Everton Logo Everton 4 - 1 Charlton Athletic
Half-time: 2 - 0
Charlton Athletic Logo
FA Carling Premiership 1998-99 – Game 35
Saturday 24 April 1999
Goodison Park, Merseyside
Att: 40,089
« Newcastle United (a) Ref: Paul Alcock Chelsea (a) »
1998-99 Fixtures & Results League Position: 15th Premiership Results & Table
EVERTON: Hutchison (24'), Campbell (31', 60'), Jeffers (75').
Charlton Athletic: Stuart (pen:80')
   LINEUPS  Subs Not Used 
EVERTON: Myhre, Weir, Short, Watson, Unsworth, Ball, Gemmill, Dacourt, Hutchison, Jeffers, Campbell.
Unavailable: Bilic, Branch, Collins, Cleland, Farley, McDermott, Williamson, Parkinson (injured); Dunne, Phelan (back in training but not match-fit).
Simonsen, Materazzi, Barmby, Bakayoko, Cadamarteri.
Charlton Athletic: Petterson, Mills, Tiler, Youds, Powell (88' Bowen), Rufus (68' Hunt), Jones, Kinsella, Stuart, Pringle, Bright (68' Barnes). Brown, Salmon.
   Yellow Cards  Red Cards
EVERTON: Dacourt (41'), Weir (44'), Ball (53').
Charlton Athletic: Stuart (29').

Guy McEvoy Prodigal reporter gets the goose-bumps
Steve Bickerton Let the good times roll!
Richard Marland Sanctuary at last
ELECTRONIC TELEGRAPH Everton safe as Charlton edge closer to the abyss
by Derick Allsop
THE SUNDAY TIMES Time short for Charlton
by Ron Clarke
Everton are Gwladys all over
by Andrew Longmore
THE INDEPENDENT Campbell's class makes the difference
by Derick Allsop
THE TIMES Campbell strikes hope into hearts of Goodison faithful
by Kevin McCarra
THE EVERTONIAN Link to the latest Match Report

THE GUARDIAN Link to Football Unlimited Match Report
THE OBSERVER Link to Football Unlimited Match Report
SOCCERNET Link to SoccerNet Match Report
CARLINGNET Link to CarlingNet Match Report

Prodigal reporter gets the goose-bumps
Guy McEvoy
It's amazing just how much can happen in 7 months. The last time I saw Everton in the flesh was the god-awful affair of the no-score home draw against Blackburn in September. I couldn't wait to get away after that. Since then there have been dramatic changes at the club. Apart from us eventually actually scoring goals at home and the dramatic departure of Ferguson, I missed the whole saga of Johnson finally giving up the helm and handing it over to, well, no-one. I also seemingly missed the entire Goodison career of Mr Bakayoko. If reports are to be believed another thing missed was the transformation of Michael Ball from probable future England captain to a shite journeyman. Most of all it seemed I missed a shed-load of mediocrity and worse.

Thankfully I was able to miss all this with the help of sunshine, beaches, a surf-board and the occasional pretty lady. Somehow I struggled through.

One of the few nice things from ending a great trip must be the joy of coming 'home'. When you go to the match week-in, week-out, you take for granted just what a privilege it is to be at Goodison: How on a Saturday afternoon right across the globe there are people with otherwise tremendous lives who for that hour and half would swap almost anything just to be right were you are in that hallowed corner of Liverpool.

The break's made me appreciate that even more. I looked around the ground at our people, looked down at the green turf, and then there was Z-cars. It always makes my blood tingle, but this time it was special. I actually came out in goose-bumps. It was evocative of me being about eight or nine when I was only taken to Goodison occasionally for birthday treats and the glamour ties and that. I made a mental note never again to slip back into season-ticket complacency about just how lucky I am.

The teams were introduced, Charlton first. Of the three former Evertonians with the opposition I was delighted to join the fantastic special ovation given to Graham Stuart. I've never made any secret of my admiration of him. In my opinion his contribution to our club is the most underrated of the decade. We made it clear we wish him well.

Next was Everton. There were several unfamiliar sights for me. I've never seen Weir, Cambell, or Gemmill play and I've only seen Jeffers play a woeful little-boy like half against Man Utd a couple of seasons ago on his premature debut.

First Half

The kick-off was greeted by great Banter between the fans and I had to endure another bout of the goose-bumps on the first gusty chorus of 'Everton, Everton, Everton'.

The first half wasn't the prettiest. Some of the stuff from both teams was very 'dogs' like in the midfield and neither team seemed to settle. But that didn't really matter. You could feel the belief in the fans around you, that is something that certainly wasn't there when I left and I suspect it is something that has only appeared on the back of the last two results. It makes a difference. When the scrappy stuff did occasionally break into pretty stuff, it was us that was doing it.

Hutchison controlled the ball (couldn't see him use his hand from my seat), and then seemed to take an age with it on the edge of the box. He dillied and dallied, looked like he couldn't decide whether to lay it off or shoot. Eventually, when it almost seemed too late he went for the latter. The parry from the keeper wasn't enough to push it away from the goal. Cue the cheering, cue yet another case of goose-bumps.

Our second goal was better. It was a goal the like of which I haven't seen at Goodison for a good long while. A real striker's effort. When Cambell picked the ball up and his head went down, you knew that there was absolutely nothing else in his mind than to score. Never mind the other folk racing to the box, he was focussed on one option only. He had that look about him that you would usually associate with the likes of Shearer or Wright or one of those upstarts over the park. The first shot was parried but the single-mindedness was still there, he was instantly on the loose ball and despite the tight angle there was no doubt whatsoever about that finish.

