Everton 1 - 1 Sheffield Wednesday
Half-time: 1 - 0
FA Carling Premiership 1999-2000 Game 27
3pm Saturday 4 March 2000
Goodison Park, Merseyside
Everton, unbeaten at home in the league, playing against lowly
Sheffield Wednesday? A dead cert? But when did we last win four
straight league games? Over Christmas 1990!!! This is Everton: you can take nothing for
Hutchison was left out in the cold again, having trained on his
own this week. Richard Gough missed the match after sustaining a thigh strain at West Ham.
Surprisingly, Mitch Ward replaced him.
The match started sluggishly, with Everton struggling to recapture the
flowing form that allowed them to show up West Ham. Extensive
possession, but difficult to make progress against a battling Wednesday
But after 33 mins, Campbell won a corner which was swung in beautifully
by Barmby and Weir smacked a great header into the net for the opening goal.
But straight after the break, Wednesday equalised on a good move finished
by Quinn. Everton just never really got going and it ended 1-1.
Subs Not Used
Myhre; Unsworth (capt), Xavier, Weir; Ball, Pembridge,
Barmby, Collins, Ward (75' Dunne); Moore, Campbell.
(transfer-listed); Cleland, Jeffers, Williamson (injured).
Watson, Gemmill, Cadamarteri, Simonsen.
Srnicek, Hinchcliffe, Walker, Atherton, Nolan (46' Briscoe), Quinn, Haslam, Sonner, Alexandersson, Sibon, De
Pressman, Cresswell, Rudi, Staniforth.
Royal Blue shirts; white shorts; blue socks.
Yellow, black & white shirts; black shorts; yellow socks.
Half-time tea-lacing scandal
So, it was 11 months since our last home defeat, and that was against
today's visitors. Then it was a classic 6 pointer; today it was a
formality. At least that's what the portents showed. Wednesday
languishing, adrift in 19th place, with us at a giddy 7th. What a
difference a year makes! Other stats weren't so inspiring. Over
the years Wednesday have a good record at Goodison, which is probably their
happiest hunting ground, that obviously couldn't be ignored.
So what was it to be today? Current form or historical trends?
Gough failed an early fitness test and with Hutchison now apparently
training alone and dispatched from the first team squad we were down to the
bare bones. Unsworth was named Captain for the day.
The first few minutes showed that Wednesday were up for a
challenge. They harried in midfield and forced Everton back.
Within three minutes, Alexandersson found himself in space and drove past
Myhre only to find the post in his way. A coat of paint away from a
The rest of the half was spent watching that same coat of paint
drying. It was a yawnsome affair with Everton unable to string two
passes together, in the main and Wednesday huffing and... huffing.
True the drudgery was punctuated by some flowing football from Everton (I
can hear the shouts of "When?" from others at the game) – one of
which saw a clearance from Myhre find Unsworth wide left, a knock forward to
Barmby, a lay-off to Pembridge and a screaming drive just over the
bar. Another effort from Pembridge (was it a case of, "Here you
go Mark, knock one in against your old club?") finished with the same
result, this from a short free kick taken by Unsworth.
Collins, too, after neat play with Ball, saw a right footed effort go
wide and Joe-Max Moore was also guilty of missing the target. That
really was the tale of the half, with Wednesday there for the taking and us
happy to be behind. Oh, yes, there was a corner from Barmby and a goal
from Weir... the disbelief as it went in as we suddenly found
ourselves 1-0 up against the poorest side to visit Goodison this season –
and that includes Exeter, Oxford and Birmingham, was tangible.
The second half, of course couldn't be anywhere near as bad. A
quick rocket from Walter, a few well chosen words from Archie and Bob's your
uncle. Problem was, I think they went into the wrong dressing
room. Wednesday finally came out looking as though they believed in
themselves, we certainly didn't.
A quick gift of a goal, 1-1 and that was it. 'Watch them react to
that', I thought. Wrong! Only a late drive from Unsworth
and a late effort from Ball (with which he might have done better) caused
Wednesday any real bother. There had been goal mouth scrambles, but we
were never the right side of the six yard box as the ball broke loose.
