Summary: Samways chips Everton to victory

(c) 1995 Copyright The News and Observer Publishing Co.
(c) 1995 Reuter Information Service

LONDON (Aug 13, 1995 - 14:12 EDT) - Midfielder Vinny Samways chipped the ball in off the far post in the 57th minute to give Everton a 1-0 win over Blackburn Rovers on Sunday in the Charity Shield match, traditional Wembley curtainraiser to the English soccer season.

Samways did not look especially dangerous as he advanced way out on the left. But he turned a defender as he came into the box, then deceived England goalkeeper Tim Flowers, who was expecting a cross, with the lob to the far post.

Premier league champions Blackburn, who failed to make use of greater possession, had a penalty in the dying minutes turned down after Everton substitute defender Dave Watson appeared to trip England striker Alan Shearer on the right side of the box.

F.A. Cup holders Everton showed greater passing cohesion overall against a Blackburn side missing several key players.

Charity Shield: Samways settles clash of the uncharitables

Blackburn (0) 0 Everton (0) 1
Samways 57.

By Henry Winter

MAYBE it was the heat on the pitch, maybe it was the strange occurrence of the season's traditional curtain-raiser arriving 25 hours after the season had started, but yesterday's Charity Shield proved a shapeless, eminently forgettable affair.

Then again, maybe it was the relentless succession of fouls, including the extraordinary sight of Anders Limpar pole-axing Alan Shearer, which disrupted the flow. The final foul tally numbered 35, but the only statistic that mattered was a fine 57th-minute winner from Vinny Samways, a midfielder normally excluded from Everton's first-team thinking.

Evertonian jubilation was understandable. Missing Ferguson, Ebbrell, Stuart, Short and Kanchelskis, the Cup-winners had most to fear but again revealed their resilience under the inspirational Joe Royle. Their FA Cup anthem, "All together now", is aptly titled.

Blackburn, the first champions to lose a Charity Shield since 1989, looked out of sorts in their first outing under Ray Harford's management. In Colin Hendry's absence, Chris Sutton was at centre-half, a tactic that tempered Rovers' familiar attacking edge.

Harford, assuming the reins after Kenny Dalglish's move upstairs, may alter Rovers' style marginally, though yesterday was hardly the occasion to judge any change of nuance. Feeding Shearer remains Rovers' staple diet but the champions did appear to build more from the back.

The attritional nature of the contest inevitably undermined any attempt at creativity by either side. The start of the season habitually invokes outbursts of faith and hope, but, like last year when Blackburn met Manchester United, charity was again in short supply.

There was precious little football in the first period

With the on-field temperature nudging 107F, it was no surprise when the campaign for fair-play took an early body-blow. Barely had the public address plea that "passion and confrontation overshadow the true spirit of the game", than the true spirit was flattened. When David Batty, no stranger to ignoring the more Corinthian tenets of the beautiful game, upended Limpar, it appeared a straightforward infringement. Batty saw otherwise, and twice tried to hack the ball from under the prostrate Swede.

It was disappointing to focus on the myriad misdeeds that stopped the game, but then there was precious little football anyway in the first period. Mike Newell shot over, and Limpar followed suit at the other end, before the half climaxed with contrasting raids. Shearer, powering in from the right, skipped away from David Unsworth before crossing low to Tim Sherwood, whose instant shot was nimbly pounced upon by Neville Southall.

Tim Flowers, Southall's Blackburn counterpart, was almost immediately called into action, the Rovers' keeper clutching an Andy Hinchcliffe special at the second attempt. But the half will be remembered more for the litany of ill-judged challenges. Barry Horne clattered into Sherwood while Graeme Le Saux and Kevin Gallacher both caught young Tony Grant late.

Blackburn began to piece together some of those quick-moving, interswitching patterns that helped them to the championship

It could only get better. Blackburn began to piece together some of those quick-moving, interswitching patterns that helped them to the championship. Sherwood and Stuart Ripley combined to release Le Saux, whose advance into the box was checked by Joe Parkinson. Southall then cleared a Le Saux teaser but the blue-and-white tide had been resisted.

