Everton 0 - 0 Southampton

6 May 1995

Yellow cards
Everton: Horne
Southampton: Watson
Everton: Southall 7, Barrett 6, Watson 7, Unsworth 8, Ablett 8, Ebbrell 5 (38. Samways 6), Horne 6, Parkinson 7, Hinchcliffe 7 (57. Limpar 7), Rideout 6, Amokachi 7
Southampton: Beasant, Benali, Magilton, Hall, Monkou, Shipperley, Maddison, Charlton (76. Oakley),Dodd, Watson, Widdrington
Subs not used: Kearton (Everton), Grobbelaar, Tisdale (Southampton)
Referee: T Holbrook (Walsall)
Attendance: 36,840



The night before this game I didn't sleep well. I drifted in shallow, realistic anticipation of a tense day. I dreamed the match several times. I dreamed we lost in a farcical game and all the other results went wrong. I dreamed we needed to go & get results away, but had a terrible team.

Was this last year? Was this real? Was this the unbeatable Royle's Everton who had swept the premiership's best aside with contempt?

After yet another nightmare match, the answers to these questions still hang around like haunting, taunting spirits.

Everton started with John Ebbrell on the right of midfield, either because Stuart Barlow is injured or JR wanted an extra dog in there for Alan Ball's team. Either way, the best news was that Le Tissier was not on the field. He had come up with the team, but was not even on the bench.

The first half things did not go right at all. It was a tough struggle, a midfield chess match, and a stalemate of challenges forcing errors. The potent right-side force of Barrett and Ebbrell had Bally's Saints quaking in their boots ;-) Meanwhile on the left, Hinchy & Ablett were always held up enough that by the time their crosses came, the defence was ready. Meanwhile Rhino & Watson were similarly comfortable with the few attacks which came their way.

Everton did win a few corners, but all were easily dealt with. It became more clear as the half wore on that short of some Amo magic, this was heading for 0-0.. or worse, because the candy-cane midfield was actually getting more ball on our park than we were.

Frustration grew. Ebbrell started to suffer for it. Even doing nothing wrong, he was getting crowd abuse for daring to touch the ball without creating a chance. Disgracefully booed during the team announcement, he was now hounded off.. Joe gave in at 3.38 and brought on Samways to cheers as big as Amo got at QPR. It was the right move, but the crowd treatment of Ebbrell was sickening.. akin to the abuse Ablett got at the theatre of pee over the park. There was no noticable difference to the rest of the half.

The halftime scorelines were all bad news, even Norwich were winning. If ever we needed a Royle half time boost, it was now.

To some extent, we got it. Evarton attacked the St. End with more conviction, winning corners, getting the ball to Amo, and not allowing the Stains as much run of the midfield. It almost paid off straight away. A mistake by a defender who'd push Rideout wide allowed PR to run along the line and drive a pass to Amo 6 yards out. He only had to touch it, and he did. We all jumped up to celebrate, but the ball unbelieveably skied over.

Heartened, the pressure increased more, but the only real danger was coming from corners. Beasant looked vulnerable, but every time he was in trouble, it was scrambled away.

Limpar came on and played up the left for Hinchy (he'd had a knock earlier, but was this tactical?). Anders nearly always beat a man and got his cross in, but Monkou and co were always ready for it. We now had 3 'flair' players on the park, but not one was tipping the balance for us.

Time drained away. The PA kept announcing that the players were going to 'thank us for our support this season' after the final whistle, so we'd not to invade the pitch. Fair enough, but this was repeated for the 3rd and 4th time with the ball in play as we tried to watch Amo desperately try to break free - the fans shouted "**** off!!" at their own PA announcer in a way usually reserved for announcements of Liverpool goals in derby matches.

A late last scramble was survived again.. the visitors had long since given up all pretence at attack apart from rare breakaways.

Limpar switched right to try something new. Meanwhile word filtered in about Leeds latest late victims, and the point seemed less of a failure.

The whistle went. Half heartedly most stayed behind for the players 'thanks', but I'm sad to say this consisted of them walking to the centre circle and clapping for about 5 seconds before trooping off. Perhaps it was the result, but it was a lousy token compared with some seasons' farewells.

Reflecting afterwards, I could not remember a single Southampton shot on target. They had about three clear scoring chances, but all were hit wide. Their late penalty appeal was denied, which was consistent with the ref's earlier decisions allowing interference with Blue players.

Team performance: 7 Although not firing on all cylinders, Everton never gave up trying and despite being matched in midfield, ended up very unlucky not to win.

Player by player


Saves? What saves?


A secret agent for Grecian 2000 - mission: to create 30000 new customers in the Merseyside area.


Great work under pressure building with Hinch then Limpar.


Back to his solid self, but drifts to cover when EB is elsewhere, leaving centre dangerously open.


Another top drawer display.


Asked to play right midfield, he looked uncomfortable there.


Lots of corners but not enough variation. Crosses in open play not great.


Still not dominating. At times hesitant. Caught in possession on 2-3 occasions.


Good fight but not a repeat great game.


Failed to make the impact needed.


Tried very hard, lots of crosses, but no magic.


Another unconvincing day. More moans than goal attempts.


A lot less visible today. Looked like he needed > 3 days rest.


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