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11 without reply

By Paul Traill :  24/09/2009 :  Comments (6) :

As I work in Manchester, used to live in Hull and it was £15 a ticket for this one I found more reasons to go than not. The hardest part was finding somebody to go with. Step forward Gary, a mate I used to car share to work with who only works round the corner. He also has contacts in Hull so we conspired to go from work, get to Hull and make a night of it as well.

They say your best laid plans never quite work out and this was very apparent in this instance. First up the lad in Hull we were gonna stay with couldn’t put us up as he was working away, and then Gary shattered his knee playing hockey at the weekend meaning Tuesday night I was frantically phoning round anyone to come the game with us…with no positive response from anyone.

To compound things Everton gaffed up my tickets by sending them to the wrong address so it meant I’d have to collect them on the day…I’ve no issues with that but just don’t have the required confidence in Everton to get this right with the Hull ticket office. Things were beginning to look not-so-rosy.

My last ditch attempt to find a companion was Potter, actually a Wigan fan I knew from my university days whom now resides in Leeds. He was more than happy to come along and better still, offered to let me crash at his, meaning I didn’t have to make a long, arduous journey home…result!

Getting to Leeds in rush hour traffic was a nightmare in itself though was a lot more straightforward once I picked up Potter and we were parked up near the KC in ample time for kick off, even having time to grab a chippy and get the tickets hassle-free…until we saw the tickets that is – Everton managed to put me on Row AA and Potter in Row T. Luckily we were able to get some unused seats together a few rows back…all quite an adventure given we hadn’t even kicked off yet.

As I suspected Yakubu started the game alongside Jo with Bilyaletdinov making his second start on one wing, Gosling on the other. Rodwell and the night’s skipper Osman partnered in midfield with Baines, Distin, Heitinga and Hibbert making up the back line in front of Howard. Many of the Hull team I simply didn’t recognise though Venegoor of Hesselink did feature in attack and Barmby was in the midfield.

It weren’t long before we were ahead with Jo and Bilyaletdinov combining well to create a nice opening for Yakubu who finished smartly, clipping nicely past the keeper and in. After first running to the Everton fans he made a beeline straight to our technical area and gave Mick Raithbone a big hug. It’s great to see him back.

Jo had started lively and got his deserves I guess when he rose well and planted a cracking header into the top corner from a good free-kick delivery from our Russian. Good goal. He celebrated with Yakubu. Smiles all round.

Hull were a complete mess and found themselves completely exposed again shortly afterwards when Gosling, who’d been rather ineffective up until then, was given a pass in acres of space, ran the ball into the box and thundered a drive into the corner of the net. “This could be about 6-0” I excitedly told Potter ”…before half time”. Potter’s mate had asked him to text him the scores and goalscorers but he’d forgotten to text them so just sent one message: ‘yakubu, jo, gosling’. ‘Is this a joke?’ was the response.

You couldn’t help but hope Everton would have continued to rampage forward and score more goals but as you expected we took our foot off the gas a bit now. Hull were completely hopeless and we’re probably very relieved to hear the half time whistle. Off the ball some lads to the left of me got kicked out for smoking…tut, tut, tut.

Yakubu was taken off at half time for Fellaini who certainly added a touch of class to the team. Hull came out a bit more fired up in the second half but were still hopelessly inept and you felt that if we’d have made a real go at it we’d have gotten more than the one extra strike.

Our fourth goal came when Osman, who was quality throughout, won possession on the edge of the Hull penalty area and was taken out by a defender for his troubles. Baines, Jo and Heitinga all stood over the ball and it was Heitinga who smashed it. Hitting a few bodies on the way through the ball fell to Osman who finished calmly adding further gloss to an already impressive scoreline.

With the game completely dead and buried Moyes gave a couple of debuts to players. First Lucas Neill entered the fray, replacing Baines and thus bizarrely moving Hibbert to left back. Funnily enough Hibbert nearly scored, clipping a right-footed effort just past the post when sent through into the box. Keiran Agard was also sent on for his debut late on, replacing Bilyaletdinov, and showed the running and zest you tend to associate with young players making their debuts. Congratulations.

