Everton Logo

Everton 4 - 0 Bradford City

Half-time: 2 - 0

Bradford City Logo
FA Carling Premiership 1999-2000 – Game 34
3pm Saturday 15 April 2000
Goodison Park, Merseyside
Att: 30,646
Leicester City (a) Ref: Paul Alcock Liverpool (h) »
[1999-2000 Fixtures & Results] League Position: 9th [Premiership Results & Table]
Phil Jevons

Everton's attacking options were further reduced with Joe-Max Moore sustaining an injury at Filbert Street, so Walter Smith finally gave Phil Jevons a Premiership start.  Richard Gough also missed the match, but Don Hutchison passed a late fitness test.  Mark Hughes returned to the squad after his suspension last week and Francis Jeffers was on the bench after a seven-week layoff with an ankle injury.

Bradford, boasting ex-Blues Peter Beagrie, Stuart McCall, and keeper-coach Neville Southall among their ranks, soon fell behind thanks to a clever flick-on from Everton's young reserves star, putting in Pembridge for the first goal after just 74 s.  Jevons later broke into the area but was was felled by the keeper and Unsworth strode up to power in his 7th penalty of the season.

The first half continued to be open and flowing, but many promising moves failed due to poor touches or wayward passes, with Barmby, Collins, Jevons and Pembridge all at fault despite appearing to work hard.

In the second half, Everton confirmed their superiority with a well-constructed goal from Barmby, and then relaxed so much that it seemed Bradford would get back in it, with Gerrard making an amazing double-save at one point.  But repeated if casual attacks finally brought the just reward when Collins powered a rebound curling away from Clarke into the roof of the net.

The first clean sheet in 10 games for Gerrard, who looked more confident, and did more sensible thrown clearances which allowed Everton to build from the back.  And on the discipline front, the fourth card-free match in a row for Everton.  

A nice confidence-builder for Good Friday?  Or a warning that if Everton play like this against Liverpool, we will be slaughtered?



EVERTON: Pembridge (2') Unsworth (pen:16'), Barmby (55'), Collins (85')
Bradford City:
   LINEUPS  Subs Not Used
EVERTON: Gerrard, Xavier (75' Ball), Weir, Unsworth (46' Dunne), Collins, Barmby, Hutchison, Pembridge, S Hughes, Jevons, M Hughes (80' Jeffers).
Unavailable: Moore, Gough, Cleland, Campbell, Williamson (injured); Myhre (on loan).
Cadamarteri, Simonsen.
Bradford City: Clarke, Halle, Wetherall, O'Brien, Jacobs (66' Dreyer), Blake, Beagrie, McCall, Sharpe, Windass, Saunders (57' Rankin).   Westwood, Whalley, Davison. 
   Playing Strips  Formations
EVERTON: Royal Blue shirts; white shorts; blue socks. 4-4-2
Bradford City: Claret & amber shirts; amber shorts; amber socks. 4-4-2
   Yellow Cards  Red Cards
Bradford City: O'Brien (50'), Wetherall (74')


Darryl Ng Collins Masterclass
Steve Bickerton Behold the Gulf in Class
Richard Marland Quality on Show
ELECTRONIC TELEGRAPH Jewell's warriors losing battle to stay up
by Derick Allsop
THE SUNDAY TIMES Bradford dream dies
by Steve Curry
THE INDEPENDENT Hutchinson leads Everton masterclass
by Richard Slater
THE TIMES Bradford fading beyond salvation
by Stephen Wood
EVERTON WEBSITE Link to the Official Match Report

EFC NEWS SITE Link to the Echo/Daily Post Match Report

THE OBSERVER Link to Football Unlimited Match Report
THE GUARDIAN Link to Football Unlimited Match Report
SPORTING LIFE Link to PA News Match Report
SOCCERNET Link to SoccerNet Match Report
CARLINGNET Link to CarlingNet Match Report

 Collins Masterclass
Darryl Ng
Like most, I was pretty surprised to see that Jevons had finally managed to get a start.  I thought Cada would be given the nod with Franny back on the bench after his hour outing in mid-week.  Still, it made the trip up from Southampton a wee bit more interesting.

After an immaculately observed minute's silence in respect of the Hillsborough disaster 11 years ago today, we kicked-off at 3:06 towards the Park End and almost immediately, a good ball from deep within our half almost ran through for Hughes the elder.  A little too much weight on the pass coupled with a little too little pace by our elder statesman and the ball went through to Clarke in the Bradford goal.  

