Everton 1 - 0 Exeter City
Half-time: 0 - 0
FA Cup 1999-2000 3rd Round Replay
8pm Tuesday 21 December 1999
Goodison Park, Merseyside
The match both sides apparently wanted all along: the 3rd Round tie to be
played at Goodison, to provide a windfall of extra cash to both clubs. The
FA's decision to sacrifice tradition for the sake of the few clubs who are
still playing in Europe has led to poor attendances in the rearranged FA
Cup 3rd Round ties. However, Everton cut their ticket prices on a very
cold night to get a respectable crowd of 16,869.
A win in this critical match was absolutely paramount for Everton. But for
85 minutes the Exeter defence held solid as it had in the first tie; Everton
were again profligate, with numerous chances going begging.
Finally, a deflected shot from Collins was pounced on
by Nick Barmby who tucked away the vital winner, to alleviate the severe
frustration of long-suffering Evertonians. Joe-Max Moore
still wasn't played because... er, because he hasn't been played
and the only way he will get played is by playing! Go figure, Wally!
Subs Not Used
Gerrard, Unsworth, Dunne, Weir, Cleland, Barmby, Hutchison,
Collins, Pembridge, Campbell, Jeffers.
Unavailable: Xavier, Gemmill, Gough, Ward,
Williamson (injured); Branch, Myhre, O'Kane, Phelan (on loan);
Bilic (in limbo); Parkinson (retired).
Ball, Watson, Moore, Simonsen, Cadamarteri.
Naylor, Power, Gittens, Dewhurst, Richardson, Rees, Buckle,
Curran, Breslan (54' McConnell), Alexander, Robinson (87' Flack).
Smith, Boylan, Matthews.
Royal Blue shirts, white shorts, blue socks
Red & White shirts, black shorts, black
Jeffers (25'), Hutchison (27')
Buckle (54'), Robinson (71')
And with the minutes ticking
Mickey Blue Eyes
You know, ALL winter mornings should be like yesterday morning. Down by the
river, it was just gorgeous. Like that for much of the day... clear bright
blue sky, sharp chill in the air... the kind of day you yearn for when you're
thousands of kilometres away in broiling heat and 98% humidity. Then all
your design decisions (or whatever) all click into place. Makes you feel
So when you think about the coming night match against gallant but untalented
opposition you reckon, given the first unequal match in human-sacrifice country,
that it's a piece of piss.
At least in the normal way piss flows... according to the rules of human
physique and the laws of physics. After all... this is the FA Cup... NOT
the frigging Axa FA Cup. Whoever Axa are... As a matter of principle I wouldn't
buy their product, whatever it is, if they were standing in Bold Street with
a sign round their corporate neck. Frankly, after this little "spectacle",
I felt like strangling some corporate types with a knotted hankie.
Put bluntly, this was a totally one-sided crap match. It was awful,
like a nightmare re-run from over a year ago.
Now I REALLY don't want to take anything away from Exeter. Plainly, they
and their fans were up for it. They battled long and hard to keep us out
and "succeeded" as far as that limited ambition went. Good luck to them.
They can probably count this as a moral victory.
Certainly the centre of their defence was up to the job, so far as they were
taken to task. They won most of the balls in the air and got most of the
first tackles in.
Again, we missed a hat-ful of chances. Again we looked lazy and mostly
disinterested, except for Unsie and Nicky. The chances kept coming and going
as regularly as our misplaced passes and your resolutions to make your life
better. On average, this occurred about every minute or so. It almost got
to be funny. Except it was bloody ANNOYING.
For some reason I haven't yet heard, Abel was out and replaced by Cleland,
and Goughie wasn't yet back. Everybody else was in situ.
The match mostly consisted of constant and erratic pressure from us, maddeningly
constant giving away of the ball in midfield and steady abandonment of reasonable
scoring chances throughout. Franny missed four good chances alone.
We attacked the Park End in the first half. The play pattern wasn't much
different from the first match. Mark Pembridge played wide left, was mostly
unmarked, and banged over a lot of crosses... only two of which were accurate.
Franny headed or chested one of them wide when one of my nippers could've
buried it. Exeter had two, sometimes three, men on Nicky on the right for
most of the match. Seemed to be their only tactic.
Jeffers-Campbell just didn't figure in this match. SuperKev was the most
fitful he's been since his arrival.
And then of course The Don goes and fells one of their midfielders with one
of his machete chop specials and gets rightly booked. Soft prat.
Then Franny gets booked after being on the end of a foul tackle....for not
retiring from the field...and pointing out that only a few minutes before
their right back had stayed on in similar circs. Untalented refs don't like
being pointed at the truth.
