FA Carling Premier League, Saturday 23 March, 1996; Goodison Park, Merseyside
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Everton (1) 2 Wimbledon (1) 4
Kanchelskis 61, Short 21; Castledine 65, Clarke 86, Gayle 12, Goodman 88.
Everton (4-2-4): Southall, Hottiger, Watson, Short, Hinchcliffe, Kanchelskis, Horne, Ebbrell (Rideout 46), Limpar, Stuart (Amokachi 57), Ferguson. Subs Not Used: Unsworth.
Wimbledon (4-1-2-3): Sullivan, Cunningham, Kimble, Jones (Castledine 28), Blackwell, Leonhardsen, Earle, Ekoku (Goodman 59), Gayle, Perry, Clarke. Subs Not Used: Pearce.
Ref: L Dilkes (Mossley).
SoccerNet: Two goals in the last five minutes capped a glorious Wimbledon fight-back and eased their relegation fear.
Goals from Andy Clarke in the 86th minute and Jon Goodman two minutes later earned the Dons three vital points towards their fight for Premiership survival.
The late double clinched an important victory after the Crazy Gang had seen their early lead wiped out by Everton on the hour. The Dons had shocked Joe Royle's side with an 12th-minute opener from Marcus Gayle.
He rose unchallenged to head a Vinnie Jones' free-kick past Neville Southall. But Everton were level 10 minutes later when Craig Short directed a glorious header past Neil Sullivan.
Graeme Stuart should have put the home side in front in the 33rd minute but he somehow scooped the ball over from six yards. But they got themselves in front on the hour when substitute Daniel Amokachi crossed for Andrei Kanchelskis to head past Sullivan.
Yet the Crazy Gang were far from finished and equalised three minutes later. Gayle's cross was knocked back by Goodman and Clarke before Stewart Castledine drove the ball into the corner.
That left the stage set for Wimbledon to clinch all three points with their super late show in the last five minutes. Delighted manager Joe Kinnear gave each of his players a hug in an emotional dressing room afterwards.
He said: 'This victory has set us up for another season in the Premiership. It is a fantastic result, amazing - you have no idea what it means to us. The dressing room is on fire and I put my arms around all my players.
'It has taken a lot of pressure off us and is a great psychological boost - when you are 2-1 down at Everton you fear the worst. Clarke was outstanding. He is only a small lad but he gave the Everton defence all sorts of problems.'
The defeat has probably ruined Everton's hopes in the UEFA Cup next season and manager Joe Royle said: 'There was no hint of what was to come in the last five minutes.
'We have now conceded eight goals in three games, so something is not right. It's a bit of a mystery why we have been conceding goals after keeping clean sheets.'
Guy McEvoy: Wimbledon at home, a team desperate to avoid relegation needs 3 big points and stages a remarkable comeback. Sound familiar?
The first half was a gritty affair. It was soon apparent that it was to be a game of width, wingers from both teams being given the run of the line, Messrs Limpar and Kanchelskis in sparkling form, Hinchcliffe and Hottiger ready for the support, Duncan up in the middle ready to make the most of his aerial prowess and Stuart just behind to float around into space ready to pounce on any gaps. It seemed to have all the ingredients of success but ultimately there proved to be just that small but vital 'something' missing.
Concern came early when Horne gave away a free kick in a nowhere area about 10 yards forward of the half-way line. Prior to the match I'd been listening to Joe on Radio Everton saying he was urging his midfielders to assess where in the field it was worth going for hard nut tackles, the risk of yellow cards and Parkinson style suspensions can have heavy consequences. In the event there was no card for Barry, the punishment was more severe. Vinny Jones (who was mysteriously withdrawn about 15 minutes later) crossed a curling free kick 30 yards where it was met with precision by the head of Marcus Gayle who was given a mystifying amount of space. 1-0.
Like Leeds last week the goal against us seemed to flick a switch. Everton turned it on again and quickly it became not a matter of if we would equalise but when. The breakthrough came within 10 minutes. It was very much a case of "anything you can do we can do better". The free-kick was in a similar position to the Dons goal, Hinchcliffe pushed it short to Limpar whose subsequent cross was met by a mighty leap from Craig Short. Tie-ing the game went some way to making amends for his slack marking in the Wimbledon goal.
In truth we should have gone into half time ahead. Wimbledon were somewhat phased by decisive running down the wings and so chances came. Dunc stuck a header wide from a Hinchcliffe cross, Limpar cut inside and had a forceful strike parried to the feet of Stuart on the edge of the six yard box with the open goal in front and begging. How he hit it over I doubt even he knows. Hands rightly went on head.
