Ipswich Town 0 - 1 Everton

9 May 1995

Everton: Rideout 49
Yellow cards
Ipswich: Swailes, Linighan, Williams
Everton: Barlow
Sent off:
Everton: Barlow (87)
Ipswich: Wright, Stockwell, Swailes, Yallop (80. Johnson), Linighan, Milton, Williams, Thomsen, Mason, Mathie, Marshall (61. Chapman)
Everton: Southall 9, Barrett 6, Watson 6, Unsworth 9, Ablett 7 , Limpar 7 (65. Samways 7), Horne 6, Ebbrell 9, Hinchcliffe 7, Rideout 7, Amokachi 7 (74. Barlow 5)
Subs not used: Morgan (Ipswich), Kearton (Everton)
Referee: R Hart (Darlington)
Attendance: 14,951



At least Everton started looking urgent and interested, but it didn't take long to see the pattern. White shirts were wombling along busily but not producing anything to be excited about. One copper relayed that Leeds had scored, but Evertonians were not getting any joy, and hope only from Limpar, Amo's rare possessions and 5 first half corners.

A worrying sign was that 4 times Watson pushed his man in the back when jumping, and 3 times was penalised for it. Dave never normally does this, which is the stuff of nightmares, because the man with the whistle was Robbie Hart, who'd given Sheringham the Semi-final penalty for a Watson push that wasn't.. but these really were.

Meanwhile Ebbrell was bustling around central midfield like a man who has been given a last chance of Wembley. You could hear the fans holding their breath ready to unleash abuse, but John never gave them a chance, and played as well as at the Goodison derby!

As for Ipswich they looked like typical low-division fodder first half, getting a few excited when Ian Marshall (yes, him) was fed a through ball usually to Barrett's wing, and high-crossed to lurking attackers in hope of a defensive error.

One of those half-time talks and/or tactical shuffles was badly needed. The attitude seemed to be that this one was not vital, that Palace would lose, and that the Big One was not until Sunday. As news came that Coventry were winning, faces became more worried.

No team changes for the second half as Everton attacked the Churchmans end, nearest the corner with their ~1500 supporters. The players tried to raise their game, being more direct. The supporters tried to raise the noise to help. It was still all effort and little flow, but then one routine looking push up the left leaving Amo in the corner again produced a surprise gift as the shot/cross was bobbled up toward the far post and Rideout headed in from 4 yards the way Amo had in the Semi. Half expecting a whistle for anything, the cheer was not a roof raiser, but hope had taken a shot in the arm.

Ipswich counter-attacked well for a while, but then Everton settled and went in search of the second. As the copper said, we were safe for now, but badly needed a cushion, especially after the trip to Leicester. They might have had one, but suddenly kept getting caught offside unlike the first half.

After 10 minutes of this, Ipswich swapped Marshall for Lee Chapman. Yes, him. Immediately Ipswich stepped up a gear, and started tearing through midfield with quick neat defence-ripping passes. Shots started to rain in on Nev's goal, despite the usual defensive heroism by Unsworth and lesser mortals. Midfield seemed unable to keep the ball and counter-attack.

This assault lasted nearly 15 minutes, but Joe had the answer. He removed Limpar and put Samways in the middle, and slowly things eased. Ipswich still fought like they needed a draw to stay up, but got through less often. The highlights of this period of pressure were Thomsen's skill, Nev's fingertip save from a thunderbolt drive, Unsworth slide-tackling in the box, and Lee Chapman blocking a goal-bound shot near the six yard line.

Although Vinny had put Everton back in the game, there was little bite up front. Joe took off Amo and replaced him with Barlow, who played up the right. This seemed to be a negative statement.. 15 minutes left and Joe was looking to hang on for the points, despite what he'd seen Ipswich could do.

For 5 minutes Everton did try to put Barlow through, but he got caught offside (not always correctly) 3-4 times. Then they shut up shop. Runs for the corner, extra passes, back passes, time wasting. Why? Why? It's asking for trouble {-{

Tackling hard they usually got away with it, but Barlow was unlucky to get a card when he slid to a player dallying on the sideline, was fractionally too late for the ball and tipped the player over. Deliberate attempt for the player? No. Then he got caught offside again, and jogged on through after the ball, collected it and dribbled it (a bit slowly) back to the free-kick point. Then to our horror he picks up the ball and throws it 15 feet straight up in the air. Hart sends him off without a thought. It was the throw, not the dribble that did it. Stuart walked so slowly back to the tunnel that it took a minute (which Hart added).

Four minutes left. Everton in suicidal mode. Another pointless dismissal, and this time the opposition was a lot more dangerous. The fans were so worried they'd hardly sung at all since the goal, and not until a minute of the two of injury time had passed did the celebrations begin.

"Going Down? Are we ****! We'll stay up and win the cup!" ..this time to a tune which it took me a while to place... it's the theme to 'The Great Escape' :-}

The whistle went. The players arms went up. Not for long.. the Ipswich North Stand emptied itself onto the pitch and chased to pat players, who retreated rapidly. Neville took his time, and wearing a big smile strolled back surrounded by congratulators from both teams fans.

As the players disappeared, the 1000 odd fans turned and headed our way. Then they started clapping. More joined them, until there were 2000 Ipswich fans applauding us, and 1500 of us applauding their friendliness. For 15 minutes we stood there, they singing songs with us about Everton & Wembley and beating Man Utd, and us chanting 'Ipswich', singing with them and applauding them at every break. As you may imagine, it was a very emotional scene. The blues who were there will never forget that, and will always wish Ipswich the very best. As I finally turned to leave I heard an old Evertonian telling a copper he'd not seen the like in 40 years. The copper replied that they'd done the same last year. Ah but.. I thought.. last year they survived. This year they're down humiliatingly and have just lost undeservedly, but there they are. "Fans like that", said the old Blue, "..deserve Premier football."

As the title racers know, it's incredible what difference 1 goal or one desperate save can make. My Amazing Story choice is that Lee Chapman may now have saved us 4 points this season.. 2 by hitting the bar in the last minute for West Ham, and 2 by blocking the shot last night.

But if anyone tells you this result was lucky, then he can have a list of all the UNLUCKY matches we've played this season.. Villa, Spurs, Forest twice, Pompey, Coventry, Villa, Sheff Wed, Newcastle, Leeds, Leicester, Blackburn, Chelsea.. just for a start.

Player by player


Kept busy and responded with his usual spectacular display.


The heart-failure kid again showed that HE thinks his job on the field is to partner Amo and even shoot himself, but also thinks tackling (or even closing down) left wingers is someone else's job.


Very adequate. Cool & valuable partner for Hinch.


A dominating display of fearless and vital tackles.


Looked very out of sorts. Very untypically penalised 3 times for pushing in the back waiting for high balls.


Good graft but no fireworks.


7 Looked a threat at first but faded.


A bit better but still a shadow of himself. Weary?


WOW! Back in his central position, JE played like it was a derby match. Tackled like a mad dog and dominated distribution. Stunning reversal on 4 days ago.


Again lost to the game, and not linking well, but gave an encore of the early season by scoring a vital goal in an otherwise hopeless team performance.


7 Attracted double marking attention which meant he rarely got free, but yes this opened up space for others, and eventually led to the goal from a deflection of his shot.


7 Tactical strengthening of midfield by Royle. Oddly hung back, with Horne going further forward!?!


5 Tactics again? Unless Amo got a knock it's strange. SB


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