FA Carling Premier League, Saturday 25 November 1995
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Everton (1) 2 Sheffield Wed (2) 2
Amokachi 54, Kanchelskis 45;Bright 2, 36.
Everton: Southall, Jackson, Watson, Unsworth, Hinchcliffe, Kanchelskis, Parkinson, Ebbrell, Limpar, Rideout (Amokachi 18), Stuart. Subs Not Used: Horne, Kearton. Booked: Watson, Parkinson.
Sheffield Wed: Pressman, Atherton, Nolan, Nicol, Waddle, Bright, Sinton, Hyde, Walker, Whittingham, Briscoe (Williams 64). Subs Not Used: Degryse, Woods. Booked: Atherton.
Ref: M Bodenham (Looe, Cornwall).
Electronic Telegraph is a Registered Service Mark of The Telegraph plc
Neil Woodhouse: Nearly 36,000 at the ground, no doubt some there to see DD's return to the fold. It was clear that he was going to make an appearance when the corridor of ballboys stayed on the pitch after the teams came out and warmed up. Dunc got the predictable welcome from all sections of the ground.
The euphoria was short-lived, however as Mark Bright headed Wednesday into the lead within two minutes of the start as a result of woeful marking in the centre of defence.
For the first quarter it was as if all the improvement of the last few weeks had never been, Everton's only tactic seemed to be the hopeful boot upfield to Rideout. The only positive signs were a couple of dazzling runs by Limpar which lacked only the final pass.
The character of the game changed when Rideout went off apparently badly hurt after a reckless challenge by Walker that did not even get a foul. When Amo came on we seemed to realize we had to play it on the deck and started to look dangerous.
The recovery was stalled when another Bright header went in due to bad central defensive marking.
Everton pressed hard in the last 10 mins. of the half and Ebbrell was unlucky when former RS Nicol got his ugly face in the way of a goalbound shot.
Seconds before the break Kanchelskis got the ball from a neat header by Stuart and shot just inside the near post from a tight angle.
I had been hoping that Dunc would do the 50:50 draw but it was not to be. The powers that be gave us instead the slightly less emotional spectacle of an anonymous middle aged gent doing the draw whose only claim to fame was winning the QPR draw.
The second. half was in a different class with Everton threatening to swamp Wednesday from all directions. I thought the crowd got behind the side more in this period than at any time so far this season.
Eventually the equaliser came from Amo after Kanchelskis pulled the ball back to give him an open goal. He almost contrived to miss it due to a bad first touch but got a good deflection which wrong-footed Pressman.
Everton's pressure can be seen in the corner count of 25-3.
Pressman made some good saves, Amo hit the post with a brilliant running shot. Watson had a header cleared off (or from behind!) the line.
It was not all good news though and Wednesday did look dangerous on the rare occasions they crossed the half way line.
Southall 7 - Not much to do apart from pick the ball out of the net.
Jackson 7 - Had a good game. Always looking to go forward and seems to be getting an understanding going with Kanchelskis
Hinchcliffe 6 - Looked uneasy against Waddle all game. Poor distribution. Took some good corners (now only from right hand side).
Watson 6 - at fault for the second goal and just did not look solid
Unsworth 5 - Has lost all his confidence. Seemed to be completely at sea in central defence. What has happened to him?
Limpar 7 - Some dazzling runs and a couple of threatening long balls to Kanchelskis but faded towards the end
Ebbrell 7 - Not up to his recent renaissance but still challenged for everything.
Parkinson 5 - Did not seem to be able to get in the game at all. Is he worth his place at the moment?
Kanchelskis 9 - Every time he had the ball there was a buzz and a feeling that something could happen, Scored one made the other and missed a bloody good chance in the second half.
Stuart 7 - Always looked neat although not like scoring
Amokachi 8 - Seemed to cause panic in the Wednesday defence. Scored and hit the post
Rideout 6 - Injured early on but not encouraging until then
Team performance - 7 - We really should have won this and would have done if the defence had played half as well as the attack. Bring back Craig Short!
Dave Shepherd: After the 'Euro-disaster', many professional football pundits have retreated back into navel-contemplation and whinging about how inferior English clubs are compared to the orgasmicly entertaining foreign competition, with their 15 mph buildup to a hopeless long range blast, and 5 minutes of thespianism if anyone makes a tackle.
Other pundits have the knives out for Everton FC for not meekly going like lambs down into the Dodgy-Insurance League like Forest did. "Dirty Blues!" they howl whenever they lose possession to a legal sliding tackle. "Long Ball Merchants!" they wail as Limpar passes fly with pinpoint precision into the path of goal-scorers.
