Everton 2 - 0 Birmingham City
Half-time: 0 - 0
FA Cup 1999-2000 4th Round
3pm Saturday 8 January 2000
Goodison Park, Merseyside
Wally's wayward youngsters were once again ready to give their all in the
Royal Blue shirts of Everton after the abysmal displays before and during
the Leicester match. Everton had Richard Dunne in defence, and an alert,
sober, fit, Franny Jeffers up front, with Ball doing his now usual bench
Barmby may have recovered from the atrocious lunge by Tim Flowers, but was
obviously still suffering, and unable to really get much of a
spark back into the newly lifeless Everton.
Everton carried over their dreadful New Year malaise into much of the first
half, granting Birmingham three good chances. But after about 20 mins, things
seemed to improve when Hutchison headed just wide, then Jeffers hit the post
after 25 mins. But in a poor first half, Everton were unable to score against
a lively and determined Birmingham side.
Everton started the second half much better, with numerous shots going close,
a clearance off the line, and Campbell getting his obligatory offside goal.
Sustained Everton pressure finally paid off as Barmby was hauled down and
Unsworth converted from the spot. The scenario was repeated in the
93rd minute, when Campbell's shirt was pulled as he turned to shoot,
and Everton finally ran out winners.
Unsworth (pen:76', pen:93')
Subs Not Used
Gerrard; Unsworth, Gough, Weir,
Dunne (78' Watson); Pembridge, Hutchison, Collins,
Barmby; Jeffers (81' Gemmill), Campbell.
Unavailable: Xavier (ill); Cleland,
Williamson (injured); Branch, Myhre, Phelan (on loan); Bilic
(in limbo); Parkinson (retired).
Ball, Moore, Simonsen.
Bennett, Grainger (46' Adebola), Holdsworth, Charlton,
Johnson, Rowett, Hughes, Hyde, O'Connor, Robinson (63' Lazaridis), Marcelo
Royal Blue shirts, white shorts, blue socks
Red shirts, red shorts, white socks
After a week of adverse publicity (racism and errant youngsters), it was
a relief to get back to some football. Some of the magic has undoubtedly
gone from the FA Cup this season, what with December starts and absent teams,
and this was starkly shown by a poor Goodison Park attendance, but there
is of course the ultimate carrot of a Wembley Final and a European place
at offer. So, this was still a very important game for us, even if the atmosphere
surrounding the game didn't quite reflect that.
With Dunne now forgiven and Barmby shaking off the effects of Flowers' horror
challenge, it was back to Walter's preferred starting eleven. Gerrard quite
rightly kept his place and Dunne returned to a comfortably familiar back
four alongside Unsworth, Weir and Gough. It was our usual midfield quartet
of Barmby, Hutchison, Collins and Pembridge and Campbell and Jeffers were
up front. Today's bench warmers were Simonsen, Ball, Watson, Gemmill and
The game started with us carrying on from where we left off against Leicester.
Passes were going astray, we struggled to get the game played on the deck
and too many players were displaying a poor touch on the ball. As a spectacle
it was probably even worse than it had been against Leicester.
Birmingham looked like a typical First Division side big and strong,
well organised and hard working but lacking quality and a cutting
edge near goal. Much of the first half descended into a horrible midfield
mess. We seemed incapable of stringing two worthwhile passes together; whilst
Birmingham were allowed to pass around us with almost embarrassing ease,
they never looked likely to unsettle us too much.
Having said that, they did manage to have three very good first half chances.
The chances came about more from our inadequacies than their own endeavours,
but come they did and really they should have done better with them. As it
was, I'm not even sure they managed to hit the target but the warning signs
were there for us.
As for Everton's scoring chances, I'm struggling to remember many. The couple
that I can clearly remember are (1) Franny Jeffers hitting the inside of
the post with a snap shot after he had cleverly made space for himself outside
the box, and (2) Kevin Campbell being denied by some very sharp goalkeeping
after he had been played into the box. After such a dire first-half offering,
Everton left the pitch to muted boos. A big improvement was needed in the
Fortunately, the second half did indeed bring about an improvement. Without
ever being especially good, we did up the pace and we did, on a few occasions,
manage to string some passes together and get behind the Birmingham defence.
For about 10 or 15 minutes we had Birmingham under some pressure; a string
of corners, some good approach play from the likes of Barmby and Jeffers,
and Birmingham were rocking... It was during this spell of the game that
we really should have put it beyond them, but we lacked the killer punch,
over-elaboration, indecisive finishing and some desperate defending saw
Birmingham ride out the storm.
