Coventry City Logo Coventry City 0 - 0 Everton
Half-time: 0 - 0
Everton Logo
FA Carling Premiership 97/98 - Game 11
Saturday 25 October 1997
Highfield Road, Coventry
Att: 18,760
Liverpool (h) Ref: Steven Lodge Southampton (h)
1997-98 Fixtures & Results League Position: 16th Premiership Results & Table
MATCH FACTS
  GOALSCORERS Debuts
Coventry City: --
EVERTON: --
  LINEUPS Subs Not Used
Coventry City: Ogrizovic, Shaw, Burrows, Williams, Huckerby, McAllister, Salako (Johansen, 75), Soltvedt, Haworth, Hall, Nilsson. Hedman, Boland, Lightbourne, Strachan.
EVERTON: Southall, Barrett, Hinchcliffe, Watson, Short, Williamson, Speed, Oster, Stuart, Ferguson, Cadamarteri (70 Barmby).
Unavailable: Parkinson, Grant, Branch, Farrelly, Allen, Thomas (Injured). Bilic, Phelan, Ball ,Dunne (International Duty).
Gerrard, O'Connor, McCann, Jevons.
  Yellow Cards Red Cards
Coventry City: Huckerby. --
EVERTON: Williamson, Ferguson, Barrett. --

 
MATCH REPORTS
REPORTS BY EVERTON FANS
Guy McEvoy Good value for money
Peter Griffiths View from the other side
Cary Johnson Almost unrecognisable
NEWSPAPER REPORTS
THE SUNDAY TIMES Everton keep a grip on Huckerby
by Kevin Connolly
THE TIMES Keeping young guns silent
by Peter Robinson
ELECTRONIC TELEGRAPH Veteran goalkeepers ensure a stalemate
by Derek Potter
THE GUARDIAN No mutiny, but little bounty
by Mark Redding
OTHER INTERNET REPORTS
SOCCERNET Link to SoccerNet Match Report
CARLINGNET Link to CarlingNet Match Report

 
Good value for money
Guy McEvoy
 
An unexplainably congested M6 meant that I needed every last minute of the extra hour I'd given myself for the journey.  I made my way into Highfield Road just as a team unchanged from last Saturday made it's way onto the pitch.  Coventry, as always, came out to the strains of 70's 'classic' "Mr Blue Sky"; and there was an Evertonian, bless him, as I made my way into the stands who sang every word with gusto (seriously, at the very top of his voice) and managed to disco dance along at the same time.  We have some funny ones amongst our number.

I like Coventry's ground.  Sticking the away fans to the side means that you at least get a decent enough view of the action.  Normally.  This time I was stuck with a pig of a pillar completely obscuring my view of the goal that Everton where attacking in the first half.  This, encouragingly, meant that I missed quite a bit.

First Half

Both teams quickly set out their stalls.  It was to be a pacy open game, fast passing and fast breaks.  No-one had any intention of sitting on the ball for very long yet, despite the direct nature of the game, neither team particularly gave way to the temptation for long ball stuff.  Entertaining.

Within moments of the kick-off, Earl 'Pele' Barrett was charging down the wing skinning everyone and laying on our first decent chance.  Coventry quickly made it clear that this was never going to be a one sided game with a double effort, the first deflected away by Hinchcliffe, the second hit wide by McaLlister.

Despite Coventry's openings, it was clear that Southall was on form with a series of competent saves.  Unfortunately for us the old bloke at the other end was also bang in form.  Our best chance of the half came when Oster exposed a gap and played through a neat pass, expertly dummied by Stuart giving Ferguson a clear sight of goal. Ogrizovic made himself a big enough target though to hold onto it.

The other convincing effort in the half came when the big Scott flicked on to Cadamarteri, it was the youngsters only serious shot of the game and it whistled inches wide.

Second Half

The beginning of the second half didn't bode too well for us.  Within minutes of the kick-off Coventry could have and should have two-nil up.  Firstly, Huckerby did all the hard work before fluffing the shot, and then McaLlister hit over with practically an open net.  Everton were let off, and thankfully regained their composure.

