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Everton 2 - 1 Derby County

Half-time: 2 - 0

Derby County Logo
FA Carling Premiership 1999-2000 – Game 25
3pm Saturday 12 February 2000
Goodison Park, Merseyside
Att: 33,260
« Wimbledon (a) Ref: Uriah Rennie Aston Villa (h) »
[1999-2000 Fixtures & Results] League Position: 7th [Premiership Results & Table]
Michael Ball Everton struggled for the first 20 minutes of this Premiership clash, with Derby dominating possession. In Everton's first real attack, the ref played advantage after Barmby was felled, the ball breaking to Pembridge who slotted it forward; Joe-Max Moore – rewarded with another start in place of Francis Jeffers – picked up a ball in the area and finished in some style form an acute angle.  Tommy Myhre continued to prove his point in goal with a stunning save 7 mins before half-time.

Danny Cadamarteri,  guaranteed his starting place in the team after last week's inspirational work, again tried hard on the right wing with the returning Barmby on the left. David Unsworth's one-match suspension meant that Michael Ball, got his third start in a row.

Just on half-time, Gough was fouled in the penalty area, and Michael Ball confidently dispatched the penalty kick.

Everton game out more determined in the second half, and should have immediately had another penalty when Barmby was hauled down in the area. But they allowed Derby back into the game when the substitute Avi Nimni scored with his first touch, spoiling Tommy Myhre's clean-sheet record.

This really set the game up, and the tempo increased with both sides creating good chances. A rare old tussle resulted, with the fans kept on the edge of their seats until the very end. A vital win secured ahead of next week's massive FA Cup 6th Round tie with Aston Villa.



EVERTON: Moore (24'), Ball (pen:45')
Derby County: Nimni (65')
   LINEUPS  Subs Not Used
EVERTON: Myhre, Weir, Dunne, Gough, Ball, Barmby, Hutchison, Pembridge, Cadamarteri (68' Collins), Moore, Campbell.
Unsworth (suspended); Cleland, Gerrard, Williamson (injured); Bilic (in limbo).
Simonsen, Watson, Xavier, Jeffers.
Derby County: Poom, Dorigo (63' Nimni), Laursen, Elliott, Eranio, Prior, Johnson, Burley, Kinkladze, Strupar (46' Robinson), Sturridge (46' Christie). Oakes, Riggott.
   Playing Strips  Formations
EVERTON: Royal Blue shirts; white shorts; blue socks. 4-4-2
Derby County: White shirts; dark blue shorts; white socks. 4-4-2
   Yellow Cards  Red Cards
EVERTON: Cadamarteri (55'), Collins (67'), Ball (85').
Derby County: Dorigo (23'), Burley (65'), Johnson (90').


Paul Preston Nostalgia Revisited
Graeme Searle Solid at the back
Steve Bickerton Outplayed in midfield
Richard Marland Why opt for the easy life?
ELECTRONIC TELEGRAPH Moore leaves Everton merrier
by Derick Allsop
THE SUNDAY TIMES Everton punish Rams for a failure to finish
by John Aizlewood
THE INDEPENDENT Toffees eschew quality street
by Richard Slater
THE TIMES Everton keenly aware of slim divide
by Nick Szczepanik
EFC OFFICIAL SITE Link to the Official Website 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
SKY SPORTS Link to Sky Sports Match Report
SOCCERNET Link to SoccerNet Match Report
CARLINGNET Link to CarlingNet Match Report

 Nostalgia Revisited
Paul Preston
There are few more beautiful sights in Christendom than the Netley when the sun shines over the road at a particular angle.  Comparisons with the Doge's Palace in Venice come to mind. Some think of the great hall of King's College, Cambridge; others of the Taj Mahal.  And that is just the view from just outside Iceland in Walton Road.  Once inside, the splendour has to be seen to be believed.  

Yesterday saw the Netley back to its glorious best. As the limousine carrying Jon Berman, Tony Lloyd and myself glided to a halt outside, the car doors were opened by one of the five doormen, each resplendent in the uniform of Admiral of the Fleet of Andorra.  The other four, in the manner normally reserved for the Pope and reigning monarchs, took the four golden poles of the ecclesiastical canopy to escort us through the long marble hall into the main saloon.