But for all this, their goalie was only tested about four or five times in
the first half. He delivered whenever he had to. So did their central defenders.
In fact, within their limited range, Exeter probably played out of their
Mostly the same in the second half, but more intense. You began to get the
feeling that it was gonna be one of those matches a breakaway... and
you're out. Not that Exeter ever carved anything out, nor did it ever look
likely. But, you know, you get edgy.
During lulls in the play you start looking around at the characters nearby.
One dickhead a few rows away started trying to rearrange the seating furniture
after Big Ears pissed yet another chance against the wall. Then another one
shouted at Me Mate, "That's TWICE he's done that!" And Me Mate said, "Four
times as a matter of fact." And the dickhead turned to his friend and shouted
at him, "FOUR times he's done that!"
People. Doncha luv 'em, warts and all.
The minutes ticked away. You began thinking... penalties. Oh fuck. Couldn't
We got a Street End left corner during a spell when the ball was being booted
out by Exeter for corners at 30 second intervals. Nicky shaped to take it...
kicked it... and Me Mate said, "Fuckin' 'ell....LOOK at THAT!" in the
unmistakable tones of a horny human male seeing the female of the species
in all her glory. It happened in slo-mo. I took me eyes off the ball...
unforgivable, I know, but his mating audio was URGENT... And there, so help
me, people, going down one of the exits was an absolutely beautiful 17-years-old
in a Bellies Top... carrying a tray of pies down to below the Street End.
She disappeared. Eyes back on the pitch. The ball curled into the middle.
Kev missed from six metres.
It was that sort of match.
So... umpteenth attack into the Street End with about five minutes left.
As usual, the ball ping-ponged around bodies, broke acute right and Nicky,
who else, drilled it under the keeper. It was no more than either team deserved.
We were out of the ground within thirty seconds of the whistle.
A few minutes later we were in The Glebe getting drunk. In the circumstances,
take it from me, it was the right decision.
A display like this against the Mackems and we'll get hung, drawn and quartered.
A Strange Game...
A strange game. A bit of a waltz around the dance floor and off for a warm
shower. At least that's the way it looked from my vantage point.
We controlled the ball effortlessly, but too often without purpose. There
were pretty patterns as we executed intricate passing movements and continuous
domination of possession as we probed their defence at will. But in the end
there was a lack of a cutting edge. In the first half alone Jeffers had an
effort blocked by the keeper, another drift past the far post from a header
and a lob go wide of the mark.
Campbell too, having taken his customary knock from the opposing keeper,
had lifted the ball wide, had rapped the side netting and seen another effort
cleared off the line by the Exeter defence. Barmby went close, Weir nodded
wide and countless other efforts went unrewarded. The point was that we didn't
really look as though we expected to score.
The second half was more of the same. Suffice to say, the pace told on the
Exeter side as they failed to muster even a single attempt at goal in this
half, having at least tested Gerrard once in the first (though not dangerously)
and seen another effort go past his right hand post. More pretty patterns,
more unrewarding wing play.
Pembridge would be alright if it wasn't for the fact that his brain seems
to kick into gear 2 or 3 seconds after a ball has been played to him. All
too often he doesn't see it coming. Don't get me wrong he delivered some
fine crosses from out wide, but that was generally when unchallenged and
he didn't have to think too much. Contrast that with Barmby who covered the
ground tirelessly, seeing opportunities before they arrived only to
find that nobody else in midfield has a brain as quick as his and the
opportunities were gone before they looked up.
We really only looked as though we might score when Barmby and Pembridge
swapped flanks. Barmby became a demon as he swooped down on goal from the
left-hand side of midfield. One goal-bound shot was blocked by a defender
who fell over having been completely outsmarted by him. Cleland, too had
his moments seeing one screamer from about thirty yards leave the keeper
completely stranded and miss the goal by inches. It seemed that that was
to be the story of the night.
Then came the goal, a shot from outside the area, a block from the defence,
keeper and Barmby vying for the ball at the angle of the 6 yard box and Barmby
wins. A neatly placed shot into the goal and game over. A second one, disallowed
for offside two minutes later was a classy finish, too, Barmby dancing around
the keeper and pushing the ball into the empty net.
That was about it. We dominated, should have been out of sight by half time
and were thankful for a fortunate break in front of goal towards the end.
One question I will ask, though, of those lurking referees out there. What
are the criteria for a player having to leave the field after going down
injured and requiring attention? I ask this as I'm bemused at the referee's
antics in this area. Twice we had lengthy treatments to players (Campbell
and Jeffers) and on both occasions the player had to leave the field. Contrast
that with two similar injuries to Exeter players and neither had to leave
the field. Confused? I was.