Everton meanwhile let their football do the talking. The level of entertainment and quality football at Goodison has rarely been higher than right now, but it is one of the best kept secrets in the country.
TV continues to rave about how marvelous a few Ferdinand tap-ins and Man Utd victories over relegation candidates are, only those who go to Goodison know the secret. It's a secret that won't last for ever - pretty soon snail brains will start to wake up, as they so easily could have last night if the scoreline had reflected the play.
The club wisely did not overdo Duncan's return. All he got was an announcement and a wave from the tunnel mouth. (Even the crowd did not overdo the Duncan songs in the embarrassing way Man Utd fans sang Cantona songs throughout the Cup Final; but the St End did come up with a NEW song (don't faint!) about one of Duncan's pigeons which I'm not going to repeat here ;-)
The first action was a bad start. A left wing move by Sinton was too casually covered by Jackson, and no support arrived to deal with the overlapping man Briscoe, so a simple pass put him in an acre of space with all the time in the world to float over a practice-ground ball, just too high for the central man Watson, to a completely unmarked Mark Bright, who headed in with equal simplicity from 10 yards.
This very soft goal was annoying, but no-one in blue thought it was going to be enough to win them the game. This was confirmed when Wednesday only possessions came from bad Everton passes, and the home team pressed for a quick equaliser. Everton had plenty of the ball, but didn't create much in the way of clear chances, then lapsed into a period which left the home fans almost silent, apart from regular abuse for the linesman's offside flags and the referee's decisions to book a few of the poor tackles.
Worse was to come when Wednesday's second, and only other attempt of the half produced a second goal, again from poor defensive work on the wings, this time by Hinchcliffe, and again it was the non-prolific Bright there to score. Sheffield fans went potty. Christmas had come early - two soft goals after only 3 in the last 8 games.
Everton seemed to have no response this time. Mid-way into the first half, a clash of heads (?) saw Rideout have to leave on a stretcher, and Amo came on, but the best that came out of Everton's best moves (wing runs and hopeful crosses) were corners which the tall Owls looked comfortable with. More long periods of silence ensued - the Wednesday jinx (no victories since 1989, when Sheedy got 2) looked set for a continued run.
Everton increased the pressure a little toward the end on the half, and it was three minutes into injury time when the ball came to Kanchelskis in a crowded penalty area, and he had time to switch feet and stab a low shot hard enough to beat Pressman at the near post.
They say goals on the stroke of half-time are valuable for morale. Certainly the supporters mood was greatly improved by this. How much effect it genuinely had on the game is a matter of speculation, but what is undeniable is that Everton's attacking second half performance was so dominant that it is a genuine miracle that Wednesday managed to concede only one goal - particularly since they creditably never showed any signs of going into time-wasting or 11-man defensive mode.
To describe all the chances would take most of a week, but suffice it to say that the corner flags now have cow-paths running to them from Hinch and Limpar, and Pressman must have lost a good few of those excess pounds from his sweat and toil by 4.55 pm.
The one chance that did go in was the worst of a huge selection. Amo running into the six yard box to meet a right wing cross dragged the ball with his foot forcing Pressman to spread his substantial body in the way, but to his frustration a defender's simultaneous sliding challenge deflected the ball at least 45 degrees into the net of his chest, thus changing an easy save into an equalising goal.
The pick of the winners that never came were:
One complaint I had about Everton pre-Joe used to be that they didn't create enough chances or get enough bodies in the box. Today they managed to do this more than in any 4 average matches. Anyone who counted up the total of shots and corners should get an accountancy certificate.
Sheffield Wednesday managed about three attempts themselves in the second half, one angled attempt hit the top of the bar but, fortunately for a modicum of justice, their goals per attempt ratio fell from 100% to 0% this half.
It should have been massively disappointing to drop two points and see the winning streak halted, but it was impossible not to be anything but thrilled to bits with that sparkling second half parade of attacking football. The performance was the most rampant since last year's 5-0 defeat of Norwich. The Owls managed to avoid being the first serious victims of the Anders and Andrei show, but pretty soon someone is going to be on the end of a real pasting from Joe's Blues, and then the TV sweaters might start to realize what is really cooking..
Southall 7 Only needed for a couple of corners and looked comfortable.
No chance with the goals, but will still be disappointed.
Jackson 6 Worst game for a long time. Coverage mistake allowed first goal. Beaten several times by Sinton. Crosses OK but not finding good targets.