After our good spell, we became a little withdrawn and Birmingham came back
into the game. They never looked even remotely like scoring; our defensive
uncertainties of the first half seemed well behind us, but we lost the initiative
and I began to think that we were never going to score.
It seems that these days we are struggling to score without a little outside
help. This proved to be the case again today. Nick Barmby was the instigator
with yet more clever work down the right, running at pace into the box his
heels were clipped and David Elleray gave the penalty. The defender adjudged
to have conceded the penalty was incensed clearly thinking he hadn't touched
Barmby, Barmby quite clearly told him that he had indeed touched him. Personally,
despite a good vantage point, I couldn't really tell, Barmby was moving in
at speed and so it wouldn't have taken much contact to bring him down, but
it was impossible to tell from a first viewing. Whatever, we weren't going
to look a gift horse in the mouth and Unsworth converted with his customary
Against limited opposition that was likely to be enough. We had to change
things around a little with Franny going off to be replaced by Gemmill (Gemmill
went into centre midfield with Don playing a little further up field but
not as an out and out striker), and then Dunne had to be taken off after
picking up some sort of leg injury, Watson took his place with Weir moving
to right back. We coped pretty well with the changes and never really looked
like conceding a goal.
However, there was always the danger that a goal could come from a set-piece
and Birmingham looked dangerous from corners all match long. We really needed
another goal to calm everyone's nerves. The goal finally arrived and once
again we needed outside help. Good work down the right opened up Birmingham
and presented Campbell with a chance directly in front of goal, he would
surely have scored except that his shirt was pulled from behind as he lined
up his shot. A clear penalty and no complaints this time. Unsworth stepped
up again and scored into the same corner of the net. He really does look
like an assured penalty taker.
That was practically the last kick of the match and it was mission accomplished.
We had never been good, in fact we had been downright awful at times, but
we had safely negotiated potentially difficult opponents and in the final
analysis we had done enough and shown just about enough quality to have deserved
Gerrard 6 Not too much to do but he does worry me at times. Twice
he was slow to come off his line to deal with balls coming into the box,
it didn't cost us this time but it is becoming something of a habit.
Dunne 7 Continuing his good run of form.
Unsworth 7 Two smartly taken penalties and a typical Unsworth performance
of good honest endeavour and good uncomplicated defending.
Weir 7 After his mini-wobble instigated by the Man Utd mauling is
back to his accomplished best.
Gough 7 Yet another sound defensive performance.
Barmby 7 A lively, energetic performance. Involved in all our best
Hutchison 6 Not at his best and we did seem to lose the midfield battle
Collins 6 Anonymous in the first half but showed himself more in the
second. Not one of his better days.
Pembridge 5 Thought he was pretty poor today. Gave the ball away too
cheaply too often.
Jeffers 7 Big, big improvement on the Leicester game (I think we can
put that down to the Millennium Eve Incident). Looked lively, nearly scored.
Campbell 6 I still don't think he's playing anything like his best
but at least he worked hard and ran for us today.
Gemmill - came on fairly late and to be honest I barely noticed him.
Watson - ditto Gemmill.
Team 6 Poor. Like against Leicester, too often we were second to the
ball, and our passing game, once again, was pretty wretched.
Man of the match - Nick Barmby for being the one man who could raise
our game above the very ordinary.
Time to Sell Jeffers!!!
As I made my way to the ground, thoughts of a nine-nil victory filled my
mind, and I honestly felt that we were going to batter the brummies, and
cruise into the next round. And the last sixteen of the Cup. Our seat were
up in the Main Stand, Block 5, row M, or something. Basically, the view was
good, as I was looking from an angle at the goal Birmingham were defending
in the first half nearest to me, and I had a good view of everything on the
So, in the early few minutes we seemed to set out our stall to attack, and
looked like the Premiership side. Now, when I say that don't make any mistake
because it lasted until about the thrd minute, and that was it, honeymoon
over, and the usual brand of blue crap crept into play. We were second to
just about everything for huge patches of the game. What an appauling display!