We didn't deserve a point from this display, so another three would have
been a mugging. We can be thankful that Wednesday were so poor, as
Myhre had a 'mare. He dropped the ball, kicked appallingly, was slow
to react to balls coming onto him. He couldn't be blamed for the goal,
however, and did make one terrific full-stretch save to push the ball behind
for a corner towards the end. Is he simply lacking the sharpness that
a long run in the first team brings? I don't know. He's
certainly not as sharp as he was last season.
Its unfair to single out Myhre, though. Campbell put up his worst
performance since donning the Royal Blue. His head finally dropped
after he didn't get a decision go in his favour for almost the whole
game. Countless offsides (they can't all have been given correctly,
surely?) took their toll. Walker had him pretty much in his
pocket. Nobody else had a game worthy of note.
Man of the Match: A toss-up between the scoreboard operator and
Michael Ball. I'll give it to Michael Ball, as he actually kicked the
Best intentions earn Wednesday a point
Derick Allsop, Electronic Telegraph
SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY may be doomed to the Nationwide League, but they are
admirably intent on playing their way to the bitter end.
They deservedly earned a point from this forgettable encounter and, with
more clinical finishing by Gilles de Bilde, might have claimed maximum
points against an unco-ordinated Everton.
Walter Smith, the Everton manager, operated with a back three, which
appeared to confuse his players and proved scant consolation for the absence
of the ostracised Don Hutchison in midfield.
Their more direct game at least yielded a half-time lead, courtesy of
David Weir's regulation header. But when Wednesday, too, built on the
foundation of three central defenders and a midfield five after the break,
Everton were out-manoeuvred.
Alan Quinn's first senior goal pulled Wednesday level four minutes into
the second half and de Bilde twice had the opportunity to complete an
invaluable victory. The Belgian striker will plead with some
justification that he was illegally bundled out of his stride by a desperate
David Unsworth as he homed in on the second of those chances.
By the end, Everton were grateful merely to preserve their unbeaten home
record in the Premiership. Remarkably, this point takes them to sixth
in a league some would have us believe is the best in the world.
Everton's five-man midfield toiled to provide the guidance that has been
Hutchison's consistent contribution to the club's cause. The arrival
of Stephen Hughes from Arsenal cannot come soon enough.
Smith conceded: "We can have no complaints at the result. We
never really created opportunities."
His opposite number, Danny Wilson, refuses to accept relegation is
inevitable. He said: "It was not a good game for the purist but
we've got to be happy with a point. We still believe we can stay up.
"There's still a third of the season left and we have to go on a
run, starting now. We showed we can battle, we were resilient and had
Everton's efforts were high, wide and gruesome until, in the 33rd minute,
Weir met Nick Barmby's corner with a firm header.
However, they were justly punished after Gerald Sibon, at the second
attempt, found Quinn and the little midfield player gleefully beat Thomas
Myhre to equalise.
De Bilde cursed himself for heading straight at Myhre and was rueful,
too, when he stumbled clear of Unsworth's attention only to be thwarted by
Quinn strike denies in-form Everton
by Ron Clarke, The Sunday Times
THIS game left the Goodison Park faithful as bemused as Sheffield
Wednesday are beleaguered. Expected to stroll it against condemned
opponents, Everton rarely showed any signs of the revival which has got them
to within touching distance of a European place. Complacency rather than
creativity were the hallmarks of a below-par performance which could have
ended in an embarrassing downfall and given Wednesday their third successive
victory on this ground.
After eventually taking the lead with a first-half header from David
Weir, they allowed Wednesday straight back into the game after the restart,
Alan Quinn scoring his first goal for the club. It then petered out into a
dull stalemate, leaving Everton unbeaten at home in the League this season
and giving Wednesday only the merest hint of a stay of execution.
Before kick-off, Danny Wilson, the Wednesday manager, said his team
needed at least seven wins from their remaining 12 fixtures to survive.
After this, the evidence for the prosecution still seems strong enough to
send them down.
