Scunthorpe United 0 - 1
Half-time: 0 - 1
Coca-Cola Cup 97/98 - 2nd Round,1st Leg
Tuesday 16 September 1997
Glanford Park, Scunthorpe
|« Derby County (a)||Ref: Mike Reed||Barnsley (h) »|
|1997-98 Fixtures & Results||2nd Leg: Scunthorpe United (h)||Coca-Cola Cup Results|
|LINEUPS||Subs Not Used|
|Scunthorpe United:||Clarke, Housham, McAuley, Sertori, Eyre, Hope, Walker, D'Auria, Laws, Forrester, Calvo-Garcia.||Harsley, Neil, Shakespeare.|
Gerrard, Stuart, Hinchcliffe, Short, Watson, Bilic, Oster
(Cadamarteri 75), Ferguson, Farrelly, Williamson, Speed.
Unavailable: Parkinson, Thomas, Phelan, Branch, Barrett (injured).
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|REPORTS BY EVERTON FANS|
|Guy McEvoy||We need Strikers; we get Streakers|
|David Shepherd||The Road to Nowhere|
|ToffeeNet Comments||Barely Adequate|
|Paolo Curturi||Sky Spy|
|THE LIVERPOOL ECHO||
Gerrard Saves Blues Blushes
by David Prentice
|OTHER INTERNET REPORTS|
|SOCCERNET||Link to Match Report on SoccerNet|
|We need Strikers; we get Streakers|
A wet and windy drive across the Pennines eventually brought me to the easy
to find Scunthorpe Football Club. Only £1 to park in the club's own
car park -- probably represents the only genuine value for money I'll get
off any football club this season for anything.
The ground itself is probably as good a venue as you'll find in the Third Division, with only one end terraced and the other three all covered (albeit with pillars worse than Goodison) and all-seated. I was disappointed that it wasn't the away end that was terraced as I fancied my yearly stand-up in the cup, but such is life. The Scunthorpe sides was packed to capacity, largely with folk wearing the shirts of Premiership teams, the Everton side was perhaps three quarters full. Maybe our fellow Blues were all to busy watching Celtic.
The big surprise in the starting line-up was that birthday boy Southall was being rested to give Paul Gerrard his first run out of the season. Barmby and Grant did not feature in the squad.
From kick off it took me ages to decide what formation we were playing, it was either a 4-4-2 with Short at right-back, else we were playing three centre backs with Stuart and Hinchcliffe as wing-backs. Over the full 90 minutes I was still not convinced either way but suspect it was probably the former.
Everton approached the game in a low-key manner and never really stepped up a gear. The result was a game where the 3rd Division team was playing out it's skin whilst the Premiership side was barely breaking sweat and so we got a relatively, sometimes uncomfortably, even match.
I found it quite difficult to get at all excited by the game. There was a curious atmosphere whereby we couldn't hear the 'home end' sing very much (probably no more than a couple hundred of them knew any of the songs!), and the Scunthorpe fans in the seats were probably the 'once a decade' type fan of the more polite sort. Scunthorpe created some good space for themselves, but perhaps out of misplaced arrogance I never particularly felt my pulse rise in the first half.
We had a couple of opportunities. Speed knocked in a decent enough free-kick. Oster did all the hard work from a long ball with a wonderful first-time touch and break -- only to have has final touch desert him. Farrelly and Williamson were mixing it in well enough. Craig Short seemed to be rampaging wide and forward with some frequency which explains some of my confusion about his position.
In the end though it was a sweet combination move between the two newcomers that made the difference. Williamson weighted a throughball, Farrelly timed his run, held the ball till the goalie was committed and then slid the shot past him.
The second half was slightly more entertaining if only because Scunthorpe managed to get better the more they got frustrated. This caused a number of momentary scares. These scares at least gave Gerrard the chance to show why he was rated so highly before we bought him, with two very good saves.
The plan remained to just soak up the attack and then hit on the fast break, perhaps never the best idea with a player in the mould of Ferguson leading the line but the midfielders didn't do a bad job in this respect and we got away with it.
Mid-way through the second half we were treated to two well-shaped blonde ladies racing towards us in leather coats undone to reveal that they weren't wearing any underwear underneath. Judging by the crowd reception I concluded that this was probably the most exciting thing to happen in Scunthorpe. Ever. It certainly put a smile on my face.