Still, didn't have to wait long for the breakthrough.  Hutch again involved, his cross field pass found Hughes the younger who tapped a quick pass towards Jevons on the edge of the box.  The youngster produced a delightful little clip into space on the left for Pembridge who was steaming in.  All I caught was the number 12 on the back, and my first thought was "oh no..." but surprise surprise, good volley into the bottom of the net and one up in a minute and a half.  

We seemed to relax after the goal, and for the next 10-15 minutes, Bradford had the greater possession although they did nothing that threatened us at all.  Then suddenly an Everton break found Jevons haring into the box.  He pushed the ball past Clarke and was going after it when the keeper dived foolishly, clipping Jevons' trailing foot.  Penalty! 

Up stepped Unsworth and sent the keeper the wrong way cool as you like. 2-0 and we were coasting.  Coasting a little too much methinks.  Bradford's response was immediate as they carved out their first real opportunity.  Good play on their right and poor marking on our part allowed a cross into the 6-yd area falling perfectly for Saunders.  Had to be a goal, but Gerrard saved brilliantly, flinging himself to his right and blocking the shot.  Xavier completed the clearance, hooking the ball to safety while it was still bobbling around in the 6 yard box. 

At 2-1, the game would have still had to be won; but at 2-0, Bradford heads were dropping lower and lower.  Still time in the half for Weir to hit the post with a monster header after Hughes the elder had rescued a poorly played corner.  Normal Pembridge service was also resumed as he skyed a gift of a chance which fell to him after Mark Hughes (afforded way too much time in the Bradford area) turned and shot but it was only parried by the Bradford keeper. Half-Time 2-0.

Dunne replaced Unsworth at the start of the second half after a bad clash in the latter part of the first half left him with a "bruised lower shin" (according to MotD).  The second half started much the same way the first ended.  A bit of aimless passing and strong tackling, with moves petering out before they had even started. 

Jevons, (who'd looked like he was a little overawed by the whole occasion in the first half despite his contributions to both goals) was very quiet.  Both Hugheses, Pembridge and Collins were working away diligently without much progress until suddenly a quick ball played Barmby through on goal and his classy finish put the nail in the Bradford coffin. 

From then on, it was party stuff.  The fancy flicks, the quick turn and runs, the one-touch passes were all evident.  Barmby especially was in his element, and some of the chances he created deserved better finishes.  Hughes the elder had two chances which he sent into the stands, and Barmby himself shot straight at the keeper on another occasion. 

Someone should tell Weir not to try them fancy flicks though.  His poor imitation at tricking his way out of danger nearly resulted in a Bradford goal.  Blake did well but his shot was straight at Gerrard, Dunne completing the clearance.  Blake had another effort well saved at the near post by Gerrard, who saved his best save for last when he had to recover from his first spooned attempt to clear from McCall's first effort.  

In between all that, Xavier managed to twist something and eventually went off for Ball after breaking down no less than 3 times.  He struggled to make the block on McCall's shot and should have gone off earlier. Collins, already in his unfamiliar left-back role, was pushed onto even more uncharted territory on the right and received a great reception from the Bullens as he took his place up. 

Jeffers was then introduced back on 80 minutes, replacing Hughes the elder, and was clearly delighted to be partnering his old Youth team partner in Jevons.  Jevons, free from the worries of being substituted, came more into it in the final minutes.  The Jeffers of old seemed to be back though, and he was full of running for the 10 minutes that he was on.  

And there was still time for one last goal. Barmby's cross from the right went off the heel of a Bradford defender and fell perfectly for Collins who's left foot shot rocketed into the roof of the net.  He was clearly delighted, and his goal simply capped a tremendous all-round performance from him today.  What was more interesting in the light of the Hutch-Collins disputes was the equally delighted response of Hutch.  Minutes later, it could have been five as a Collins effort sailed no more than half a foot over.  Full-Time 4-0.