The first half was certainly more tepid than torrid and we had to wait a
full 32 minutes for the first corner. It fell to the visitors, and Danny
Sonner's tame effort curved well wide of the goal. Straight away, Everton
showed how it should be done with their first similar set piece. This time,
Nick Barmby swung the ball in for Weir to tower above a static defence and
head the ball into a gaping net.
That should have been the spark to ignite the game into some kind of
positive performance from Everton. But despite being given an earlier scare,
when Niclas Alexandersson found himself in the clear only to narrowly screw
his shot wide, they still seemed hesitant to take control of an opposition
that looked like willing victims.
Before taking the lead, Mark Pembridge had twice come close to scoring,
first firing Barmby's rolled free kick just over and then sending a rising
effort too high after David Unsworth, the new Everton captain, and Kevin
Campbell had combined well to supply the final ball.
But the breakthrough did not ease the Goodison complacency and this was
their undoing almost immediately after the interval as they relinquished the
advantage. It was a case of pedestrian defending against pedestrian
attacking, with Gerald Sibon allowed two slow-motion attempts to get the
ball across the penalty area. His second attempt trickled across to young
Quinn who smashed the ball past Thomas Myhre, albeit with a hint of
Indeed, a previously despondent Wednesday, the last league team to emerge
victorious at Goodison Park some 11 months ago, suddenly looked rejuvenated
and the more likely victors. Gilles de Bilde, the Belgian, headed straight
into the arms of Myhre when he really should have done better and then was
unfortunate to see the ball bounce away from him as he once again threatened
to go through the Everton defence.
There was some reshuffling during the course of the game, with Lee
Briscoe replacing Ian Nolan for Wednesday at half-time and Richard Dunne
coming on for Everton's recalled Mitch Ward in the final quarter.
It was still a mystery why Everton, impressive 4-0 winners at West Ham
last week, were so out of touch. Barmby, the hat-trick hero of that game,
was as subdued as his colleagues.
Even Joe-Max Moore, the free-scoring American with six goals in his past
seven games, seemed unable to raise the pace of the game much above
Before this game, we had more action off the pitch than there was on it.
With transfer-listed captain, Don Hutchison, no longer part of proceedings
and a replacement £3-million midfielder, Stephen Hughes, on his way from
Arsenal, at least the crowd had something to talk about – there was
certainly little danger of the game ever being a major distraction.
They would also have been heartened by the news that the veteran
defender, Richard Gough, at the age of 37, has signed a new contract and
will be staying with Everton for at least another two years.
As the game petered out into an inevitably dull stalemate, there was
still time for Myhre to spare Everton's blushes as he marvellously tipped
Sibon's 22-yard shot over the bar.
Afterwards, Danny Wilson remained optimistic: "There is still almost
a third of the season left and we still believe we can get out of it. They
showed that today by making a fight of it."
Everton's manager, Walter Smith, was perhaps more honest: "We never
reached the level we have in recent games. We never got started."
could apply to the whole game.
Mighty Quinn is in fighting trim
by Dave Hadfield, The Independent
This was one of those results that is unlikely to do either club much
good in the long term and neither of them truly deserved to prosper as a
consequence of this thoroughly undistinguished draw. When Wednesday's
manager, Danny Wilson, declared it "not a good game for the
purist", he was guilty of a serious understatement. This was not even a
good game for the dour pragmatist or world-weary cynic.
Everton, who moved into sixth place in the Premiership on the basis of
one of their poorest performances of the season, must take most of the
blame. They have been in a productive vein of form recently and have not
lost at home in the league all season, so it was reasonable to expect them
to go about the relatively modest task of tackling relegation fodder like
Wednesday with some zest.
Instead, as their manager, Walter Smith, admitted: "We never got
started." He had to reshuffle due to the absence of Richard Gough in
the heart of his defence, but the way Everton performed without him and the
unhappy Don Hutchison – apparently on his way out of Goodison – will
only confirm his view that the club needs to invest if it is not to fritter
away this season's progress.