Hinchcliffe 6 Corners better, but looked distinctly vulnerable without Ablett covering behind him. Poor passing.
Unsworth 7 Undistinguished and today lacked the knack of being in the right place to clear danger.
Watson 7 Not very busy in the middle, but needed to be alert to cover the full backs on the break. Inches from scoring.
Parkinson 6 At times floundered the way his opponents usually do.
Ebbrell 8 A solid Dynamo95 performance held things together.
Rideout - No clear pointers before the injury.
Amokachi 8 Lots of hustle & bustle and effort and determination.
Stuart 9 I've hardly ever been impressed with Diamond, but he really played a quality game today IMHO.
Kanchelskis 8 If other players created a fraction of the danger and entertainment he regularly does, they would get rave reviews.
Limpar 8 Control sublime. Surely the greatest natural talent since the previous Everton hero called Duncan..
Subs Not Used: Horne, Kearton.
Team Performance: 10 Bad defensive errors apart, this was a crushing victory executed in great style, despite being the 3rd match in an exhausting 8 days. On performance, the result was 6-1 to Everton. For entertainment value, the score was 11 out of ten except for a quiet 15 minute period in the first half. For attacking, fast, flowing football, I guarantee you will not see better ANYWHERE in the league, and probably not anywhere in the world... Ajax who...?
Ref: M Bodenham Rather like Everton, his first half performance was well short of satisfactory - a yellow card lottery - but in the second he did much better and made a good two dozen dead-ball decisions with only one difficult error.
Richard Marland: I'm afraid that I don't agree at all with Dave Shepherd's appraisal of our performance. Whilst agreeing that we played some decent stuff going forward, I consider the bad defensive errors are rather more worrying than you are saying. I thought that we had lapsed back to what we were doing during our bad run in October, ie giving away goals through bad defensive lapses and then being forced to play catch up for the rest of the game.
The team deserves credit for actually catching up on Saturday, but the harsh reality is that you can't afford to play like that. We won our 3 games on the burst because we were tight at the back and could then use our undoubted forward power to win the game.
On Saturday we looked vulnerable all game against a struggling Sheffield Wednesday side and the reason for this vulnerability as, I'm afraid to say, Rhino who looked ill at ease and unconvincing throughout.
Guy McEvoy: It was a curious start. The teams were out on the pitch ready to kick off when the announcer said over the PA; "and now we would like to welcome back to Goodison - Duncan Ferguson.". There was an enormous cheer and the big fella came up through the tunnel waved and took his seat. The Park and Street ends burst into the inevitable "Go West" tune, though in completely different time, which left those of us in the middle of the ground unsure who to join in with. There was general glee to see him and much conversation about the certain glory that is to come when Dunc is actually back on the pitch. And then I realised that the game had just started and we were one-nil down.
The Goal was soft. Just over a minute into the game and a Wednesday break forced the ball to the corner of their left wing, a simple cross and a very gratefully unmarked Bright standing on the six yard line to nod the ball easily into the net. No aerial challenge was forthcoming, Craig Shorts absence through injury was made instantly apparent.
The Party mood for the blues was gone as fast as it had arrived, those having the party were sat in the away section (which included that mad fat bloke who sits through every single match with his shirt off).
We did do our best to pull ourselves right back into it, a dazzling run from Limpar right along the touchline inside the box deserved a goal but the final lay-off never quite made the hovering Stuart.
Soon after that Everton suffered another set-back. Rideout clashed heads with an over-enthusiastic Des Walker after a goal kick. Both went down hard, initially it appeared that Walker was the worst hurt of the pair as Rideout seemed to sit up to look at him, then our Paul laid back looking in agony. Both players had to leave the pitch, Rideout on a stretcher looking very much the worse for wear. It later emerged that he had lost a couple of teeth and had to spend the night in hospital. Amokachi came on as substitute.
As we turned up our attacking, what looked like a professional foul on the edge of the box ruined a good scoring chance and was rewarded with only a yellow card. The resulting free kick was a well worked effort by Andy Hinchcliffe which curled the wall and went just wide. Unlucky.
The thrust of our attacks was very much from the wings, Jackson as always was linking very well Kanchelskis, Hinchcliffe trying to forge the same kind of role with Limpar on the other wing but not really succeeding. Ebbrell and Parkinson were as tight as always in midfield, Wednesday relying on their faster breaks for their chances.