There presiding over proceedings with the regal grace that characterises her every move was the lovely Mrs Wyman, once of this parish but now incomprehensibly unsubscribed (something to do with the readers' wives war of 1998 perhaps?).  Equally radiant, flanking her were Stuart Roberts and Jonathan Gard: Stuart in a splendid Everton sarong hand-woven from Tibetan silk; Jon more understated in a sort of dingy grey pullover.

As more and more distinguished ToffeeNet and BlueNose glitterati arrived to swell the throng, the police had to be called to help out the Netley's own security forces to hold back the crowds of autograph hunters and groupies gathered in Langham Street.  Some had even managed to evade security, climb over the walls surrounding the hanging gardens, sneak through the lesser ballroom and peer down from the balcony surrounding the main lounge.  They were, however, were driven back in fright by the explosion of flashbulbs when the ever svelte Becky Tallentire slinked in wearing a hat that would have graced the royal palace at Sodom.  The oohs and aahs from the girls peering through the balcony balustrade were deafening when Guy McEvoy strode in.  However, when Steve Allinson's minders arrived, shortly followed the man himself clutching the NTAS strongbox with its elegant Cadbury's Drinking Chocolate motif, the female groupies could be contained no longer.  The fire brigade, on standby outside, was called in to hose them down.

The water dripping down the marble steps prompted recollections of Frank Hargreaves' inspired designs for the proposed move of Anfield nearer its main fanbase just outside Guildford.  But time was pressing.  Having distributed blessings and indulgences, we then moved on to Goodison Park where a football match was taking place.  

Deceived by Cadamarteri's brief Indian summer last week against a full-back thoughtfully crocked earlier on by Dunne, Walter Smith decided to keep him in the team.  Against a team of hardened old lags like Derby, this effectively meant that we were playing with 10 men or at least a three man midfield.  The consequence was that we were overrun for much of the first half.  Hutchison was forced to play too deep to protect the back four and we were therefore deprived of what, in my opinion, is his greatest asset: those wonderful defence-splitting through balls that Jeffers and Campbell are so adept at running onto.

It might seem churlish to complain about Moore after he has scored four in the last five games but I don't think his running gives us the options that Jeffers does.  Nevertheless, while Jeffers needs the rest, Moore is fitting the bill.  Although Ball got better in the course of the game, we missed the stability provided by Unsworth.  From the half-way line in the main stand, it is easy to see how much better our shape is when Rhino is playing.  Ball rather tends to wander off.

Anyway, thanks to an uncharacteristically reasonable display of refereeing by Uriah Heap, we won.  We didn't play well but Derby are a difficult side and there is a special pleasure in seeing them feel hard done by.  The deliberate strategy by Jim Smith two seasons ago which stopped the run being put together by Howard Kendall's team after wins over Bolton, Crystal Palace and Chelsea can never be forgiven.  For recent arrivals, it will be recalled that they crocked Mickael Madar after ten minutes, quite cynically got Duncan Ferguson sent off, then left Tony Grant with an injury from which he never really recovered.

And so back to the Ballspond Road.  Phil wrote on Bluenose that he had been hugged by San Presland.  Now that is something to treasure.  I will never forget the day that San won the finals of the Tango Championship in the main ballroom at the Netley held to celebrate the end of the Toffeenet Wars.  Those were the days.  

On the way from the Netley to Goodison, we met Linda the Toffeegirl. What memories that brought back – who could ever forgot the unseemly, not to say steamy, electronic heavings between her and the legendary Joshua the blue dildo.  At the time, it will be recalled, Toffeenet was on full-time battle alert, so she was lucky not to have been tried for treason.

Nevertheless, seeing outside the Winslow, the sun glinting on her braces, reminded me of all those who seem to have passed on.  Where are they now?  Joe Banerjee, Steve Malone, Lars the Norse, Joshua the Blue Rubber Boy?  I miss them.  I need a hug from San.

Right Rev. Monsignor Aloysius Hairnet

 Solid at the back
Graeme Searle
Strange game today. Derby County started well and tried to play this rapid passing game that Leeds played against us bit it did not really threaten.  We did not look that dangerous going forward but we did look more dangerous than Derby.  Danny had a quiet game but Dorigo stuck to him like glue – he is a feared player now!  It seems Danny was not used but he did have a couple of reasonable runs before being substituted by John Collins.