With Peter Atherton and Des Walker solid at the back for Wednesday, Kevin
Campbell and Joe-Max Moore – with five goals in his last five games –
were barely sighted. Even Nick Barmby, who has been playing so exuberantly
in midfield and scored a hat-trick at West Ham last weekend, was anonymous.
Not that Wednesday truly looked capable of playing their way out of the
deep hole they are in. Niclas Alexandersson showed flashes of the ability
that made Everton interested in his plans for next season if and when
Wednesday go down, but there is not the firepower to get away from the
It was surprising that either side managed a goal at all. Everton's came
10 minutes from the merciful end of a sterile first-half when Barmby curled
in a corner from the left and David Weir rose to meet it with a header of
unanswerable power and accuracy. It was by a distance the best moment of the
half, but the lead did not last long after the interval.
Moore missed a chance to keep his scoring streak alive, and then a
complacent home defence gave the ungainly Gerald Sibon two chances to cross
from the right. With the second, he pulled the ball back for Alan Quinn,
whose rising drive beat Thomas Myhre, possibly with the aid of a slight
deflection, to bring his first goal for the club.
Wilson thinks Quinn's youthful approach typifies a fighting spirit that
still exists in his squad. "He's got fantastic enthusiasm," he
said. "He plays without fear, he's got a terrific work-rate and the
goal will do a great deal of good for his confidence." The manager
refused to be down-hearted at the way time is running out. "There is
still almost a third of the season to play. We've got to get something from
every game and a point here was a bonus."
That might be true in theory, but Wednesday, for whom Gilles de Bilde had
a number of half-chances in the second half, will know in their hearts that
a woeful Everton were there for the taking. It might have been an unexpected
opportunity, but it represents a golden chance to edge towards safety
wasted. Wednesday cannot afford such carelessness.
Wilson in need of daring deeds
by Kevin McCarra, The Times
THIS match turned out to be one of those freakish friendships. With
nothing whatsoever in common, Everton and Sheffield Wednesday turned out to
be inseparable. They muddled around together in a match of ropey football
and neither side posed a clear threat for long. Close as they were, it may
be some time before the clubs run into one another again, because the
visitors are virtually certain to be relegated.
On Saturday evening Everton
stood sixth in the FA Carling Premiership and Danny Wilson, the Wednesday
manager, considered this a favourable result. In practice, it was another
hurtful afternoon. With one more weekend scored off the football calendar,
his team is no closer to Bradford City or Southampton and farther away from
Severe though it may be to upbraid them after gleaning a point away from
home, Wednesday need to be far more daring and ruthless. They might just
have won at Goodison and moved with relative smoothness against the
error-prone Everton midfield, but a marginal superiority seemed so pleasant
a surprise that the players forgot to turn an advantage into a victory.
The need for a spiky attitude also slipped a few minds. Wednesday can
ill-afford the bashful defending that allowed Everton their goal in the 33rd
minute. Nick Barmby floated over a corner and David Weir trotted in with
time to calibrate the header that flew high into the net.
For the most part, the match was torpid and incidents that did promise
excitement had a habit of trailing off into inconsequentiality.
Niclas Alexandersson might have scored in the fourth minute, but hit the
outside of a post. Graham Barber, the referee, had his part, too, in
forestalling interesting developments.
Having been fouled from behind by David Unsworth in the 66th minute,
Gilles de Bilde, the Wednesday forward, was refused a penalty, presumably
because he stayed on his feet, however wobbly. Four minutes into the second
half, though, Wilson's side had equalised when Alan Quinn, a young Dubliner,
converted Gerald Sibon's cross for his first goal in senior football.
Walter Smith, the Everton manager, is not the type to beam in
if reference is made to an unbeaten Premiership record at home. Eight of the
13 results have been draws.
After the dispute over a new contract, Don Hutchison has been dropped and
Stephen Hughes's arrival at Goodison Park, in a £3 million transfer from
Arsenal, will only take place this week. In the gap between, Everton lost
their footing against Wednesday.
Times Newspapers Ltd