Exeter City 0 - 0 Everton
Half-time: 0 - 0
FA Cup 1999-2000 3rd Round
1pm Saturday 11 December 1999
St James Park, Exeter
Live Tv Simulcast at Goodison Park
Its what the newly devalued FA Cup used to be all about: Third Division minnows
against Premiership "giants". But now that last year's winners are allowed
to drop out, and "lucky losers" are allowed to stay in, it just doesn't seem
the same... And since the FA refused Exeter with a money-spinning switch
back to Goodison, a goalless draw looks distinctly unlike a fortuitous
Everton's league form is hardly a warming prospect, with just three measly
points in a very poor run of seven winless matches against a tough sequence
of opponents. And 0-0 may not be a total surprise. Everton were largely
in control, with many chances to score, but Naylor in the Exeter goal performed
well in the first half to keep them in the game, before he got injured.
The second half was much the same, with Everton attacking persistently but
ineffectively, poor finishing combining with numerous offside decisions.
Joe-Max Moore made a late debut as substitute but it was the usual story
for Smith's moribund substitution tactics: too little, too late.
So the sides return to Goodison Park where they both wanted to play
in the first place and the faint odour of a rat permeates the Devon
Sub: Joe-Max Moore
Subs Not Used
Naylor (46' Matthews), Richardson, Dewhurst, Curran,
Gittens, Power, Buckle, Rees, Breslan (59' Flack), Boylan (70' McConnell),
Gerrard, Xavier, Weir, Dunne, Unsworth, Barmby (86' Ball),
Hutchison, Collins, Pembridge (76' Moore), Campbell, Jeffers.
Unavailable: Cadamarteri, Degn (suspended); Gemmill,
Gough, Ward, Watson, Williamson (injured); Branch, Farrelly, Myhre,
O'Kane, Phelan (on loan); Bilic (in limbo); Parkinson
Cleland, Grant, Simonsen.
Red & White shirts, black shorts, black
Royal Blue shirts, white shorts, blue socks
Rees (66'), Flack (72'), Power (73')
Farmers' Week in
Mikey Blue Eyes
Now, you're a sane and reasonably intelligent person, aren't you? Yes, I
thought so. Of course.
And like all sane and reasonably intelligent people, according to the
trick-cyclists, occasionally you wonder if you ARE sane. (Yes, I know
trick-cycliatry isn't a branch of medicine, or science even....more akin
to witch doctory than anything else, but they do award themselves degrees
'n' stuff so they're bound to get the odd thing right.)
1. The Drive Sarf
Anyway, I was afflicted by such a moment on Friday night while driving down
to Exeter. The journey down started in that maddeningly incessant, peculiarly
English patter-de-patter rain. It has the same kind of insanity-inducing
audio mantra of your Grandfather Clock ticking loudly in the hall. By the
time we got to the Birmingham transition of the M6 to the M5, it was the
kind of misty deluge which must have inspired a hundred Stephen King stories.
Being the Midlands, it was like trying to drive through dirty treacle.
Which might be why I asked meself, "Are you right off your freakin' CAKE
la... all this for a footy match against a team of no-marks in an area of
the country where they still visit the local druids to see how the crop will
This might have been the motivation to stop at the Frankley service area.
Time to gather thoughts and get the navigator to figure out the route. So
we went into the Little Chef and had our second surreal experience of the
night. Now, I have been accused of many things in me life. Being invisible
isn't one of them. Why then did the waitress, who could've passed for Richard
Dunne's and Unsie's ma combined, walk passed us as though we weren't there....not
once, but three bloody times? Why are the English the worst service people
on the planet, including the Parisian/ennes?
So we came out and went to the Burger King for a piece of cardboard with
burnt strings and hiccup causing fizzy water laughingly titled "cheeseburger
and fries with Sprite." Was this life imitating Michael Douglas' art in "Falling
Down"? Nope, I didn't have the semi-automatic or the entire dump would've
been in danger.
But I digress. As usual.
Back on the road. Away from Baum and the rain eased off a lot and finally
petered out around Bristol. The names flew past... Bromsgrove... Worcester
(where, you remember savagely, the rednecks suffered a terribly humiliating
FA Cup defeat at the hands of non-league City in 3,000 BC....until you go,
"Hang on. We're playing Exeter." Concentrates the mind wonderfully.)...