We had a couple of long-range efforts fly around, Tommy pulled off a blinder reflex save and the Park End had a laugh taunting the away fans with 'Here on a cheapy, you're only here on a cheapy'. A reference to Charlton's admirable policy of paying for all their fans' transport up north. The whistle came and we were chuffed to be going into the break with the rare luxury of a two-goal cushion.

Second Half

The second half was more entertaining to watch as the relief of the lead allowed our lads to relax and play better stuff. I'd been figuring out the formation since the start but the fact it was a straight-forward wing-back line-up was only really apparent after the break. My first impressions of Weir were positive; he looked comfortable with his role.

As the game went on, I got more and more excited by Jeffers. Like I said earlier, the last time I saw him play for the first team he looked a little boy out of his depth. This lad has come on in leaps and bounds, now I can understand the hype. The joy is that he still doesn't hold himself in a manner that suggests he is at either 100% confidence and also he clearly is going to get a greater physical presence with some time in the gym. As good as he is now, it's exciting for all of us that this lad is only going to get better.

It was Franny who set up Cambell's second. Straight forward stuff, good holding up work, a good cross and the forward in the right place at the right time to finish it off with a glanced header. Get in there, Kevin!

The absolute highlight of the day though was saved for the final goal. Cambell burst forward, Franny went with him a little faster. Cambell repaid Jeffers' pass for the last goal by slipping the ball through for Franny to burst onto. This time his head went down with only one thing on mind, the finish was clinical.

It seems to me that, as crucial as Kev's finishing has been for us, of equal importance is the fact that we actually have a partnership here. A proper one. Not just two players that can do the business on their own, but two players who also understand and compliment each other. The difference between us and the red shite over the past couple of season's is marginal. The bulk of their team is generally just as shite as ours. The difference has only ever been the two turncoats they have up front. If we want to leap frog them next year we must sign Cambell.

The only thing that slightly marred the party was Unsworth needlessly conceding a penalty. Stuart gratefully took the opportunity to add to his Goodison Park tally and ran back to the centre circle to some sarcastic applause from the Street End.

Other thoughts that struck me were firstly frustration at the number of times that Dacourt would successfully take people on and then do absolutely neither pass nor shoot till the opposition had caught back up with him, wiping out any advantage his hard work had just earned. Secondly, there was the performance of Ball, the consistent reports of his demise had disturbed me. He certainly had a quiet first half but did nothing wrong. The second half though he looked completely his old cut-above self. Reports of his demise I reckon must have been greatly exaggerated.

All-in-all, though, a great afternoon out. I honestly thought I was going to be as depressed as anything today. To leave all I've just left to come back to England to watch 1990's Everton would by most people be seen as grounds for suicide. Ever the pessimist, I even backed Graham Stuart to score the first goal. But they did enough yesterday to leave me upbeat, despite the chill in the wind and the absence of any rideable surf. A 4-1 win, no relegation worries. Who'd have thought? And just to top off a great day, I went out clubbing in Lancaster in the evening and made my acquaintance with a young lady called Emily with a thing for suntans. Yup, maybe England ain't so bad after all.

Player Ratings

  • Myhre 8: Not called on for too much but competent when he needed to be. One great save stays in the mind.
  • Weir 7 - First time I've seen him. Looked comfortable enough with his role.
  • Ball 7 - Good second half – the Michael Ball I remember.
  • Unsworth 6 - He still hoofs the ball looking for Ferguson. Hasn't anyone told him? Perversely – cos we have two forwards now who can run onto a ball – this tactic may yet prove successful, if bloody annoying to watch. At fault for the penalty.
  • Watson 7 - No matter how long you go away for, Watson will probably still be there when you get back. Still Mr Calm and Mr Quiet Influence.
  • Short 6 - Seemed to do an awful lot of wandering. Not sure if he was instructed to do this or not. Nearly got a goal out of it at one point mind.
  • Dacourt 6 - See comments in main report.
  • Gemmill 7 - He has a good touch, and good understanding with our forwards. First impressions good.
  • Hutchison 7 - Played with pride and determination.
  • Jeffers 7 - see comments in report
  • Cambell 8 - see comments in report.

 Let the good times roll!
Steve Bickerton
I was feeling inspired. Having watched football played in the manner it should be on Wednesday night [Juventus 2-3 Manchester United, in the European Champions Cup Semi-Final, 2nd Leg], I was convinced that today, Everton too, could show us the beautiful game. Gone were the clouds of despair which encircled me a few weeks ago. A dance in my step, a belief that we were much better than our lowly league position deserved and a game against a side we'd already beaten away this season, who were in a worse position than we were. What a good day this was bound to be.

The sell out crowd had prompted the club to advise people to get there early. As a dutiful supporter, I obliged. In reality, it was only five minutes or so, but nevertheless my club had called and I had answered. What a hero I was! All I needed now, were eleven heroes on the field of play – and some other results to go our way.

Before the game started we were fêted once more by the lone piper. Rousing though the performance was, it was never ending. And how on earth did he manage to play those drums, which pounded out the beat behind him as the music blasted out over the Goodison public address system?. Must have been under his kilt.

A few moments silence and then "Z Cars". Out came the gladiators.