Also prior to the half time whistle we had the seemingly now traditional splitting open of Craig Short's head (4 times this season), not as much blood as usual but messy none the less. Consequently, we were reduced to 10 men for the last five minutes but Wimbledon failed to make anything of it.
The second half was heralded with a substitution, Rideout replacing Ebbrell for reasons unknown. Soon after the restart Stuart limped off the field to be replaced by Amo. Initially the changes seemed to pay dividends. Limpar, picked the ball up early on the edge of the box and released it quickly to Amokachi who had overlapped. My heart sank, it had fallen onto Amokachi's left foot. As our most one footed player has recently struggled to provide with his good foot it was with enormous surprise when he managed to deliver a precision lobbed cross to the unmarked Kanchelskis, who managed a header Duncan would be proud of. We were in front. Suddenly everything was fine again, Europe was back in sight and the Street End once more rippled with the Amo "not worthy" wave.
The chanting was short lived. No sooner though had the Park and Street Ends supplies a gutsy performance of "going down, going down" and an even more gutsy - though unnecessary and fate tempting - performance of "your S#*T and your going down" when Hottiger found himself outpaced by Clarke, the ball reached the box, the challenges weren't quick enough and when the ball was laid back to Castledine you knew before he hit it that Wimbledon had pulled level. The going down chants weren't to be heard again.
There then started the Limpar and Kanchelskis show. As the rest of the teams heads visibly lowered the two wingers treated the crowd to the sight of them in full form. Blistering fast runs from Andrei, slithering considered runs from Anders. Indeed, at one point Anders picked up the ball on the edge of the box and struck the hardest dipping shot he's ever managed, the entire Top Balcony and Main Stand erupted for those wonderful 2 seconds until the awkward collective realisation dawned that it had gone into the side netting. Anyway, it was the best goal he never scored.
For all the hard work being put in by the wingers though something was definitely lacking in the middle. Rideout seemed like a fish out of water with the task he'd been given, Horne wasn't his usual self, and Ammo was playing forward with Dunc.
The vulnerability told, a soft corner was conceded, it bobbled in the box, again there was a case of slack marking and the lobbed header proved too much for Southall. The 200 or so away fans (that may be a generous estimate!) were delirious.
The salt was poured in further, when Clarke again kippered Hottiger on the right, made it to the line and provided a fantastic shot to provide inevitably another headed goal. The fourth goal was the pick of the bunch and exactly the kind of move that we should be aspiring to.
About a quarter of the Everton crowd had left before they saw the fourth, perhaps half lasted till the final whistle. Those that did last rightly booed what really is a poor result and then sportingly gave an ovation to the team that taught us a lesson in spirit.
Anyone got an application form for the inter-toto?
Southall 6 - One of those days. Didn't make a notable save and picked the ball from the net four times.
Hottiger 6 - Clarke clearly had the beating of him, his support play with Kanchelskis also seemed lack-lustre. Suspect Joe will stick with him though.
Short 6 - Great goal but must take some responsibility for the first and third, maybe it's the knocks on the head but he seemed to loose his concentration and allow the opposition too much space.
Watson 7 - Looked the stronger of the backs.
Hinchcliffe 7 - Offered Limpar better support coming forward, came up with some good crosses, but also made some daft mistakes. Managed to cover up for his worst mistakes though by making two world class tackles after he'd given the ball away.
Ebbrell 6 - Was apparent for the first quarter but after that I can't really remember him playing much of a role. I guess he must have picked up an injury.
Horne 6 - Started brightly with a wonderful through ball to Kanchelskis very early on but after that his game lowered. Didn't impress.
Stuart 7 - Missed an absolute sitter, other than that though had, as usual, been an important part of Everton's approach play and shown a good work rate, here's hoping his limp isn't anything serious.
Limpar 8 - In good form, great assist for first goal, great vision to find Ammo for the second, very unlucky with a fantastic effort into side netting. All his talent was on show today. Great to watch.
Kanchelskis 8 - Played like an Evertonian. He wanted to win and raised his game when others lagged. Started coming inside, which is something we probably don't see enough of, and really turning it on. Had Wimbledon not been so brave in standing up to his drilled shots he surely would have added to his headed goal. Just shades Limpar for my man of the match.
Ferguson 7 - Started off well, and made chances. Clearly not match fit though and was struggling again at the end.
