Nottingham Forest Logo Nottingham Forest 0 - 2 Everton
Half-time: 0 - 0
Everton Logo
FA Carling Premiership 1998-99 – Game 4
Tuesday 8 September 1998
The City Ground, Nottingham
Att: 25,610
« Tottenham Hotspur (h) Ref: Robert Harris Leeds United (h) »
1998-99 Fixtures & Results League Position: 15th Premiership Results & Table
Nottingham Forest:
EVERTON: Ferguson (72, 84)
  LINEUPS Subs Not Used
Nottingham Forest: Beasant, Rogers (Lyttle, 70), Quashie (Harewood, 80), Chettle, Stone, Johnson, Armstrong, Thomas, Bonalair, Darcheville, Gray (Freedman, 80). Crossley, Edwards.
EVERTON: Myhre, Cleland, Unsworth, Watson, Materazzi, Ball, Dacourt, Hutchison, Collins, Barmby (66 Cadamarteri), Ferguson (88 Thomas).
Unavailable: Bilic, Dunne, Williamson, Phelan, Parkinson, Grant (injured); Madar, Jeffers (suspended); Tiler, Spencer (sick).
Gerrard, Farrelly, Jevons.
  Yellow Cards Red Cards
Nottingham Forest: Thomas, Quashie, Chettle, Harewood.
EVERTON: Ferguson, Hutchison, Collins.

David Catton And now for something completely different...

THE GUARDIAN Ferguson's double delights Everton
by Trevor Haylett
THE TIMES Forest cut down by Ferguson
by Russell Kempson
ELECTRONIC TELEGRAPH Ferguson hits form to guide Everton home
by Christopher Davies
THE EVERTONIAN Link to the latest Match Report

SOCCERNET Link to SoccerNet Match Report
CARLINGNET Link to CarlingNet Match Report

Guy McEvoy
Having managed to park a full two miles from the ground, I was late for the kick-off. I made my way to my back row seat just in time to see Michael Ball running onto an astute ball from Dacourt and having a clear charge on goal sadly his shot was disappointingly feeble. Nevertheless, the positive nature of the start took me very much by surprise.

Looking at the names on the team sheet it seemed that we had again gone for a 5-3-2 with Centre-backs of Unsworth, Materazzi and the timeless Dave Watson. Cleland and Ball wingbacks. Dacourt, Collins, Hutchinson in midfield and Ferguson partnered by Barmby up front. Having said that the more I watched the game the less I could figure out if it was a 5-3-2 or actually a 4-4-2 with Ball in midfield and Unsworth as left back. Certainly, Bally was playing way further forward than we are used too and not chasing back. Given that his touch-line in the first half was the one next to the bench we can presume that Smith would have told him if he were that far out of position so my money is on us switching to 4-4-2 or some hybrid of it early in the first half.

The half was reasonably entertaining with both teams showing good approach play from the midfield but not being able to put their shots on goal. Every Forest effort went up into Orbit. Everton's attacks were repeatedly frustrated by a flag happy linesman who found Barmby off-side practically every time he touched the ball. The one time we weren't offside Barmby controlled it, Ferguson followed up and we all went mental in celebration. The way our luck is this season I don't suppose we should have been surprised that it was disallowed for something. The culprit? Apparently, Barmby hand-balled it. I couldn't blame Nicky if paranoia was setting in by this point, but it was Ferguson who took most umbrage as he picked up another needless yellow card for arguing.

Other than that it was a pretty evens-Stevens sort of half. Everton had shown an unfamiliar level of competence, and Tommy had only been stretched seriously the once when he had to dive to push a shot away for a corner right before half time.

We had the luxury of feeling content at half-time.

