Middlesbrough Logo Middlesbrough 2 - 2 Everton
Half-time: 2 - 0
Everton Logo
FA Carling Premiership 1998-99 – Game 6
Saturday 19 September 1998
Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough
Att: 34,563
« Huddersfield Town (a) Ref: Dermot Gallagher. Huddersfield Town (h) »
1998-99 Fixtures & Results League Position: 16th Premiership Results & Table
Middlesbrough: Ricard (27, 35)
EVERTON: Ball (47:pen), Collins (48)
  LINEUPS Subs Not Used
Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Gordon, Vickers, Festa, Pallister, Mustoe, Gascoigne, Beck, Townsend, Ricard, Cooper. Beresford, Stamp, Campbell, Blackmore, Stockdale.
EVERTON: Myhre, Cleland, Ball, Dacourt, Watson, Unsworth, Collins, Barmby, Ferguson, Hutchison (Cadamarteri 46), Materazzi.
Unavailable: Bilic, Branch, Short, Dunne, Ward, Williamson, Phelan, Parkinson (injured); McCannn (suspended).
Gerrard, Farrelly, Tiler, Jevons.
  Yellow Cards Red Cards
Middlesbrough: Festa, Gascoigne, Vickers.
EVERTON: Dacourt, Hutchison, Ball.

Steve Allinson We really could have edged it
THE SUNDAY TIMES Sweet taste of Ricard fades as Everton spoil the party
by Louise Taylor
THE TIMES Gascoigne and Ricard set tone of growing authority
by George Caulkin

ELECTRONIC TELEGRAPH Everton show fighting spirit
by Alyson Rudd
THE EVERTONIAN Link to the latest Match Report

SOCCERNET Link to SoccerNet Match Report
CARLINGNET Link to CarlingNet Match Report

We really could have edged it
Steve Allinson
"Put that cigarette out" says a steward! Big NO SMOKING signs around the pitch. Lordy lord... comes to something when you're not allowed a gasp in the open air... I duly oblige. Find my seat and light up again.

Impression of the ground ? Soulless really does some it up. The uneven roof line at the far end adds to the impression that it's all a bit thrown together, no interesting features, no scoreboard. Not even a clock and as I'd forgot my watch this rankled.

We're off, and despite reports the first half-hour seemed like honours even to me. Neither side making sufficient headway to capitalise. Ricard looking tricky and Gascgoine looking slimmer, displaying a few reminders of his capability. Lovely moment as Ball, who seems completely unphased by anybody these days, takes the ball from the fat one's feet. Gassa manages a swift recovery tackle, our Mickey weighs in again, and Collins just runs past collecting the loose ball as the two of them are still concentrating on each other...

No real chances, then. Best effort was a well-hit drive from outside the box from Hutch which Schwarzer smothered. Of course, it falls apart as the half-hour approaches. Tommy comes out for a cross, Beck gets a head to it, and the ball hangs in the air as it floats goatwards. Materazzi lets Ricard goalside of him and as the ball comes down he is able to shepherd it into the net. Arse!

The tannoy starts blasting out some triumphant clip of crap which makes me want to retch. Somehow it's in keeping with the stadium. Still, weather the storm and we'll see.... Weather it we didn't. We suddenly look at sixes and sevens, and the most exquisite 30-yard cross almost from the left-hand touchtine, Beck again, and Ri- card's round Unsworth to head it home. Lovely goal. That's us. Off goes the tan- noy again...

"Atmosphere 'r' us". Trudge away at half time. Desultory chat with all and sundry. Gonna be a long season etc etc. The Squid on for Hutch as we kick off again, I'm just settled into my seat, Danny sprints to the left corner of the eighteen yard box, I'm looking to see who's there for the cross and there's a roar as he's caught by a defender and tumbles to the ground... Penalty?? GIVEN!

Danny punches the air in triumph! Don't even have time to ponder who's got the task as Bally's placed it and runs up... SWEET AS YOU LIKE! Keeper did everything, right way, right height.... TOO LATE! YES!