Rideout 5 - After Stuart went off he played in a totally unsuitable position, an absolute fish out of water, unsure of where he was supposed to be. He'll want to forget this one.
Amokachi 7 - Nice assist, though he did scuff a couple of moves later on. Nevertheless, seeing the old Ammo wave return to the Street End may be the confidence boost he so badly needed.
The referee whose name escapes me was the 5'5 comedy looking bloke with the beard. I think I'm right in saying that we actually saw 90 minutes without a single yellow card!!
San Presland: Thanks for the interesting report Guy, I concur with most of it, disagreeing on the following points:
>Stuart missed an absolute sitter
Yes, definitely a shocking miss...*HOWEVER* it didn't actually matter as the linesman for some mystifying reason had flagged for offside.
> Rideout seemed like a fish out of water
Totally disagree about the assessment of Rideout, his tackling may not have been Ebbrell/Parki standard but he must have put *at least* half a dozen 50-60 yard pin-point accurate balls though to Limpar & Kanchelskis.. (one of the reasons they started breaking so well)
> Clarke again kippered Hottiger on the right
Clarke always seems to do well against us, from the days when he was a Barnet player and long-time linked with us.. .it's funny the way certain players seem to like playing us.. .Andy Impey of QPR always turns it on, .Ian Wright, of course. .Mark Bright. .Lee Sharpe
> The Everton crowd ... sportingly gave an ovation to the side that taught us a lesson in team spirit.
I don't care what people say, what Wimbledon achieve is incredible. One would have assumed over the years, going through from 'Harry' Bassett, Bobby Gould, Joe Kinnear etc. and losing their 'main men' Fashanu, Jones (periodically), Wise, etc. (not to mention Plough Lane) they would have lost the amazing 'team spirit' that keeps them going when others falter, but no.
By Derick Allsop, Electronic Telegraph
WIMBLEDON eked out a priceless victory in their labours for Premiership survival and, in the process, mocked Everton's European aspirations.
Everton came from two goals down in this fixture two seasons ago to win their salvation. Yesterday's result could prove equally crucial to Wimbledon's cause.
The Wimbledon manager, Joe Kinnear, never a man given to understatement, said: "This is a fantastic result for us. Amazing. It's taken a hell of a lot of pressure off. The dressing room is on fire. I think this has given us another year in the Premiership.
"Considering the week we've had, out of the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, players out, 2-1 down and then to come back like that, to get three unbelievable points, well. . . It was Andy Clarke's first game for six weeks and I thought he gave them a nightmare."
Everton lacked the extra dimension Clarke provided, depending, as usual, on the aerial expertise of Duncan Ferguson. But for all his flicks and head-downs, and the unfettered marauding of Andrei Kanchelskis, Wimbledon came to terms with their task and might have gained a decisive hold on the match long before the hectic finale.
Having conceded an early lead and recovered from a 2-1 deficit, they seemed content to settle for a point. Everton knew a draw would have offered their UEFA Cup ambitions scant encouragement. In the event, defeat inflicted a savage blow.
Everton's manager, Joe Royle, said: "Strange. There was no hint of what was to come with five minutes to go. But we've conceded eight in three games so something is not right. I don't know why we're conceding goals, it's a bit of a mystery."
Wimbledon demonstrated the simple art of exploiting a static defence in the 12th minute. Vinnie Jones delivered a routine free kick and the unattended Marcus Gayle headed past Neville Southall.
Everton followed suit nine minutes later. Anders Limpar chipped the ball towards the Wimbledon far post and Craig Short climbed highest to equalise.
Almost before Goodison had savoured the relief, confusion between Southall and John Ebbrell nearly presented Wimbledon with the lead again. Neil Sullivan was barely more assured defying Kanchelskis and Limpar, and Southall was spared further embarrassment by Dave Watson's block from Robbie Earle.
Everton's persistence with the cross ball was rewarded in the 61st minute. The substitute, Daniel Amokachi, centred from the left and Kanchelskis directed his header low into the near corner.
Wimbledon were level within four minutes. Gayle made light of Marc Hitter's resistance and provided the ball in. Jon Goodman and Clarke retained possession and Stewart Castledine scored.
Limpar thrashed a shot into the side net, Paul Rideout pulled another wide, but it was Wimbledon who produced the devastating finish. Southall and company failed to cope with Alan Kimble's cross and Clarke headed over the mayhem. Two minutes from the end, Clarke crossed to the far post and Goodman headed in.
