Everton 1 - 2 Nottingham Forest

30 August 1994

Everton: Rideout
Nottingham: Hinchcliffe (og),
Yellow cards
Everton: Southall 7, Jackson 4, Unsworth 9, Watson 6, Hinchcliffe 5, Stuart 7, Ebbrell 8, Samways 7, Limpar 6, Angell 5, Rideout 6
Subs not used: Kearton, Parkinson, Barlow.
Attendance: 26,689


I missed the first 12 mins, so I don't know what happened in that time. Once installed the football wasn't much to look at. Scrappy and uncoordinated play by Everton, threatening breaks from Forest through Collymore and Roy, poor finishing and one or two half decent saves from Southall keeping us on terms. Then on 25 minutes a poor corner catches Hinchcliffe in two minds (one must charitably assume) when in no danger at the back post and he heads it straight in to the net from a metre out. A goal that would have graced the Wimbledon game!! Pythonesque, now we're touching on that.

It did at least provoke a response. For a few minutes Everton did seem to get to grips with a Forest midfield that was conspicuous by its absence all night (who needs it when you've got Roy and Collymore). Limpar made a couple of good runs which for once brought us into their penalty area. His ability to carry the ball for great distances should be proving valuable but oh dear, the waste is criminal. Mostly he likes to shoot from long range, OK if you are Sheeds, Pearce or someone similarly gifted but Limpar's efforts just drifted gently over the bar or fall tamely to the grateful goalie. He doesn't show any signs of linking well either with the forwards or full backs either. Ebbrell and Limpar both had chances fall to their weaker shooting foot (if Ebbrell has a good shooting foot?) After a few minutes the attacks subsided and I was hanging on for half time. Only in the dying minutes of the first half did we threaten again, Stuart making his first impression.

After the interval we looked better. Stuart had a storming second half, with lots of running and almost scored late on after breaking right through the centre of the Forest defence. Samways hit a post early in the half from a free kick (although it was indirect, the pillock). A cross from the left bypassed several players before Jackson running in sliced his volley wide of the post. However there was a great deal of waste in the midfield. Ebbrell seemed to link very badly with the forwards, Samways showed good passing and vision from deep but did less well in the running moves. Rideout's touch and passing were unusually poor, Angell was embarrassing.

Although Forest exerted little pressure they were still dangerous. Collymore's strength and speed, especially turning, was impressive and it was a tribute to Unsworth and good luck that he didn't make the scoresheet. Roy tried two chips which would have embarrassed the 'off his line' Southall had they been straighter in the first instance and lower in the second. There was also a nervous period when they won three corners in quick succession. A lucky ricochet put another guy clear on Southall but he allowed Nev to close him down. The goal wasn't a full bicycle kick, more of a back flick, but the guy shouldn't have gone unchallenged at the near post like that.

With about 13 mins to go Samways made an unusual break down the right and Rideout found equally unusual amounts of space from close range to head in. This set up a strong finish by the blues, of which Stuart's run and, shock horror, a fine effort from Angell, controlling a long ball on his chest around the D, then turning 180 degrees to volley a good shot which Crossley got a hand to. However it wasn't to be.

Overall an adequate second half performance but not getting the stroke of luck that would have made up for Hinchcliffe's blunder. I think we were worth a draw easily but won't win much with such a shaky defence. Unsworth is looking easily the best player I can remember Everton producing in a long while, but Watson seems to hav lost his sense of judgement as much as anything (that blow on the head last year is my Father's theory), whilst Hinchcliffe has only one problem as a defender - he can't defend. Ablett has ability but is incredibly accident prone. Jackson played better against Villa but was back to his useless vegetable mode (as featured all last season) yesterday. Walker is obviously following the Tottenham (or Oldham) theory of football - if your defence is crap strengthen your attack.

Player by player

Southall - 7 : several good stops but he will let us down with his recently discovered eccentricity soon, I feel.

Jackson - 4 : nothing positive much to say about this guy, who can epitomise the weakness and indifference that has bugged this club for much of the recent past.

Unsworth - 9 : His reading of the game and timing of his tackles are excellent to see. Apparently he even played well against City.

Watson - 6 : Can still head and tackle but no longer shows the authority and dependability of old.

Hinchcliffe - 5 : Accident aside he did little to redeem. Crossing is his strong point and to be fair Limpar only gave him the ball when he absolutely had to, not when Hinch was in a good position.

Stuart - 7 : would have been 8 or nine but for a fairly innocuous first half. Fast and strong on the ball and no lack of determination.

Ebbrell - 8: lots of running but of the Stuart McCall headless chicken variety. Also found out by his lack of shooting prowess on several occasions. Didn't link well with others.

Samways - 7 : Encouraging signs, I believe he will work well with a more forward looking partner.

Limpar - 6 : A waste of a good talent, he is a primadonna with an attitude that stinks like Grimsby (as we may find out).

Angell - 5 : would have been 3 but for that spectacular late effort. Brett seemed to start competently enough but one mistake and it was downhill (almost) all the way. A poor selection by Walker as he dooesnlt complement Rideout in any way.

Rideout - 6 : OK he scored but it wasn't anything out of the ordinary. Poor passing and control cost us several good positions.

So there you have it, not the most pitiful performance ever but still pretty lacking. Worrying given the present circs.


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