Oldham Athletic 2 Everton 1

Pre-Season Friendly, Saturday 5 August 1995

Work Permit problems meant that Kanchelskis didn't appear again so the team was basically the team that Joe was picking for league matches at the end of last season, with Short replacing Watson.

It was a glorious sunny afternoon and we Evertonians had a moderate (though very quiet) crowd filling the Rochdale end of Boundary park.

We were wearing the "Tyre track" and I have to say that despite my reservations about it on our home kit the new DANKA logo does suit that one.

Everton started with a flurry, and we all sat back and waited for the inevitable comfortable victory to come.

Sure enough, after about 10 minutes (all times are estimates I didn't have a watch!) Everton had a fast break down the right, inevitable it was Limpar who put in the ball which Rideout latched onto and put into a very exposed goal. 1-0 to the blues, so far so good.

And the promising stuff continued, oldham never really threatened, the only thing Nev had to do was keep a bad backpass from going out of play which he failed to do! He clearly dosagreed with the linesmans decision (though it was correct) and threw a tantrum that proved he is his daughters father (thoses at the Celtic match will understand that reference!). He threw the ball away and threw a torrent of abuse at the said linesman. Come on Nev! It was daft to risk a yellow card in a freindly - you're a club senior pro - you can do better!

Everton's play of the game was started by Earle Barret!!! He played a lovely long ball up to Limpar, who then carved through two defenders and played a sly ball inside to Rideout. Rideout gave an astute flick on to big Dunc who found himself in yards of space with only the Goalie to beat. "Aye up" I thought - here's a contender for team gaol of the season. Duncan hit it two yards wide.

Oldham breifly, had a chance as good as fergusons but there' number 9 stuck it wide also - must have been something contagious!

Half time came and I still felt that we looked good for at least a subdued win - but it was not to be.

Their first goal must go down to soft defending, it was a extremely deep cornerthat caught us by surprise and everyone was still turning when it was headed back into the box for one of they're forward to nod in. I thought it was us that was supposed to do textbook corners! Oldham 1 Everton 1.

We followed up quite quickly with a high ball into the box which Duncan firly challenged and nodded it on. Or at least thats how I saw it the ref however saw Jailbird, psycho haircut Dunc, reclessly endanger the goalies life - he came charging over with one of those " I know all about you son" attitudes and I thought for a moment he was going to get booked - fortunatly sanity prevailed. BUT Duncs gonna have to watch this prejudice for the rest of his career.

Limpar had another half chance after that which wipped just wide but apart from that we never really threatened again. Meanwhile Oldham were piling up the pressure.

One of there breaks saw them find a snapshot which dribbled over the line before we could clear it. I think it was Unsworth who did kick it away too late - AND GOT AWAY WITH IT. No goal. The ref waved play on. Needless to say the Oldham fans were not happy. Everton had a very lucky let off.

During the half Alex Smith had been subed on and so had Ammokatchi. Ammo looked very comfortable in Limpars position and also seemd more willing to drift to the left which seemed to give us more space, however by the time he was on teh team was performing very lack lustre and nothing came of the two good breaks he created.

With a couple of minutes to go the inevitable happened and Oldham carved up the back four with a well worked goal. Cue teh tannoy and James Brown Blaring "I feel Good". I didn't. I felt embarressed. We lost to Oldham and we deserved to. We were damn lucky it wasn't 3-1. We didn't even have the excuse of an experimental team - this was Joe's first choice teram last season. Must do better.

Player Performances (IMHO) 1 terrible - 10 outstanding

Southall 5 - didn't make a noteworthy save, let his temper get the better of him, couldn't do much about the goals though.

Abblett 5 - The most ananomous of the back four (not necessarily a bad thing!)

Barrett 6 - Had a good solid performance, had the oldham fans chanting "you'll never beat Earle Barret" at their own men after making some deciding tackles. Must keep playing like this to win over critics.

Unsworth 5 - Played some daft balls in the first half, only occasionaly did you feel you were watching an international class player.

Short 6 - no major errors, has settled in very fast, also looks very comfortable going forward, I'm warming to him quickly.

Hinchcliffe 5 - Not his best performance, again his sweet left foot looks a little sour, managed to pick out Limpar a few times though.

Horne 5 - Scrapped and played some neat close passing, didn't look to be at full fitness.

Parkinson 7 - Battled and Battled, tackled and tackled.

Limpar 8 - We held our breath every time he got the ball, was the player were any threats originated from. Injured in the second half.

Rideout 5 - Scored, good first half, lousy second. (analogy of the whole team)

Ferguson 5 - Missed a sitter! Made good space for himself, and proved his ariel pressence. Didn't always look like his heart was in it though.


Smith 5 - Didn't really settle in, often looked like he was struggling to find his position

Ammokachi 7 - Didn't have enough time to tell. Looked very comfortable in Limpar's place and basically carried on where limpar had left off.


And that is all my humble opinion and as I saw it. Maybe I'm being a bit tough on the boys but if we want to challenge for the major trophies we must play better against such average opposition and we musn't throw away leads (2 times in one week). We need to beat someone for morales sake before the season starts particularly with those tough first games.

Bring on Andrei!!!

Guy McEvoy {pldgcm@cent1.lancs.ac.uk}

Another View:

The depressing thing about Saturday's performance wasn't so much that too many players were taking it easy -- Ferguson and Hinchliffe especially -- but all the problems from last season were there again.

There was just no movement off the ball, if an Oldham player got the ball, they'd have two or three options, but if an Everton player had the ball, there was no one moving for him. Okay so Limpar and hopefully Kanchelskis (if the transfer goes ahead - another Everton transfer nightmare !!) can take on and beat men and create something, but if nothing's being made through the midfield, Everton will struggle again.

Parkinson and Horne are okay at battling but neither is too hot on the creative front. Short looked very solid -- especially in the air and his willingness to move the ball out from the back, he looks like he could be a good signing -- but he has a tendancy to go for impossible balls so I suspect he could end up with a few own goals to his 'credit'.....

Paul Watterson