Oster led the charge.  He had been a joy to watch all afternoon.  His technical ability was second to no one on the park.  Indeed, some of his first touches made grown men drool.  In addition to that, he was defensively outstanding as well.  He tackles and jockey's his men, I swear, better than Parkinson.  Talk about making the game look easy.  When he turned it on, Everton's chances came.  He almost got on the score sheet himself with another run through the defence; he blasted it against the near post, the rebound came out and hit the keeper but bounced back on the wrong side of the post for a corner.  He even later had the cheek to try an arrogant lob which had it dropped a quarter second earlier would seriously have ruined Ogrizovic's day.

Now we were able to step up a gear, our fans got behind us (the most chants of the 'Duncan Ferguson' song I've heard all season, and a reasonable rendition of 'Royal Blue Jersey').  In response to the song we so nearly got on the score sheet.  A free kick wide of the area was met unconvincingly by Watson, Ferguson made it first to the loose high ball, his shot donkey dropped onto the top of the bar and bounced back out into the path of Short who seemingly now had an open goal two yards in front of him, somehow though Coventry got a body in the way to clear.  It was agony to watch.

Both teams continued to trade blows, and both keepers continued to defy their years.  In an effort to find a fresh pair of legs Danny Cadamarteri made way for Barmby.

The move of the game came when Ferguson chipped a pass to Stuart 15 yards from the centre of the goal, his overhead bicycle kick was well connected and on target.  That bloody man managed to get a hand to it yet again.

With that, everyone was just cursing how Everton simply should be winning when Coventry pulled out yet another crystal-clear chance.  Another chance for Southall to shine.

The game was justly billed as a tale of two ageing keepers, both were indeed outstanding.  Despite the lack of goals, the game was good value for money. On balance you have to say that Everton had the better of it and could have finally got that elusive away win.  It wasn't to be though and we should take comfort in the marked improvement in our game over the space of just ten days.  Coventry played well, we contained it and played better.  We have a point to show for our troubles and that is something to build on.

Individual Performances

  • Southall 9 - Vintage.
  • Barrett 7 - Started off exceptionally well, made some good attacking runs and laid on some chances. Showed a much better understanding with Stuart than normal, but was much quieter in the second half.
  • Watson 7 - Good enough, but again shown up for pace, particularly by Huckerby.
  • Short 7 - Another good game. His charges down the field give us a much needed new avenue of attack.
  • Hinchcliffe 7 - Good deadball delivery, good defending. Sometimes drifted well out of position leaving gaps.
  • Williamson 7 - Quietly very effective. He gets the ball, and gets rid, usually with an intelligent pass into space. This gives us a chance to advance. Picked up a yellow card.
  • Speed 7 - Combined well with Williamson, they look a useful unit. Also was unlucky with a long distance effort.
  • Oster 9 - Just nips Nev for my man of the match. Instrumental in all our good play. If we can just improve his positional sense then we'll have a world beater.
  • Stuart 7 - He warmed up as the game went on. Despite the slow start by the end he was firing on all cylinders and it looked like Diamond back at his best.
  • Ferguson 8 - Carried on where he left off last week. Unlucky not to be on the sheet having etched himself out three good chances. More of the same next week please.
  • Cadamarteri 6 - Found it more difficult to get in the game today. It seems the secret is out and he's getting more attention. One shot, one good meaningful run, one honest shout for a penalty.
  • Barmby 6 - Brought on presumably as a fresh pair of legs, but looked as knackered as everyone else. Disappointment.

 
View from the other side
Peter Griffiths
 
I ended on the opposite side of the ground to the Everton fans yesterday after being given some tickets at the last moment.  This gave me a good view of the support the team was given, and an insight into how some of the Cov/Neutral fans saw the match.

I thought we just about deserved to win.  My son grumbled as we came away from the game that if we had been Man U or Arsenal with the chances we had had, we would have scored about 4.  There is still a lack of confidence in front of goal and, whilst I would have said Duncan played even better than he did in the derby, he only shot once that I can remember. It has to be said that a few times we were just plain unlucky in front of goal and a couple of times, lucky at the back.

We did have the better of the possession, particularly in the first half.  Coventry always break well and we always looked like we might get caught, particularly be Huckerby.  We played 4-4-2 but obviously with the wide midfield man having instructions to make sure they got back to help the defence.  Graham Stuart getting back to help Earl and Williamson and Speed helping Hinchey.  This worked pretty well most of the time and we are now a much better passing side and we can keep possession and control reasonably well at times.

