Everton News 24/7
|Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool||Premiership||Saturday 22 January 2005; 3:00pm|
|Half Time: 0-1
|Attendance: 36,041||(Fixture 24)||Referee: Howard Webb|
James Beattie leads the line in what looks like the first-choice team for David Wright, with the exception of Richard Wright, who has expressed his own frustrations about the rusty aspects of his form. Time for the a clean sheet? For Charlton, Graham Stuart and Francis Jeffers started on the bench.
The game started slowly, with Charlton taking the early initiatives. But Lean Osman, declared fit after missing last week's Boro draw, found himself in space after 8 mins and ran at the Charlton goal, with Kiely spoiling his first effort.
A late tackle on Hibbert brought El Karkouri an early yellow card from Howard Webb. Everton then went to 4-4-2 after only 20 mins, with Bent moving forward after having a poor first quarter on the right.
Everton got a lucky corner (it should have been a goal kick, ref!) and created a glorious chance from Weir's header, on a flick-on from Bent, but was lacking power and Murphy could clear off the line.
Pistone and Stubbs contrived to blow a wonderful chance minutes before half-time. But a brilliant volley from 25 yards by Matt Holland gave Charlton the lead moments before the break following a Hreidarsson corner.
It was another lacklustre first half for Everton, with Bent and Beattie lacking in movement (Everton have had the lead at half-time only once this season!). Cahill and Kilbane not involved, while Charlton effectively retaining possession.
David Moyes took immediate action during the break by replacing Marcus Bent, who has appeared increasingly out of touch in recent games, with Duncan Ferguson.
After 55 mins, Beattie so nearly scored, with Cahill sliding in, but it hit the inside of the post and bounced harmlessly out. But it was Charlton who did most of the pushing, with Wright looking nervous on a succession of corners.
Ferguson and Carsley combined well to break through but Konchesky chased back to deflect the ball away before Cars could shoot. McFadden then came on for Kilbane to hopefully provide some much-needed pizzazz that could change the game.
Everton started to push, with McFadden and Carsley working a short corner that gave McFadden a chance to fire in on Kiely. But, with time relentlessly ticking away, the Charlton defence held firm, unperturbed by McFadden's erratic running and shooting.
A good free-kick from Beattie forced a diving save from Kiely as an ominous defeat loomed for the Blues with less than 10 mins left. Ferguson was winning all the high balls but no-one was getting on the end of them, and the Goodison crowd was becoming increasingly frustrated.
As ever, the Blues pushed harder and harder while the clock ran down, Ferguson doing all he could to keep up the pressure. But corners were wasted with annoying profligacy as the limitations of this squad become more and more manifest with each passing game. Yobo came on with a few minutes remaining.
Everton's charge for the Champions League is now showing every sign of falling apart, with a rather poor performance overall. The fundamental inability to score vital goals is costing them dear, with Bent becoming increasingly ineffective and Beattie still to get off the mark. But we are still fourth! And with a seven-point gap behind us to protect for the next 14 games...
The London curse continues; Tommy, Tommy, wherefore art thou, Tommy? We miss you desperately!
|Middlesbrough (A) 2004-05 Index Sunderland (H)|
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