Portsmouth 1 - 1 Everton

5 October 1994

Everton: Watson
Yellow cards
Everton:Southall 8, Snodin 7, Burrows 6, Watson 9, Unsworth 8, Stuart 6, Samways 7, Parkinson 9, Amokachi 7, Ferguson 8, Hinchcliffe 7
Subs not used:Durrant, Rideout, Kearton
Attendance: 13,605


All of this report should be blended with the TV highlights to give a true account. Some details I cannot help with, like what happened to allow the last goal - we were too far away to see well - or the name of the #14 who caused the problems..

The team:

Snodin Watson Unsworth Burrows
Stuart Samways Parkinson Hinchcliffe
	Amokachi Ferguson

Rideout Durrant Kearton.

Ferguson wore '9'

Durrant's number was announced poorly, & he did not play.

Graham Taylor disease again? Durrant warmed up with the team, was even very decent and signed a few autographs for Evertonian kids, but was left on the bench. Was Durrant unfit? Surely he is not unpreferred!? Surely if you want to keep Samways & Parkie in you can move Samways 'wideish'.. why do we still need Hinchcliffe as left-midfield??? Ah - well...

First half. Everton look comfortable and in control. They were passing the ball accurately and with confidence, and Ferguson fitted straight in, knocking balls down, flicking them on, and exchanging passes with Ammo.

Pompey (cheered on by a very lousy bugler but almost no crowd noise) had a single chance.. offide failed, ball sent wide right, Burrows allows winger to pass him and move on goal along the line.. pass pulled back for a free shot in a crowded area but it goes wide.

Apart from this, Everton dominated and went ahead from a lightning fast flick-in from a corner (wow! that's 3 goals from corners in 5 games! {already overtaking last season's grand total!?}).

One Evertonian had amused himself to this point by screaming 'give the ball to Duncan!' every 20 seconds, and he & his mates went totally potty, assuming (not unreasonably) that Fergi had scored.. there were a lot of heads near the ball. The announcer gave it to Watson.

Ferguson is very strong in the air.. mainly because he is tall to start with and (unlike SOME tall strikers) can also jump a long way upwards.

More goals were certain. Fergi & Ammo worked well and were getting good support from midfield. Even Hinchcliffe was managing to make some good crosses. The chances created were good and dangerous, the ball winning in midfield was keen & purposeful. But no goals. Ammo & Fergi exchanged but the shot was an easy save. Ammo got clean through & committed the keeper, but had the ball smothered as he tried to round him. Stuart was clear through alone, got 'taken out' but the fouler only got a yellow card. Hinchcliffe could not produce the danger from the kick that he did at United. Fergi had a shot but it was gathered low. A goalmouth scramble which we could not follow well from the far end hit a post and ended up being cleared off the line with the linesman having to judge if it was in. Even Snowy powered one from long range but it just flew too high.

Meanwhile Pompey were anonymous. They did not mount another serious attack, and Preki (subbed off at half time) nor anyone else could produce anything remotely testing for the defenders.

Half time 1-0. 75 whole minutes to find a winner. Two attacking goalthreats spare on the bench.

In the second half, Pompey had more purpose about them. They must have had the old 'Robert the Bruce' half-time talk from Jim Smith, because they tried to break away past the Everton offside trap again, and again.. and again.. and again.. and.. it was getting embarrassing. It was humiliating. There must have been at least 8 cold offsides up near the halfway line, and even 2-3 heartbreakers when they were trying to put a final ball to a striker. Meanwhile Everton passed the ball around at will, won the few strays back quickly, and made Portsmouth look like an even-lower-division side than they really were.