Cheltenham... Gloucester... Bristol... Glastonbury...
Suddenly the air seems so much cleaner, brighter, lights sparkling away off
the motorway. Nice. And not a sign anywhere of Edward Woodward burning inside
The Wicker Man. Couldn't see the locals eating their young either.
2. Sleepy Hollow
Then, right at the end of the M5... Exeter. Even in the dark it's a very
pleasant little city, Quaint even. But as all Englishmen know, quaintness
has it's price. Finding your way through the narrow streets is one of them.
And somehow or other some brilliant thick twat in the planning office has
devised a one-way system that makes our city centre look like Paris. So we
asked the locals, only to be given a mystified look that would have done
credit to Forrest Gump. Sod it, stop at a petrol station and, of course...."Oo
ar... you've just passed it, squoir." Yes, I looked over me shoulder but
he wasn't there. Too far from L25.
First sight of the hotel and me heart sank. But it turned out we were approaching
from the back and all the rooms are at the front. I didn't want to think
about the kitchen. I needn't have worried. It was a reasonably clean place
with a good, warm and friendly atmosphere, particularly in the bar....better
than most English basic accommodation. Dumped the gear in the room and went
down to the bar for a couple of nightcap bevvies.
So help me, the barman was the living SPIT of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, beard
'n' all. Good friendly buzz about the place, no hassle, no drunk loonies.
There was a group of babbling women in the corner who were so ugly it looked
like a Christmas reunion of the Moose Club. The beer was damn good though.
It compensated and sent me off into a sound sleep when head finally made
contact with pillow.
3. The Morning Before
The phone rang.
"Phone call for you surr."
It was Terry on the mobile from the bus at Bristol. He'd woke me at 8.30
am, right on the button. Might still have been in the sack if he hadn't.
Meet him at Cullompton, the Market House.
"Where the FUCK'S that, bollocks?"
"Oh it's off the M5 somewhere. Check the map." Click brrrrrrrrr...
Breakfast. Now one of our few culinary gifts to the world is the Full English
Breakfast. And bejaysus it never tasted better than this one. Brilliant.
Feeling good I asked the very shaggable waitress where I could find the meet.
Will someone tell me why beautiful women always look so thick when they're
puzzled? Another Forrest Gump look. Finally got directions via the manager,
checked out and I was off a short distance back up the M5.
It was Farmers' Week in Cullompton. A banner stretched across the "main"
road and mingled with the Crimbo lights and said so. Nice little place though.
The bus was indeed outside the Market House. Except that, according to Terry,
"You can't leave your car here and come into Exeter with us and collect it
afterwards because we're already overloaded." I almost threw me ale over
him. But I couldn't because the pub manager, a real Exeter City fan, gave
him directions to the ground using a B road which avoided motorway madness.
We had a few ales, swapped expletives about each other's parents and got
back on the road, me following.
4. St James Park
The directions took us right to the ground. It was surrounded by local bizzies,
tooled to the hilt and all wearing those yellow identification body-warmers
they've all got these days. The incongruity was, and you'll like this, is
that most of them had those dead old fashioned bobby helmets on....the ones
with the knob on top and the VERY large peaks fore and aft....honest, you
kept looking round for Inspector Le Stroud or Sherlock Holmes. Terry stopped
and asked for parking directions. Another Forrest Gump look.
Terry drove straight on and I made a left. Bloody hell! Look! An empty parking
spot right next to a pub wall! No sweat, in, park up and a five-minute walk
to the ground.
The bizzies had a cordon round the ground that would have done credit to
the SS at a Nuremberg rally. Seems they'd had real problems with a visit
from Aldershot fans and weren't taking any chances. Just shows (again) how
a few loonies can fuck things up for everyone.
Didn't have time to walk around the ground. But there's not much reason to
think it was any better on the outside than it was on the inside. Which is
to say, dire but somehow endearing, like most grounds in the lower reaches
of the game. The fact is, these are the clubs and fans who REALLY keep the
game going....salt of the earth, all of them. While we're moaning about millions
and winning things and how great a club we are, THEY keep going on sod all
a few nails in old corrugated iron and a very distant prospect of...
