Sheffield Wednesday 0 - 0 Everton

17 April 1995

Sheffield W:
Yellow cards
Sheffield W: Nolan, Bart-Williams
Everton: Horne
Sheffield W:Pressman, Atherton, Nolan, Waddle, Hirst (88. Bright), Sheridan, Pearce, Bart-Williams, Hyde (7. Ingesson), Walker, Whittingham
Everton: Southall 10, Hinchcliffe 5 (45. Jackson 6), Barrett 8, Watson 7, Ablett 7, Ferguson 6 (31. Grant 6), Horne 7, Rideout 6, Limpar 7, Parkinson 6, Unsworth 7
Subs not used: Woods (Sheff W), Kearton (Everton)
Referee: M D Reed (Birmingham)
Attendance: 27,880


EFC find their feet firmly back on the ground in Owl-land

Despite dour weather warnings it was a nice spring day with sun & showers.

For the first five minutes, it looked like business 'as usual' for the royal blue supermen, dominating play, winning balls and mounting four good attacks without reply.

Then slowly it slipped away, and by the end, Everton looked not only mortal but barely deserving of a point against the Sheff Wed journeymen. 8-(

Ferguson was back with new haircut. Starting with Paul Rideout and Andy Hincliffe in the side, we were back to 'full strength' but Staurt and Amo and Barlow out meant the bench was Grant and Jackson.

After their inital scares, the owls sorted themselves out and made a much better job of containing Everton than Spurs or Toon. Close em down, especially Limpar, and Everton don't flow quite as sweetly. Still, the midfield for most the first half was an orgasmic display of classical Everton football.. passing short, switching wings long, tackles but no fouls, a few tricks, fast triangles and too much skill for the bumbling birds to match. I had taken a non- evertonian friend along, and was delighted to be able to have him see for himself that the rumours of the demise of the school of science were as groundless as Wimbledon FC :-)

However the forwards were little more than midfield support men, and were not served a single cross, let alone a dangerous one (EFC didn't get a corner until after the hour!). The best chance was when DF surprised the central defence and was clear through near the spot with only Pressman to beat, and tried to drive it under him but KP got down well.

Weds did attack a couple of times, with simple stuff, wing crosses and diagonal runs to the posts, but the defence was comfortable. One nasty moment could have made a goal, but with two attackers (Ingebritsen their best player by far) closing on a floater to the far post which had beaten Nev, Barrett hooked the ball gently out of the way of the first which gave Nev time to get over and punch it away from the second.

SW subbed Hyde who walked off after 5 mins, but the same was to happen to Dunc after ~30. Grant came on. By the half EFC were so short of effective ideas that the break was very welcome. They reappeared without Andy Hinch put Jackson in Limpar's position, switching Anders left again. This seemed sensible in that AH had not been getting forward at all up the left, let alone crossing. We badly needed TWO wings, and Matt Jackson can work with Barrett and can cross.

The right wing indeed improved, but on the left Weds were excellent at shepherding Limpar away from the wing and disallowing the cut inside, so all his runs were impotent. Thus PR continued to get no service, and even had to run off a problem with his knee which seemed to be slowing him down below 'effective'.

Worse, the midfield seemed to have lost its confidence completely. Passes went astray more often than not, and the Beach-tent kits capitalised on the free gifts by mounting many routine but effective attacks. Nev started to get very busy. A couple of solid ground stops; a flying crowd-pleaser; then EEK! a goal went in, but the flag was up. Another stunning save later and the die was cast.. it was going to be a 0-0 or a heartbreaking late one to rob one team deserving of 1 point. After yet another save, the sun and rain produced a rainbow which arched over the east stand and down onto the pitch! Looking around for the pot of gold, I saw it. It was wearing #1 for Everton.

[As for the atmosphere, the owl fans had none, and the everton fans lost theirs after half time. This was partly due to the tea bar running out of every drink except a disgusting hot chocolate. This rather killed the will to shout a lot. 8-\ ]

Time rolled away. Wednesday's spell of pressure had fizzled out, and the few runs afforded Jackson & Grant died on the rocks of poor support & poor ideas. They had a couple of corners, but without AH & DF they were tame ones from Limpar & Grant, which had the placement but not the speed to cause problems in the packed defence. Two of these came very late in a mysteriously warrented injury period, and Ablett finally got the break the salmon-pinks had been needing as it fell to him 3 yards out, but his shot was cleared by the far post goalline man.

After suffering the back-to-earth second half performance, the huge everton support were very glad to be going home with a point. The optimists will sat even potential champions don't sparkle every week, but the pessimists will point to the lack of cameras & big-match flavour as reasons for the lack of commitment, and the cynics will say that this, not the cinderella finalists, is the true Everton '95. Me? - I'm just glad there's 23 weeks to work on our injuries before more evidence is presented.

TEAM PERFORMANCE: First 20 mins; 8 - a great but not sparkling display. After that; - 5. Passion, commitment, even the grit disappeared as mysteriously as the Hillsborough atmosphere.

Player by player


A genuine display of greatness. Even his kicks all went straight!


Easily his best game so far. Got out of position twice though.


Average. What else?


Average. Seems too polite to tackle if the chance is only 25%.


Average. Good when supporting (not storming) the attack late on.


Very good first half, but quite quiet second.


Two early shots, first half good but second it was headless chicken time and some dismal passes.


No cameras, so the little firecracker was feeble and contained.


Apart from one pass, a wing switch which was so perfect Anders did not move and only had to lift a foot to trap, Hinch was almost competely ineffective. Injury-related??


A reasonable effort on the right wing, but not up to what he is capable of.


With the very few seconds he had with the ball, he achieve nothing noteworthy except getting his break and shot on target.


Deserved 5 up front, but did some good defensive support.


The lad only ever sees action when the team is decimated, which leaves him wandering like a lost if talented sheep which gets gobbled up by wily old wolves.


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