Collins made a complete meal of things at one point in their box and after beating several players the ball was cleared to Robinson I think. Michael Ball tackled well but, as the ref was Uriah Rennie, he had to get booked.  Ball had a good game but he does not half wander out of position at times.

I have lambasted Mr Rennie on occasions here and in that other place but he did do show one absolutely class refereeing decision.  Joe-Max’s goal came from advantage – most of the Everton players and some of the Derby players thought it was going to blown for. Uriah gesticulated that he was waving play on and Joe-Max scored.  Superbly taken goal – class piece of refereeing.

But then Rennie booked six players today so he reverted to type...

We were well positioned to see the incident leading to the penalty: Gough took one hell of a knock on his head – you could see the whiplash but I didn’t see what caused it.  In the mayhem you could not tell what Rennie’s decision was.  I did not see even a card.  The bloke behind thought there was an actual sending off because he was complaining there was still 11 on after half time – that’s how ambiguous the whole thing was.

This was not a good performance but we do look solid at the back with these players. Pembridge was better; Hutch was quiet. I do not think there is as much understanding between Campbell and JMM.  I would like to see him played behind Campbell and Jeffers.  On occasions Campbell seemed to on his own with JMM wandering down the left or was it the right.  It was mightily difficult to know what Barmby’s and JMM’s roles really were.  But then when you are only three rows back in the Family Enclosure, you tend to miss quite a lot...

 Outplayed in midfield
Steve Bickerton
The day had started badly and gradually got worse.    Of course "badly" is a relative term, depending on what your perception of "well" might be...  From my standpoint, I was measuring against a "well" status of last Saturday.  On that day I had completed another golf lesson, with a much improved swing in place and was determined that the progress I'd made over the previous few weeks would be maintained.  To do that I needed practice.  The weather and work conspired against me, so much so that when I picked up the clubs today, all the progress of last week had gone, wafted away on the howling gale.  One step forward last week, two steps back this.

So, what's that got to do with Everton?  Consistency is what's got to do with Everton, or rather the lack of it.

Derby arrived at Goodison on the back of a four-game undefeated run, including a late, late comeback last week as they scored two goals in added time to draw with Sheffield Wednesday.  Yet still they are perilously close to the drop zone.  We, on the other hand – the feast that was Boxing Day aside – can look only to success over lower division teams at home, in the cup.  True, there was that glorious hiccup away at Selhurst Park last week, but we've yet to set the world alight, in real terms, despite the fact that, in patches, we're a match for anyone.  This is backed up by the fact that, although we haven't won too many of late, we haven't been losing either, Southampton aside.  So what would today produce, the glory or the calamity?  My early day experience didn't bode well.

So it was off to Goodison to pick up my Villa tickets.  At about 11:15 the queue wasn't too bad.   It was, however, strangely populated by a motley crew of around 60 from Northampton, diverted to us, seeking spiritual enlightenment, their own game at Carlisle postponed.  As they got near to the front of the queue, one of the stewards decided it would be a good idea if this lot stayed together.  He pulled them all aside and reserved one of the windows for then and then sought a spokesman from amongst them.  What a good idea, I thought.  A bit of the service mentality creeping in.  

The spokesman approached the window and then a short tęte á tęte ensued, which resulted in the confused group rejoining the main queue at the back again!  Not a good piece of public relations at all; but wait.....a change of plan and the whole group was marched around to the Goodison Road ticket office to be seen to there.  Progress?  Maybe.  Eventually (half an hour or so later) I got my tickets, not my usual place, but close enough.  That'll do me.  Now to make sure I hadn't picked up a ticket for miscreant parking.  I passed the Goodison Road ticket office.

A group of about 60 or so Northampton Town fans were waiting in a queue.  What could they be waiting for?  They still didn't have their tickets.  If they ever got in to today's game, I don't know. Does anyone else?

Speaking of the game.

Wind was the feature of a game, punctuated by moments of dazzling skill, glaring misses and refereeing inconsistencies.  A thriller, yes?  No!