  • The team: Myhre; Ball, Unsworth, Watson, Short, Weir; Hutchison, Dacourt, Gemmill; Jeffers, Campbell.
  • The bench: Simonsen; Materazzi; Barmby; Cadamarteri, Bakayoko.

A tumultuous reception for Graham Stuart, an enthusiastic one for Carl Tiler and a more muted one for Eddie Youds reflected the esteem in which these former players were held at Goodison. The name of John Barnes was met with almost universal disapproval.

FIrst Half

Charlton kicked the game off and pressed forward. Everton seemed disinterested at first, conceding an early corner, from which Tiler nodded over the bar. Charlton looked the more inspired and more inventive side in the early stages, Everton seemed to want to let them press forward and leave gaps at the back which the forwards would look to exploit. It was not the game I expected at this stage.

Charlton were the more urgent, the more active and the more likely to snatch the points. Yet, there was still a feeling that as we hadn't yet left the starting blocks, maybe we were just sizing them up. A quick break, a corner on the right. The result was a header by Short that flew over the bar. A warning had been given.

For 20 minutes, the game ebbed and flowed, each side failing to capitalise on any meaningful possession they enjoyed. The high-point up till now came as the chant rose, in answer to abuse from the Charlton supporters, "You're only here on a freebie, you're only here on a freebie, here on a free-ee-ee-bie (reprise)". Excellent!

Charlton still seemed to be trying the harder of the two teams and continued to push forward but despite everything we still seemed able to push them back. Then came the 24th minute, a minute which encapsulated the change of fortune which has been visited upon us in the last two weeks. The ball fell to Hutchison just outside the Charlton box, in the centre of the goal. As he controlled it, the ball seemed to jump up and hit his hand. I relaxed a little as I waited for the ensuing whistle.... but it didn't come! Hutchison moved wider to the left, rounded two players and shot the ball, unconvincingly, from my view, through the keeper's flailing body-language and into the net. Suddenly the luck was going our way. Two weeks ago, a free-kick would have been given and we'd have been driven to the edge of despair. Not today: 1-0!

Charlton suddenly became subdued. Their belief waned and we began to control things a little more. They were still able to push forward, but it was with a lack of conviction as if they were resigned to their fate. Jeffers had almost added a second as he shot wide from the edge of the box, but in the end, the second game came from another broken Charlton attack.

From a Charlton goal-kick, the ball was headed forward by Hutchison from deep left in the Everton half and dropped just ahead of the forward charging Kevin Campbell. Campbell raced on to the ball, beat his markers and shot tamely against a defender's outstretched leg. But instead of falling to a red-shirted player, the ball came back to Campbell who, from a narrow angle, not dissimilar to the one from which he scored against Coventry, chipped the ball home into the far side of the net. Give the man a contract now, Walter. Find the money before someone snatches him away. 2-0!

We played out the rest of the half in a comfort zone which was a little unnerving. We still managed to need a stunning save from Tommy to keep our goal intact as he pushed a Pringle bicycle-kick over the bar, and it was to get worse in the second half. Half-time came though, with no change to the scoreline. The strange atmosphere surrounding the place continued throughout the half-time interval as, at the announcement of the half-time scores, an unusual event occurred. "Blackburn Rovers 0, Liverpool 3". The cheers from supporters all around the ground was unbelievable.

Second Half

The second half began with Everton seemingly determined to throw it all away. They sat back to soak up the pressure. True, we'd been able to hit them quite hard on the break in the first half, but this was taking things a little too far. We sat back time and time again and for 15 minutes it looked as though we going to let Charlton back into the game. Then came a break. Dacourt to Jeffers, neat pass to Campbell, a tidy ball out to Jeffers who had peeled out to the left wing, a perfect delivery onto Campbell's head and a delicate flick into the net. 3-0. What a goal! Let the good times roll!

Give them their due, Charlton didn't give up. Kinsella ran hard and tried to get them going, but was always out of his depth – seems strange saying that against us, but I believe its true. Stuart was always willing and able, a good squad addition he would be in the close season – and watch him race back. But they were always chasing it.

Another fifteen minutes passed before the goal of the game. The ball was pushed forward, I think from Gemmill, as another Charlton attack broke down. It found Campbell in the centre circle with players around him. Jeffers made his move cutting across the Charlton defenders into space, distracting them as he went by. Campbell took advantage of the opening and threaded the ball through for Jeffers to race onto. Into the box with a defender in tow, he kept his head, drew the keeper and then drilled it hard and low into the far corner. 4-0. Where are we in the league? Who cares? Premiership next year, methinks!

Charlton battled on and eventually, much to the amusement of everyone around were awarded a penalty for a foul by Unsworth in the area. It was such a ridiculous decision, the general feeling was that Paul Alcock was feeling a little sorry for them and thought he'd help out. Maybe not.

Stuart stepped up to take the kick. "To your right, Tommy" went the cry from the Gwladys Street. "To your left" pointed Hutchison at the far end of the pitch. Tommy dived left, Stuart shot right. 4-1 Everton. 1-0 Gwladys Street.

After that the game fizzled out. Everton played exhibition stuff, knocking it about coolly, as if they'd done it all season. As the final whistle went it was Campbell who reacted first, a punch hitting the air. He, it was, too, who called the Everton players down to the Gwladys Street where they applauded the crowd and he and Dacourt revisited the "snake hips" celebration which had accompanied Campbell's second goal.

Then came "Z Cars" again, as the crowd, almost to man, woman and child, awaited the full time results – and, the Southampton result apart, they couldn't have gone any better.