A Derby fan said to me at the end that Coventry were there for the taking and we just did not do it.  The Coventry fans thought that it had been a fair result.  The Everton people I was with thought we should have won which I think shows that we probably had the dominance but obviously could not score (though at times the Lord knows how we didn't.)  On Sky, Strachan thought the draw was about right and Howard thought we had enough chances to win.

On MotD, the game was described as a high action 0-0 draw.  Lawrenson said neither side could master the midfield but I thought for periods we did.  Sky found about another half dozen near misses that were not on the MotD bits.  Match of the Day highlighted that two old goalkeepers had dominated the match, 79 years old between them.  The blunt truth is that we would probably have lost if we had played Paul Gerrard.  (I think Paul might be OK in the long term but after seeing him at Coventry 10 days ago and seeing the reports of the mini-derby, his lack of confidence at the moment and his flapping around effects the rest of the defence.)

Earl had his best game this season being tight in defence and better (though not brilliant) going forward.  He was back to an 80-1 bet for the first goal and so I had a usual quid.  Someone with us said that they had once discussed his long odds with Joe Royle and asked what he thought of the bet.  Joe had said that if he was ever in front of a firing squad, he would hope that Earl was doing the shooting!  Perhaps the bookies are not so stupid.

Dave Watson was excellent in defence.  Again, although he has lost some of his pace, his reading of the game prevents him being exposed too often and that takes some doing when you face a Coventry type of attack.

Duncan played excellently. Compared to 10 days ago at Highfield Road he looked keen, he had some really subtle flicks and passes to the other forwards but went in to a header with his arms up at the end and got booked.  The Duncan song was the one most sung by the everton away contingent (and could be heard clearly on the tele.)  Duncan was certainly one of our best players yesterday whereas 10 days ago, and even bearing in mind he was returning from injury, he was anonymous.

Danny tried to go on from the derby but with nothing breaking for him. He was a handful and always looked like he might make something happen.  I must admit that we all did not think his penalty was a penalty at the match.  he MotD cameras were on the other side of the ground and it looked a much better shout on TV.   It must be difficult sometimes for the ref.  (Some of the corners and throw-ins looked obviously wrong.)

Danny Williamson is playing better and better but there is no point in getting booked for arguing with the ref. Now the other players do seem to look for Elvis in midfield and seem to expect him to get control and try to run the game.  Oster again, without being dominant in most games, is becoming a reliable contributor.  In addition to shooting against the post, he had another good lob yesterday that almost beat Oggi but it did not make the MotD highlights.

Stuart worked amazingly hard as he usually does and had another very good game.  Gary Speed, although not back to his best form of last season, was good in defence. Short and Hinchey had what you might call solid games.  Neither looks totally in control defending at the moment but Hinchey does seem to be getting better and more confidence going forward.  His crosses and corners are now back on form.

I too saw Ian Ross on 'Hold The Back Page' that Dr Preston mentioned.  One point he made on that programme was that on Merseyside, when things go against the team, the fans tend to criticise the local lads. (Do we? We criticise everyone!)  One way of diverting criticism as a manager is to pick kids as no one will get too angry with kids when they first come into the team.  He thought that Howard had done this with success at Everton and that's what Roy Evans should now do to get the 'monkey off his shoulder' at Liverpool.

The next time we play the Sky Blues, FA Cup excepted, will be the last game of the season.   I should think that as usual, they will be looking for a couple of points to stay in the Premier League (and Strachan might be in Portugal).  I now have a bit more confidence that we might be OK by then.   We have a couple of points on the bottom 3 and a game in hand.  Unfortunately, I will miss the Southampton game but that is now very important in keeping us 'soaring' away from trouble.  We are still early enough in the season for about 3 wins to gain us about 10 places but we have 3 away matches after Southampton.

Andy Myers, the press officer, came on David Mellor's radio programme to explain that auctioning off the 'wrong stripe' strip had got over 5,000 for Alderhay Hospital and to thank the fans for their support.  The support was impressive and loud from the other side of the ground.  Oh and they must have played OK, they did not have to warm down afterwards! Several players did go to the centre circle and thank the away fans which is also a step forward.  That used to be one of Unsie's duties.  Gary Speed and Craig Short now have the habit.