  • Gerrard 7  Didn't have much to do, but saved well when he had too.  Spooned one shot which led to a good double save. 
  • Xavier 6  After all the criticism he gets, I was expecting a poor performance, but thought that he was steady if unspectacular. 
  • Collins 9  What can you say?  He's suddenly found some form at last.  Class with every touch, even at right back.  Deserved his goal, and his comments on MotD seemed to indicate that his upcoming chat with Walt will be brief. 
  • Weir 6  Not one of his better performances. 
  • Unsworth 7  One good crunching tackle late in the first half epitomises his spirit.  All this with his injury too.  He must have taken some persuading to be taken off at HT. 
  • Barmby 8  Did his England chances no harm at all.  Full of incisive running and a good goal to boot. 
  • Pembridge 7  Severely underrated, but he ran his heart out today.  The poor man's Barry Horne is starting to stick. 
  • S Hughes 7  My first time watching him, and I have to say, he's looking the part.  Good intelligent passes, definitely one to look out for next season. 
  • Hutchison 8  Will he stay or will he go?  On this evidence, his salary request doesn't look all that unreasonable.  The question is whether he can turn it on more consistently. 
  • M Hughes 7  Worked hard all day.  I'm of the impression that he's the man who could be the making of Jevons.  Speaking of which... 
  • Jevons 7  I think he can be happy with his debut.  Involved in two goals and he lasted 90 minutes.  Showed enough to suggest that he can be more than useful cover next season, but also that his confidence is a little shaky.  Needs to work harder when things aren't running for him and not to take each mistake as a killer blow to his chance of making it.
  • Dunne 6  Did nothing wrong, and covered for Weir well on at least one occasion. 
  • Ball 6  Again, did nothing wrong. 
  • Jeffers 7  Showed sparks of the form we know he's capable of.

 Behold the Gulf in Cass
Steve Bickerton
A nostalgic day lay ahead, with past idols on show at Goodison today.  But it wasn't the idols of yesteryear who had paraded for the Millennium awards earlier in the season: no this was the parade of those from more recent times.  Ahead of the game, one of the three, Peter Beagrie has publicly announced his feelings for the club.  His true footballing home, a place where football lived and breathed.  

Another was Neville Southall, a larger than life figure in his heyday, a larger than anything figure today.  The last of those on show was Stuart McCall, who after strutting his stuff at Bradford, came to Goodison on his was to Glasgow Rangers and then back to his roots at Bradford.

Of the three, Nev was to receive the most rapturous welcome as he led out the Bradford keepers for the pre-match warm up.  For there he is the Goalkeeping coach, a position at Goodison he once declined.

Yet the most poignant moment was the minute's silence remembering the those who lost their lives at Hillsborough in '89 and Bradford in '85.  More recent remembrances were announced for the Leeds fans murdered recently in Istanbul.  Paul Alcock sounded his whistle to start the minute and the sounds of those in the streets around the ground and the odd cough apart, it was observed impeccably.

Then it was time for the game.

The minute's silence over, the teams lined up.  First shock was to see Collins lining up at left back.  True he played there at Chelsea, but not a sight I expected at Goodison.  The next shock was a goal.  I recently opined the fact that we'd lost our taste for scoring early on, instead preferring to let others have that honour.  Today it was back to the way things should be, as a terrific move down the right saw the ball feed in to Jevons, a touch to Pembridge and in less than two minutes the Welsh wizard had put us 1-0 up. Crisp, delightful football and this in front of TV cameras, too!

Phil Jevons was looking lively on his home Premiership debut, the whole team seemed to be capable of delivering passes to anywhere on the field.  It was a delight to watch and then on fifteen minutes a ball through the defence saw Jevons in space.  He picked up the ball inside the box, but was drifting to the right of the goal.  The goalkeeper probably needed only to stay on his feet to effect a save, but instead he tried to dive through Jevons.  

The result was inevitable as the youngster went crashing to the turf.  Mr Alcock has no option but to give a penalty.  Dave Unsworth stepped up and coolly slotted it to the keeper's right: 2-0 and it looked like a procession towards the Bradford goal was on the cards.

For the rest of the half we tried, but failed to extend the lead.  Weir had already hit the post by the time Pembridge skied his second chance high and left of the goal.  Jevons and Mark Hughes had both gone close. 

But Bradford had had their moments too, with Halle blasting wide and Gerrard making a stunning save on the line from Saunders.  During another Bradford attack Unsworth had stepped in to clear the ball and as he pushed it clear McCall tried to get in a block.  The attempt was ineffective as far as stopping the clearance was concerned, but was completely effective in damaging the Rhino.  A couple of minutes treatment on and off the field saw him return to the centre of defence but the whistle for half-time (2-0) saw and end to his contribution.