A commendable effort at a new stand was being constructed behind one goal
and we were behind the other on a narrow strip of open standing terracing
maybe twenty steps wide. People, DON'T listen to any idiot who tells you
he yearns for the return of standing room. It's bleak, it's crap, it's dangerous,
and it's hateful. Good riddance to it.
The main stand was along one touchline and the City fans' "cowshed" along
the other. Both looked decidedly rickety. Corrugated iron covering has that
sort of visual affect. Looks a bit like a council allotment full of pissed
5. The Match
This was a BIG game for Exeter. So much so, the local rag had an eight page
pullout supplement. And the City fans were up for it. So was the tannoy announcer
(and I do mean TANNOY. Honest) who kept trying to whip 'em up into a sort
of rural frenzy, soft prat. The fans don't need that kind of phoney manufactured
idiocy. They make their own atmosphere.. .and the city fans cheered everything
their team did to the echo... including throw-ins. To be brutally honest,
that's all they got most of the match. Not a dig, just a statement of fact.
It's equally true to say we played with lazy over-confidence and threw away
a hat-ful of chances which would normally have been buried good style.
In was an interesting experiment: Abel Xavier went to right back, Unsie
on the left and Dunne-Weir in the middle. Nicky was right midfield, Mark
Pembridge on the left, The Don and Collins in the middle. KC and Big Ears
did their usual double act up front. Equally interesting, Abel got some tackles
in which earned him the annoyance of the locals, but all in all I think it
worked. Might not against the Prem of course.
The pattern of the match was set from the kick off by City. The ball was
played to the right to a diminutive little nark named Rees and he booted
it straight down left centre. Where it went out for a goal-kick with no Greek
remotely near it. And that was the real sum total of City's tactics and threat.
So the game went on with us regularly carving holes through the City defence.
And just as regularly hitting it straight at their keeper or hitting it wide
or over. I counted eight clear easy chances though there might have been
No question we would've scored loads by half time if it hadn't been for their
keeper, a real character named Stewart Naylor, ceaselessly bated by our 1,000
or so travelling Blue Bellies and grinning right back at them. Got a bit
worried for the lad when KC burst through for the umpteenth time and knocked
him out cold in a one-on-one. When he eventually came to he was completely
disoriented and had to be replaced... but not before he made another couple
of outstanding saves. Hope he's OK. His replacement, Jason someone or other,
acquitted himself well too.
For what it's worth, I thought our man of the match was Nicky Barmby despite
annoyingly missing as many chances as KC and Franny.
Towards the end, Walter must have been as totally pissed off as we were with
the way chances were being squandered. So he took Mark off, moved Nicky to
the left and brought on Joe-Max, fresh from the Land of the Free, on the
right. Terry took one look and said, "Bloody 'ell....he's GREY." Well, he
didn't let us down. He played the ball four times in the little time he was
on the park and only messed up once, took a few heavy tackles without flinching
and generally tried hard. But he's not match-fit yet. Judgement postponed.
Exeter never gave up. They're a side of mostly big lads, supplemented towards
the end by yet another big 'un in Flack. On occasions they even played neatly.
For all that, they were clearly well out of their depth.
But still... this is the glorious FA Cup. Anything can happen. In the last
ten minutes play was mostly confined our side of the half way line. And in
the FA Cup, at 0-0, ten minutes to go, one slip and it's off you go, rapidly.
I don't mind telling you my bottle went. After all, Dunney hadn't made his
Weekly Howler... and Davey kept making back passes to Paul that had everybody
getting edgy. The Exeter fans sensed it all and raised the noise level as
the closing minutes arrived and we kept missing chances as regularly as an
Me, I was as well relieved when the whistle finally went.