Electronic Telegraph is a Registered Service Mark of The Telegraph plc
By Martin Searby, The Sunday Times
FOUR FURTHER wins in the dying days of the season would be a tall order for any club, but for one that has managed only seven in the previous 31 games it is a task of greater magnitude than Wimbledon should be able to contemplate.
Yet the management's demand and their workmanlike performance against an Everton side losing for only the second time in 13 starts mean the improbable may be possible if the headers from Clarke and Goodman in the last five minutes can inject the confidence that has been notably lacking.
Unfashionable and unloved, Wimbledon's demise would be mourned by few, judging by attendances. Their 13,386 average is the lowest in the Premier League and their sobriquet The Crazy Gang is a cruel parody of a group of rather vulgar comedians who were almost a permanent fixture at London's Victoria Palace but who, in contrast, were extremely popular in the post-war years.
Everton, of course, owe their own survival to the Dons who threw away a two-goal lead two seasons ago which allowed them to escape relegation for the first time in 40 years. Now the debt is repaid.
Joe Kinnear, their manager, has set a target of 39 points to stay up and, for once, had almost a full squad, Holdsworth pulling out before the start and Jones substituted after 28 minutes suffering from flu. If ever a side needed to be out of the Cup to concentrate on the League it was Wimbledon, and their midweek quarter-final defeat by Chelsea may turn out to be a well-disguised blessing.
"The dressing room is on fire and you just don't know what a big result this is for us and what a great psychological boost we will have for the final run-in," a delighted Kinnear said. "I was proud of the way we dug in and kept going, and to take the points from a big club like this has done us the power of good."
They have yet to play Coventry and Southampton, fellow strugglers, so destiny is very much in their own hands, and despite taking only nine points out of the previous 30 they were still good enough to gladden Everton hearts by beating Liverpool at home and taking a point on their visit half a mile across Stanley Park; too many teams have underrated the Dons, and Everton ultimately did the same.
The Londoners made the early running but were almost caught out by a superb ball from deep that found Kanchelskis, and it was a very fine tackle by Perry which stopped the flying winger before he could inflict further damage.
After a low-key start Wimbledon went in front with the greatest of ease, Gayle taking advantage of a free header from a Jones free kick awarded for Horne's trip on Earle; the simplest of manoeuvres. Everton's equaliser was almost an action replay with Limpar accepting a short free kick and clipping a ball into the box for Short to out-jump everybody at the far post.
Still in disarray at the back, Limpar cut the ball into the path of Stuart only for the leading scorer to somehow put the ball over the bar from inside the six-yard box as he slid in. In a game of more incident than quality it was Everton's turn to survive when Clarke curled a left-wing cross into the path of Earle, whose powerful shot was blocked by Watson diving at his feet.
Everton made a change for the second half with Rideout replacing Ebbrell, whose ankle was troubling him, and Stuart dropped into a deeper role. Wimbledon continued to concentrate on getting men behind the ball and mounting counter-attacks, which were given added potency by the size and endeavour of Gayle and Clarke, the front-runners. Unfortunately, their first touch let them down too often and the Everton back four were given a second bite, although not in the three-minute spell which won the game.
"There is obviously something wrong at the back after we have given away eight goals in three games," Joe Royle, the Everton manager, said. "But it is a bit of a puzzle really because it's the same personnel who kept so many clean sheets earlier in the season. One or two players were limping a bit during the game and we were left limping too after those two goals went in. There is no explanation for it, we just went to sleep."
In an effort to give Ferguson more robust support, Everton brought on Amokachi, and his pace proved the telling factor when Everton broke what looked like an ongoing stalemate. His chip from the byline was judged to perfection for Kanchelskis to nod into the empty net. But if Wimbledon's defence had gone missing Everton's was lost in space as Clarke and Gayle teed up Castledine to equalise from around the penalty spot and throw his team a lifebelt they gladly seized.
It would be an unwise man who backed Wimbledon to join Bolton and QPR in the First Division next season. There is plenty of life in the great unwanted yet.
By Mark Hodkinson, The Times
TEAM spirit is like wisdom, health, love and youth it cannot be bought. Coveted by all, achieved by few, it is the only real strand of romanticism remaining in the modern game. It is a paradox that while Wimbledon's style and etiquette are unapologetically raw, their camaraderie has a marvellously old-fashioned charm.