The second half saw Richard Dunne emerge in Unsworth's centre-back position.  No organisational switches meant an opportunity for more of the same.  But Bradford were nothing if not triers.  But triers were all they were. 

Any opportunity to score was squandered and yet again the brilliance of Gerrard when it comes to making difficult saves had to be admired. One double save in particular, when he had no right to make the second was top drawer stuff.  How does he make the howlers he sometimes does and yet still manage to have the whole ground rise in admiration at other times?  But that's what makes the game so enthralling isn't it?

Another attack saw Bradford repel the blues, only to almost see themselves the good effort they'd put in.  A short headed backpass to the keeper looked as though it posed no danger but Barmby nipped in almost 'nicking' the ball and finding the empty net.  A reward for Barmby was only moments away though, as a defence splitting through ball from Steven Hughes found Barmby in space and this time he wasn't to be denied as a low drive found the net. 3-0.

Xavier left the field of play having seemingly twisted an ankle.  He came back for a short while but was unable to carry on.  A short farce as he waited for the stretcher to take him off wasted enough time for Michael Ball to take of his tracksuit for the second time (he'd been ready to come on at the time of Xavier's original injury).  This change caused a reshuffle at the back.  Ball slotted in a left back and John Collins, who'd been a revelation at left back, switched to the right, taking up Xavier's place.

He seemed to revel in the change.  True he cut in to move the ball on to his left foot, but he still found time and space to mesmerise the opposition.  His tackling was decisive, his passing incisive.  His goal was a peach.  A left foot rocket from the edge of the box.  Absolute perfection. 4-0.

Jeffers had come on to replace Mark Hughes, a youthful pairing up front the result.  Was their combined ages less than the age of the man Jeffers had replaced?  Maybe.  You could see that they'd played together so often before.  One piece of play down the right involving both of them, Barmby, Hutchison and Collins was the beautiful game at its best.  Sadly no goal came from it, but it bodes well for the future. T he final whistle brought a standing ovation from the crowd.

We were very good today.  Bradford were very poor.  The gulf in class was enormous.  The next game will be less one-sided, but I'm ready for it now.  Today has uplifted me.  Today we showed we're ready again.

Man of the Match: John Collins

Player ratings (by Erling Saevik)

  • Gerrard 7 - Made at least two top class saves. One in the first half from Saunders that he somehow managed to keep out and a double-save in the second were he kept out Blake and Rankin.  From what I've seen there's not much in it between him and Myhre.  I think we should stick with Gerrard and see what money we can get for Myhre.  Should at least get us 2M.
  • Xavier 6 - He's actually a quality player international for Portugal and all.  Very good passing the ball usually got the ball to another player in blue.  Did OK today nothing outstanding just did his job.  Got injured after repeatedly getting kicked.
  • Weir 7 - Class defending today. Hit the post in the first half and looked our best defender on the day.
  • Unsworth 7 - Campbell must be getting worried he'll lose his top-scorer title the way this is going.  Made one last-gasp tackle to prevent Saunders getting through and was solid as long as he was on.  McCall missed the ball when trying to shoot in the first half instead hitting Unsworth.  He did partly recover but Dunne started the second half in his place.  Rather worrying all these injuries...
  • Collins 6 - Played left back for an hour then switched to right back!  Did OK in both positions.  I thought he did OK not more.  Scored a good goal after a (good) cross from Barmby was intercepted into his path.  Almost got an even better goal on 90 minutes as he curled a left footer inches over.
  • Pembridge 6 - Played center midfield today and had a reasonable game.  Should have scored twice but settled for one in the end.  Did his fair share winning the ball but also lost it a few times.  Not exactly Olivier Dacourt...
  • Hutchison 8 - If we have one player able to control the midfield it is Hutch.  I've always thought he's too slow but his ball-control is really so good that it doesn't really matter.  When he's on the ball you simply expect something to happen.  Give him whatever he wants.  Simple as that.
  • Steven Hughes 7 - Had a good game.  Actually looks a class player against this kind of opposition.  Set up Barmby for his goal and got better and better as the game wore on.
  • Barmby 9 - Man of the match.  Player of the season.  Shear class whoever the opposition.  Has got a brilliant touch and is on top of his game.  A must for England you should have thought.  Took his goal brilliantly and looked dangerous throughout.
  • Jevons 7 - Promising.  A bit of nerves in the first half but got better and better and looked like a mini-Hutch in the end.  After two minutes he made his mark playing a brilliant pass for Pembridge to run onto and score.  Then on 15 minutes he gets a pass from Barmby (?) and takes the ball in his stride before getting clattered by Clarke in the Bradford goal.  Penalty. Hasn't got too much pace but neither has Hutch...
  • Mark Hughes 5 - Slow, bad touch, keeps giving away free kicks.  Yeah he's pretty much the same player he was for a year at Southampton.  So no miraculous change has taken place - obviously something Smith thought would happen.  OK he does give us a physical presence up front but really if he's not good enough against Bradford then who is he good enough to play against?  Watford seems to be the answer to that one I think. 15k a week? Hutch! Oh despair.
  • Dunne 6 - Did alright in the center alongside Weir.  Good in the air.
  • Ball 6 - Wasn't on for too long.
  • Jeffers 8 - OK just played for 10 minutes but shows his obvious class running with the ball, passing, turning defenders. He's back alright.