The appearance of Cadamarteri towards the end, and so actually having a striker who can run on to the ball at pace, made our fast-break system look more sensible and allowed us to finish on a more upbeat note. The streakers' appearance though is probably the only fond memory I'll take from the game. It was a dull but functional performance in which we never really looked like we were trying.
It would have been nice to go away from Scunthorpe with a two- or three-goal lead in the bank. However, the only thing that really matters is that we left with the lead and the away goal and that we managed it without getting anyone important injured. Looking at results elsewhere on the night and remembering unpleasant experiences over the last few seasons reminds us that these games can't be taken for granted. A victory, no matter how unimpressive, could be just the lift we need.
|The Road To Nowhere|
Scunthorpe is a Yorkshire Steel town, so it is close to Sheffield and Doncaster,
right? Wrong. You'll clock at least 25 more miles than a trip to Sheffield,
all eastwards right into the heart of a desert of non-livestock agriculture
and power stations.
A motorway you've never heard of runs from Doncaster to Grimsby and, just after you cross the Trent flowing north into the Humber estuary, a short service motorway heads up to the only town worthy of the name in about 2,000 square miles. A steel-town without hills. Home of a club who once smashed their sales record by sending us Neil 'Dissa' Pointon... you get the picture.
The unreserved seating ticket had given away that the 10-year-old home of the 93-year-old club was our third 'new ground' venue in a row, so appropriate steps were taken to imbibe the annual MM cup 'hiding to nothing' anesthetic at a village a few miles up the road.
That the pub was named Sir Solomon by the local squire in honour of a favourite horse which died in a hunting accident is a clue to the ambient level of excitement of the area. The three men and a dog inside didn't actually give me the Slaughtered Lamb treatment, but I'd not have felt more conspicuous in a clown suit on a unicycle.
Another clue was the disturbing number of out-of-place replica shirts worn by the 6,000 odd locals who flocked to the spectacle. The pulling power of any Premiership team is well contrasted by the fact that, 3 days earlier, local rivals Doncaster had visited and between them they aggregated a 3,300 crowd.
As the prematch hoopla rolled tamely by, it became apparent that the Everton section was not quite so thrilled. An estimate of 2,000 in the away end was rather generous considering the home end (including terrace) was packed and the official attendance only 7,145.
Having never visited the Old Show Ground, it's impossible to judge what Glanford Park was an attempt to improve on, but once inside it seemed to do its job without fuss and without losing a traditional atmosphere. Glanford Park is perhaps the oldest 'new ground' of it's type around, but far from the worst, despite its modest proportions.
A woolly sound system tried and failed to announce the teams clearly, so it was a shock to see that Gerrard was starting instead of Nev on his 39th birthday. Shortly after kickoff the uneasy feeling continued as it turned out Graham Stuart was playing right wing-back.
Everton have had several nightmares in recent years away at low-division grounds. For no apparent reason, Everton players seem incapable of stringing two passes together, and look very unlikely to score when they are up against journeymen playing out of their skins. The presence of TV cameras made this latter factor even scarier. This year looked to be heading the same way for most of the first half. Passing was terrible, buildup was much too slow, and ideas completely absent.
The 'Irons' meanwhile were mercifully no good up front either. Panic-free in defence, neat buildups in midfield, but no sign of danger up front. The spectre of an old Everton bogey, Ian Ormondroyd, never showed up, apparently injured. Their shooting was long-range and woeful. Their best chance looked to be from Everton errors, as Gerrard was dropping crosses and spilling saves as usual.
The first few patrons were thinking about going to get half-time refreshment when a through ball from Williamson in the middle put a yellow 'n' black shirt completely in the clear on the right, and the shirt rolled a placed shot past the advancing keeper into the net in front of the home terrace. As the celebrating players untangled themselves, it was Farrelly who emerged as the scorer.
The second half was quite a different story. Everton played far better and their fans warmed to the performance. Quite how they failed to score any more is a minor mystery, but it was noticeable that the chances were all coming straight upfield from open play. The most memorable of these was a charge by Williamson, who left everyone for dead and hit a firm shot -- both not characteristics we're used to from Everton central midfielders.