We were bettered in midfield as Hutchison and Pembridge were shrugged aside by the busy and workmanlike Derby contingent.  Kinkladze was threatening every time he had the ball and we panicked whenever it was ours.  There was no shape and no control.  Yet there were signs of burgeoning confidence as we tried to break through a solid Derby back-line.  But it was all to no avail, when out of the blue, Barmby burst infield from the touchline only to be up-ended. 

We bayed for the book, but referee Uriah Rennie inexplicably waved play on.    Advantage Everton.  The ball had dropped for us and Mark Pembridge fed a peach of a ball out to Moore at the right corner of the box. Moore took the ball in his stride and drilled a great shot into the opposite corner of the net.  1 - 0 and we were awful.  No fist in the air for Rennie!

The rest of the half was much the same pattern.  Derby played well enough without creating too much.  There was one effort from Eranio, presented to him after much lax play down the Everton left, but a wondrous diving save to his left from Myhre, saw the ball turned away for a corner.  

We pressed forward on occasion and one such foray brought a second goal.  A set piece (was it a corner or a free kick?) saw Gough elbowed in the chest/neck area.  Rennie blew up and pointed, well, somewhere.  It looked to me as though he'd awarded an indirect free kick inside the box.  The players didn't seem to know what had been awarded either, as they milled around awaiting advice.  Then the decision was revealed, penalty!  Yes!  But no Unsworth today, so up stepped Ball.  Cool, calm, composed.  The Iceman stepped forward and sent Poom floundering to his left as the ball went to his right.  2 - 0 and we were cruising.  Half-time.

Walter must have bust a gut at half-time, because the second half brought about a much needed improvement.  Almost immediately we should have had a penalty as Barmby was taken out in the box.  Rennie ducked that one.

In midfield we nearly matched Derby, but with Barmby and Cadamarteri staying out wide for the most part, the bulk of the duty fell on Hutchison and Pembridge.  In the main they gave a good account of themselves, but sometimes they were overrun.  Hutchison tried to play the deeper holding role, but kept drifting up-field, leaving the defence exposed.  It was such an event that gave Derby hope, as they broke out of defence down the Everton right, a swift incisive move that ended with the ball in the Everton net. 2 - 1 and all to play for. 

By this time we'd had chances but as fortunate bounces and ricochets went the way of the visitors, we couldn't find the net.  Our malaise in front of goal continued after the Derby goal though, as a brilliantly sharp and controlled move down the left saw Campbell feed Barmby, who had only to tap it home.  We rose to salute the goal (apparently it was reported on ITV Teletext and SoccerNet, too) as Barmby slumped into a heap in front of a disbelieving Gwladys Street, the ball having been pushed wide.  

Twice more Barmby was thwarted as he sought to make amends.  Derby legs appeared where none deserved to be; Moore too, his short range pace deserting him, failed to control a ball which might have seen a great ball in from Barmby being converted for a third.

As is certain in games such as this, we became edgy protecting the one goal lead.  Balls flashed across the goal or zipped straight towards Myhre.  To everything Tommy was a match.  What a relief it is to see him back.  He's really so much more composed than Gerrard, though I'm sure there are some saves that Gerrard makes that Tommy would be nowhere near.

When the final whistle came it was a blessed relief.  We'd been generally outplayed in midfield and they lacked a real cutting edge up front. Nevertheless we might still have had a sack full.

Man of The Match: Unmentioned, unsung, unflappable David Weir.

 Why opt for the easy life?
Richard Marland
After the much-needed win against Wimbledon, we were presented within another eminently winnable game.  Derby have been struggling this season and shouldn't have posed too much of a threat, but this is Everton and anything can happen.  As well as a win, I was hoping to see a step forwards in terms of our general play; it's a while since we played really well and it's about time we went on a seriously good run of form.

The team was as widely anticipated with Barmby returning from suspension as Unsworth heads for his suspension.  This meant a line-up of Myhre in goal, a back four of Dunne, Weir, Gough and Michael Ball.  The midfield was Pembridge and Hutchison in the centre with Cadamarteri on the right flank and Barmby on the left; up front it was Campbell and Moore.  An indication of the current lack of injuries in our squad was the relative quality of our bench – Watson, Collins, Jeffers, Xavier and Simonsen – some options to work with if things weren't going according to plan.