Hull were a touch unlucky not to at least grab a goal back I guess on a couple of occasions. Venegor of Hesselink hit the post with a really good chance and Paul McShane forced Howard into a rather spectacular and defiant double save to keep the clean sheet in tact. We left a moment or two before the end to beat the rush though needn’t have bothered in truth. We weren’t exactly going to get swamped in the 13,000 or so supporters who’d bothered to turn up for this one.

We were back in the car, on the road, and, a short delay getting out of Hull due to a road closure aside, were away and back to Leeds for just after 11pm.

It’s hard not to be cheerful after 11 goals in three games with none conceded but I still proceed with caution. Let’s be fair, the last three teams we’ve seen have been as poor as I’ve seen for some time but winning breads confidence and with the run of games we’ve got we could be flying by the time we kick into that sticky patch at the end of October and going into November. Hull are definitive relegation fodder – as too are Portsmouth, lets continue the march forward down at the South Coast this Saturday.

Player Ratings:
Howard: Not loads to do but made a cracking double save late on from McShane…sign of a good keeper when they don’t do much all game and then make a great save like that. 8
Baines: Guilty of being a bit over-elaborate at times but had a pretty solid game. 7
Distin: All good from Sylvan. 7
Heitinga: Looks much more comfortable at centre-back than right back. I know they don’t really exist any more in the modern game but I reckon he’d make a cracking sweeper as he was always there to mop things up behind Distin. Keeps things simple also. Good utility player. 7
Hibbert: Though he was having a bit of a shocker but was much improved when moved to left back…funny. Probably the closest he’s ever come to scoring also. 5
Bilyaletdinov: A little quiet but still managed to set up two goals. Showed some nice touches. Give him time and he’ll be brilliant I think. 6
Rodwell: Showed some good touches. Still learning all the time, i.e. keeps the ball sometimes when he should lay it off and vice versa but at his age that’s certainly not a problem. Getting bags of experience at the moment. 7
Osman: My man of the match. Was his night. The captains armband, a goal and a good performance in the heart of midfield. Congratulations Ossie. 8
Gosling: Despite scoring a good goal he weren’t quite at the races tonight. 6
Yakubu: Nice one Yak. Congrats also. Great to see him back and took his goal well. Hopefully he can kick on from here. 7
Jo: Faded a bit in the second period but had an excellent first half and scored certainly his best Everton goal yet. 7

Fellaini (for Yakubu): Classy. Seemed to find space well and used the ball intelligently. 8
Neill (for Baines): Settled in comfortably. 6
Agard (for Bilyaletdinov): Put himself about eagerly. 6

Reader Comments

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James Stewart
1   Posted 24/09/2009 at 19:49:15

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Bizarre ratings, I must have been watching a different game! Yakubu 7 out of 10!? Did you see his finish and the pass for Goslings goal!?
Keith Glazzard
2   Posted 24/09/2009 at 20:36:53

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Tony Hibbert as cover for Leighton Baines? The mind boggles... but, after the last three results, it's allowed to.

We’ve talked for weeks on end about who Moyes should add to the squad, but I now think he should scour the land, and well beyond, for someone with a name to challenge Venegor of Hesselink for sheer class.
Simon Gilmovitch
3   Posted 24/09/2009 at 22:20:58

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Everton v Aston Villa from 1981 being shown on ESPN tonight @ 10.24 COYB
Vinny Garstrokes
4   Posted 24/09/2009 at 22:36:22

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Equaliser by Trevor Ross. Peter Eastoe is having a good game.
Simon Gilmovitch
5   Posted 24/09/2009 at 22:22:27

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You didn’t miss much lost 1-3
Keith Glazzard
6   Posted 25/09/2009 at 21:46:19

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2009 - Friday here in Catalunya.

I was going to send in a post - ’Gosling’s Goals’, but I’ll just put a note up here now.

Dan Gosling’s "goal" is already a part of EFC lore. Look at it as many times as you like, it is quite simply a class goal.

Carling Cup - away to PL Hull. The lad is left free running into the box. Hit the target as hard as you can. Another top class goal.

Lots more of our Dan to come I think.

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