 Quality on Show
Richard Marland
As usual, Walter managed to come up with a team selection and formation that none of us would have second-guessed.  Don Hutchison was available after an injury scare but the real surprises were in seeing Phil Jevons line up alongside Mark Hughes, and John Collins playing left back.  The full line up was Gerrard in goal with a flat back four of Xavier, Weir, Unsworth and Collins, a midfield of Barmby, Hutchison, Pembridge and Hughes, and Jevons and Mark Hughes up front.  A youthful, but nonetheless talented bench was made up of Simonsen, Ball, Dunne, Jeffers and Cadamarteri.

Early in the season we had the happy knack of scoring goals early in the game.  This was an art we seemed to have lost but today we rediscovered it.  Within the first two minutes we constructed a neat passing movement down the right hand flank.  Hutchison, Barmby and Steven Hughes were involved before Hughes passed the ball into Jevons who, with his first proper touch of the match, provided a neat little layoff into the path of Mark Pembridge who finished emphatically.  It was a moment that Pembridge clearly enjoyed and one that he has earned with his recent displays.

It was soon clear that we were going to dominate this match.  Bradford, whilst not being as poor as Watford, were clearly a very limited Premiership team.  Within 15 minutes we were two ahead.  Another Stephen Hughes pass put Jevons clear into the area, he was going away from the goal but managed to push it past the onrushing 'keeper who then came right through Jevons.  A clear penalty.  Unsworth converted with his customary aplomb (he really is rather good at this penalty lark).

In many ways that killed the game off.  A nagging doubt always remains of "What if Bradford get one back?"

Occasional hesitancy at the back always gave them a glimmer of hope with Paul Gerrard being called on to make a number of fine saves.  But we continued to press forward with intent, Weir saw a header come back off the foot of a post and Pembridge managed to waft a glorious chance over the bar.  Despite the scares, the feeling was of Everton control.

Unsworth had been injured in the first half and he was replaced at half time by Richard Dunne.  This didn't bring about any discernible change to the game; we continued to look dangerous going forward and continued to look occasionally shaky at the back.  The goals to see off any chance of a Bradford revival eventually came.  Barmby finished off yet another fine Everton movement with a confident finish and late on John Collins scored with a thumping shot into the top left hand corner.

All-in-all this was an accomplished display by Everton. The quality of our passing and of our attacking play was the best I'd seen in a good while.  Yes, we have to acknowledge how poor Bradford were and how much time and space they seemed to give us in midfield, but that shouldn't detract from how professionally we went about our work.