The match was dragging inexorably towards the hour mark when Samways intervened. Sprinting down the inside-left corridor in pursuit of Gary Ablett's beautifully-flighted pass, he ingored the close attentions of Ian Pearce before brilliantly lifting the ball, from left to right, over Flowers.

Apart from Le Saux's rash lunges at Earl Barrett, little else of note occurred until three minutes from time. Shearer, having beaten Unsworth, entered the box and then fell, apparently pushed by Dave Watson. Penalties have been given for less.

Rovers' afternoon was encapsulated by an undignified cameo near their bench. Jeff Kenna, substituted after turning an ankle, was carried into Wembley's womb before reappearing, with a limp, in the Royal Box. His journey to Blackburn's bench was stopped by a Wembley jobsworth who ordered the bemused defender back inside. Kenna, shaking his head in frustration, limped away before sanity prevailed and he was allowed to re-join his colleagues. Crazy.

It summed up a Charity Shield which was more pipe-closer than pipe-opener. There will be better football ahead.

The Littlewoods Pools FA Charity Shield

Blackburn (0) 0 Everton (0) 1 - Samways 57.

Blackburn: Flowers, Kenna (Atkins 31), Sherwood, Le Saux, Ripley (Makel 69), Gallacher (Marker 80), Batty, Pearce, Newell, Shearer, Sutton. Booked: Sherwood, Le Saux,Gallacher.

Everton: Southall, Barrett, Hinchcliffe, Unsworth, Ablett, Parkinson, Horne, Grant (Watson 46), Samways, Rideout, Limpar. Booked:Samways.

Att: 40,149 Ref: D J Gallagher (Banbury). (c) The Electronic Telegraph {}

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The Supporters' Views

Almost a carbon copy of the FA Cup Final?

A TV viewpoint from Simon Wooldridge We had the better play in the first half, and then after we scored we let them come back into the game but wouldn't let them thru. Not exactly a brilliant analysis, just my impression from watching on Sky.

I loved Samways goal, but you have to question whether he meant it. Oh sod it, no you don't, just savour it. I did get the impression he was trying a might too hard though. His distribution was very good, but if you look at all the offside decisions given against us, I think you'll find the majority were against Vinny.

David Batty should have been sent off for his blatant attack on Limpar. If that had been Cantona, the ref would have had no hesitation. What is it about Batty? He obviously has some talent or BR wouldn't have wasted a small fortune taking him to Ewood, but he really is a dirty git at times.

Tony Grant looked very good but was ineffective after Blackburn decided to close down and take him out every time he got the ball. Loved the show of skill on the edge of the box before laying the ball off to Limpar(?). Has the potential to make a big impact this season.

The defence was fairly solid all match. I don't think Ablett can take any blame for the Sherwood `shot'. The replays showed the ball bouncing all over the place, it bounced straight over Ablett's outstretched foot. It was nice to see Watson come on and retake the armband (although Horne did a good job as stand-in), but he wasn't fit enough. It was definately a penalty, but if he had been fitter I think he could have stopped Shearer a bit better. It was quite a clumsy challenge.

All in all a well-deserved win. If any Blackburn fan complains about the penalty, I shall just remind them of the last match we played where they scored 2 in 15 mins then sat and got hammered for the rest of the match.

We All Agree, Dogs are better than Rovers!

A strangish report from David Shepherd

I'm beginning to wonder if the so called football writers even bother watching the match. They seem to write their reports beforehand, then fill in the blanks with teletext facts.

The match was NOT boring. OK it may have been a boring prospect to the likes of Brooking, Rob Hughes (Times correspondent) and Henry Winter (ET report), who live in a world where the only 'interesting' team outside London is Man Utd, but to ignore the titanic midfield clash and write it off as boring shows ignorance as well as prejudice.

Everton were NOT boring. After watching some scintillating passing play, both short and fast and pinpoint long crossfield variety, one might have hoped the myth of Everton being all long-ball and bloody boots would be retired - not a bit of it.

Everton played well enough to make the champions look both unfit and ordinary despite their weakened team. To their credit, Blackburn did what it took to stop Everton humiliating them utterly - they closed down, tackled, and defended in droves. The result was a packed and firecracker midfield game, with few clear chances.