Hope floods back...No triumphant tannoy.... YES! A full half ahead of us.... Don't even catch my breath as Dune finds Collins on the edge of the box, turns and places it perfectly inside the far post. It's coming straight at where we're sitting, goal all the way, not even time to wonder whether the keeper will get to it... We're singing fit to burst.

There'd been a bit of give and take for the first 20 minutes but the stuffing went at half time. Three minutes into the second half, we're level again and the Boro without their tannoy are sullen. And that's the way it stayed. We kept at them but it wasn't to be. A late moment or two of worry as the minutes ticked by but it would have been an injustice not to take a point home. We really could have edged it.

Sweet taste of Ricard fades as Everton spoil the party
by Louise Taylor, The Sunday Times
THEY said he was low on aggression, prone to theatricals and, even worse, virtually incapable of converting the most inviting chances. In short, Hamilton Ricard lacked bottle, play-acted and could barely hit a barn door. How wrong could they be?

Yesterday the gawky striker proved highly effective, scoring both Middlesbrough's goals and vindicating Bryan Robson's decision to import him from Colombia last March. Moreover, he succeeded in eclipsing Everton's Duncan Ferguson.

By half-time, a Ricard-propelled Boro were two up and passing with haughty disdain, but it all went wrong when they failed to bargain for an Everton side which belatedly remembered the arts of tackling and tracking back, capitalising on suspect home concentration to register two swift goals at the start of the second half.

Middlesbrough's manager has confessed to fantasies about seeing Ferguson, Everton's formerly reprobate centre-forward, wearing Boro red. While it is no secret that a trans-Pennine relocation – reputedly for around £12m – remains a possibility, Riverside regulars harbour reservations as to whether they really want a fortnightly dose of Big Dunc.

Everton's Italian summer buy, Marco Materazzi, has proved a consistently weak link, though, and erred badly again here, looking flat-footed as Robbie Mustoe crossed to Mikkel Beck and Hamilton Ricard applied the finishing nudge, ensuring that the Dane's effort crossed the line.

Ricard's second goal also followed a cross, this time supplied by Beck, which precipitated a glancing, looping header that left Thomas Myhre totally wrong-footed as it flew into the net. It was the Colombian's sixth goal of the season – not bad for a player intially dubbed "Hamilton Retard".

Boro's principal creator, Paul Gascoigne, sometimes had his style cramped by Olivier Dacourt, Everton's self-styled enforcer. Granted, his first touch was England class and he conjured many of Boro's best moments, but Gascoigne was often too pondrous, losing possesson.

Everton have, however, a manager well versed in the art of half-time pep talks and Walter Smith's interval exhortations clearly had the desired effect. The second period had barely kicked off when Vickers felled Danny Cadamarteri, who had come on as a substitute, inside the area, and Michael Ball converted the ensuing penalty.

The visiting celebrations had hardly subsided before they were redoubled, Ferguson heading down and John Collins shooting Everton level with a left-foot drive..

The Merseysiders demonstrated their chameleon nature by looking a totally different team. Whereas in the first half, Middlesbrough had constructed passing patterns in the balmy September sunshine, the second saw Everton ruthlessly closing red shirts down in the manner of Joe Royle's old "dogs of war."

Report © Times Newspapers Ltd

Gascoigne and Ricard set tone of growing authority
by George Caulkin, The Times
RARELY can the oxymoron have been put to such widespread use than on Saturday, when a clinical Hamilton Ricard belied his hapless reputation in front of goal, Paul Gascoigne appeared once more of international calibre and even the sun beamed down on the Teesside permafrost. How unfortunate for Middlesbrough that another contradiction should pre-empt their first home league victory this season: super-charged Everton.

A surrealist theme saturated this match, from the depth and strength of Middlesbrough's first-half performance to their loss of concentration at the start of the second; from Everton's woefully limp early approach to the resilience of their comeback. It even extended to the press room afterwards, when Bryan Robson shied away from passing comment on Great Britain's most talked-about man. "Every week, I seem to be talking about Gazza, but I don't want to talk about him any more. He's proving himself on the pitch."