  • Gerrard 7 A number of notable saves but also the usual concerns over dominating his area and collecting crosses.
  • Xavier 6 Not totally convincing at right back but doing OK.
  • Collins 8 Continuing his rich vein of form. Not phased by playing at left back, never exposed, tackled well and used the ball intelligently. Well taken and well deserved goal which he clearly enjoyed.
  • Unsworth 7 Had done well until he had to go off injured, one great last ditch tackle when he was struggling with his injury.
  • Weir 7 Probably not at his most commanding but an accomplished display none the less.
  • Barmby 8 Lively and dangerous as always.
  • Hutchison 7 A timely reminder of what he can contribute, his passing ability adds another dimension to our midfield play, particularly when he has the movement of the likes of Barmby and Hughes to work with.
  • Pembridge 8 Another hard working, industrious performance that was capped with a well taken goal. Always getting himself involved and keeps things simple.
  • Hughes S 7 His best performance yet. A number of incisive passes and lots of running and tackling back (which I'm sure will have pleased Walter). Definitely getting there.
  • Hughes M 7 Another who put in his best performance yet. Lots of intelligent running and linked the play well. For all the talk of his "thuggish" tendencies he's yet to display any of it at Goodison Park - yes he's physical in that he uses his body a lot but there's no sign of studs being left in or anything. Take as you find I always reckon and in the abscence of Kevin Campbell he's doing a fine job for us.
  • Jevons 7 An encouraging debut. A lovely little layoff for the first goal and throughout his passing was good, his movement intelligent and he showed good awareness of what was going on around him. On first impressions (which could of course be proved incorrect) he seems to lack the star-quality of Jeffers but he looks to be a better footballer than Cadamarteri.
  • Dunne 7 Came on for Unsworth and looked assured and competent.
  • Ball 6 Came on for the hobbling Xavier and barely got involved.
  • Jeffers 6  Got 10 minutes, and probably would have been more if we hadn't needed to have used the substitutions for injuries. Looked lively and showed some good touches - just needs games now.

Team 7 The best team performance in quite a while. Going forward we looked lively and some of the passing movements were a delight to watch. We weren't so secure at the back, though, and were occasionally embarassed, let's hope that the returning Richard Gough sorts that out.

Man of the match - Mark Pembridge.

 Jewell's warriors losing battle to stay up
Derick Allsop, Electronic Telegraph

THEY are going now with not so much as a whimper. All the fight, the defiance, the desire has been gnawed away from Bradford City and their latest capitulation has hastened their inevitable fate.

Everton may have empathised with Bradford as the Yorkshire club sought to repel the threat of relegation, but clearly they did not sympathise.

Walter Smith's team, enjoying a rare season of top-half of the table comfort, were two up in 16 minutes and the gates of the First Division were opening wider for Bradford.

Philip Jevons, a 20-year-old home-town boy, produced important assists for the goals, the first dispatched by Mark Pembridge, the second a penalty scored by David Unsworth.

Bradford had Dean Saunders, that old conjurer of improbable goals, back in the side for a match they hoped might provide encouragement of an act of escapology.

Paul Jewell's team began the day six points adrift of fourth-bottom club Wimbledon, whose recent slump offered a glimpse of optimism for Bradford.

Everton took the opportunity to give Jevons his first Premiership start in attack alongside Mark Hughes, available after suspension.  Don Hutchison, recovered from a knee injury, was in midfield but John Collins was given the captaincy and the position of left-back, in the absence of Richard Gough.  Francis Jeffers, out for eight matches with an ankle injury, and Danny Cadamarteri were among the substitutes.

Jevons made an instant impact, throwing himself into a block tackle to demonstrate his commitment and then displaying a deft touch to lay on the opening goal for Pembridge in just 100 seconds.

Peter Beagrie's jinking style is familiar here but still elusive and he earned a corner to give Everton their first moment of anxiety.  David Wetherall headed goalwards, but the ball came back off a wall of defenders.

David Weir had a post to curse for stopping his header, after 14 minutes.  The defender rose unchallenged to meet Stephen Hughes's centre.

It was a mere reprieve for Bradford.  Hutchison sent Jevons on a run behind Bradford's back line and the young player lured Matthew Clarke into the foolhardy challenge like a veteran.  The goalkeeper duly paid with a penalty, and Unsworth converted.

Bradford might have been back in contention a minute later.  Robbie Blake wriggled to the goalline and pulled the ball back towards Saunders, who could not quite find the leverage to defy Paul Gerrard's attentions.

Everton fashioned the best move of the first half and only Pembridge will know how he failed to finish it with the goal it deserved.  Hutchison linked with Jevons, Nick Barmby delivered the cross, Mark Hughes's shot was saved by Clarke and Pembridge skied the rebound.

Jevons glanced a header wide as Bradford were again exposed.  A volley from Gunnar Halle was close to Everton's goal, but not close enough, and Jevons almost completed the half with a goal of his own.  Barmby drilled in Everton's third, from Stephen Hughes's pass, after 55 minutes, and Collins made it four six minutes from the end.