But chances from crosses and headers were painfully absent. It seems as if the surgeon accidentally gave Hinchcliffe a lobotomy instead of ligament work -- he seems to have forgotten that it's the LINE that has to be attacked to make crosses worthwhile. Individual skill was getting Everton by against the 3rd Division outfit with only a goal a game in their league, but the teamwork remained scrappy, patchy, directionless and generally that of a team heading down the road to nowhere or worse. The only good news is that 'floated balls for Dunc knockdowns' were out of fashion tonight.
In recognition of Everton's courtesy in not sending them 3 or more down, at least the Scunnies had the courtesy not to score in their short purple patch, which came in the last ten minutes after Oster was replaced by Cadamarteri. Gerrard made two point-blank blocks, one of which brought a standing ovation from blues who see such greatness every other week from Southall, so are not starved of it.
It was Everton's first win in the corresponding fixture since 1993 at Lincoln. Since then, the horrors of Portsmouth, Millwall and York have shown us enough of what a bad result looks like to appreciate a winning one, no matter how narrow, and the blues were applauded all the way off the pitch.
TEAM PERFORMANCE 5 As a team Everton are very poor at the moment. They got by tonight (just) on superior individual skills, but are in for unlimited torrid weeks until they can start working as a unit. Coach?
Ref: Mike REED (Birmingham) Decent. No fuss, no quirks, no apparent bias. Are you watching, Mike Riley?
Edited comments from ToffeeNet
Howard Kendall chose to adopt a 5-4-1 formation (with Short, Bilic, and Watson
as the three centre backs, Hinchcliffe and Stuart(!) as the full-backs.
The midfield was Oster, Farrelly, Williamson, and Speed. This decision
severely limited Everton's ability to counter-attack, with only Ferguson
up front. For example, last night might have been the perfect opportunity
to play, say, Barmby, Stuart and Cadamarteri in a pacy, mobile attacking
triumvirate. But Kendall, like his predecessor, Joe Royle, seems to have
a Ferguson fixation when it comes to designing the Everton strike-force.
Having said that, Duncan has shown some good passing ability in the last few games and he is coming deep a lot more to look for the ball. Hopefully, this a sign of improved coaching as under Royle/Donachie he often resembled a lamp-post. If only Hinchcliffe can find his range again from corners (two wasted last night) and free-kicks, and if Oster can play on his stronger right side and cross from the bye line, we may see some more of Dunc's trademark headed goals.
In some ways, it may be considered a poor Everton performance last night against lowly opposition. The goal was nice: Farrelly took it well from a beautiful through ball by Williamson, but that's where the glamour stuff ended for Everton. Getting the goal obviously boosted their confidence and they settled noticeably after a nervy start. Scunthorpe had more possession of the ball, more chances to score, and only few great saves from Gerrard saved us from potential humiliation. Scunthorpe perhaps didn't deserve to lose, but it makes a nice change that some of the luck went our way for once -- and we won!!!
The defense at times looked to be thoroughly uncoordinated. We played to the offside rule way too much, but then so did Scunthorpe. The two central defenders (Watson and Short) kept running into each other, leaving Ayre to have free shots at goal. Luckily for Everton, he was hopeless; otherwise, the result could have been embarrassing.
Gerrard performed miracles at times in the Everton goal and saved us from an embarrassing defeat. He flapped at one floated cross and fumbled a tame shot but made a point-blank save from one volley. Many Evertonians were not best pleased to see Neville Southall spend his 39th birthday on the bench, but suggestions that he was unhappy about this are scurrilous. Just before kick-off, there was a TV shot of the Everton bench: Nev was sitting with Howard and Inchy, smiling and joking with them, so there did not seem to be any problem over the team selection.
Gerrard has demonstrated that he is a good shot-stopper. He seems to lack confidence in the more casual goal-keeping tasks, but that may be down to a lack of top-class match practise, so Kendall's decision to play him should be respected. Howard Kendall was interviewed on Sky afterwards and he said, "Paul Gerrard has done nothing wrong. He played well in pre-season and this was the perfect opportunity to have a look." Overall, he did a good job.
Hinchcliffe's crosses were woeful -- he could not get either corner anywhere near the box -- he obviously needs a lot of match practise to get back in the vein... Is this something Kendall will allow???
Speed had a fair game in midfield; Speed got man of the match and was presented with a red football CD player -- looked really pleased with it (not!).