The tetchiness of the Middlesbrough manager could probably be ascribed to the gossip, innuendo and tales of drunken escapades that linger around the player like an unpleasant hangover, but the timing was unusual. This, undoubtedly, was Gascoigne's most accomplished game since leaving Rangers last March. He did not burst upon the senses as he might have done of old and it did take the trauma of two rapid Everton goals to prompt it, but, akin to a spluttering engine that suddenly catches and warms, so Gascoigne's influence began to grow. There was one powerful dribble, a clever chip towards Mikkel Beck, a dipping shot and, a few minutes from time, an achingly brilliant spinning pass that warranted a more deserving target than Dean Gordon, the left back.

In the three games since Paul Merson departed for Aston Villa, Robson's side have played with increasing authority, a fact partially – if not wholly – explained by the reassuring presence of the veteran defenders Gary Pallister and Colin Cooper among their number. Gascoigne, rather than being the uninvited house-guest he appeared before, is now the landlord of the team. In essence, he has inherited Merson's role.

"Paul Gascoigne is a quality player and the more games he gets under his belt, the better he's going to be," John Collins, the Everton midfield player, said. "He may not be as sharp as he used to be, but, in flashes, you can see he's still got it."

"It" includes the propensity to implode, as an untamed lunge on Olivier Dacourt illustrated. "Ask Bryan about that," was all the light that Dacourt's manager, Walter Smith, was prepared to shed on the subject. Bryan, of course, was proving to be a little reticent on that subject, although he did expand, though gritted teeth, on his side's surrender of their well-deserved lead.

"Madcap," was his description of the defensive error that saw Steve Vickers, the centre half, challenge Danny Cadamarteri, the Everton substitute – who had been on the pitch for all of 40 seconds – inside the area. That, and Michael Ball's cleanly struck penalty, offered the visitors a lifeline.

Then, two minutes later, Duncan Ferguson won a header on the edge of the area and Alex Cleland knocked a sideways pass for Collins to score with a low, raking drive from well outside the box.

"We pressed the self-destruct button," Robson said. "We have experienced Premiership players at the back and they should do better than that."

Ferguson, a player Robson still covets, had been anonymous all afternoon. In fact, few among the visiting ranks had not been anonymous by the time that Middlesbrough took the lead, Beck straining to reach Robbie Mustoe's cross and Ricard using his chest to score. The Colombia striker took his tally to six for the season when more good work from his partner, Beck, provided him with a straightforward header.

Cadamarteri's introduction altered the pace and flow of proceedings – "I had to do something because we hadn't done anything before that," Smith admitted – and the rest of the game was evenly contested and sporadically entertaining. Perhaps it was just as well that the result was a draw; title-chasing Middlesbrough sounds a little far-fetched even at this stage.

Report © Times Newspapers Ltd

Everton show fighting spirit
Alyson Rudd, Electronic Telegraph
FOR both these sides triumph is simply the avoidance of disaster and in that sense they could both feel vindicated: Middlesbrough have found an exciting rhythm after a listless start to the season and Everton have found a fighting spirit – by half-time they had looked dead and buried.

There are depictions of crucifixes attached to every lamp-post on the approach to the Riverside with the message, in order to promote a bar, that God takes a special interest in Paul Gascoigne. Inside the stadium the atmosphere is equally reverential, no matter how mundane the pass, how slow the jog. But it has to be noted that while Gascoigne is hardly sufficiently revitalised to warrant a return to the England fold as his manager, Bryan Robson, claims he should be, his team-mates at Middlesbrough have learned how to squeeze the best out of him.

Gascoigne and Everton's John Collins perform a similar function in midfield but the home team were more adept at finding their creative genius and avoiding him when he was not in space. The opposite applied to Collins. A diagonal pass from Gary Pallister summed it all up for the ball was weighted to find a stationary Gascoigne in space enough to try a shot which although too high was worth a go.

The more fluent team work ought to be reflected in the scoreline and so it proved when, in the 28th minute, Robbie Mustoe's cross-field pass found Mikkel Beck on the right of the penalty area. The Danish striker seemed intent on looping the ball towards Hamilton Ricard, but it crossed the line without the Colombian's help or at least so we all thought, but the Riverside's version of video evidence meant that the public address system altered its original pronouncement and deemed that Ricard, who did not claim the goal, was responsible for it.