Report © The Electronic Telegraph

 Bradford dream dies
by Steve Curry, The Sunday Times

BRADFORD CITY'S Premiership dream is surely over.  The final, flickering flame of hope was doused yesterday by Everton and the Yorkshire club's first league visit to Goodison Park for 69 years is likely to be their last for the foreseeable future.  In reality, it took just 104 seconds for Everton to dampen the embers and if this was not a surrender by Bradford, then why was everybody looking for a white flag?  In the end it was almost embarrassingly one-sided. Bradford must have realised this match offered a possible escape route, for it would have reduced the margin between themselves and Wimbledon, who meet Liverpool today, to three points.

Even that possibility did not galvanise them into anything other than a performance that suggested they are resigned to their fate.  The anticipated clenched-teeth, blood and guts battle did not materialise.

Yet manager Paul Jewell refused to concede.  "We have a bigger mountain to climb now than we had a week ago," he said.  "But we have to believe we can climb it.  But I have to say they were cantering at the end."

Everton, indeed, might easily have doubled their score and for sustained periods were conducting themselves like players in a testimonial.

Jewell, whose Scouse accent remains as strong as any among the 30,646 crowd yesterday, has toiled with distinction to bring his side to this level and within the constraints of his budget he bought players of experience in the hope they would rekindle their appetite.  Sadly, Dean Saunders and Lee Sharpe were peripheral figures, though in truth the action was happening where Gunnar Halle and David Wetherall were finding the going just as tough.

Everton were to underline to Bradford that there is merit still in producing your own talent.  They gave a full Premiership debut to a young striker, Philip Jevons, just 20 years old.  In the continued absence of Kevin Campbell, he partnered Mark Hughes who was already an apprentice at Manchester United when Jevons was born.  The youngster was to play a decisive part in the victory, providing the final pass for the first goal and winning a penalty for the second.

"He has been playing well in the reserves and needed the extra challenge of the first team.  He has developed well since I have been at the club and has deserved his opportunity," said his manager, Walter Smith.

Certainly, Bradford could have done with somebody of his energy and awareness of space for they never ruffled an Everton defence reverting to a back four to handle their wingers, Peter Beagrie and Sharpe.

It was the worst possible start for Bradford, with Everton slicing through them after one minute and 14 seconds.  Don Hutchison started the move and Jevons provided the telling pass for Mark Pembridge to drive home.

When keeper Matthew Clarke pulled down Jevons in the 15th minute, the youngster making the most of his fall, David Unsworth left Bradford with an impossible mission by scoring from the penalty.

Everton were able to squander a whole catalogue of opportunities, though it must be said Saunders and Halle had sharp chances themselves to get City back into the game.  When Nick Barmby drove home Stephen Hughes' through ball in the 55th minute, you could almost see Bradford wilt.

They made a gesture and Paul Gerrard needed to make a fine double save from old Evertonian Stuart McCall and substitute Isaiah Rankin to keep his clean sheet.  As it was, it was John Collins who stepped forward from his emergency full-back position to round off the emphatic win from the edge of the area.

"We need to find seven points from somewhere if we are to have any chance of survival now," admitted Jewell.  Frankly, you can't see where they might come from.

Report © Times Newspapers Ltd

 Hutchinson leads Everton masterclass
by Richard Slater, The Independent

Put bluntly, Bradford are doomed.  In a performance lacking any of the attributes required by those fighting for their footballing futures spirit, determination, aggression they rolled over with barely a whimper of resistance against a well-oiled Everton machine, driven expertly by contract renegade Don Hutchison.

Even before his side took the lead after precisely 83 seconds Hutchison showed how valuable an asset he will be to whichever club he finds himself at next season.  A fine ball, fractionally over-hit, from deep in his own half almost set Mark Hughes free on goal.  His next, however, found the other Hughes, Stephen, on the left and he slipped a ball into the path of Mark Pembridge, who slotted firmly past the Bradford goalkeeper, Matt Clarke.

Paul Jewell, the Bradford manager, must be growing weary of such unpromising starts to away fixtures; he certainly appeared so after the game despite attempting to offer a vestige of positivity.  "We've given a goal away in the first five minutes in our last three away games," he said. "We have to remain hopeful, but it's an even bigger mountain to climb now."

