Everton 3 - 1 Crystal Palace

21 January 1995

Everton: Ferguson 2, 88, Rideout 54
Crystal Palace: Coleman 79
Yellow cards
Crystal Palace: Newman, Gordon, Humphrey, Pitcher
Everton: Southall 9, Jackson 7, Burrows 8, Unsworth 8, Watson 8, Hinchcliffe 9, Horne 8, Parkinson 7, Ebbrell 7, Ferguson 9, Rideout 8
Subs not used: Reeves, Barlow, Limpar (Everton)
Attendance: 23,733


Everton do it right

Everton overcame pitch inspections, gale conditions, muddy goalmouths, cynical opponents and unsympathetic and erratic officiating to nail up a message to the league that they are very much 'back' with a convincing 3-1 win over Crystal Palace.

Merseyside was the best spot in the country for weather in the afternoon.. the rain was only showery and the sun broke weakly through the turbocharged clouds. 'Postponed Match' vouchers were given out at the gate, but the inspections passed Goodison Park fit. (Unexpectedly, the surface caused very few slips and errors, even in the muddy goalmouths).

Everton started with confidence and mounted two attacks on Palace's Park End goal before scoring in the 3rd minute. A cross from the left from (guess who!) Hinchcliffe was inch perfect and met by Duncan Ferguson to score in exactly the same fashion as most of his other goals.

Everton thought they had added a second when Ferguson beat Martyn to a high ball in the six yard box (very similar to Gray's FA Cup goal) but the referee ruled it a foul. This enraged Everton fans who had greeted the goal as justice after a player had been felled (by an elbow?) near the edge of the box without a whistle.. one of a string of unsavoury tactics adopted by the visitors, costing them a leniant 3 first half bookings.

The remainder of the first half had little worthy of note, as Palace adapted to cope with Everton's game, whilst failing to create any dangerous chances themselves.

The second half was going much the same way.. Palace without urgency seemed to expect their opportunity would arrive in due course. Only after they conceded their second after 56m did they change gear. Everton's advances had looked promising but it was a gift taken by Rideout after a goalkeeper's nightmare. Challenged by Rideout for a routine clearence of his own possession, Martyn's kick hit his own defender, fell for Rideout who found himself clear of Martyn, clear of the defender, and with 20 yards of yawning mud between himself and the 'easiest' goal of his career. Thankfully his low shot was not hindered by the mud.

Palace scrambled around urgently and forced Southall to save well twice, but in general their attack was very impotent despite good work on both wings. This effort had evaporated in despair when they got an unexpected goal. A rare corner fell to the near post and Coleman did not have to jump to head the ball in completely unmarked. There was clearly a mix-up or confusing call, but also no goalpost man or attempt by Southall to punch the cross or save the shot :-{

Palace sensed a great escape and pressed for an equaliser, causing many frayed nerves but could not create anything much, meanwhile Everton were looking to restore the cushion and nearly did so through a great strike from Burrows(!) but Martyn saved well low & wide. The third actually came only 9 minutes after the Palace one - scored through a disarrayed defence by a low shot by Ferguson which this time Martyn could not get down in time to. The clock read 88mins, but a lot of injury time had to be played out, so it was an important way of putting an end to Palace's hopes of an undeserved point.

No-one from Everton will be sorry if Palace go down this season after their cynical display of 'professional' tactics - there was probably more pushing, pulling, holding and shoving than in the scums at Ireland v England. Even the main stand were inscensed by one foul (another elbow?), and Ferguson was held down at one free kick by a wrestling hold in the box Hulk Hogan would have been proud of. Meanwhile the referee failed to clamp down on fouls, was erratic and the linesmen frequently found themselves in disagreement with both sets of players and fans.

TEAM PERFORMANCE SCORE = 9. A superb result under all these conditions.

Player by player


Only a 'good' performance but in awful conditions.


OK, but allowed too much ball on his wing.


One poor pass but faultless in defence.


No magic today but no mistakes.


His usual confident self.


Man of the match - worked well with Burrows.


Took charge to win the midfield convincingly.


The right man for these conditions supporting Horne.


Tried hard but still looks out of place.


Should sue the ref for his hat-trick bonus.


Excellent work everywhere.


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