6. Apres Match
Back to the car, ready for the offski. Except it turned out it was a private
car park owned by the next door garage. The guy in reception had obligingly
parked across the rear of me motor. So there was a terse exchange of words,
with me getting steadily angrier until he moved out of the way. Isn't it
funny how these sort of things happen when you're already out of sorts with
Back to Cullompton for a few bevvies with The Bus. Where, it transpired,
there had been an equally short tempered exchange with some locals before
I arrived. "Sod this" I thought, and retired to a quiet section of the pub
with Terry and some other more sensible members of The Bus. It gets really
tedious when you feel you might just have to punch someone's lights out merely
for some peace, a bevvy and a chat about the footy. Anyway, it all subsided
quickly enough... long enough for us to happily greet the exit of some other
hapless Prem clubs at the hands of less exalted brethren.
It's great the FA Cup isn't it. Especially when you're still in it... for
Back to the Future
We left in darkness and we returned in darkness. Somehow, 5:30am does
not seem like a reasonable starting time to go to a football match so, as
we left, for the deep South, our car somehow, changed to a DeLorean (the
time machine from 'Back to the Future'), because when we arrived, we had
indeed returned to the 70s.
Exeter's ground, the away section anyway, uncovered with a toilet facility
to accommodate only 6 of the 1,200 Evertonians that went to the game, had
one door in with the same door for coming out. You can imagine the
chaos that ensued.
The Everton faithful who embarked on the round trip of 500-plus miles surely
expected more from Everton in the 3rd Round FA Cup tie. While the
antiquated facilities offered by their hosts may have accounted for the apathy
amongst the team, Everton really should have taken one of the numerous scrambled
Even when Exeter lost their keeper at half-time, the Blues were unable to
exploit the inexperienced replacement (who until recently, was playing non-league
football). His saves when called upon, earned him the sponsor's Man
of the Match award, and quite deservedly so, too, for it was him, and him
alone, who kept Exeter's hopes alive and if we are all honest, they wanted
what Everton wanted just as much towards the end a replay back at
Goodison Park. In the great scheme of things, both clubs could do with
Gerrard 6 virtually unemployed
Xavier 5 looked uncomfortable and out of position
Dunne 6 looked comfortable
Weir 6 as usual, solid and dependable
Unsworth 5 unable to create chances
Barmby 5 busy but ineffectual
Collins 5 poor performance and lacked control of midfield
Hutchison 5 transfer rumours may explain his quiet
Pembridge 5 buy but not able to exert any real influence
Campbell 5 poor performance and was easily beaten
Jeffers 5 poor service, but squandered what chances
came his way
Joe-Max Moore came on as substitute. He may be short in height, but
let's hope he has big shoulders, for he will have a lot to carry over the
Big Screen Extravaganza
Arrived at just before 12:00, went for a beer in the Winslow but it
was shut! So we went into the ground instead.
Only the Park End of the ground was open, £8 (£5 Kids &
Screen was about on the penalty spot, not as big as I was expecting, probably
no bigger than some clubs have installed permanently, but the picture quality
was good, and before the game they were showing videos of derby victories
from recent years.
Match programmes were available.
By kick off time, the Park stand was pretty full.
Pictures were the BBC MOTD pictures with the BBC commentary.
Overall, I was quite impressed with the set up and would go again.
It was apparently better than for both the league cup v Liverpool in 87 (?)
and the FA cup game v Liverpool in 67 (?) ( though that game was at GP televised
across the park. The performance wasn't better though!
Less said about the game the better I think, couple of early offside 'goals',
thought it was just a matter of time, Their two keepers played well, we finished
poorly, they never looked like scoring, Collins was abysmal, Dunne looked
good, Barmby worked hard, that's about it.
We're still in the cup, and I guess that's all that matters.
Everton stuck looking for Exeter
by Andrew Longmore, The Independent
Two goalkeepers, one summoned from redecorating his house to play for one
final season, the other imported from the Screwfix Direct League on a free
transfer, kept Exeter's Cup hopes alive for another lucrative fortnight.
Who said the magic of the FA Cup died with United's defection?
On the balance of play, Everton should be looking forward to a fourth-round
tie in the new year, and though a replay at Goodison Park on 21 December
should hold no fears for them, manager Walter Smith was not best pleased
with his strikers, who should have buried at least one of the eight golden
chances on offer. That Exeter can anticipate a handy pre-Christmas windfall
was due partly to the profligacy of Kevin Campbell and Francis Jeffers, but,
let romance roll, mostly to the brilliance of Stuart Naylor in the first
half and, when the veteran goalkeeper was forced to retire at half-time with
a head injury, to Jason Matthews, playing only his third senior game after
his transfer from Taunton Town.