The dominance Everton enjoyed for 90% of the match was also achieved in the face of what looked to us impartial Evertonians ;-) in Block 208 a catalogue of 90% percent pro-Blackburn decisions from all 3 officials.

Tactical notes.

All the critisism that Vin 'never does this deliberately' is bollocks. He chipped a winner for Spurs which sent Oldham down, and scored an almost identical one for Everton last season (v Portsmouth at home). In fact 3 of his last 4 goals have now been long chips!

Barrett? I apologise to those I'm about to offend, but it's a defender's primary job to both hold up and prevent crosses. Barrett's 3 or 4 blocks must be seen in the light of the 2-3 times he was nowhere to be seen and the central men had to pull wide to cover and leave the box clear for England's top striker. As I said in a pub to Evertonians afterwards - I thought Barrett had a 'good' game - but only because I know how bad he CAN be.

Everyone around certainly thought Watson had given away the stupidest penalty since Limpar's handball, but the TV replay told a slightly different story. Yes the challenge was clumsy & contact was made, but Shearer dived like a master, and THIS referee must have seen this trick just once too often, and turned it down.

It's great to see Whingey Alan diving on his own sword, but why is such clear-goal-advantage-gaining tactic not punished with cards the way defenders are punished for denying such advantages?

You'd feel sorry for him had it not been for the many other dives he's got away with against everyone, Everton included, since he joined Rovers.

The victory was all the sweeter since Blackburn were the only team to do the double against Everton last season, and the Goodison leg of that double was dubious in the extreme.

Finally - The pathetic attendance means that the extortionate prices are counter-productive to the charities benefitting. If the prices were lower, they'd sell more tickets and make more money. One also has to wonder about the ethics of the car parks, programme, souvenier, food bars and stadium kiosks charging outrageous prices - how much of THIS money is going to charity?

Despite the sparce crowd, the 18,000 Evertonians were a real credit - noisy and colourful. Blackburn's fans were awfully quiet and inanimate. There are few things better than a day when the sky is as blue as the Everton shirts and the football shines as bright as the burning sun.

How did they do?

Individual assessments by Micheal Bersiks

Not the prettiest of games but we won so whos complaining. With Ferguson out we only played one striker and although I thought Rideout had a good game we seemed to lack a bit of penetration upfront.

1)SOUTHALL -Only one save to make but big Nev made it well and inspired much more confidence than the current England #1 at the other end

2)BARRETT -He defended brilliantly. No one got past Earl and he was a definite man of the match contender. His only failing that I can see is his distribution is not that hot.

3)HINCHCLIFFE -Still not playing at his best but he had a solid game and came close to scoring with his free-kick.

4)UNSWORTH -Good game. Didnt do much wrong.

5)WATSON -Looked a bit short on pace but I think JR just wanted to give him a run out before the season. Almost gave a penalty away when Shearer exposed his slowness in box. I dont think hes fully recovered yet.

6)ABLETT -Had a pretty solid game in defence except for one mistake which led to Sherwood's chance. His passing upfield is pretty good and Samways scored from one of his balls.

8)RIDEOUT -Did a lot of running but looked isolated upfront. One chance in the air which he took pretty well.

10)HORNE -Again a solid workmanlike performance with a few rushes of blood to the head.

11)LIMPAR -Was on fire in the first half and looked the most skillful player on the pitch. Faded inthe second half ater he switched wings - but then the right wing is AKs territory. Didnt look injured rather tired . Was suprised that ammo didnt come on for him late on.

16)SAMWAYS -A lot of good running into space, a goal out of nothing and some skillful touches. Basically a very solid performance.

18)PARKINSON -Didnt stand out but didnt do any glarng errors. Another workmanlike performance by the pieman.

20)GRANT -Skillwise he looks pretty good if a bit lightweight. Didnt really feature however and came off early.

Altogether a satisfying team performance. Hard working and hard to break down -with big Dunc and AK in the side we look like a decent outfit and with a lot of depth in our squad a good bet for the top spots in the league.

Compiled by Kermit ()