Three wins on the trot. We're invincible! Come on Chelsea, let's see what you're made of!

Man Of The Match: All action, all singing, all dancing, striker on fire, Kevin Campbell.

Team Performance: In the cold light of day, nothing to write home about. But – and its a big but – the confidence is apparent. The ability to convert chances into goals, which has been so sadly lacking all season long, has suddenly arrived.

From this platform, if we can keep it going to the end of the season, we could find ourselves with a good squad to build on. But we have to sign Campbell. His influence has been immense. We have to keep Dacourt, because next year he'll be far more comfortable, Collins has to come good and the Pieman has to make it back to his former self. Keeping hold of Materazzi would be a bonus.

Then, next year, we might see some real progress.

 Sanctuary at last
Richard Marland
It's seems remarkable that a mere two weeks ago, 40 points seemed so, so far away. Now here we are reaching that landmark figure with a veritable gallop, three straight wins on the burst and 9 goals to boot, who'd have thought that after the Sheffield Wednesday game.

As expected, Walter kept faith with the eleven that won at Newcastle, this meant that Barmby missed out on his return from suspension. Myrhe was in goal, the solid, no frills back five of Weir, Short, Watson, Unsworth and Ball, the midfield trio of Gemmill, Dacourt and Hutchison, and our in form strike force of Campbell and Jeffers. The bench comprised Simonsen, Materazzi, Cadamarteri, Bakayoko and Barmby.

It has been noticeable that in our hour of need Walter has clearly gone to the players that he trusts the most, this has meant the adoption of 5-3-2 as it is difficult to see how the trustworthy could be shoe-horned into 4-4-2. It hasn't necessarily been pretty, but players of the heart of Unsworth, Short and Watson just had to be in there at this difficult time.

The pattern of this game was strangely unchanging throughout the 90 minutes. Charlton played neat passing football, had the territorial advantage but never really looked like scoring. We defended fairly deep, too deep in all probability and the midfield were never able to impose themselves on the game. Earlier in the season this would have been a recipe for disaster, the difference now is the options and threat that Campbell and Jeffers give us.

Before we opened the scoring, both Campbell and Jeffers had given the Charlton defence wake-up calls. First Campbell eluded the off-side trap to find himself through on goal, he tried to lift it over the 'keeper but the 'keeper had done well to come off his line quickly to close him down and to get a hand onto Campbell's attempted lob. Next it was Jeffers' turn, a free kick ended up with 'keeper, Jeffers' closed him down quickly and blocked his clearance with the ball just trickling past the post.

Despite the obvious threat of Campbell and Jeffers, the opening goal actually came from Don Hutchison. Don closed down an attempted clearance from Graham Stuart, the ball clearly struck his forearm but no foul was given. Hutchison took the ball on, made space for himself and shot from outside the area. The 'keeper should have stopped it but it slipped past his hand and into the back of the net. Much will be made of the hand-ball but it clearly wasn't intentional and he still had a lot to do afterwards. It was poor defending and goalkeeping that ultimately saw him score.

After this, Campbell and Jeffers took over. Campbell added the second, picking the ball up, running across the area, having his first shot blocked but keeping his composure to find the net from a tight angle. Another good finish from Campbell. So half time and a comfortable two goals in front. I steeled myself for an almost inevitable wobble but I was left wondering just how Charlton would capitalise on anything.

The second half was much the same as the first. Charlton had the better of the possession and continued to pass the ball better than us. However they still looked utterly impotent up front whilst we always looked dangerous going forward. Before long Campbell and Jeffers showed just what a good partnership they are developing, they linked well in the centre before Jeffers peeled away left, from just outside the left edge of the box he delivered a cross and there was Campbell to head it into the far corner. Six goals in three games, the St. End even started to chant "sign him up, sign him up".

If that had been good work between the two of them then better was still to come. We were defending deep, a corner I think, the ball came out to Campbell and, still in his own half, he set off towards goal. Jeffers, who was yards behind Campbell, saw the potential in the situation and set off in pursuit. His pace was electric, he cut in front of Campbell and moved to his right, Campbell bided his time and delivered the perfect ball in to Jeffers. Jeffers didn't even have to break his stride, one assured touch to take it under control and then a confident shot into the far corner. Simple, devastating stuff.

That was effectively game over. The crowd was in party mood and the players could relax and play a bit of keep ball. The crowd asked for and got a wave from Walter. They than asked Archie who ignored them, presumably not wanting to damage his hard-man image. There was still time for a deserved consolation for Charlton, symptomatic of their problems it came from the penalty spot after an extremely harsh decision against Unsworth. Stuart converted the kick to sympathetic applause.

The clock wound down with out any further dramas and the players and crowd celebrated our assumed premiership safety. Leading the celebrations was Kevin Campbell, he has clearly enjoyed his sojourn on Merseyside, let us hope that it continues.