The line-up looked good, Gerrard in goal, back four of Rhino, Gough, Weir,
and Dunne; Midfield of Hutch and Collins in the middle, with Barmby out on
the right, and then Campbell and Jeffers up front. Pembridge was on the pitch,
too, but as the colour-blind idiot can't pass to a blue shirt, EVER, I refuse
to name him as a member of our line-up. Thankfully, Waggy was kept on the
bench, and I really think it's time this one-time legend hung up his boots
and stopped embarrassing himself. Sorry, but he's out of his depth in the
Prem, and it's clear for all to see after the fiascos against Liecester and
Coventry to name but two.
Back to the match itself, though, and yes, it was horrible. Passes were poorly
given away, and if Birmingham were anything more than an average side, they
would have been three-nil up after the early exchanges. Honestly, Birminghan
are nowhere near good enough to be considered relegation fodder in the Prem,
and they showed it off by missing two gilt-edged opportunities to score
(Marcelino and O'Connor, maybe). They got one on target, but Gerrard made
a solid block.
Basically, they were about as bad as us, but we only had one serious goal
contender, and that was from a lazy-looking Jeffers, who was going to run
with it, had acres of space and thought, "Nah, I can't be arsed with that,
I think I'll just twat it from here." So, he shot incredibly well, and was
unlucky not to score the opener. What a shot! I still think he should be
sold, though. No commitment, and no desire to play for the Royal Blue. Sod
him. We want to keep the ones like Dunne, Ball and Unsworth, though, and
the two who played today were head and shoulders above Gough and Weir as
our best defenders. Seriously.
By the end of the half, I must say that I wasn't all that impressed with
either of the three midfielders, although, Barmby and Collins do look like
they could hold their own in a good midfield. Hutch on the other hand actually
set up one of their good chances with a wayward pass. Another sloppy piece
of play. At least only about half of our play was the old route one stuff,
and with the defence and Collins & Barmby, and Campbell all playing some
0-0 at the break, and the Brummies were unlucky not to be well out in front.
Into the second, and it was a marginal improvement, and
we got those vital penalties. We got two instead of three
on the day, but while Barmby did look like the ball had gone a little too
far in front of him when he was tripped, I think Super Kev was definitely
about to score when he was hauled down.
Besides those situations, Campbell chickened out of a clear run on goal and
instead waited for support in an instant that came after the 1st goal. Hutch
showed up and collected the pass from him, only to ignore an impressive overlap
from Barmby, and then he wanted the ball on his right foot, and that took
too much time, and the chance was gone.
Also, Collins should have created a chance for Kev, but he wanted too much
time to hit the pass, so that when he eventually released our number nine,
it was all a little too late. Not that much of a sin, unless you're on
£26,000 per week.
All in all, they couldn't beat or defence when they had the ball, on the
other hand we did look the better side in the second half, and the only way
their defence could contain us was by conceding 2 (but should have been 3)
penalties. So we were good value, even at two-nil.
Man of the match Barmby/Unsworth/Dunne. Three way tie. Also, I have
to say that Wally is seriously testing my patirence by playing Pembridge
over and over again. This man is costing us games, and as his manager, Wally
is throwing them away. I want Ball on the left of the midfield. Sell Jeffers,
but only if we get good money, otherwise, give him the Ball treatment, i.e.
stick him on the bench. Moore doesn't look the part to me from what I've
seen, so I think we need more money for forwards. But what else is new?!
Birmingham pay penalty
by Dave Hannigan, The Sunday Times
DESPITE their manager Walter Smith talking about what a financial boon an
FA Cup run would represent for his cash-strapped club, the Everton players
took their time before showing they shared his determination to secure a
place in the last 16. When they finally roused themselves in the second half,
the home side did show Birmingham the true gulf between Premiership and First
Division. Still, having fashioned 20 shots on goal in all, it took two David
Unsworth penalties to eventually clinch their passage.
That had as much to do with the brilliance of Birmingham City's goalkeeper
Ian Bennett as anything else. Time and again in the second half, Bennett
defied Everton and kept his side in with a chance of causing a shock. With
14 minutes to go, Unsworth finally beat him from the spot but the award of
that first penalty, after an Eddie Newton challenge on Nicky Barmby, was
"I felt at the time that Barmby took a dive," said Birmingham manager Trevor
Francis "I've since seen the video since, watched the incident a couple of
times and I can see there was no contact at all. My players are bitterly
upset. Up to that, I thought we were heading towards a replay."