Williamson faded in and out throughout the game, but showed some bright moments, particularly creating the goal.Williamson was almost the only player to congratulate Farrelly when he scored.
Oster was not on form and passed to the opposition more than to his teammates!
Ferguson Once again, the lack of creativity in the midfield severely limited the opportunities Ferguson had. When he dropped back, his link-up play was good and he spread the play very well at times. He was only provided with one half-chance which he struck well but unfortunately straight at the 'keeper.
Cadamarteri played well but was bundled over in the box and with more experience may have made more of it. This really should have been a penalty.
The Ref (Mike Reed) was actually fairly fair (for once!).
The Team: It is often hard to motivate the team for a match against a Club from the depths of 3rd division. It also provides us with our first away win in 1997, the last being in December 1996 at Derby.
I thought I'd add a few comments as to what I thought of our players in the
match against Scunthorpe as I was lucky enough to get the game on Sky:
The Team: - 5 - To sum up our game (and those of recent weeks) in one word it would be: CONFIDENCE or the lack thereof. We simply didn't have the confidence going in to tackles or winning the ball in the air, or when making what should be fairly elementary passes. If we can get a few consecutive wins under our belt it would do wonders for our confidence. After the goal was scored, it was clearly evident that the boys started to play with much more purpose. However, after the break the team did seem to lose some of this impetus again.
|Gerrard's Saves Blues Blushes|
By David Prentice, The Liverpool Echo
HERE'S your multiple choice starter for 10: Did the nation's largest
satellite TV channel choose Scunthorpe v Everton for live screening because:
If you know the answer, don't dash your reply off to the ECHO. Post it to Sky TV, whose ghoulish craving was not satisfied due largely to an unlikely hero in Everton's 1-0 win. Paul Gerrard was called up for the rested 39-year-old birthday boy Neville Southall and saved his side with two outstanding stops in the last 10 minutes.
Gerrard's last public appearance in a senior Everton jersey had been a disastrous display against Manchester United last March. When he allowed an opportunistic cross from Hope to whirl through his hands early in the second half last night there were fears that his nerves may get the better of him again. He recovered from that minor scare, however, to make a series of late saves. And the richest tribute you could pay is to say they could have been made by Neville Southall in his prime.
A close-range parry from Alex Calvo-Garcia 11 minutes from the end was both spectacular and superbly executed. A reaction save from Jamie Forrester's blistering volley four minutes later was outstanding. Gerrard wasn't the only returning star to impress. Gareth Farrelly patrolled decisively around the midfield area -- and scored the 36th minute winner. Danny Williamson was the architect, showing both composure and vision to release the Irishman. Farrelly drew the goalkeeper and slid the ball under him.
That strike came against the run of play. Everton had been poor in a first half hour in which Scunthorpe ran the game. It took some frantic gesticulating from the Blues dugout and a tactical switch by the boss before the Premiership side finally began to exert some measure of superiority.
Anticipating Everton's starting line-up has become a more entertaining pastime than watching them play in recent weeks. Kendall kicked-off with a three-man central defensive triangle of Bilic, Watson and Short, but his side never looked comfortable. Graham Stuart and Andy Hinchcliffe were the attacking wing-backs, but found themselves pinned back.
John Oster and Gary Speed had been given the jobs of supporting lone striker Duncan Ferguson, but it wasn't until Oster switched back out to his more usual left wing role that the Blues threatened. Both Farrelly and Williamson became more adventurous and the Irishman could have scored more than his one goal. He shot narrowly wide from Oster's pass in the 51st minute and saw goalkeeper Clarke make a fine save from his 76th minute drive. Ferguson was also denied by the goalkeeper, while Gary Speed had a shot hacked off the goalline.
Danny Cadamarteri made another bright impression as a substitute for the last 15 minutes, and he was denied a last minute penalty only by one of referee Mike Reed's occasional eccentricities. That was Everton getting greedy, though, as it was a huge relief to them to finally negotiate a second round Coca-Cola Cup match safely. But don't crack open the Coke cans just yet - there's a second leg still to come. And remember: Everton led at York!