  • Myrhe 7 Some excellent stuff including a top-drawer save from a Pringle overhead. I still get the feeling that at times he doesn't command his area as he should.
  • Weir 6 Not one his better games for us. Not bad, just got passed on the outside a couple of times. Definitely not a right back.
  • Short 7 The usual uncomplicated defending.
  • Watson 7 There's supposedly a t-shirt doing the rounds with the legend "If only everything in life was as reliable as Dave Watson" (for our foreign friends, its a spin on a current advertising slogan), and that sums it up perfectly.
  • Unsworth 7 Another sound defensive display.
  • Ball 6 A Few ropy moments but did OK. The crowd round me is starting to have a go at him, which I think is grossly unfair. I do think that he is struggling a little, but it shouldn't be forgotten that he is still a very young player, and that he isn't actually playing that badly, just not as well as he can.
  • Gemmill 6 Not as good as he has been but still an OK performer.
  • Dacourt 6 Another who did OK without being at his best. The usual farcical booking, a minor body check in central midfield, the first foul of his that I noticed, yet Ollie picks up a booking for it.
  • Hutchison 6 In many ways like Paul Rideout, a decent player who if he had a bit more pace would be an excellent player. Did another good job for us today, and obviously enjoying it. At one stage in the second half he came to take a corner by the St End-Bullens corner flag, the applause for him was amazing and Don was visibly taken aback by it.
  • Campbell 8 I must admit to having been a little suspicious of Campbell when he first arrived, my memories of him from his Forest days weren't too favourable. However, he is now winning me over. The goals have obviously helped but more than that he seems to be a decent footballer who can link with those around him.
  • Jeffers 8 Despite looking tired at times ,this was an excellent performance. In many ways it could be construed sad that a 36-year-old man confesses excitement about an 18-year-old boy, but Jeffers really does excite me. His touch, awareness and finishing are all exceptional. We have a major talent on our hands.

Team 6 Take away the threat of Campbell and Jeffers, and this would have been a very ordinary performance. We allowed Charlton to have too much of the play and there wasn't a great deal of urgency about the play. But credit were it is due, we defended reasonably well, we played with commitment and purpose and we always posed a threat going forward.

Man of the match. Cheating a bit here but I'm going to give it to the Campbell-Jeffers partnership, they both played well and complemented each other brilliantly. A true partnership.

 Everton safe as Charlton edge closer to the abyss
Derick Allsop, Electronic Telegraph
EVERTON effectively secured Premiership football for another season with a third consecutive victory which belied their earlier struggles and forced Charlton Athletic still closer to the abyss. The spectre of relegation is a constant companion at Goodison Park, but for once it was the visitors who confronted the danger of heading for the Nationwide League.

The anxiety exposed by Charlton's thoughtful and fluid football was swept away in a six-minute spell. Don Hutchinson, the perceptive Scotland international, provided the steadying influence for Everton just when it seemed the old phobias were again closing in.

Charlton's aspirations have been undermined by a dearth of goals and that deficiency again betrayed them as they endeavoured to retrieve something from the match. Everton could scarcely afford to bask in the sunshine but blue skies over Goodison Park signified a change of mood in the club and in the stands. Four goals in two previous matches by Kevin Campbell fortified not only his claims for a full-time job but also the team's chances of staying in the Premiership.

Two goals by Graham Stuart hauled Everton back from the brink in the final fixture of the 1993-94 season, and now he finds himself confronting a similar climax with Charlton. John Barnes, once the orchestrator of stirring symphonies on the other side of Stanley Park, sat among the Charlton substitutes yesterday.

Charlton looked to another ageing inspiration, Mark Bright, and specifically his goal-scoring potential. He came into the side in place of the recently ineffectual Andy Hunt. Third-choice goalkeeper Andy Petterson retained his place, Danny Mills returned following a ban and Richard Rufus, facing a suspension, made perhaps his last contribution to the survival effort.

To Everton's immense relief, Olivier Dacourt escaped further disciplinary action by the Football Association and resumed duties. Nick Barmby, available after serving his latest sentence, was on the bench.

Charlton had the vociferous backing of 3,000 fans, who had their rail fares paid by the club. Everton opted for a loan piper, who won the pre-match decibel count by a distance. The travelling supporters exercised their lungs as Charlton fashioned heading opportunities twice in the opening three minutes. Carl Tiler, another former Everton player, directed his effort over the bar and the diving Martin Pringle could not produce the necessary power to trouble goalkeeper Thomas Myhre.

Everton's followers responded as Craig Short's header from Hutchison's free-kick skimmed the Charlton bar. Campbell ought to have added to his tally in the eighth minute, but failed to lob Petterson.

The goalkeeper was spared embarrassment three minutes later when his attempted clearance cannoned back off Francis Jeffers and went just outside his near post. Mills, ever prepared to raid from his right flank, twice unsettled Everton without producing the telling strike. Scot Gemmill, whose work-rate and commitment have earned him the approval of the Goodison gallery, fired a low shot wide of Petterson's goal.

Hutchison took his time before trying his luck after 25 minutes. He checked, switched the ball from left to right and left again, leaving Rufus prostrate and the unleashing a shot which Petterson reached but could not prevent from crossing the line.

Another run took Hutchison down the inside-right channel, and this time his shot was too high. However, Charlton were to go further behind after 31 minutes. Campbell carried the ball from left to right and though his initial effort was blocked, he collected the rebound and scored from a narrowing angle.

Charlton reacted to the setbacks as they have done all season, Mark Kinsella volleying over. Pringle's acrobatic overhead kick brought an excellent save from Myhre, and Stuart's half-volley scraped the goalkeeper's left-hand post. Jeffers came back for Everton, driving just wide with a raking shot.

Jeffers played a crucial role in Everton's third goal, on the hour. He floated in a centre from the left and Campbell applied the finish with a glancing header.

Campbell returned the compliment to Jeffers after 75 minutes and the 18-year-old converted Everton's fourth. Stuart pulled one back for Charlton from the penalty spot nine minutes from the end.