It was from one of these breaks after a spell of blue pressure that Wednesday extended their lead, the ball was whipped into the box by Waddle and again there was no aerial challenge to pick up Bright as he nodded home his second. 2-0 down, probably not a fair reflection of play but there was genuine frustration in the crowd now, the shy looking woman next to me punctuated her yelled terrace clichés with language to make a Speake cabbie blush. Things did not look good.
A goal before half-time was an absolute God-send. I think it was Stuart who found Kanchelskis, his first touch was one of those were you think he's lost control, in actual fact he teed the ball up perfectly and, just as the curse had left my mouth, Andrei drilled it in. A fine goal. This created a much more upbeat atmosphere at half time which was only tempered by the non appearance of Dunc for the 50/50 draw.
The second half was one of both promise and enormous frustration. Good build up play seemed lost in attempts to be too elaborate or else ended with a poor finish. Amokachi seemed to be at his most frustrating, getting himself into good positions then his final touch letting him down. Indeed, the goal when it came was from just this scenario; Amo was fed the ball in the box and took it a couple of paces to line himself up the perfect shooting chance. As he swung his foot he almost seemed to change his mind and think about going round the goalie, his leg had already made contact with the ball though and the resulting shot was not convincing, fortunately the hesitancy seemed to rub off on the keeper and the ball somehow ended in the net anyway. Amo and the Street End didn't care how it got there though! We'd shown good character, got back from two down and now we sensed three points. The next twenty minutes had a great atmosphere and created a string of chances. Unfortunately, `ô±
We had a ream of corners (over 20 in the match!) one of which Dave Watson felt he had scored from but the linesman felt hadn't crossed the line, a brilliant effort from Kanchelskis that proved why he has a reputation for a hard shot (it looked jet propelled!), two half-shouts for penalties from Limpar (one more convincing than the other), but the best chance fell to Amo in the final minute who had a tremendous break and for once did find a lovely finishing touch which agonisingly rebounded the wrong way off the post. The concentration of pressure up front though was let down at the back as Wednesday always looked like they may beat us on the break. A wonder shot from Waddle that curled onto the bar being the most dangerous moment of the game threatening at the time to send us 3-1 down.
After a few hours reflection and the initial disappointment I reckon it was probably a fair result, we played some good football and certainly did not deserve to lose, however we really rode our luck in defence at times and Wednesday created enough decent chances that could easily have snatched it. The referee was paying us no favours again either.
So we only pick up the one point and slip a place in the table. Still it takes us a point nearer the RS.
Southall 7 - A run-of-the mill game for Nev.
Jackson 8 - I rate Jackson highly, he is an extra asset coming forward, but the thing that has really impressed me in the last two games is how well he's actually DEFENDED. The strong link in the back four.
Watson 6 - Still doesn't look at his best. The central defence must take the blame for both goals.
Unsworth 6 - It is noticeable how much more comfortable he looked at left back against QPR than he did centre back today.
Hinchcliffe 6 - There were one or two hints of his passing ability, a wonderfully worked free kick that went inches wide but on the defending front he didn't really settle.
Ebbrell 7 - Not as dominant as he has been, but popped up everywhere never the less.
Parkinson 7 - Did the job
Limpar 7 - Was the leading light early on, had one good claim for a penalty turned down, but was fading towards the end.
Kanchelskis 8 - Well taken goal, always looked a likely cause of danger, we have so much to look forward to from this man.
Stuart 7 - still looks an asset in the position he is in, and looks worthy of the first team place.
Amokachi 7 - a bit lucky with the actual goal, but did all the hard work first to get the shot in, very unlucky not to score at the end. I think Everton had more chances during the game because Ammo was on the pitch rather than Rideout.
Rideout - not on long enough to rate - hope he's well.
By Ian Cotton, Electronic Telegraph
THE Football Association may have called a high-level summit to discuss the shortcomings of Premiership teams in Europe but this game at Goodison Park had all the qualities which make the English game so popular overseas and have accounted for rising crowds over the past 10 years.
A commitment to attacking football from both sides left the result in doubt until the final whistle, though Everton will point to their overwhelming superiority in the corner count, 25 to Wednesday's three, to support their claim for all the points.
The afternoon began on a euphoric note for the home side before a ball had even been kicked. Just minutes before the start the 35,000 home fans rose to greet the returning prodigal son as Duncan Ferguson made his first appearance at the ground since being released from prison, later watching the game from the Everton dug-out.