Still, Ricard unleashed his celebrations for Middlesbrough's second goal and his sixth of the season, an excellent header from Dean Gordon's cross that left the Everton defence dazed. Ricard was gliding, they were stuttering.

Everton are consistent these days only in respect of their reputation as the bad boys of the Premiership with the bookings multiplying at an astonishing rate. Olivier Dacourt must surely learn to tame his instincts or he will steal Duncan Ferguson's reputation from under his feet. Dacourt, already due to miss Blackburn's trip to Goodison next week through suspension, careered around the pitch as though he had a Papal blessing to do as he pleased and so, unsurprisingly, was cautioned before the first half had finished. What does the softly spoken Walter Smith say when he has seen his team underwhelm? On this occasion something pretty strong for within four minutes of the re-start Everton were level.

Danny Cadamarteri frequently enters the fray as substitute, and yesterday he won a penalty decision after being on the pitch for less than 90 seconds. Referee Dermot Gallagher decided Steve Vickers' foul on Cadamarteri took place just inside the area and Michael Ball, 18, took the penalty with all the steel associated with his nickname of 'The German'.

Invigorated with a born-again spirit Everton stormed forward and an intelligent header by Ferguson left Alex Cleland free to feed Collins for an incisive equaliser. Perplexed during the first half as to why Robson covets Ferguson, the home fans now had at least an inkling.

Report © The Electronic Telegraph

RESULTS  (Game 6)
Saturday 19 September 1998
Coventry City (1) 1 Newcastle United (3) 5       22,656
Whelan 4.  Dabizas 14, Shearer 42, 90, Speed 43, Glass 58.
Derby County (1) 2 Leicester City (0) 0          26,738
Schnoor 34, Wanchope 51.
Leeds United (0) 0 Aston Villa (0) 0             33,446

Liverpool (1) 3 Charlton Athletic (1) 3          44,526
Fowler 33 (pen), 82, Berger 67.  Rufus 24, Mendonca 61, S. Jones 83.
Middlesbrough (2) 2 Everton (0) 2                34,563
Ricard 27, 35.  Ball 47:pen, Collins 48. 
Nottingham Forest (0) 0 West Ham United (0) 0    26,463

Southampton (0) 1 Tottenham Hotspur (1) 1        15,204
Le Tissier 64.  Fox 25.
Wimbledon (1) 2 Sheffield Wednesday (0) 1        13,163
Euell 1, 50.  Di Canio 84.

Sunday 20 September 1998
Arsenal (2) 3  Manchester United (0) 0           38,142
Adams 13, Anelka 44, Ljungberg 84.

Monday 21 September 1998
Blackburn Rovers (1) 3  Chelsea (1) 4            23,113
Sutton 22, 79 (pen), Perez 57.  Zola 15, Leboeuf 51 (pen), Flo 82, 86.

LEAGUE TABLE (after 21 September 1998 )
Club                          P    W    D    L   GF   GA   GD   Pts
Aston Villa                   6    4    2    0    7    1    6   14
Derby County                  6    3    3    0    6    2    4   12
Liverpool                     6    3    2    1   12    7    5   11
Wimbledon                     6    3    2    1   10    8    2   11
Arsenal                       6    2    4    0    6    2    4   10
Leeds United                  6    2    4    0    5    1    4   10
Middlesbrough                 6    2    3    1    8    6    2    9
West Ham United               6    2    3    1    6    5    1    9
Newcastle United              6    2    2    2   11    7    4    8
Manchester United             5    2    2    1    8    6    2    8
Chelsea                       5    2    2    1    8    7    1    8
Nottingham Forest             6    2    1    3    5    7   -2    7
Tottenham Hotspur             6    2    1    3    5   11   -6    7
Sheffield Wednesday           6    2    0    4    7    5    2    6
Charlton Athletic             6    1    3    2   10    9    1    6
Everton                       6    1    3    2    4    5   -1    6
Leicester City                6    1    2    3    5    7   -2    5
Blackburn Rovers              6    1    1    4    5   10   -5    4
Coventry City                 6    1    1    4    3   11   -8    4
Southampton                   6    0    1    5    3   17  -14    1

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Last updated: 21 September 1998