Report © The Electronic Telegraph

 Time short for Charlton
by Ron Clarke, The Sunday Times
BETTER late than never for Everton as they have suddenly found that elusive goalscoring touch to salvage yet another season. But this result will not get the nation's sympathy vote because it looks as though Charlton Athletic are going straight back down to the First Division.

Everton's on-loan striker Kevin Campbell took his tally to a remarkable six in three games as his two goals ripped the heart and fight out of Charlton. At the end the strain of survival was almost too painfully visible.

Campbell was aided and abetted by Francis Jeffers and Don Hutchison as the Goodison faithful were rewarded with a stream of scoring in a season of drought.

A relieved Everton manager Walter Smith said: "I am pleased to win that one. It was always going to be tense." Referring to his goalscoring striker, he added: "Goals have always been our problem. If we had always had a big physical presence we would not have been in such trouble."

The hardy supporters of the Goodison School of Science have never been allowed to rest on their laurels as their team once more contrived to get themselves into another fine mess with relegation more than a possibility for most of the season. It is staggering that a side supposedly too big to go down had struggled so badly in five of the past six years.

With so much at stake it was inevitable that much of the first half was marked by panic. The Everton manager rightly described the game in his programme notes as a cup final. The warm sunshine and the colourful segment of some 3,000 travelling fans seemed to add to the occasion. Many of them had been given free coach travel, courtesy of their club.

Even to them it must have been soon apparent that there is no such thing as a free lunch. More often than not you end up paying for it and in this case if it does result in relegation it would be a harsh price to pay. Their gallant efforts, recent stumbling apart, have appealed to lovers of the underdog.

Surprisingly, the visitors left out the supposedly fit Clive Mendonca, the hero of last summer's Wembley play-off, and gave a first start to Mark Bright. Everton remained unchanged.

Carl Tiler and Martin Pringle headed over in the opening exchanges before Campbell robbed Richard Rufus in the area, only to lose control.

This was a warning as he was instrumental in Everton reaching the comfort zone. On 24 minutes Hutchison latched on to a blocked clearance by Graham Stuart to slide the ball slowly under a fumbling Charlton keeper Andy Petterson. Charlton's claims of handball by Hutchison were waved aside.

Only seven minutes later Campbell, gaining in confidence with every second, strode through the Charlton defence to slide the ball home at his second attempt.

Charlton's efforts in the first half were few and far between. Danny Mills and Pringle went close and the latter was unfortunate to see his spectacular overhead kick well saved by Thomas Myhre in the closing stages of the half.

Charlton huffed and puffed without ever really threatening to bring the house down. The Everton captain, veteran Dave Watson, was again monumental in defence. His club have lined up a succession of centre-halves throughout the season but not one has looked even remotely likely of displacing him.

The contest was concluded on 60 minutes when the prolific Campbell used his head to get the slightest of touches to a cross by Jeffers. Role reversal put another nail in the Charlton coffin on 75 minutes. Campbell broke from midfield to find the fast-running Jeffers, who, without breaking stride, struck the ball gloriously past a helpless Petterson.

The introduction of John Barnes for Bright shortly after only seemed to lift the spirits of the sell-out crowd even further. Even this rescue mission was impossible for the Liverpool man.

A penalty for Charlton in the closing moments, after David Unsworth was harshly ruled to have tripped Pringle, was too little, too late – the story of Charlton's season.

Alan Curbishley, the Charlton manager, put a brave face on events by stressing: "We are still good enough to stay up. There are three games left and we have got to win at least two of them.

"We honestly believe we should have more points. There have been games we have let slip. Now we just have to get on with it."

Getting on with it includes a mammoth fixture with Blackburn Rovers, the next opponents at the Valley. At the moment, Charlton must feel a little punch-drunk, having conceded eight goals in the past two games. This will undoubtedly make it harder to bounce back off the ropes and summon up the knockout blows in their scramble for survival.

Everton, now looking safer, will be looking to secure the permanent services of Campbell from his club, Trabzonspor of Turkey.

Smith will only confirm that he is here until the end of the season when the situation will be reviewed. His goalscoring must stand him in good stead and Evertonians are already hailing him as the next Duncan Ferguson.

Everton have now opened an eight-point gap on Charlton and have run into form in the nick of time.

Report © Times Newspapers Ltd

 Everton are Gwladys all over
by Andrew Longmore, The Independent on Sunday
RARELY has mediocrity been so roundly acclaimed. But then this is Goodison Park in April, scene of more escapes than Colditz, and when springtime has traditionally heralded the vision of visits to Tranmere and Port Vale, three straight victories and an early end to relegation jitters is a good enough excuse for a party.

Some of the home supporters left their seats early, safe in the knowledge that, barring calamity, Everton are safe for another year. A hearty – and slightly patronising – cheer even greeted Liverpool's victory over struggling Blackburn.

Everton's saviours have come in many guises in recent years. One of them, Graham Stuart, who wrote himself into local history by scoring twice against Wimbledon three years ago, was appearing in Charlton's colours and was given a rousing reception. But few expected Kevin Campbell, discarded by Arsenal and Nottingham Forest and rescued on loan from Turkey, to be the instant panacea for another head-aching season.

Campbell was again the man of the moment, scoring once in each half to bring his tally for his three games to six, comfortably the leading scorer for goal-shy Everton this season, and securing Everton's first trio of successive victories for 15 months: 40 points and 14th place. Hallelujah.