Though the gulf in class was readily apparent from first kick to last, though
Everton's commitment was a tribute to the motivational powers of Smith, Exeter
thoroughly deserved their standing ovation at the final whistle. Urged on
by the regulars in the Cowshed, surely the only stand in the League to be
serviced by a tea trolley, they harried Everton all over St James Park, and
just for the odd second or two, particularly downwind in the first half,
had the Everton defence in some disarray.
"We're pretty upset at getting a 0-0 draw," said Gary Alexander, the club's
leading scorer. The hyperbole was understandable. Exeter's recent League
form, five defeats in six matches, had not suggested a classic Cup upset,
but then neither had Everton's no win in eight games inspired
But the Cup would not be complete without its unlikely heroes. Just before
the start of what he anticipated would be his first season in retirement,
Naylor had applied to the Post Office for a job interview. Halfway up a ladder
in the summer sunshine, quietly decorating the outside of his house, his
thoughts of a quiet winter were rudely interrupted by the familiar voice
of Peter Fox, the Exeter manager, on the other end of the telephone. Moments
later, the former England B international and West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper
heard himself accept another contract. "I did two days of pre-season training,
which, at my age, was about right," he said.
More than once in the first half Fox must have given thanks for his foresight
as Exeter's ragged offside trap and the neat movement of the Everton forwards
forced the 37-year-old Naylor to make a number of fine saves. Campbell and
Nick Barmby had already put the ball in the net only for the linesman to
flag for offside both times, but twice just before the interval Naylor's
lanky frame came to Exeter's rescue. First, Jeffers ran on to David Unsworth's
through-ball, but clipped his shot into Naylor's advancing body; moments
later, Campbell galloped through only for Naylor to pull off another smothering
save, catching Campbell's boot in his head in the process.
As the Exeter goalkeeper lay prostrate in the penalty box, play was unforgiveably
allowed to carry on around him by referee Steve Bennett. Naylor survived
to half-time, but was then counted out by the club doctor and replaced by
Matthews, an electrician until his arrival at St James Park in August. "He
was on decent money as an electrician," Fox said. "Now he's not." But no
price can be put on Cup glory, not even by the Football Association.
Having blocked the hapless Campbell's close-range shot within minutes of
coming on, the 24-year-old foiled Barmby before thrusting out a left hand
to parry Campbell's point-blank header just before the hour mark.
Exeter had long since resorted to pumping long balls into a swirling wind
in the hope that Alexander or Lee Boylan, their nimble forwards, might profit
from a mistake. Everton, to their credit, kept the tempo high and the passing
slick, but once Matthews had saved that header and blocked another from Jeffers,
Exeter sensed their luck was in. "I thought when I made the save this might
be our day," Matthews said. "It's a dream for me to play in the Cup. You
couldn't tell the story better."
Everton pressed to the end, bringing on the American Joe-Max Moore from the
New England Revolution for his debut as Barmby switched wings, without
threatening to deprive Exeter of their place in the fourth-round draw for
only the third time in 20 years.
Matthews shows why money is no
by David Powell, The Times
AT THE end of a week in which debate centred on whether a footballer
Roy Keane, of Manchester United is worth £50,000 a week, the
FA Cup third round produced a hero who, it could be said, is paying to play.
Jason Matthews, substitute goalkeeper at Exeter City, gave up his job as
an electrician to try his luck in professional football. The career move
is costing him nearly £300 a week.
"I am a lot worse off coming to Exeter but being a professional footballer
is the best job in the land," Matthews said. On days like this, especially.
Matthews, a free transfer from Nuneaton Borough, made a string of fine saves
on Saturday to keep out men whose signatures cost Everton several millions.
Yet as a goalkeeper who spends most Saturdays warming the benches of the
Nationwide League third division, his £300 weekly wage amounts to little
more than half his former income as a tradesman and part-time footballer.