In truth, after a first half-hour during which their hard-working midfield
axis of Martin O'Connor and Graham Hyde held sway, the visitors' chance of
an upset diminished as the game wore on. After only seven minutes, O'Connor
dispossessed Don Hutchison and tested Paul Gerrard from distance. Two minutes
later, the overlapping Gary Rowett shot narrowly wide from a good position
and soon after that, Bryan Hughes sent the ball the wrong side of the post.
Throughout this bright opening by an injury-hit Birmingham side, Everton
appeared lacklustre. With Hutchison and John Collins giving best in midfield
to their lesser-ranked opponents, they struggled to find any fluency and
the impatient home support were soon on their case. With only a marvellous
Francis Jeffers 25-yard strike that came back off the post to cheer in the
first half, the home support's waning spirits were lifted by an exuberant
start to the second.
In the 51st minute, Michael Johnson did well to prevent Hutchison scoring
at the end of a sweeping move involving Mark Pembridge and Jeffers that announced
Everton's renewed determination.
Seconds later, the outstretched boot of Simon Charlton raked a Campbell toe-poke
off the line before the same player had a header disallowed for offside.
As the siege continued, the ever-vigilant Bennett turned away a half-volley
from Barmby. Then, Collins created yet another opening for Campbell but having
sprung the offside trap he could not keep his shot on target. When he did
manage to do so from a Jeffers pull-back just after the hour, Bennett was
once more equal to his best effort and until referee David Elleray adjudged
Newton to have fouled Barmby in the 76th minute, a clean sheet appeared within
the keeper's grasp.
Once the lead was attained, Smith replaced the young Irish defender Richard
Dunne with the veteran Dave Watson, and withdrew Jeffers in favour of the
midfield grit of Scott Gemmill. The reshuffle hardly disrupted their rhythm,
and it took two more superb Bennett saves to frustrate Barmby and Campbell
in the closing stages.
Right at the end, Campbell was fouled by David Holdsworth, and Unsworth converted
his second penalty. Not even man of the match Bennett could do anything about
Unsworth unravels Everton's
by Dave Hadfield, The Independent
David Unsworth's penalties are turning into Everton's most potent attacking
weapon. Six days ago, one saved his side's unbeaten home record in the
Premiership and two in the last 14 minutes at Goodison yesterday gave them
an FA Cup victory that they just about deserved.
Everton made one change from the side that had been unconvincing against
Leicester in their last outing, bringing back Richard Dunne after his New
Year misadventures, in place of Dave Watson. Nicky Barmby was passed fit
to play despite his crunching knee-to-knee collision with Tim Flowers on
At least Walter Smith was able to field something recognisable as a first
team, which was more than Trevor Francis could manage, with his attacking
options particularly depleted, despite the presence of two of his recovering
invalids, Dele Adebola and Stan Lazaridis, on the bench.
Birmingham still managed the first meaningful strike on goal, their captain,
Martin O'Connor, dispossessing Don Hutchison when his opposite number wanted
too long on the ball and firing in a shot that made Paul Gerrard fling himself
to his left. As the errors continued, Birmingham wasted two more chances.
Everton were not merely dreadful, they resembled the Everton of the first
half of last season and there can be few worse condemnations than that.
It was 25 minutes before they had their first attempt on goal of any
description--a routine header from Richard Gough that went tamely wide.
Far more threatening was the way Francis Jeffers smashed his shot against
the inside of the post after being fed by Kevin Campbell. Not before time,
Everton were coming to life and, before half-time, the Birmingham goalkeeper,
Ian Bennett, had to save at Campbell's feet.
Francis revamped his side at half-time by bringing on Adebola to add some
stature up front. It was the sign of a team that felt the game was there
for the winning, although they came close to going behind when Simon Charlton
cleared off the line from Campbell. The persistent Campbell finally got the
ball in the net with a diving header after Jeffers had touched on Hutchison's
free-kick, but the flag was up for off-side.
Everton had a more insistent look about them now, with Barmby having a shot
blocked and Campbell shooting past the post from John Collins' pass. Campbell
went desperately close again when Bennett thwarted him with his feet.
A replay at St Andrew's was looking likely when Campbell, leading the line
with industry and intelligence despite the lack of the goal he deserved,
put the ball in from the right. Barmby's darting run was too quick for the
Birmingham substitute, Eddie Newton, and his lunge gave Unsworth his first
opportunity from the spot.
After Barmby had a goal-bound shot saved, Campbell had his feet taken from
under him in injury time and Unsworth obliged once more.