It was never going to be anything other than an uphill battle: Bradford have not tasted victory on their travels since September; they have now lost six consecutive games; and their last League win at Everton was 91 years ago.  "Our match against Derby on Friday is a must-win game, we have to get the points from somewhere, we have to believe we can do it," Jewell added, with more than a hint of resignation.

The crowd in a subdued Goodison Park didn't have long to wait for the advantage to be doubled.  Again Hutchison was involved as he squeezed a pass through the defence into the path of Phil Jevons, who waited for the smothering dive of Clarke before simply stumbling over.  The penalty was awarded in what can only be described as an act of generosity by the referee, Paul Alcock.  David Unsworth duly converted.

Such was Everton's dominance an air of complacency briefly flourished, and Dean Saunders' close-range effort was well blocked by Paul Gerrard in the Everton goal.  "We had a few chances," Jewell noted, "and if we'd taken one of them at 2-0, it might have turned out differently."  On the balance of play, however, that was never a possibility.

Hughes and Hughes, Jevons, in an impressive debut, and a clutch of others had opportunities to add to the tally prior to the break before Everton tightened their grip on proceedings after it.  Andrew O'Brien's attempted header back to his keeper was almost pounced on by Barmby then, with the Bradford defence still seeking to find their shape, Stephen Hughes played a pass between defenders for Barmby to slam home from 15 yards.

With Hutchison controlling virtually every aspect of the game he gave a masterclass in passing Evertonians were lining up to add the fourth.  Yet they retained the presence of mind to remain patient, keen to develop openings rather than attempt to bludgeon poor Bradford into submission.  That this allowed the visitors the occasional glimpse of goal did not detract from the superiority being enjoyed and, as if to precis his side's display, substitute Isaiah Rankin skewed a shot wide from two yards.

Everton, though, were not finished and John Collins beat Clarke with a drive from the edge of the box.  Walter Smith, the Everton manager, said: "We played well, scored some good goals and deserved to win."  Jewell, not constricted by such modesty, confirmed that the home side won "at a canter".

Report © The Independent

 Bradford fading beyond salvation
by Stephen Wood, The Times
THE man who often carries a sandwich board parading religious messages around the precincts of Goodison Park may not meet with much empathy from the supporters, but his latest theme, of what the future might bring, at last struck a chord.  Forward-thinking was pervasive and, while it inspired Everton, Bradford City recoiled in fear.  It appeared that, to judge by a performance devoid of discipline or character, Bradford had begun to side with the prophets of doom who, even last summer, were predicting immediate relegation from the FA Carling Premiership. "We've got an even bigger moutain to climb now," Paul Jewell, the manager, said.

Good Friday theatens to be anything but, for Bradford face Derby County at Valley Parade in a match in which victory, although welcome, cannot now grant them leave of the bottom three.  Jewell made reference to needing seven more points to save themselves, but, alas, the situation is rather more serious.  Without an away win for seven months, and after six consecutive defeats, Bradford are officially so poor that even Sheffield Wednesday can lord it over them.

Everton, on the other hand, can delight in some "remarkable" statistics.  Such was the reaction of Walter Smith, the manager, when he was told that his patchwork quilt of a team were rivalled only by Manchester United in the goalscoring stakes.

No matter that it is United who are ahead of them, for it should serve as further testament to Smith's ability that Everton are in such fine fettle despite the absence of a transfer budget at the club.

Neville Southall, the former Everton goalkeeper, who returned on Saturday as a coach with Bradford, was so impressed that he insisted that Smith could bring the Premiership title to Goodison.

Smith has watched a number of prospective new players recently but those at present on the premises deserve credit.  Everton's football was fluent and exhilarating at times and, in Phil Jevons, they have another young striker to rival the talent of Francis Jeffers.

Jevons, 20, created the first goal for Mark Pembridge after a minute, won the penalty that led to David Unsworth's conversion for the second, and also had an influence on second-half goals by Nicky Barmby and John Collins.  Even Don Hutchison appeared full of remorse for the way that he labelled Everton's offer of a new contract a "disgrace".  It is a shame that Smith refuses to forgive fully the Scotland international, but, while managers reserve the implicit right to know best, few can argue that Everton are not in good hands.

Report © Times Newspapers Ltd



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