 
Almost unrecognisable
Cary Johnson
 
Saturday saw the boys in blue return to the scene of the crime from the previous week; after some of the worst football I have ever seen an Everton team serve up, they had more than a point or seven to prove...

At first I feared the worst as Coventry attempted to carry on where they left off, with a few swift attacks that thanks to Southall didn't end up in the back of the net.  Everton responded through Earl Barrett of all people, with a strong run down the right wing, riding a number of tackles and lunges from the defence before drawing a save out of Ogrizovic.

Coventry continued to press, but this was weathered by the Everton defence that looked solid, with other players willing to come back and help out when the need arose.

From this foundation, Everton's confidence visibly grew and they played their way into the game, with Hinchcliffe in particular showing the form that earned him a place in the England team.  This led to two good chances for the front pair:  Stuart dummied over a cross which allowed Ferguson to shoot first time, only for Ogrizovic to get down well and parry his shot away; then a knock down from Ferguson presented Cadamarteri with a clear shot that he put just wide of the post.

After the interval, Coventry got back into the game creating a number of half chances around the Everton penalty area, all of which fell to the ageing McAllister who has the uncanny ability to miss the target every time he shoots.  I swear even Neville decided it wasn't worth making an effort to stop the ball, as it was only going to end up in the crowd.

Again, Everton played their way back into the game and began to dominate, especially Ferguson who was magnificent in the air all afternoon, wreaking havoc in the Coventry defence.  During this sustained period of attack, Everton had numerous chances to score: a long range shot from Speed that dipped and bounced, causing Ogrizovic to make a fine save to prevent a goal; a header from Ferguson from a corner that hit the bar followed by headers from Short and Watson (I think!) who couldn't manage to force the ball over the line; an outrageous chip from Oster when Ogrizovic was out of position that only just went wide (goal of the season material if it had gone in); an audacious overhead kick from Stuart no less which had Ogrizovic stretching yet again; and a masterful header from Duncan that produced a wonderful save from Ogrizovic.

Coventry had the chance to win the match late on when the substitute Johansen was put through on goal, but Neville came out and smothered his shot.

At the final whistle I was bursting with frustration as we had gone so near and yet we had only managed a point.  The players were unrecognisable to the ones who appeared (I won't say played) in the Coca-Cola Cup, but it is games like this that we HAVE to win. Perhaps if our 3,500-4,000 supporters had been behind the goal rather than to the side, we may have been able to interfere with the laws of physics and suck the ball into the net.

This was a strong team performance, with all of the players working for each other. Man of the match though has to go to Ogrizovic.

Did anyone else hear our mysterious PR bloke, Alan Myers, thanking the fans on Radio 5 for the support they gave? Perhaps the team's recent performances has caused the non-playing staff at Everton to buck their ideas up as well (there was even only one spelling mistake on the envelopes my tickets came in!).


 
Everton keep a grip on Huckerby
by Kevin Connolly, The Sunday Times
 
EVERTON'S travelling fans came in their thousands to see if last weekend's derby win over Liverpool was more than a one-off.  Everton have enjoyed more creative days, but no one could fault their commitment.  That was what Howard Kendall demanded after Everton's Coca-Cola Cup disaster on this ground.

"I couldn't fault the players," said Kendall.  "But we're looking for a longer run than two games.  I hope the players realise how they have gained these two results, with grit and a high skill level."

Injuries and suspensions have hit Coventry.  It would have been hard on them had they not claimed a point. They included the game's most menacing forward, Darren Huckerby, and the outstanding defender, Paul Williams, who gradually subdued Duncan Ferguson.

"We started well in each half and created some good chances.  But we need to keep the ball better and show more variation if we are to progress," said Coventry's Gordon Strachan.

Strachan will be delighted to have more players available too.  Top scorer Dion Dublin was sitting out the last game of a three-match suspension, while Paul Telfer, Liam Daish and Noel Whelan are long-term casualties.

So it was no surprise that, on the strength of one reserve outing, Coventry rushed back Huckerby after ankle trouble to partner Dublin's deputy, Simon Haworth.  "Darren has pace to burn and can give us the unexpected," said Strachan.  "He just needs to be more polished."