Fuming Francis puts Barmby on the
by Stephen Wood, The Times
A SLICE of his earnings may come from television punditry, but Trevor Francis
has never been inclined towards vocal outbursts. Only when he has the courage
of his convictions will he demur, but, unfortunately for Birmingham City,
the bitter words he directed towards Everton after this defeat will have
as much impact as his team's performance.
Indeed, Francis was eager to explain that, given his tutelage as a player
under the demure management of Brian Clough at Nottingham Forest two decades
ago, he was loath to criticise referees or fellow professionals. The incident
that precipitated Birmingham City's departure from the FA Cup, however, was
too much to bear.
Until Nick Barmby, the Everton midfield player, won a penalty 13 minutes
from the end of this FA Cup fourth-round tie at Goodison Park, Birmingham,
the Nationwide League first division side, were clinging to the prospect
of a replay at St Andrew's.
Barmby, running at the heart of the visitors' defence, lost control of the
ball as Eddie Newton prepared to challenge him in the penalty area. Newton
pulled out of the tackle at the last moment, but Barmby went down. David
Unsworth converted the spot kick and, with almost the last kick of the game,
he repeated the feat to secure Everton's passage to the fifth round.
The second penalty, Francis acknowledged, was as justified as it was
"irrelevant". It was the actions of Barmby in winning the first, while ensuring
that Everton remain in the Cup, that curtailed Birmingham's own interests
in the competition. Francis even felt moved to have words with Barmby after
"I told him what I thought, but he disagreed," Francis said. "I was taught
by Brian Clough not to show dissent, but I cannot hold back. I thought Barmby
took a dive at the time, and the television replays show that no contact
was made by our player."
Barmby is not a diver by reputation but, to judge from Francis's views, the
climate in English football may have coloured his thinking.
"The actions we only used to see on the Continent have crept into our game
over the last few years," Francis said. "It is difficult to know how to reverse
the trend, but there should be an intervention by Gordon Taylor [chairman
of the Professional Footballers' Association]. Referees have a hard enough
job as it is, and there have been other incidents recently which have highlighted
While Barmby continues to plead his innocence, Everton will argue that the
affair has overshadowed the fact that their dominance was deserving of reward.
After a bright opening, Birmingham were reliant upon Ian Bennett, their
goalkeeper, in retaining them a prolonged interest. So, in contrast to the
other growing trend in English football, Francis cannot expect this controversy
to yield a replay.
Times Newspapers Ltd
Unsworth is spot on again for Everton
Trevor Haylett, Electronic Telegraph
EVERTON had just endured the kind of week that in terms of bad publicity
only the Body Zone and David Beckham have been able to better. The win that
was so important to them was a long time arriving and in the end it came
down to penalties.
Birmingham had begun much the brighter and while Everton had command of virtually
the entire second half it was harsh on Trevor Francis's team to go out in
the manner they did. Nick Barmby, running on to a pass from Kevin Campbell,
was baulked by Eddie Newton and that persuaded David Elleray to award the
penalty which David Unsworth rolled home.
Unsworth had escaped the grim fallout from New Year celebrations which for
various reasons had seen Francis Jeffers, Richard Dunne and Michael Ball
earn the displeasure of manager Walter Smith. The defender had saved the
Merseysiders from defeat at the hands of Leicester on Monday and after a
foul on Campbell there was another successful spot kick for him yesterday
in injury time.
The Everton goal had come under real threat from two attempts early in the
first half and although Jeffers struck the base of a post it was against
the run of play.
Sensing Everton's unease, Birmingham attacked with purpose and found scope
out wide. Gary Rowett, a former Evertonian, embarked on a long surge from
right-back and when released by a slick Marcelo-Bryan Hughes combination
his low shot escaped the far corner by the narrowest of margins.
Two minutes later a corner fell to Graham Hyde, whose angled chip gave Hughes
the chance to add to his recent tally as the offside flag stayed down but
again the aim was just fractionally awry.
The Birmingham onslaught had begun with a powerful Martin O'Connor effort
that had stung the goalkeeper's palms. That opportunity had arrived as O'Connor
won possession from Don Hutchison and for some time the home team remained
off the pace. Then Jeffers, sensing Everton's need for something spectacular
just to get them going, unleashed a crashing drive which came back from the
woodwork with Ian Bennett well beaten.
It was a reminder of the Premiership's greater firepower which, ultimately,
was to prove significant.