But still no goal. Ammo worked hard but could not outpace his marker 2-3 times (this legendary speed simply isn't there - lucky he's got other assets!), and was reduced to laying passes off. Ferguson got forward & was a useful contributor in build-ups too, but never got the header come to him that you'd swear he can bury in his sleep. The referee did not see a push in the back in the area on Ferguson.. again Pompey had diced with death and won. The closest came when Ammo with his back to goal and a man at his back was allowed time near the corner of the 6-yard box.. he set himself up and did a turn-on-the-sixpence special which flashed past the keeper but just wide. Now >I

Why last? The danger signs were there. Ammo was looking knackered. Fergi was beginning to plod around without his eariler zest. Stuart had been almost invisible this half. Surely time for fresh legs and Durrant's legendary goalmaking? Pompey's half had been diabolical. The few times they had not been offside, shots had been tame & off target, and many passes simply went into touch or rolled harmlessly into acres of space. Then suddenly from nowhere, Pompey discovered an achilles heel. Pass left to #14, and let him run at Snodin. It worked several times, and crosses started flying into the Everton box. Watson covered well. Southall took one. Southall dropped one (oh no!) but the goalline defenders were there for an easy clearance.

During this time, the number finally came out. 18. Nev had the ball waiting for a goal kick. The announcer announced. Ian Durrant for Joe Parkinson. Then - pause. No-one moved. Back to the sideline, nothing again. MW had changed his mind and no substitution was made, causing the unusual announcement - "sorry, no substitution". I await the explanation for this decision with :-\ interest.

More and more players were looking tired. Five minutes left. Extra time certain. Everton were now too tired to score, but Pompey had been absolutely awful. I thought 'only a low-division miracle-goal or a mega-mistake can save them, even if it goes to extra time'. I leave it to the TV viewers to say which of these two were to blame for the front runner for 'least deserved goal of the century', but it did originate from the last of those '#14' runs. Whoever he was, he was the only player in blue who looked like a footballer.

Time was up on the watch. Jammy or what. MW subs on Rideout, but there is only time for one inaccurate hoof upfield by Burrows before time is blown.

In the pub outside the ground, Pompey fans were not exactly jubilant. "I don't think I could have taken another half hour of that" said one. "It's getting as bad as our league performances" said another. Another gave a long lecture to a captive audience on why Jim Smith was several prawns short of a cocktail.

These acknowledgements by the victors that they were blessed with luck; the best all-round EFC performance since Man Utd (home) last season; and the accuracy of my prediction that Pompey would (quote) "Hang on to go through" are cheering, but this bad luck is already WAY beyond a joke!


Didn't have much to do but coped well with all but one punch.


Does OK at RB but couldn't contain #14.


Slightly better at closing down wingers today, but his performances (with ball and mouth) simply do not give me any confidence. Bad buy! Play Ablett! Even bloody Hinchcliffe's better than him!


A great game, another goal (ablett's was virtually his) and not sign of those worries we had v Forest.


On top of the usual cool class, he even had a solid night with the high balls.


Busy, useful, clever, but no spark of genius - a typical Samways performance.


Well I'll be a rednose in a netto bag!.. Parki is a genius! Where this came from I dunno.. why he's been so crap so far when he can do this is another one for Arthur C Clarke, but if this is what we can look forward to, this is the most inspired bargain signing since, erm, .


I keep saying EFC need Stuart to play well to do well. He started brilliantly, but then became very anonymous and should probably have gone off.


Doing better as a wingy-sort-of player than expected, but we DESPERATELY need a deadly and accurate crosser if we're going to play tall strikers, and HE'S NOT ONE.


We ache for him to do well, and he tries so hard to do everything, but the rumours that he's fast are dead and the rumours that he's a superman goal machine are rapidly headed the same way.


Worked very hard and very effectively with unfamiliar teammates. Central defenders should demand double pay when they face him.


Never touched the ball.


Well, if he had got on, I could tell you. 8-(

MW 5 (conditional)

..unless he's got some damn good excuses for his team decisions last night! Would be 4 if his decision to play Parki had not been good.. (remember, I don't award 3 or lower).

Officials 8

Great at 'flow' decisions but ref failed to implement the professional foul law, see the penalty or add injury time.

Everton fans 6

Not exactly riotous support, but not as bad as might be expected for the League cup so far away. Still no sign of 'walker out' or even boos at the end, so 2 fingers to the tabloids.

Pompey fans 5

The traditionally well supported club couldn't fill a stadium, and scarcely made a noise all night.

Player by player


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