Everton 3 - 3 Chelsea

3 May 1995

Everton: Hinchcliffe 38, Ablett 50, Amokachi 70
Chelsea: Furlong 29,77, Hopkin 51
Yellow cards
Everton: Ablett, Horne
Chelsea: Furlong
Everton: Southall 7, Barrett 5, Watson 6, Unsworth 8, Ablett 8, Stuart 7 (35. Barlow 7), Horne 7, Parkinson 7, Hinchcliffe 8, Rideout 7, Amokachi 9
Chelsea: Kharine, Clarke, Minto, Sinclair, Lee, Burley (Hoddle 74), Spackman, Hopkin, Peacock, Furlong, Stein
Subs not used: Kearton, Samways (Everton), Hall, Colgan (Chelsea)
Referee: B Hill (Market Harborough)
Attendance: 33,180


CFCs punch hole in Goodison Atmosphere

A strange buzz was around Goodison at 7.40. It was conversation, anticipation. Not the feverish 'big game' atmosphere, but more like a mid-table game which is being made more exciting by one team having just signed a huge international superstar.

It was clear from the kickoff that chelsea in their nauseating grey and orange kit are becoming Hoddle's team - pass & pass & pass, quick and dangerous, before defenders can compensate. With Amo and Co. doing the same at the other end, this was a classic for entertainment value - the complete opposite of Wimbledon.

As a result, the game seemed to last forever. After 15 minutes people started checking their watches to see if it was half-time. The second half stretched as long as the frayed nerves. It was very clear that although Everton were back to their best form and 'deserved' to win, that Chelsea were a dangerous threat who were perfectly capable of winning, and almost 'deserved' to win too... So by full time everyone in the stands was as exhausted as the players.

Chelsea's first goal caused a lot of animosity towards linesman (Rice) and referee (Hill). Everton supporters' comments won't help, but it was unusual to have Radio 5's Alan Green so opinionated as to call it 'the worst decision of the season?'. Personally I only want to hear the ref's explanation, and if needed a clarification of the 'rebound' rule.

Perhaps in the (very modest) Chelsea support, their opinions of the 3 free kicks given against them in almost identical places 30 yards out and 5 yards off centre were less than complimentary to the ref, but after being lucky with deflections off the wall's head's for the first two, Andy Hinch was brave enough to go to the well a third time and curled it both clear of the wall and near enough the angle to beat Kharine.

Stuart tried to play on after getting the worst of a 50-50 challenge in dead corner of the box (left side, strangely), but had to go off. From the look on his face and the urgency of the Chelsea defenders' gestures, I would have bet he'd broken his leg, but luckily 3 minutes treatment got him on his feet at least.

Stuart Barlow was a natural replacement at right-midfield.

Second half Everton raised their game just a little, and it paid off shortly when one of many Hinchy corners was knocked back from deepish into trouble by Rideout(?) and Ablett headed in just under the bar from 1 yard out. (His job all game was to 'blind' the goalie on corners).

Chelsea then demonstrated what is nowadays a rare artform, the strikeback response to conceding a goal. They buzzed around like angry grey and orange wasps, and good defending kept them away, but with terrible bad luck, they got a miracle goal from a corner. Well if they practice this, it's ridiculous, because no-one sets up headers for midfielders behind the penalty spot and expects them to convert any goals that I know of. OK Hopkin (who??) was unmarked and hit it very sweetly, but from that range the placing has to be perfect to beat an international keeper... and it just did despite Nev's fingertips.

Well, if Chelsea need miracles, Everton only needed persistance to score again, and persist they did, finally getting the bulk of the play, and not letting the many poor passes, corners & crosses or interceptions deter them from trying again and again. It looked like Amo was most likely to be the key, because it was his trickery and speed (yes speed!) that was creating chances out of nothing. He found himself in the clear from his own guile & persistence or through balls 3-4 times. Then one of the bits of 'Nigerian Magic' (T shirts now available from vendors) hit the jackpot.. marked by the D by 2 defenders Amo faked one out, left the other for dead with his acceleration square and when clear swiveled 90+ degrees and hammered a ball too hard, low and wide for Kharine to have a chance with. It deserved to win the game, and Evertonians knew it..

..but they also knew that they'd probably need a fourth to kill of the CFCs, especially when Hoddle subbed himself on for Burley.

Chelsea started to claw it back. They'd nothing to play for but their silent fans, but they fought as if they were on the brink of relegation, and began to discover their best progress was down the left, pressuring Earl Barrett. This caused an incredible sight.. Stuart Barlow acting as a covering right-back several times.

Finally this chink in the armour was split open by a goal which will haunt the players until the day safety is confirmed. Barrett, as usual allowing far too much room to the left winger managed to check him in the corner, but despite covering assistance from Barlow and Watson, Chelsea brought supporting players, passed triangles to make an opening and banged a simple ball to the waiting Furlong. His attempt had little power, and header for the bottom of the near post, but Neville recovered from beyond the near post (erm.. why was he.. never mind) to turn and fall back in the way in time... but NO, the ball bounced under his body and in, in much the same unbelieveable way that Segers let in the winner last May.

Everton fought for another (third) winner, but they was no luck left in the bag, and only the Chelsea fans cheered at the end. Meanwhile Mr Hill probably wishes they'd hurry up and install tunnel canopies.

A third successive draw now means that Everton:
- (pessimistic) are still not safe
- (optimistic) have only 1 dubious defeat in 9 games!

Team Performance = 8 Much better. Chelsea would have cruised to a win if they'd met EFC on last week's form.

Player by player


Unable to save the day today, for a change.


Works well attacking with Amo, but a weak link in defence.


Closed his wing down, and even his crosses were better.


At least 4 minor mistakes which could have proved costly.


Brave daring and crucial tackles in the box. If he could learn to shoot to round off his rhino charges, he'd be as big a superstar as Duncan & Amo.


Better today but still not dominating.


Another good game for Ol' blood & guts.


Made both set piece goals. Once again Andy got our point. It's hard to ask for more than that, but 3 late corners were terrible, just when we needed another good one to win.


Not much impression despite having an old club motive.


Plenty of heart but no magic. Dived to head an impossibly bad Hinchy corner a foot high and 2 yards short of the near post.. but could not glance it in.. result? gets abuse, when he nearly created a goal from nothing.


In the game more, but didn't manage to look a threat much.


Class. Even some in the directors box were doing the 'we're not worthy' Amo salute after the goal, which no-one will disagree he deserved for his night's work.


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