Whether Walter Smith can bring the Goodison faithful any semblance of long-term joy is another matter. There is much wheeling and dealing to be done both in the boardroom, where Everton's financial future has to be secured, and on the pitch where the side is worryingly short of class.

He has been pleasantly surprised by Campbell's form. "People told me he wasn't an out-and-out goalscorer, but he's done enough in the last three games to convince me. If we'd had someone with his physical presence earlier in the season, we wouldn't have struggled so badly." Somewhere in the North East, Duncan Ferguson might be interested to hear that.

No one was too bothered about tomorrow at the final whistle yesterday. Evertonians will enjoy the strange luxury of mediocrity while it lasts; deep down, they might even dream of something a little more ambitious, like graduating to the top half of the table. They will rarely meet such obliging end-of- season fall guys as Charlton, whose own hopes of survival are fading fast.

Everton did not need to play very well to see off a Charlton side high on endeavour, low on defensive basics. Two-up by half-time, through a revived Don Hutchison and the revelatory Campbell, Everton doubled their money in the second half, the only sign of their old fallibility emerging late on when Stuart, back among old friends, clipped a penalty past Thomas Myhre after David Unsworth's clumsy challenge on Martin Pringle.

For all the presence of three ex-Evertonians, Carl Tiler and Eddie Youds, besides Stuart, all well-trained in the art of escapology, Charlton's weakness shone in neon. Though playing neat football in the middle of the field, their defence ricochets from the cumbersome to the downright chaotic. Any side capable of conceding two goals in seven minutes to Everton hardly needs to look for trouble.

It took Everton all of 12 minutes to probe the Londoners' soft spot. A clumsy offside trap, a through ball by Hutchison and Campbell was left with the goalkeeper to beat. His well- telegraphed lob did not fool Andy Petterson in the Charlton goal. But just before the half-hour Everton did break through, though there was a touch of fortune about the goal as Hutchison drove a left-foot shot beneath Petterson's body. Charlton's appeals for handball were turned away by Paul Alcock.

Then Campbell, the adopted darling of the Gwladys Street End, who punished Charlton's tissue-thin central defence. Picking up the ball mid-way inside the Charlton half, he outpaced Youds with a bullocking run, drove his first shot against Petterson's body and clipped the rebound into an empty net from an acute angle.

Any thoughts Alan Curbishley might have harboured of sneaking back into the game were ended early in the second-half, Francis Jeffers fashioning a skimming cross which again evaded the outsize Charlton defenders and landed on the gleaming head of Campbell. The merest hint of a deflection was enough to secure Everton's victory, even before Jeffers himself scored the best of the lot 15 minutes from time.

After that, Everton could afford a certain complacency. For once, their finale – away to Chelsea and Southampton, home to West Ham – can be enjoyed in relative sobriety. Charlton must beat Blackburn next Saturday to ease their plight. "The time has come to get out there and do something about it," Curbishley said. Everton will know the feeling.

Report © The Independent

Campbell's class makes the difference
by Derick Allsop, The Independent
For a moment it seemed the Everton move must break down. The ball ran a yard away from Kevin Campbell and two Charlton defenders shaped to clear. Suddenly, however, the muscular striker thrust his frame in front of them like a shield and swept the ball to a colleague.

Eventually Charlton did repel this attack, just another skirmish in another tense struggle. Yet it served to encapsulate an essential difference between the two sides, and perhaps the difference between survival and relegation.

Campbell's physical presence has not merely enabled Everton to retain possession in situations against the odds, but also provided them with a rush of goals that promise to whisk them off to safety with fixtures to spare.

He has scored two goals in each of the last three matches, all of which Everton have won. Their Premiership status is all but assured.

Charlton's manager, Alan Curbishley, was conscious that Everton's power, both in attack, courtesy of Campbell, and at the back. He endeavoured to counter that strength and height by recalling Eddie Youds in defence and Mark Bright up front. It proved no more than a token gesture.

Youds' lack of mobility ultimately betrayed him and Bright's legs can no longer respond to what remains one of the most cunning minds in the business.

Some of Charlton's midfield play has been a joy to behold through much of this nerve shredding campaign and so it was for considerable periods at Goodison Park, but deficiency in the penalty area continued to undermine their cause.

"We have to believe we can stay up," Curbishley said, "but if we can't beat Blackburn and Sheffield Wednesday at home, it will be our fault if we go down."

Everton's prospects looked equally gloomy three matches back. And then Campbell began putting his weight about in the most productive and acceptable manner. Now he is the club's top scorer and awaiting the offer of a full-time contract.

"If we'd had his physical presence from the start of the season we wouldn't have had such a difficult time of it," Walter Smith, the Everton manager, reasoned.

They have, in Don Hutchison, a man who combines brain and brawn. The Scotland international again played a defining role, probing and guiding with subtlety, tackling and hounding with a warrior's commitment.

His goal, midway through the first half, was a savage blow in every sense for Charlton. When Campbell scored twice the self-belief drained from the Charlton players. Francis Jeffers scored the fourth, but by then the points had been put out of Charlton's reach and Graham Stuart's converted penalty against his former club came too late to matter.

Report © The Independent

 Campbell strikes hope into hearts of Goodison faithful
by Kevin McCarra, The Times
BEFORE a match, history goes for a stroll. The abrupt, wrenching transactions of the transfer market make it so. A player leaves, but the replica strip remains. Around Goodison Park on Saturday, there were still supporters with the name Ferguson stretched across their shoulders.