When a Wimbledon player mistimed a pass on Saturday, or failed to control the ball, there was always a pat on the back or a word of consolation from a colleague. Everton, in contrast, were far less congenial. Especially Kanchelskis, who grumbled and gesticulated every time the ball was not placed onto his instep.
Joe Kinnear, the Wimbledon manager, was fervent in his praise. "The dressing-room is on fire. I have just put my arms around every one of my players," he said. "You don't know how big this result is to us. We are a small club without a lot of money and resources and to come to a massive club like this and get a result is fantastic."
He singled out the endeavour of Andy Clarke. Appropriately so. "I thought he gave their defenders a nightmare," Kinnear said. That was a rare understatement. Clarke, shoulders rolling, feet shuffling, had run selflessly across the front line, a spirit that Watson and Short were unable to exorcise.
Joe Royle, the Everton manager, chose unusual adjectives to describe the game. "There is a strange atmosphere out there," he said. "I cannot really explain it. We have just started conceding goals. It has become mysterious to me why this is happening."
The game's first two goals came from the same template. Jones floated a free kick to Gayle and he headed past Southall. Ten minutes later, Limpar plagiarised the move and Short supplied the finish.
If Kanchelskis and Limpar were reluctant to release the ball, preferring instead to shape their own personal glory, Wimbledon were politeness itself, often passing across the goal when a shot was necessary.
Jones, guilty of some erratic passing, was substituted before half-time. He kissed his replacement, Castledine, on the cheek and punched him on the arm. Team spirit clearly moves in mysterious ways at Wimbledon.
Everton took the lead when Amokachi crossed for Kanchelskis to head home. Within minutes, Castledine drove the ball past Southall. Limpar appeared to restore the lead for Everton but his fierce shot went into the side-netting. There were, however, itchy fingers at the control panel of the electronic scoreboard and the Everton players had to endure the word "goal" being flashed repeatedly before their eyes as Sullivan dutifully took a goal kick.
With five minutes remaining, Clarke stole a goal, his header dallying between Southall's gloves and the crossbar before dropping into the net. Soon afterwards Clarke made the byline, crossed to the far post, and Goodman, another substitute, nodded home.
At the final whistle, Clarke, with a smile that flashed unadulterated elation, looked to the skies. Effort, enterprise and harmony had brought Wimbledon a deserved win, and probably secured their place in the FA Carling Premiership for another season.
CarlingNet: Andy Clarke destroyed Everton and possibly ruined their hopes of a place in the UEFA cup next season.
The Wimbledon striker pulled the struggling Londoners ahead after 85 minutes then set up the fourth goal for sub Jon Goodman with two minutes to go.
It was an astonishing turn around but Wimbledon thoroughly deserved their victory after carving out the better chances and showed little signs of wilting after the midweek FA Cup defeat at Chelsea.
Wimbledon took the lead after just 12 minutes with a simple goal and manager Joe Royle will be asking questions of his Everton defence.
After Barry Horne was penalised for a foul on Efan Ekoku, Vinnie Jones floated in a free kick and Marcus Gayle headed beyond keeper Neville Southall.
Everton equalised after 21 minutes when Craig Short headed in a cross from Anders Limpar after he had latched onto a free kick from Andy Hinchcliffe.
Wimbledon lost Jones with an injury after 28 minutes and the Welsh international was replaced by Stewart Castledine. It seemed to be a blow for Wimbledon but Castledine made an impressive contribution.
Everton went ahead after 61 minutes when Limpar fed substitute Daniel Amokachi and his pinpoint cross was powerfully headed home by Andrei Kanchelskis.
That goal only seemed to inspire Wimbledon and they levelled after 65 minutes when Gayle's cross was headed down by Goodman. Clarke was unable to get in a shot and turned it back to Castledine, who made no mistake.
Everton's fans appeared to believe that Limpar had regained the lead for Everton when his thundering shot finished in the side netting and the word ``goal'' flashed up on the scoreboard.
Then Wimbledon clinched the points and eased their FA Carling Premiership relegation fears with a sudden late flurry. Clarke put them back in front with five minutes to go after Southall got a hand to a corner from Dean Blackwell. The ball broke to Clarke and although the Everton keeper touched his header, he could not prevent it going into the net.
Everton's misery was complete with two minutes to go when Goodman headed in at the far post following a corner from man of the match Clarke.
Next Match: Blackburn Rovers v EvertonThis page was prepared by Michael Kenrick for Marko Poutiainen's Everton Web Site using HTML Author. Last modified on 03/26/96.