As the game started, it was Derby who had the better of the early exchanges. They had a worrying amount of possession and territorial advantage; with players like Eranio and Kinkladze around that could be dangerous.  Not too much came of this early advantage but it was all rather disappointing as I had rather hoped that it would have been us taking the game to them.

As usual when trying to recall games, I struggle to remember the precise sequence of events.  Somewhere around the twenty-minute mark a game that struggled to come to life all day briefly sparkled thanks to a goal for us and a glorious chance for them.  Their chance fell to the always dangerous Eranio – he did very well down their right to elude Barmby and Ball; this left him clear in our box approaching goal from an acute angle.  His shot was powerfully struck and on-target; Tommy did very well to fling himself to his left to palm it away for a corner.  A top-class save and possibly the first truly meaningful save of his comeback.

During the same period of the game, our goal duly arrived.  In truth it had looked anything but inevitable but did come via a rare piece of decent approach play.  The ball ultimately landed at the feet of Moore in the right-hand corner of the area who controlled the ball before cleanly beating the 'keeper.  A piece of good, confident finishing – he is proving to be something of an asset.

The goal didn't seem to spark the team.  We continued to be fairly solid and were keeping Derby at arms length but we never seemed to be in control of the game.  We continued to press forward without looking unduly threatening and it looked like we were going to go in at half-time with a 1-0 lead.  Then in injury time we got an unexpected break.  We had a corner which bobbled about a bit, the ball ultimately seemed to break for Richard Gough and as he went for the ball he was quite clearly blocked by a Derby defender.  Initially there was some confusion as Rennie's signal wasn't too clear.  It soon became clear that we did indeed have a penalty and, in the absence of Unsie, it was his able deputy Michael Ball who stepped up to coolly dispatch the penalty.

In all honesty, 2-0 flattered us but as we had shown against Preston and Wimbledon we are resolute in defence and have the capability of taking chances proffered to us.  I certainly wasn't feeling too much guilt about the scoreline.

Derby made a double half-time substitution in a bid to change the shape of the game.  Initially this didn't seem to work as we started off the second half in control of the game.  For once, we passed the ball quite well and started to look like we could put the game out of Derby's reach. There wasn't too much in the way of clear cut chances but we were in charge of the game.

During this spell we should have put the game beyond Derby but we seemed to lack the killer instinct to do so.  Then, part way through the second half, we made life very difficult for ourselves. A quick break from our own corner saw Kinkladze pick up the ball just inside our half; as usual we were quick to get bodies around him – two were there straight away and Hutchison was moving back to help as well.  The ball ricocheted away from the clutch of players and managed to wrong foot Richard Gough who was sweeping up behind, unfortunately it arrived at the feet of their newly arrived substitute who, with his first touch of the ball, applied a good finish to beat Tommy.

The complexion of the game changed. From having a semblance of control on proceedings we were now under pressure.  Derby had been given a lift and with memories fresh from their unlikely comeback against Sheffield Wednesday last week they clearly fancied their chances.

They came at us with some vigour and, as is the way in these circumstances, that left space for us to work in.  Within minutes of their goal we were presented with a glorious chance to reassert our authority.  A quick break saw Campbell leading the charge; with Derby outnumbered, he cleverly waited for support to arrive before slipping the ball to Barmby.  Barmby, from a central position, was now one on one with the 'keeper, it seemed he had to score but in trying to curl the ball around the keeper he also managed to curl it round the post.  A very bad miss.

The second half seemed to last an eternity.  Derby were very fired up and we were reduced to back-peddling with the occasional foray forwards on the break.  Despite some nervous moments we repelled this "onslaught" with something to spare.  Defenders like Weir, Dunne and in particular Gough are very good in these sort of situations.

We also bolstered the midfield with Collins coming on for the ineffectual Cadamarteri.  This was a clever move as the one thing you can't fault Collins for is his defensive play.  He may not be a crunching tackler in the Parkinson mode but he is very good at closing the play down and always knows where he should be on the pitch.

During this phase of the game it was very noticeable the sheer distance between our front two and the midfield.  As soon as Derby had possession, Collins and Barmby were dropping back to be supplementary full backs and Hutchison and Pembridge were patrolling the area just in front of the centre backs.  It didn't make for pretty football but in terms of shutting out Derby it was mightily effective.