It is not just economic reasons that prevent them from buying a new top. These people are attached to that jersey, rather than stuck with it. To outsiders, Duncan Ferguson might have been a forward who scored infrequently and injured his groin often, but that is not how he is seen by many followers of Everton. To them, it was as if the club had surrendered its character when the Scot was sold to Newcastle United in November of last year.

Without him, Everton were at a standstill, a side that could hardly budge from a parlous position in the FA Carling Premiership. Worries remain, but now, at last, the paralysis is gone.

The vacancy inside Ferguson's No 9 jersey has been filled. Six goals in the past three matches, including two against Charlton Athletic, leave Kevin Campbell unchallenged as Everton's leading scorer in the Premiership. More significantly, the forward, who is on loan from Trabzonspor, has helped his new colleagues to win three successive league matches for the first time in 15 months.

The excitement has bred security and the fear of relegation has been evicted from the premises. Of course, nobody imagines that life at Goodison will be made up of harmony and heroes from now on. The identity of the new owners, who are to buy the controlling interest of Peter Johnson, is yet to be established and it is impossible to tell what funds might be available thereafter.

Will there be enough to make the signing of Campbell permanent? There is a risk that his impact will stir the interest of rival bidders. Everton were in their thirteenth home match of the season before they notched their fourth Premiership goal at Goodison. Campbell has hit as many in his past two appearances at the ground. Such are the quirks of a sceptical mind, however, that the forward's prolific form will raise doubts. At 29, Campbell needs to score twice more to reach the total of 100 league goals in England. It is an honourable record, but the present strike rate is a delirious spell that cannot be regarded as typical. Campbell's joy in escaping the miseries he encountered in Turkey and the euphoric reaction of a crowd that yearned for a figurehead have put him in a heightened state of effectiveness.

It may be wiser to simply appreciate the vigour with which Everton have met the demands of the moment. Walter Smith, the manager, felt that the game with Charlton had been "tense", but that reaction probably reflected anxieties over league position, rather than the match itself.

As if the risk of falling from the Premiership were not enough, Charlton must feel persecuted. With his arm outstretched, Don Hutchison charged down a clearance to open the scoring with a shot that squirmed under the goalkeeper, but Paul Alcock, the referee, did not see his handball. Campbell added another from a difficult angle after his first shot was blocked.

In the second half, he combined with Francis Jeffers before glancing Everton's third with a header. Scot Gemmill, a cheap and telling purchase by Smith, initiated a counter-attack 15 minutes from time. Campbell gathered possession and strode down the middle of the pitch, but it was the movement of Jeffers, 18, that delighted. Instead of breaking, predictably, on the left, he made his run across the face of a defence that was distracted by the advancing Campbell and accepted a pass on the right of the penalty area to score.

Charlton's thoughts turned to the necessity of beating Blackburn Rovers next weekend. Nothing could peeve the opposition. When Graham Stuart did convert a penalty, there was a cordial reaction from the stands for a former Everton player.

Report © Times Newspapers Ltd

 RESULTS  (Game 35)
Saturday 24 April 1999
Aston Villa           2-0  Nottingham Forest        34,492	
Draper 43, Barry 57                                    	
Blackburn Rovers      1-3  Liverpool                29,944
Duff 63                    McManaman 23, Redknapp 31, Leonhardsen 32
Derby County          0-0  Southampton              26,557

Everton               4-1  Charlton Athletic        40,089
Hutchison 23,              Stuart pen:80,           
Campbell 31,60, Jeffers 75                                         
Leicester City        1-1  Coventry City            20,224
Marshall 45
Middlesbrough         1-6  Arsenal                  34,630
Armstrong 87               Overmars pen:2, Anelka 38,78,           
                           Kanu 45,60, Vieira 58               
Tottenham Hotspur     1-2  West Ham United          36,089
Ginola 72                  Wright 4, Keller 65      
Wimbledon             1-1  Newcastle United         21,172
Hartson 24                 Shearer 18               

Sunday 25 April 1999
Leeds United          1-1  Manchester United        40,255
Hasselbaink 32             Cole 56
Sheffield Wednesday   0-0  Chelsea                  21,652

 LEAGUE TABLE (after 25 April 1999 )
Club                          P    W    D    L   GF   GA   GD   Pts
Arsenal                      34   19   12    3   54   15   39   69
Manchester United            33   19   11    3   74   33   41   68
Chelsea                      34   17   14    3   49   26   23   65
Leeds United                 34   16   12    6   54   30   24   60
Aston Villa                  35   15   10   10   47   39    8   55
West Ham United              35   15    9   11   41   42   -1   54
Middlesbrough                35   12   14    9   47   48   -1   50
Derby County                 34   12   12   10   37   41   -4   48
Liverpool                    34   13    8   13   60   44   16   47
Tottenham Hotspur            34   11   13   10   41   40    1   46 <Uefa
Leicester City               34   11   13   10   36   41   -5   46
Newcastle United             35   11   11   13   46   51   -5   44 <Uefa
Wimbledon                    35   10   12   13   39   56  -17   42 <Safe
Sheffield Wednesday          35   11    7   17   39   40   -1   40
Everton                      35   10   10   15   35   42   -7   40
Coventry City                35   10    7   18   35   48  -13   37
Blackburn Rovers             34    7   11   16   36   49  -13   32
Charlton Athletic            35    7   11   17   37   52  -15   32
Southampton                  35    8    8   19   31   63  -32   32
Nottingham Forest            35    4    9   22   30   68  -38   21 <Div 1
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Last updated: 26 April 1999