Never mind though, we're through. At this point in time I'm thankful for
Barmby's late strike rescues
by Guy Hodgson, The Independent
Exeter's rearguard action almost keeps Toffees stuck in rut as Sheffield
steel looks a little blunt
Conventional wisdom has it that the gap between the Premiership and the rest
is growing but there was little evidence to support the theory last night.
Seventy-five places separate these clubs in the league, but it was not until
the 175th minute of this FA Cup third-round replay that Everton won through
to meet Birmingham City.
Quite how this had come about only Everton can answer because they missed
any number of chances in a match that became more fraught for the home crowd
by the second. With extra time beckoning, however, Nick Barmby pounced on
a rebound from John Collins' shot. Relief all round for the Premiership team.
The Football Association might plead it has no choice but the folly of dragging
the country's premier knockout competition to December was apparent as soon
as you saw last night's crowd. A few days before Christmas and with a run
of home Everton matches to come, the magic of the Cup proved highly resistable
and Goodison had more empty seats than occupied ones. This with reduced prices.
Cup ties will always have a fascination, however, as long as the underdogs
still have a chance of making their teeth hurt and Exeter had made this replay
necessary by an outstanding display of obduracy at St James' Park. Everton
had pounded away but the Third Division side had not buckled.
The pattern had not changed last night, indeed Exeter ensured it would not
by playing only Gary Alexander up front, and the home team dominated possession.
After two minutes Francis Jeffers was clear through only to be denied by
Stuart Naylor's charge and this opportunity was followed by others for Kevin
Campbell and David Weir.
Surely this pressure had to tell and after 22 minutes it looked as though
it would when Mark Pembridge's precisely weighted long pass from the left
fell into Campbell's path. He had one chance to touch the ball before Naylor
arrived. His touch beat the goalkeeper but looped wide.
This let-off, and the subsequent time spent treating the injured Campbell,
temporarily changed the mood and twice, midway through the first half, Exeter
might have taken the lead. The first arrived after 25 minutes when a ricochet
gave Geoff Breslan space which he squandered by shooting too close to Paul
Gerrard and the next was a hit-and-hope effort on the turn from the centre-back
Rob Dewhurst that bounced narrowly wide.
With that normal service resumed and Everton ought to have finished the tie
off just before half-time. Francis Jeffers merely had to be accurate with
a half-volley from Nick Barmby's pass or when he headed Pembridge's cross
but, criminally, he was wide. The home frustration was so strong that the
teams were booed off the pitch at the interval.
Alex Cleland was the next Everton player to go close, crashing a low shot
that could have gone anywhere when it flicked somebody in the packed penalty
area. Typically, the end product was a miss that bobbled by the posts and
not between them. Jeffers had another opportunity after 62 minutes, but his
shot from 12 yards was so poor it ballooned in to the air and almost became
a cross to Campbell.
Barmby is calming
by Stephen Wood, The Times
WALTER SMITH, the Everton manager, believed that his side had created enough
chances in their first encounter against Exeter City to "fuel a run to the
final", and, after his team pushed their luck in the FA Cup third-round replay
at Goodison Park last night, Smith can be forgiven for dreaming.
With just five minutes remaining, Everton had wasted another glut of
opportunities and it was Exeter, struggling in the Nationwide League third
division, who were harbouring thoughts of glory. Although they employed just
one striker, their performance was commendable for the work and determination
they showed in defence. One unfortunate ricochet turned their efforts to
John Collins, the Everton midfield player, tried a speculative shot from
30 yards and the ball bounced off the legs of Jon Gittens, the defender.
Nicky Barmby was the quickest to react and he slid the ball under the body
of Stuart Naylor, the Exeter goalkeeper. So distraught was Naylor that he
could hardly bare to lift himself off the turf, while his team-mates hung
The shame, though, belonged to the players from the FA Carling Premiership.
They were jeered off at the final whistle by the paltry crowd of 16,869
a figure marginally above the record low for an FA Cup tie at Goodison Park,
set against Wimbledon in 1993 but it is likely that they will not
care a jot.
Victory has given their season a renewed impetus and Birmingham City await
in a home fourth-round tie. "I was beginning to prepare for extra time,"
Smith said. "Any mistakes that Exeter made went unpunished and we made life
hard for ourselves. But the most important thing is that we are through."
The bravado of Exeter's supporters had complemented the bullish approach
adopted by Peter Fox, the manager. He had declared beforehand that his players
were not going to Goodison Park to acquiesce and the 2,000 fans who travelled
to witness the occasion were not going to waste their moment in the spotlight,
They sang You'll Never Walk Alone, the anthem of Everton's rivals
across Stanley Park and, although the cheeky renditions failed to inflame
the home fans, the manner of the start from the Everton players showed that
they were not struck down by apathy.