In the end it was one of those halves where you never felt terribly comfortable but, on reflection, it was difficult to remember much in the way of real goal danger.  Despite the scares we gave ourselves, we never really looked like we were going to get pegged back.  But we should have made life more comfortable for ourselves by making more of the period of domination we had before their goal, and then the two gilt-edged chances we had when they were chasing the game.  But, then that always seems to be the case with Everton, why opt for the easy life?


  • Myhre 7  One excellent save, no chance with the goal, generally authorative and in charge.
  • Dunne 7  Solid, unspectacular performer.
  • Weir 7  He is enjoying a remarkably consistent season.  Yet another solid game.
  • Gough 7  Must be the signing of the season.  His influence on the pitch is always apparent.  He never stops talking, he defends brilliantly and he is always looking to get the ball on the deck to his midfielders.
  • Ball 6  Thought he was disappointing today.  His first touch was rather poor and some of his defending wasn't the best.  We missed Unsworth.
  • Cadamarteri 5  I'd expected quite a bit from him today. I thought that he could bring a lot of balance to the team and that his pace and dribbling ability could make things happen for us.  It never happened, he looked tentative and uninvolved.
  • Hutchison 6  Still not doing what he is capable of.  Some good moments and good passes but not enough.
  • Pembridge 6  Had a decent game, got involved and did well in the build up to the goal.
  • Barmby 7  His usual effort and work rate and always looked the most likely to make something happen but not really at his best these days, some good moments and should have scored.
  • Campbell 7  A lively and intelligent performance, no chances fell his way  but he linked the play well.
  • Moore 7  His recent scoring record says it all and he has been an absolute god-send to us. Took his goal really well and was always looking to get involved.
  • Collins 6  Did a good job for us in helping with our rearguard action.

Team 6  I don't want to be seen as criticising the team too much; I fully realise how far we have come this season, and I fully acknowledge the qualities we do possess.  But that shouldn't disguise the fact that we aren't actually playing that well.  This was another fairly fitful performance where we struggled to impose ourselves on the game and during the period where we did manage to impose ourselves we failed to cash in.  To me, once again, it was central midfield that was the real problem area, any kind of attacking initiative from that quarter was starkly absent.

Man of the match Joe-Max Moore - I didn't feel that there were any stand-out candidates today. Weir and Gough both did well and Barmby was another who caught the eye. But, for me Moore was the man.

 Moore leaves Everton merrier
Derick Allsop, Electronic Telegraph
EVERTON salvaged just enough substance from the debris of a disjointed match to leave Derby County even more concerned for their future.

Had Nick Barmby taken one of three second-half chances, Everton would have been spared some late tension but they have at least discovered one reliable goalscorer in Joe-Max Moore, who is promising to become the new cult hero of Goodison Park.  The American dispatched his fourth goal in five appearances for Everton to illuminate an otherwise dismal match.

An unforgiving wind palpably made conditions difficult, but some of the unforced errors were straight from park football.   Moore capitalised on Everton's only chance fashioned from open play in the first half.   Derby's best effort, a shot from Stefano Eranio, was turned away by Thomas Myhre and, just before the interval, Everton extended their lead, Michael Ball scoring from the penalty spot.

Everton sought to protect their unbeaten home record by retaining two players prominent in last week's win at Wimbledon, Danny Cadamarteri and Moore.  Derby, occupying the nether regions Everton have been familiar with in recent seasons, invited Georgi Kinkladze to give full expression to his talent with a place in the starting line-up for the first time in two months and the Georgian obliged with a display of impish skill.

Don Hutchison offered Everton's first threat when he tried a shot from distance only to strike one of a posse of Derby defenders closing in on him, and then Mart Poom, the Derby goalkeeper, had to sprint from his area to beat Kevin Campbell as he tried to meet Hutchison's pass.

Everton, having at last generated some momentum, went ahead in the 24th minute.  As their supporters appealed for a foul on Barmby, referee Uriah Rennie ushered play on and the much-derided Pembridge delivered an excellent pass to Moore, who beat Poom low to his right. The official appeared not to celebrate.

Derby, in apparent disarray, somehow went close to equalising after 37 minutes.  Eranio cut in from the right and Myhre had to produce an athletic save to deny him.