Huckerby's pace set up chance after chance, starting early when Trond Soltvedt's shot was blocked.  That was a warning for Everton to watch the young striker's runs.  Huckerby, bursting through again, had a shot deflected into the side netting.  From the corner, Neville Southall beat out Williams' shot.

Everton's approach was typically direct.  They looked for Ferguson at the earliest opportunity.  The equally muscular Williams took responsibility for jumping with him and they were soon exchanging harsh words. "I think they have got respect for each other now," said Strachan.

Coventry offered a more physical challenge than Liverpool. Williams and Richard Shaw seemed to relish the contest.  Everton restricted Coventry's wide men, Marcus Hall and John Salako, but they could rarely bring their own wingers into play.  Too many of their crosses were hit from deep by Earl Barrett.

Neither Gary McAllister nor Gary Speed could stamp his authority as both sides repeatedly bypassed midfield. Even so, when early passes freed Huckerby he was full of danger.  Southall saved low to deny him.  Then Haworth's shot cleared the bar after Hall briefly escaped on the left.

John Oster's first chance to dribble almost proved crucial, setting up Ferguson to draw an acrobatic save from Steve Ogrizovic.  Danny Cadamarteri blasted wide from Ferguson's header soon after.  It was the first time Coventry had allowed the Scot a clear jump.

Coventry clearly missed Dublin, for his heading power in both boxes and his understanding with Huckerby. When the Sky Blues found Haworth he could not hold the ball long enough to feed off him.  But Huckerby, receiving from Hall, gave Everton a reminder as the second half began, cutting in past Dave Watson and Craig Short before shooting wastefully.

Everton dominated territorially but created few clear-cut chances.  One of their best came from a Coventry mistake.  Speed robbed Soltvedt and his shot was tipped away acrobatically by Ogrizovic.  Huckerby kept stretching Everton.  His neat pass offered Soltvedt a shooting chance but the angle was too tight.

Williams and Shaw kept blocking Ferguson so Cadamarteri had few knockdowns to chase.  The teenager drifted to the right flank but could find no space and was replaced by Nick Barmby.  Life is not all about goals in Merseyside derbies.  Huckerby was still galvanic. He outsprinted Watson yet again and this time Southall palmed out Haworth's shot on the turn.

But Everton always threatened at dead-ball kicks.  "You don't give away silly free-kicks against them," said Strachan, who was relieved to escape from one Andy Hinchcliffe delivery.  Watson rose unchallenged for a header that Ogrizovic knocked out and Ferguson nodded the rebound against the bar.

Ogrizovic punched away Graham Stuart's snap overhead kick, while his fellow veteran Southall saved at Martin Johansen's feet.  They were the final chances.  So both sides took a point which offered satisfaction to each manager.  Everton still have not won an away league match since December 16, but Kendall said: "If we keep playing like this that win will come."

Report Times Newspapers Ltd

 
Keeping young guns silent
by Peter Robinson, The Times
 
FOOTBALL, they say, is a young man's game and it's true that the likes of Giggs and Beckham, Redknapp and Fowler are its most marketable stars, but in Coventry on Saturday, the middle-aged masses had their revenge. Two of their number stood up and silenced anybody careless enough to whisper that the game belongs to the teenyboppers, the young guns or the Spice Boys.

At one end of the pitch was Steve Ogrizovic, 40 years young, big face, big hands; at the other, Neville Southall, a slip of a lad at 39, just big.  Theirs was an extended rendition of Anything you can do, I can do better, a polished, word-perfect routine that was more music hall than Top of the Pops and none the worse for that. Neither is exactly bedroom poster material – it would be like having a huge picture of your dad looming over the Duvet – but they were still heroes.

There were 20 others on the field at Highfield Road, but try as they might, they simply made up an energetic supporting cast, frenetically charging from one end to the other to ensure each goalkeeper got his turn in the spotlight.  Ferguson was menacing, Oster elusive, Stuart sharp and sensible; Huckerby led the Coventry company, pacy and direct, ably supported by Hall and Haworth.  None could score.  Although Ferguson and Oster struck woodwork, Shaw cleared off the line and Cadamarteri was denied a justifiable penalty, there was usually an outstretched Ogrizovic hand or the massive presence of Southall in the way.