Man of the match: PAUL GERRARD. Both Gareth Farrelly and Danny Williamson made bright impressions in midfield, but Gerrard's late flurry of excellence earned him the award.
|© The Liverpool Echo and Daily Post Ltd|
Everton went into this Coca Cola Cup Second Round first leg tie with one
major change, Paul Gerrard being preferred to Neville Southall in goal. It
was Scunthorpe who created the early chances, probably the best courtesy
of Brian Laws who saw his shot go just wide of the Everton woodwork.
Everton created chances of their own though. On the quarter hour mark Everton were awarded a free kick. Gary Speed took that but the Scunthorpe keeper was able to make a comfortable save. Former Grimsby man John Oster then went agonisingly close with what may have been intended to be a cross.
Gareth Farrelly, the signing from Aston Villa, then shot straight into the arms of the Scunthorpe keeper, before he gave Everton the lead on 36 minutes. The midfielder was set free by a Danny Williamson through ball, and then applied the finishing touches a low shot into the back of the Scunthorpe net.
Moving into the second half, and Everton began to look the better. Farrelly again found himself involved, unfortunately the former Villa man mis-hit his shot from a John Oster through ball in the 52nd minute. Duncan Ferguson then forced a great save out of the Scunthorpe keeper Tim Clarke.
Scunthorpe created the odd chance as well, probably the best coming courtesy of former Leeds man Jamie Forrester as he forced a great save out of Gerrard. It was Everton who were the victors though and they take a one goal lead to Goodison Park.
|RESULTS (2nd Round, 1st Leg)|
|Wednesday 17 September 1997|
BIRMINGHAM CITY 4-1 STOCKPORT COUNTY 4,900 Hughes(41) Robinson(51) Angell(90) Devlin(77,87) BLACKBURN ROVERS 6-0 PRESTON NORTH END 22,564 Dahlin(26,54) Sutton(29) Gallacher(78) Andersson(84) Bohinen(89) GRIMSBY TOWN 2-0 SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY 6,429 Groves(17) Livingstone(52) LEEDS UNITED 3-1 BRISTOL CITY 8,806 Wetherall(20) Ribeiro(90) Goater(77) Hasselbaink(pen:70) NOTTINGHAM FOREST 0-1 WALSALL 7,841 Skinner(53) SOUTHAMPTON 3-1 BRENTFORD 8,004 Monkou(37) Davies(60) Taylor(65) Evans(69) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 3-2 CARLISLE UNITED 19,255 Fenn(1) Fox(73) Mahorn(78) Couzens(40) Aspinall(45)
|Tuesday 16 September 1997|
BLACKPOOL 1-0 COVENTRY CITY 5,884 Linighan(76) BURNLEY 0-4 STOKE CITY 4,175 Thorne(37,62) Kavanagh(68,80) CHESTERFIELD 1-2 BARNSLEY 6,318 Lormor(pen 58) Redfearn(pen 87) Ward(90) FULHAM 0-1 WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS 5,933 Garcia(34) HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 1-0 WEST HAM UNITED 8,525 Dyer(75) HULL CITY 1-0 CRYSTAL PALACE 9,323 Darby(22) IPSWICH TOWN 1-1 TORQUAY UNITED 8,031 Stockwell(89) McFarlane(1) LEYTON ORIENT 1-3 BOLTON WANDERERS 4,128 Inglethorpe(42) Todd(13) Frandsen(20) McGinlay(79) LUTON TOWN 1-1 WEST BROMWICH ALBION 3,437 Douglas(25) Taylor(35) MIDDLESBROUGH 1-0 BARNET 9,611 Freestone(56) NOTTS COUNTY 0-2 TRANMERE ROVERS 1,779 Jones(31) Kelly(60) OXFORD UNITED 4-1 YORK CITY 2,923 Robinson(53) Aldridge(62) Rowe(43) Beauchamp(77,81) READING 0-0 PETERBOROUGH UNITED 5,138 SCUNTHORPE UNITED 0-1 EVERTON 7,145 Farrelly(36) SOUTHEND UNITED 0-1 DERBY COUNTY 4,011 Wanchope(43) SUNDERLAND 2-1 BURY 18,775 Williams(44) Bridges(56) Daws(43) WATFORD 1-1 SHEFFIELD UNITED 7,154 Kennedy(89) Scott(19) WIMBLEDON 5-1 MILLWALL 6,949 Cort(pen 23,79) Clarke(44) Savage(16) Euell(56) Castledine(86)