Perhaps someone had sowed a seed of hope in their superstitious minds. Fourteen
seasons ago, Everton had beaten Exeter 1-0 in the third round of the FA Cup,
and five months later, in May of 1986, they had enjoyed a day out in the
final at Wembley. Liverpool ruined their hopes of winning the Cup then, but
runners-up medals would be something to cherish for Evertonians at the moment.
They could have been four goals to the good before Exeter caught so much
as a glimpse of the opposition goal, but Naylor, the goalkeeper who had helped
to keep Everton at bay in the first game, saved smartly from Jeffers. Breslan
should have done better than shoot straight at Paul Gerrard from Exeter's
best chance of the game, midway through the first half, but the incident
was isolated. Jeffers wasted two more excellent opportunities before half-time,
while the hurried clearances of Gittens and Dewhurst were only inches from
handing the home side the breakthrough.
Panic had gripped Everton in the form of snatched efforts from Campbell and
Collins, before Barmby spared their blushes. Despite the disappointment,
Exeter's dignity was unaffected, although magnanimity was helped by the prospect
of the replay earning them £70,000.
"I am proud of my players," Fox said. "But if we are honest, it was the right
result. I did not even dare to plan for extra time, because I've been caught
out by football too many times in the past."
Times Newspapers Ltd
Barmby on target to end Everton frustration
Nicholas Spencer, Electronic Telegraph
IN a match eerily reminiscent of their only other meeting, 15 seasons ago,
Everton waited 85 minutes before finding a way past Exeter City and into
a fourth-round meeting with Birmingham City.
Everton reached the final that year but this game bore all the trademarks
of FA Cup frustration, even though Exeter's lack of a cutting edge
a failing which has dogged their descent from early season leaders of the
Third Division never seriously offered a way past an under-employed
Paul Gerrard, in the home goal.
The Premiership team retained possession prettily enough in safe areas, but
when real inspiration or a cool finish was really required amid the congestion
of the Exeter penalty area, they were found badly wanting. That is until
Nick Barmby reacted quickest to John Collins' deflected shot and finally
slipped the ball under Stuart Naylor.
Exeter had been here once before, for the third round in 1986. For those
who made the 500-mile round trip the abiding memory is of John Shaw, the
Exeter goalkeeper, repelling everything Gary Lineker could throw at him for
80 minutes until a long-range effort from Gary Stevens finally eluded him.
There were 22,000 here that Sunday, and only marginally fewer last night,
the 16,869 contributing towards a sorely-needed £120,000 return from
the two games for Exeter. A fleet of buses bore testimony to Devonian optimism
that Peter Fox's side would also prove capable of bridging the 75 places
separating the two teams.
This despite Everton's utter domination of the first meeting, at St James'
Park, which ended goalless thanks to the efforts of two goalkeepers, Naylor
and Jason Matthews.
On the evidence of the opening 10 minutes Peter Fox, the Exeter manager and
a former Stoke stalwart between the posts, could have wished for the combined
efforts of both men, and himself for good measure, to keep the score respectable.
Within two minutes Naylor had resumed where he left off, thwarting Francis
Jeffers with his legs. A flowing move involving John Collins and Mark Pembridge
then set up Kevin Campbell for a close-range shot which rippled the outside
of the netting.
Fortunately for Exeter, the experienced Jon Gittens was around to restore
some order to their defence and win more than his fair share of headers against
Campbell. Everton grew frustrated and predictable and Exeter rediscovered
Edgy Everton, with memories of a Worthington Cup defeat here by Oxford to
trouble them, and unnecessary bookings for Jeffers and Don Hutchison to irritate,
just could not find a way past Naylor.
The chief culprit was Jeffers. His movement proved too elusive for Third
Division opponents outside the box, but inside it he contrived to turn two
presentable chances, from Nick Barmby's intelligent cut-back and Mark Pembridge's
enticing cross, into groans of disappointment from the Everton faithful.
The pattern was set and it was clear Exeter would need a measure of good
fortune to keep their goal intact. It arrived in the 49th minute when Dewhurst,
attempting to reach a Gittens mis-kick before Jeffers did, stuck out his
right leg and lofted a back-pass a couple of feet past Naylor's left-hand
Yet another miss by Jeffers, the ball slicing off his boot after David Unsworth
and Pembridge had unlocked the Exeter right, further increased the anxiety
as the clock ticked past the hour. The deadlock cried out for Danny Cadamarteri's
pace, but he remained on the bench.