Sheffield Wednesday came to Goodison last season and spoilt the festive spirit by winning 4-1 on Boxing Day to register Everton's first defeat under Joe Royle and bring to an end a club record of seven consecutive clean sheets.
And if any of the Everton faithful thought the visitors were only here to play a supporting role in the proceedings, their expectations were dashed within two minutes as Mark Bright headed his side in front. Andy Sinton fed young full-back Lee Briscoe, who had time to place a precise cross in the path of the unmarked Wednesday frontman.
Bright was only in the side because of a neck injury sustained by David Hirst in training earlier this week and it was to be another injury that eventually played a key role in the match.
In the 16th minute an accidental clash of heads resulted in Paul Rideout and Des Walker leaving the pitch. For Walker the absence was temporary, but Rideout was immediately taken to hospital with extensive damage to his mouth.
For Everton manager Royle the decision was a simple one with Daniel Amokachi the only striker among the substitutes, the Nigerian international promptly pairing up with Graham Stuart in attack.
The introduction of Amokachi immediately added an extra dimension to Everton's play with his direct and pacy approach causing numerous problems in the Wednesday defence. The Goodison club could count themselves unlucky not to have equalised 10 minutes before half-time as Stuart picked up a careless Chris Waddle back-pass to press forward. He was halted on the edge of the area by Peter Atherton with a manoeuvre which brought a booking for the defender.
But it was a more positive contribution from Waddle that was to turn the game on its head in the 36th minute. Waddle placed a perfect right-wing cross on to the head of Bright, who claimed his second of the afternoon.
Although the crowd seemed genuinely stunned, it only served to strengthen the home side's resolve with constant pressure being applied to Kevin Pressman's goal.
Following the earlier stoppage, Everton took full advantage of the resulting injury-time to edge themselves back in. In the space of just 60 seconds Pressman saved well from Amokachi and Steve Nicol headed off the line before Andrei Kanchelskis cut inside to fire into the corner of the net.
It was no more than Everton deserved and they forced an equaliser when Amokachi bundled the ball over the line in the 54th minute.
Despite constant home pressure the game could have gone either way. Waddle saw a curling shot clip the top of the bar with everyone beaten, before Dave Watson's goalbound effort was headed off the line by Hyde.
After watching his side extend their unbeaten run to four games, Royle said: "I thought we pressed for 90 minutes and to be honest they scored the only times they came into our half in the first 45 minutes. We found ourselves two down but that was not a reflection of the way we played.
"Once we'd made it 2-2 it was a matter of whether we'd get it or not. They got more dangerous as the game went on because we were pressing so much."
The Wednesday manager, David Pleat, was more than happy with his side's performance, commenting: "We didn't play as cleverly as we did in midweek against Arsenal, but I'm not going home dispirited in any way."
He also paid tribute to new signing Nicol, adding: "He could sit in a chair and play because he's got a brain."
Electronic Telegraph is a Registered Service Mark of The Telegraph plc
Daily Mail Soccernet: Everton were deprived of a glorious victory in the dying minutes after fighting back from 2-0 down. Dave Watson's header was cleared off the line by Graham Hyde, then substitute Daniel Amokachi smashed a fierce shot against the post.
Joe Royle's team had been rocked by a goal inside two minutes when Mark Bright headed in at the far post from defender Lee Briscoe's cross.
They were caught out again in the 14th minute by a Bobby Sinton cross but this time it was Chris Waddle at the far post and his header was just off target.
Within a minute the game was held up after a sickening clash of heads as Des Walker angered the crowd with his aerial challenge on Paul Rideout.
Walker was led off with a cut head but Rideout needed a stretcher and was later taken to hospital with severe damage to his mouth. Walker was given a hostile reception when he returned after six minutes. Amokachi replaced Rideout and occasionally unsettled Wednesday with his pace and power but despite the flood of Everton corners, they remained in control.
Bright struck again in the 36th minute, running onto a wicked cross from Waddle to head past Neville Southall. However, Andrei Kanchelskis made a vital breakthrough seconds before the interval, scoring with a low left-foot shot which put Everton back in with a chance.
Everton grabbed a fortunate equaliser early in the second half, immediately after Chris Waddle had hit the bar at the other end with a tremendous 20-yard chip. Amokachi slid onto a pass from Kanchelskis but Ian Nolan blocked his shot - only for the ball to spin into the net with Kevin Pressman helpless.
A stretcher came out for the second time in the 72nd minute, Wednesday substitute Michael Williams being taken off only seven minutes after replacing Lee Briscoe and requiring Mark Degryse to be called from the bench.
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