The second half saw the blue boys attacking towards their own fans and it was an advantage we made the most of. Forest threatened so rarely that a result worse than a draw looked very unlikely. They had their lively players; Stone and that other Dutchman, but the lack of team-work by these individuals was Evertonesque. We plodded through the half with little to fear other than the wrath of the referee, Hutchinson in particular picked up a bizarre yellow card. We had a free kick lined up on the edge of the box. He waited and waited and roar picked up from the Forest supporters for him time-wasting, he took it, only to be rewarded with a booking from the referee for not waiting till he'd blown his whistle. Whilst all this was happening Duncan had got into pushes and shoves with a Forest player and when the referee made his way over to our already booked captain I feared the worst. Thankfully he got away with a telling off.

For once the skipper was going to end the night making the right sort of headlines. The breakthrough came in the final twenty minutes. Ball picked up the ball down the left wing, he had a marker breathing down his neck but with the drop of a shoulder and a quick twist he brushed him aside, a quick glance up and a floated cross. The captain was in the right place. Text book stuff. A quick glance at the officials showed that, at last, we had an Everton goal that would stand.

The celebrations in the stands were matched by that of the players. All of them raced towards us, the joy obvious. Duncan pointed at us all and mouthed, clearly, twice "I Love you", exaggerating every word so that there was no mistake.

Forest capitulated. It seemed like the mass chants of 'Duncan Must Stay' and 'Duncan Ferguson is an Evertonian' had only just started when he doubled his tally. Edge of the box, a half sight of goal, a sweep of the foot and a very well finished shot. By heck, we enjoyed that.

It was party time now and we could well have added a third when Dacourt decided to carry the ball the entire length of the half in a quite superb run, only to unselfishly end it with a gentle lay off to Cadamarteri (who had replaced Barmby) in a move that demanded a goal. Beasant managed a fine save, but Danny will be gutted that he even gave him the small chance to do that from that range.

No matter, the final whistle was understandably greeted with utter jubilation. More please.


  • Myhre: 7 One save to make all game. Throwing out well which is promising.
  • Cleland 7: Get less and less worried about him every time I see him play. Solid.
  • Unsworth 7: Made up for sloppy passing with some great covering tackles. Fine game.
  • Watson 7 - Who needs speed when you've got positional sense like this. Commanding in the first half.
  • Materazzi 6 - Looked to me to be saved by Watson a few times, but did enough for me on his own not to be brutally critical this time. Still have my doubts.
  • Ball 8 - Gets the bonus point for his work towards the first goal. England player by the end of the year (bloody tame shot though!)
  • Hutchinson 7 - Fine.
  • Dacourt 8 - He held the ball up exceptionally well, tackled even better, and created a couple of our best chances (Ball in the first half, Cadamarteri in the second). What a buy.
  • Collins 7 - Looked a lot more comfortable with the way we played tonight though could still be seen doing his nut every time the defense launched the ball over the midfield. At one point he looked ready to chin Unsworth. Having said that we WERE playing the ball up field rather than booting it much more than we have for a long-time. If this is his influence then hallelujah.
  • Barmby 7 - Effort aplenty. Despite consistently being caught offside he was an asset on the night.
  • Ferguson 8 - Does this time and time again, just when the mood of the fans seems to be swinging against him he puts in a fine display to raise his stock again. If he's true to form that'll be it for a few months. This is the standard we demand. This is what I want to see again, this Saturday, next Saturday and the Saturday after for the whole damn season.
  • Cadamarteri 7 - In is brief showing got into two good goal-scoring positions. Showed off some of the neat tricks that have been missing this season particularly that amazing knack of out turning defenders. If only he did better with the Dacourt shot, all we need to see him back at his best is just a little bit of confidence.

Tommy the Tank came on right at the end for Duncan.

And now for something completely different...
David Catton
There can't be many who were at Nottingham Forest this evening who didn't leave well pleased. Certainly the result was welcome and I think deserved on the balance of play. Modesty forbids that we wonder if Walter reads the Bluenose mailing list, but there were noticeable changes in tactics on the night. Signs of 4-4-2 were there clearly enough, even if the players involved were hardly those most of us would have chosen in various positions.

A major factor in the victory must have been Dave Watson's presence. He was speedy, never became flustered and kept the back line together well. Materazzi should have learned a great deal about defending in the Premier League during the match.