As the break loomed, Spencer Prior was penalised for an infringement against Richard Gough and Ball thumped Everton's second from the penalty.

Dean Sturridge and Branko Strupar paid for Derby's poor first half with their places, which was hard considering the lack of service.

Poom saved spectacularly from Cadamarteri and Myhre in regulation manner from Seth Johnson before Avi Nimni, with his first contribution as substitute for Tony Dorigo, profited from Kinkladze's ingenuity and the rebound of Gough to pull back a goal in the 60th minute.

Report © The Electronic Telegraph

 Everton punish Rams for a failure to finish
by John Aizlewood, The Sunday Times

THIS was a peculiar encounter in which swathes of meandering stodge were interspersed with segments of end-to-end, edge-of-the-seat fare.  Everton deserved a slender victory gifted to them by a needlessly conceded penalty, but plodding Derby's inability to utilise their strike force cost them dear.  "That was hard work," shrugged Everton manager Walter Smith, "but we expected that.  Derby pushed us back, but they couldn't match our workrate."

Unbeaten in the Premiership at home, an FA Cup quarter-final a week today, and a boardroom as harmonious as one of deputy chairman Bill Kenwright's better West End shows: these are boom times at Goodison Park, which may yet see its first top 10 finish since 1995-96.

With Rory Delap felled by a stomach virus, Derby County manager Jim Smith gambled on Georgi Kinkladze as playmaker behind the nimble Dean Sturridge and the more ox-like Branko Strupar.   The will-o-the-wisp Georgian promised much in a glum first quarter during which Everton minds seemed elsewhere.

Everton repeatedly squandered midfield possession, depriving Joe-Max Moore and Kevin Campbell of service until the 24th minute, when Nicky Barmby took matters into his own hands.  He dispossessed Craig Burley and skipped over crude Derby lunges.  Aided by referee Uriah Rennie's thoughtful application of the advantage rule, Barmby kept his feet to find the onrushing Mark Pembridge, who neatly squared first-time for Moore to plant the ball wide of Mart Poom's outstretched right hand.  It was his third goal in successive games.

Derby's response was muted until the 40th minute, when Stefano Eranio's low drive from 10 yards stung Thomas Myhre's previously unused fingertips.  The contest was settled moments before half-time when Spencer Prior elbowed Richard Gough to the ground after Don Hutchison's corner.  After much deliberation Rennie awarded a penalty, which Michael Ball converted.  "I don't know how referees sleep at night making decisions like that," said Jim Smith.  "He didn't see it. If there's doubt, it's not a penalty."

At half-time Jim Smith replaced his strike force.  After two minutes of the second half, he probably wished he could have exchanged his defence, too, when poor Prior looked to have tripped Barmby inside the area ("Definitely a penalty," claimed Walter Smith; Jim Smith kept his counsel).  Moments later Poom saved athletically from unmarked Danny Cadamarteri's rip-roaring drive.  As Sheffield Wednesday would confirm, writing off Derby County is a perilous enterprise.  On the hour, Kinkladze stirred.  His exquisite through ball caught out the 38-year-old Gough, and Israeli substitute Avi Nimni sauntered through to score his first Premiership goal.  "At that point, I thought we were going to get something," said Jim Smith.

Suddenly the game came to life.  Derby's confidence swelled, but as they pushed forward, Everton exploited the gaps adroitly.  Barmby and Moore began to link incisively with hard-running Kevin Campbell, and the introduction of John Collins finally gave Everton's midfield authority to complement Barmby's maverick gifts.  The newly lissom Barmby, returning after suspension, created two chances for himself and another for Moore, only to be foiled by Poom and the post.

A landslide would have been harsh on Derby, they pressed to the bitter end.  Nimni's curled free kick sailed inches over, and he miskicked when well-placed, but last week's heroics were never to be,

Report © Times Newspapers Ltd

 Toffees eschew quality street
by Richard Slater, The Independent
So Everton, in maintaining their unbeaten home record and taking the points in this turgid affair, edge towards a European berth – not that continental opposition would be too concerned, such was the lack of overall quality in their play.

A stuttering start by Everton allowed the visitors the majority of the early possession with Seth Johnson providing the muscle and Georgi Kinkladze the delicacy to prise open spaces on the flanks to exploit.

