Everton 2 - 3 Portsmouth

20 September 1994

Everton: Samways (57), Stuart (pen. 72)
Portsmouth: Creaney (2,15), Kristensen (56)
Yellow cards
Everton: Southall 5, Jackson 6 (Snodin 7), Burrows 5, Unsworth 8, Watson 5, Stuart 6, Samways 7, Parkinson 5, Rideout (5.Angell 6), Amokachi 9, Hinchcliffe 6
Subs not used:
Attendance: 14,043


Another defeat and a pretty embarrassing one at that. However there was a lot more to it than the scoreline alone can reveal.

The first twenty minutes were honestly the most inept display it is possible to imagine a football team of any league level could produce. Players weren't marked, passes went astray, no running, no communication, you would think the players had never met one another.

3 minutes gone and with Burrows receiving treatment, the defence failed to reorganise and two pompeyites wandered unopposed into a yawning gap on the left hand side of our area, Southall was drawn out, the ball played to one side and slotted in by the other attacker, as the remainder of our defence watched from the other side of the box.

Another two minutes gone and Rideout chasing a hopeful ball forward pulls up in mid flight. He battles on for a couple of minutes but is plainly injured and has to go off. He is replaced by the inspiring figure of our old mate Brett.

Further dross follows and on 18 mins (or thereabouts) pisspoor marking and misunderstanding between Jackson and Watson presents Portsmouth with negligible resistance to a move down the right wing, culminating in a cross to an equally under defended area and a headed goal.

In the twenty third minute Burrows crosses deep to Angell and his shot from a tight angle flies across goal. For the remainder of the half Everton recover composure and have most of the play but fail to create dangerous openings. Amokachi robbing a defender, as is his trademark, but placing his shot too close to the keeper, and a weak header from Angell being the only real threat I remember us managing.

At half time the tannoy introduced a new Everton song, or rather new words to a song I've heard of before but am too young to know who it was by or what it is called. It was booed down at the end by the disenchanted Gwladys St. It probably isn't a good choice as a fans singalong anyhow because the chorus is too short and the verses are slightly naffly worded.

The second half started with a return to the dross of the first half and another headed goal by Portsmouth which seemed so easy it was unreal. Everton players simply stood around watching like the Watford Long John Silver Impersonators.

After that the blues were transformed into a team of tigers (well some of them were anyhow). Samways was buzzing and his speed on the ball helped work several openings through to Amokachi. Unsworth was moving forward with great determination and his speed and control on the ball allowed him to make two marathon runs from defence to deep into the opposition penalty area which would have well deserved goals. Amokachi was brilliant, winning balls he has no right to and breaking through on several occasions and having shots saved, blocked or put narrowly wide. Stuart also contributed though he would have done better to use the space out wide rather than drifting infield leaving Jackson, who was visibly having a nightmare, exposed.

All this made for an exciting period. The goals came first when Samways beat a couple men around twenty-five yards out, saw the opening and curled a powerful shot in, the second when Angell flicked on a long ball into Amokachi's path and he was brought down, Stuart converting the penalty. There could have been more, even in the last five minutes alone we had four good chances including a volley from Unsworth which almost knocked the goalie out. If we can play like this in the nest leg then we should run out easy winners.

However there is still much to be done, the defence remains critically ill, allowing opponents to score goals without hardly making an effort. They only had four attacks last night!! Likewise Hinchcliffe is not a midfielder, we can't expect much from Angell and we still don't have attacking midfielders. At 3-0 last night I would have willingly seen Walker get the boot. That may be premature but he has little time left and action is essential.

Player by player


5 - No saves and 3 let in. One suicide dash.


Did OK as usual. His substitution has to get Snowy on, not to get him off.


I'm not convinced at all. He's too often nowhere when there are crosses to be prevented.


If he can intercept more crosses he will be superb.


A good game but where was he for goal 3?? A captain he has to take responsibility for the defence too.


Average performance. Fails again to produce the sparks our midfield needs.


A better game than Saturday, saw plenty of ball and distributed it well.


Oh no! Why the heck did he play if Snodin was fit?? Looked out of his depth, had no ides and got in the way of good moves twice. Is he Ebbrell's cousin?


Not on for long enough to tell. Looks like a hamstring and another prob to add to the list. 8-(


Provoked the thought that Beardsley used to.. if we had 2 or 3 of him, we'd be unbeatable. EXCELLENT!


Managed to keep his hate club at bay with a steady and perhaps even a tad unlucky performance.


Perked up the pace and thrust of attacks once he got on.. playing at right-back. Wanted to win - unlike a few others...


Average. He's not a winger but this was not a winger formation. Still can't lift crosses and corners above waist height, and unhappily did not get back to left back when help was needed, but he won 2-3 good balls in midfield like a defender, much to the annoyance of the pompey victims.

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