Matthews, 24, was named man of the match, twice stopping the £5.75 million
Nick Barmby and once denying the £3 million Kevin Campbell in instances
when the FA Carling Premiership raiders looked favourite to score. In so
doing, Matthews secured a replay at Goodison Park and a payday for his club
worth at least £150,000.
Stuart Naylor, the first-choice goalkeeper, was concussed when diving at
the feet of Campbell in the 43rd minute. Though he wanted to return for the
second half, the club doctor refused to allow it. Thus the match became a
tale of two goalkeepers at either end of their careers. Naylor, 37, had been
released by Bristol City and was with Weymouth when the call came from Peter
Fox, the Exeter manager, himself a former goalkeeper at Stoke City.
Bearing in mind that he is not the oldest goalkeeper in Devon Neville
Southall, 41, defied Queens Park Rangers to earn Torquay United a replay
Fox may feel he can persuade Naylor to play on beyond his one-year
More imminently, though, Fox does not know whether he will have him for the
replay tomorrow week. Kofi Nyamah, the Exeter midfield player, was concussed
nine days ago and told not to play on Saturday. Should Naylor be passed fit,
Matthews would expect to be back on the bench.
Times Newspapers Ltd
Keepers stand in way of Everton
Patrick Barclay, Electronic Telegraph
EXETER earned more than a replay. The pre-Christmas trip to Goodison Park
they may now contemplate will make this FA Cup run the club's longest since
they swept Newcastle aside to reach the quarter-finals in 1981.
Though it was an extraordinary outcome, given that the disparity in chances
created fully reflected a difference of 73 league places, neither neutral
nor fair-minded Merseysider could begrudge the Third Division team their
achievement. It was a tale of two goalkeepers, one a veteran persuaded to
emerge from retirement, the other a late entrant to the professional ranks
and both were required by Exeter.
The 37-year-old Stuart Naylor, who was unable to reappear for the second
half after having been accidentally knocked out by Kevin Campbell in making
the last of four excellent saves, seemed to have done enough to merit
man-of-the-match honours should Exeter survive. But the name announced to
delighted Devonians shortly before the final whistle was that of Jason Matthews,
a 23-year-old erstwhile electrician whose contribution after replacing Naylor
had, if anything, exceeded his senior's.
"I wasn't surprised by Jason's performance," said the Exeter manager, Peter
Fox, "and nor were the players. He's determined to make it and I'm sure he
How odd, then, that only a few months ago Matthews should have been playing
for Taunton Town in the Screwfix Direct League; he impressed Fox, himself
once a goalkeeper of some note, in a friendly. He has yet to start a match
and after this, his third appearance as a substitute, Matthews admitted:
"I was dead nervous at first." He concealed it splendidly in three times
thwarting Nicky Barmby, who cost Everton £5.75 million, and, from
point-blank range, denying the £3 million Campbell.
Exeter were pitifully poor relations. The cost of their entire squad
£30,000 would barely cover the weekly pay of some of Everton's
stars. Even the windfall that the result put Exeter's way, increasing their
revenue from the tie by an estimated £200,000, merely served to emphasise
the widening economic gulf in English football. But the Cup's equalising
properties did their stuff, Everton missing plenty of opportunities as well
as running into these inspired goalkeepers.
First Naylor. You may recall that he gained three England B caps during a
decade with West Bromwich. But, after being released by Bristol City in March,
he felt the time was right to quit and started going for job interviews.
Then Fox intervened and his suspicion that there might be useful life in
the old dog was certainly confirmed yesterday; though Naylor has not made
a habit of keeping clean sheets in the Third Division, the occasion fairly
rolled back the years.
Advancing expertly to smother Campbell, then catching an effort from John
Collins, he was authority itself, and even when Francis Jeffers, the brightest
blue, broke clear, Naylor was there to save with his legs. It was after a
one-two with Jeffers that Campbell surged through and as he jumped over Naylor,
caught the goalkeeper's head. "I saw Campbell trying to avoid me," Naylor
said afterwards, "and that's the last I remember."
He may have to give way to Matthews again for the replay, but the younger
man will have done his confidence no harm. Like Naylor, he brought off a
quartet of memorable stops, the pick being one from a Campbell header when
Matthews had initially been going the wrong way.