"Oggy was magnificent," Howard Kendall, the Everton manager, said afterwards, echoing general praise.  "He just keeps going on and on, as Nev does.  Neville was the best in the world and he is still a top-class goalkeeper.  They both are."  Nobody asked Kendall or Gordon Strachan, his opposite number, how either could be replaced, it seemed a silly question.  Both will surely be fixtures for as long as they want.

Kendall was a satisfied man and he had every right to be.  Ten days earlier, Everton had reached their nadir at Coventry, a 4-1 defeat in the Coca-Cola Cup sparking a confrontation between manager and players on the pitch.  This was more like it, a competitive display that perhaps deserved three points, not one, with Ferguson earning acclaim from friend and foe for his marauding performance, although a goal, made or scored, would have been nice.

That, though, would have meant beating Ogrizovic and that proved beyond him, fine saves stopping, in particular, a first-half shot and a second-half header.  Southall's best was saved for last, blocking Johansen late on, but by then the wonder was not that the save was made, but that anybody was still fool enough to believe that it wouldn't be.

Report Times Newspapers Ltd

 
Veteran goalkeepers ensure a stalemate
Derek Potter, Electronic Telegraph
 
TWO battling teams failed to produce the goal at Highfield Road that would have rewarded their endeavours and lifted, if only partially, the cloud of gloom and frustration hovering over both clubs.  Though Everton finished the stronger-looking team, it was a staunch performance by Coventry in a game dominated by two veteran goalkeepers.  Coventry fought to the finish, but were unable to reward their patient supporters stunned by last Monday's 2-0 defeat at Barnsley.

And with Everton beaten 4-1 by Coventry in the Coca-Cola Cup at Highfield Road 11 days ago, both sides were in urgent need of quality performances in yesterday's Premiership clash.  Everton repaired much of their damage by beating Liverpool 2-0 the following Saturday after their normally tolerant manager, Howard Kendall – angered by the Cup defeat – had demanded "passion and commitment".

Everton's defence answered the demands, with veteran goalkeeper Neville Southall in inspired form to crush City's attempt at an early breakthrough.  Southall, at 39 a year junior to Coventry's goalkeeper, Steve Ogrizovic, fears his Everton career is near the end.  But saves from Darren Huckerby (twice) and Paul Williams underlined Southall's determination to retain his No 1 rating ahead of Paul Gerrard, who replaced him earlier this season.

Ogrizovic also displayed his skills with a body block to prevent a crucial breakthrough for Everton in the 22nd minute, seconds after Simon Haworth swept a pass by Marcus Hall over the Everton bar.  Danny Cadamarteri, 18, set up by Andy Hinchcliffe, was only inches off claiming his sixth goal in seven exciting starts.

Despite having only limited rehabilitation at reserve team level after five weeks' lack of fitness with an ankle injury, Huckerby bravely took on two defenders in an ambitious, sudden raid early in the second half. Huckerby surged past two Everton men only to loft his shot over the bar.  Gary McAllister shook his fist in anger at his failure to go even closer seconds later as both teams tackled the task of unhinging rugged defences with fresh vigour.

Duncan Ferguson chipped a shot against the bar during a fierce goal-mouth scrimmage and then the giant Scot saw a perfectly placed header from a cross by Paul Williams (???) saved by an agile leap from Ogrizovic.  It was a fierce response by Everton to an equally inspiring one-handed save by Southall from Haworth.

Report The Electronic Telegraph

 
No mutiny, but little bounty
by Mark Redding, The Guardian
 
There was a mutiny the last time Everton played at Highfield Road, so they were very much inclined to count this placid scoreless draw an improvement.  What few signs of rebellion there were came from pockets of disgruntled home supporters, who could hardly have been blamed had they decided to march on to the pitch demanding to know why the few chances Coventry City created were being routinely missed.

Not that Everton were any more reliable themselves when it came to breaking the stalemate.  Howard Kendall's team are more unpredictable than the Labour Party's currency policy and twice as volatile as the Stock Exchange.