With quality at a premium, Kinkladze's neat interchanges with Stefano Eranio, who was having the better of his tussle with Michael Ball on the Derby right, were welcomed, but nothing of consequence was created.

The first chance fell to Everton's Mark Pembridge on the break but Kevin Campbell's pass forced the midfielder to overstretch and the shot flew high. But in Everton's first constructive move Joe-Max Moore, in only his second start, found an unlikely goal. The referee, Uriah Rennie, played an advantage after a foul on Nicky Barmby. Pembridge laid a simple pass to the unmarked Moore who, from just inside the box, slotted beyond the reach of Mart Poom.

Derby's best chance of the first half came after a fine turn by Craig Burley, who pushed a low pass into the box for Eranio to strike but Thomas Myhre was equal to the shot, palming it just past his left-hand post.

Ball doubled the advantage with a spot-kick in first-half injury time when Rennie generously awarded a penalty after Spencer Prior was adjudged to have impeded Richard Gough.

Jim Smith, Derby's manager, was clearly far from happy and replaced his strikeforce of Dean Sturridge and Branko Strupar with Malcolm Christie and Marvin Robinson at the break. But in truth, there was too little quality service to blame them.

It almost got worse for the visitors when Danny Cadamarteri's shot on the turn tested Poom before Johnson squandered a Derby opportunity, shooting into the grasp of Myhre.

Ironically, an enforced substitution let Derby back into the tie. Avi Numni, who replaced the injured Tony Dorigo minutes earlier, darted forwards to take advantage of Kinkladze's fine run and pass to score.

Barmby then missed a pair of glorious chances to put the issue beyond doubt, the first a sitter as, with only the keeper Poom to beat, he pulled his shot wide. 

Report © The Independent

 Everton keenly aware of slim divide
by Nick Szczepanik, The Times
EVERTON are in seventh place in the FA Carling Premiership, in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and already have as many points as they did by the middle of April last season. Yet Walter Smith, their manager, is not doing cartwheels. He did, however, become unusually animated in the final stages on Saturday as Derby County almost completed a recovery from a deficit of two goals to snatch a point that they would just about have deserved. As Smith admitted, there was little to choose between an Everton side that might qualify for a European place and Derby, who only stayed out of the bottom three thanks to West Ham United's exploits against Bradford City.

"Derby County show you the problems you have in England," Smith said. "Last season, they were fighting to try to get a place in Europe. The team has changed a little and now they're concerned about relegation. The gap between teams is not that great, unless, like Chelsea, you can invest enough to get out of that batch of clubs in the middle."

Although Smith dismissed talk of Europe, even via the InterToto Cup, as premature, he was relieved that Everton were not in their more typical seventeenth place, a position at present occupied by Derby. "It is a credit to the players; they, more than anyone, have worked extremely hard to get where they are, and played a bit of football. But even when they're not playing football, they are making it very difficult for other teams," he said.

That seemed to be their best hope early on as Derby began with more urgency, but not even Giorgi Kinkladze was able to conjure a decisive breakthrough in the windy conditions. Another unpredictable element was Uriah Rennie, the referee, who was having a typically eccentric afternoon but did well in the 24th minute to play an advantage after a foul on Nick Barmby.

It allowed Mark Pembridge to pick out Joe-Max Moore with a diagonal pass and the American shot briskly across Mart Poom into the far corner to register his fourth goal in five matches. Rennie also spotted a foul by Spencer Prior on Richard Gough, which allowed Michael Ball to double Everton's lead from the penalty spot in first-half stoppage time. "At most, obstruction but never a penalty," Jim Smith, the Derby manager, said.

Rennie declined to penalise a far clearer foul by Prior on Barmby a minute after the interval and Avi Nimni, the Israel midfield player, halved the deficit just before the hour after coming on as a substitute. He slipped the ball past Thomas Myhre after charging down a clearance attempt by Gough. Barmby could have punished Derby's defence immediately, but his failure then and later to find a finish ensured a tense finale, in which another penalty claim, after Malcolm Christie was felled by Gough, was rejected. "We should have got a draw," Jim Smith said. If it is any consolation, his namesake, Walter, had some sympathy.

Report © Times Newspapers Ltd


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