 18 April 2007
Blackburn -v- Watford
Liverpool -v- Middlesbro
West Ham -v- Chelsea

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