It was only 10 days previously that Everton succumbed to a 4-1 defeat in the Coca-Cola Cup at Coventry and stormed off down the tunnel when told by their manager to put in some extra training on the pitch.  Three days later they played like champions and pounded Liverpool 2-0.

It said a lot for Kendall's qualities of man management that he had been prepared to let bygones be bygones and stick with his mutinous players.  "I'm a lot happier than on my last visit here," he smiled.  "What was most pleasing was that the team carried on the spirit of the derby game, and that gives us something to build on."

Asked if the Coca-Cola Cup nadir might have helped clear the decks for a fresh start this season, Kendall demurred.  "I don't think it was any sort of turning point, it was just a disaster.  The game against Liverpool could be more of a turning point in terms of being more consistent and picking up points."

Craig Short, whom fate had cast in the role of Fletcher Christian on the night of the mutiny, was now on the side of the boss.  "It remains to be seen whether the Coca-Cola Cup was a turning point, though it was definitely the lowest point of my career.  But if we can get decent results in our next two games against Southampton and Blackburn then we could look back and think perhaps it was."

Facing a major refit of the good ship Goodison, Kendall has a long way to go before things are Bristol fashion again, and this goalless draw was always on the charts.  After all, Everton have not won away in the Premiership since December, Coventry have scored only eight goals in the league and the same fixture last season had produced the same result.

On top of that the two teams were remarkably similar and tended to cancel each other out.  Each had a veteran goalkeeper in decent form, a well-organised defence and, in Danny Cadamarteri for the visitors and Darren Huckerby for the home side, an exciting young striker capable of turning the game.

Report The Guardian

 
FA CARLING PREMIERSHIP
RESULTS  (Game 12)
Monday 27 October 1997
LEICESTER CITY          2-1    WEST HAM UNITED           20,201
Heskey(16) Marshall(82)        Berkovic(58)
Sunday 26 October 1997
ARSENAL                 0-0    ASTON VILLA               38,061

BOLTON WANDERERS        1-0    CHELSEA                   24,080
Holdsworth(72)
Saturday 25 October 1997
COVENTRY CITY           0-0    EVERTON                   18,760

LIVERPOOL               4-0    DERBY COUNTY              38,017
Fowler(27,84) Leonhardsen(65) 
McManaman(88)
MANCHESTER UNITED 7-0 BARNSLEY 55,142 Cole(17,19,45) Giggs(43,56)
Scholes(59) Poborsky(80)
NEWCASTLE UNITED 1-1 BLACKBURN ROVERS 36,716 Gillespie(27) Sutton(59) SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY 1-3 CRYSTAL PALACE 22,072 Collins(57) Hreidarsson(27) Rodger(52) Shipperley(60) SOUTHAMPTON 3-2 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 15,255 Vega(og:54) Hirst(67,80) Domingues(42) Ginola(65) WIMBLEDON 1-0 LEEDS UNITED 15,718 Ardley(pen:29)

 
LEAGUE TABLE (after 27 October 1997 )
 
Club                          P    W    D    L   GF   GA   GD   Pts
Manchester United            12    7    4    1   23    6   17   25
Arsenal                      12    6    6    0   27   10   17   24
Blackburn Rovers             12    6    5    1   22   10   12   23
Leicester City               12    6    3    3   16   10    6   21
Chelsea                      11    6    1    4   25   15   10   19
Liverpool                    11    5    3    3   20   12    8   18
Derby County                 11    5    2    4   19   15    4   17
Leeds United                 12    5    2    5   15   13    2   17
Wimbledon                    12    4    4    4   14   13    1   16
Newcastle United              9    5    1    3    9   10   -1   16
West Ham United              12    5    1    6   16   19   -3   16
Crystal Palace               12    4    3    5   12   14   -2   15
Aston Villa                  12    4    2    6   12   17   -5   14
Tottenham Hotspur            12    3    4    5   11   16   -5   13
Coventry City                12    2    7    3    8   13   -5   13
Everton                      11    3    3    5   13   16   -3   12
Bolton Wanderers             11    2    5    4    9   15   -6   11
Southampton                  12    3    1    8   11   20   -9   10
Sheffield Wednesday          12    2    3    7   17   29  -12    9
Barnsley                     12    3    0    9    9   35  -26    9

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Michael Kenrick 1997
Last updated: 27 Oct 97