On the other hand, three centre-backs against one striker clearly left us outnumbered in midfield although Collins and Dacourt came on very strong in the last quarter of the game. I was particularly impressed with Dacourt's stamina towards the end of the game, especially as he took a couple of nasty clouts which required attention from the trainer.

Dacourt's late forward run, which presented Danny with the best chance he's going to get this side of Christmas, was most impressive. Danny, in his anxiety not to miss the target, side-footed his shot towards the corner of the goal but at a pace and height which allowed Beasant to pull off a good save but one he should never have been able to make.

I thought Hutchison played reasonably well in a kind of right-sided, almost wingerish role. He lacks the pace and skill to beat his opponent but he did put through some wide balls for Barmby to chase. Hutchison's slowness of action and Forest's flat defence meant that Barmby was judged offside on numerous occasions (and Ferguson once or twice) as this tactic was applied. Similarly, Materazzi's sweeping cross-field balls might have yielded more if the offside trap hadn't proved effective against the Everton front two.

This is were a speedy striker might just be a real winner for us as he could delay his runs but still get to through balls – Barmby's little legs (longer than Spencer's, though they may be) don't give him that kind of speed and Duncan only gets into full stride over 20-30 yards, giving opponents time to get alongside him and challenge him as he tries to pass or shoot. Nevertheless, his goalward charge and rifled shot for his second goal shows just what he can do. If only he could get that kind of service and take advantage of it more often.

Mind you, Ferguson and Thomas could/should have been sent off for their 'handbags at 10 paces' wrestling match while Hutchison was getting booked for whatever it was the referee didn't like. I also thought the Forest left-back (Rogers?) should have been banished in the first half for a series of hacks at Cleland's legs which it is hard to believe the referee didn't see as it took place right in front of him. I thought the referee was going to lose control totally in the first half but the game came back to him eventually.

I really am worried about Michael Ball. He seems lost with Unsworth and Materazzi behind him. He doesn't look comfortable as a wing-back – he's another who can't take on an opponent and beat him with ball skills. This again leaves the team effectively outnumbered as you can't afford to have any player not pulling his full weight in a Premier League match.

I'd still like to see Unsworth moved forward a bit and Ball played at the back – but I'm only a spectator so what do my views count?

Finally, I don't actually remember any punts up to Duncan. There probably were some but I was quietly pleased with the attempts to play with a bit more width and I look forward to more of the same on Saturday.

Ferguson's double delights Everton
by Trevor Haylett, The Guardian
Walter Smith, who won all the big prizes in an era of unprecedented success with Rangers, tasted his first triumph in English football last night when his fellow Scot Duncan Ferguson, who shared some of the Ibrox silverware but who is now rumoured to have a short Goodison future, scored twice at the City Ground. They were the first goals from any Everton player this season.

Forest were a major disappointment for a side who harboured hopes before the start of the game that they would become the new leaders of the Premiership.

They persisted with just a single striker until Ferguson broke the deadlock in the 72nd minute. His superbly struck second, 12 minutes later, rendered Dave Bassett's belated tactical change, a futile gesture.

At least Everton have gone back to a more cultured approach under their new manager which can only be to the liking of those Merseysiders who have grown tired of a reliance in recent seasons on mundane midfielders who can tackle and bite but struggle when it comes to the art of passing the ball.

In Olivier Dacourt and John Collins they possess two central midfielders who, though outnumbered by their opponents last night, nevertheless retained the composure and vision to put Forest under pressure. In their first serious advance Dacourt nicely weighted his through-pass to send Michael Ball in on goal but the finish lacked both quality and power.

As the lone attacker in a home side Jean Claude Darcheville was set a mighty challenge to show that he is the natural successor to Pierre van Hooijdonk. It was a strange tactic given Everton's limited success so far this season but it had worked for them against Southampton when Darcheville had scored his first goal for the club he has joined on loan until the end of the season. And at least now the midfield area was refreshed with younger legs willing to give him the support he so desperately needs.

In for their debut appearances came Bassett's recent signings Nigel Quashie and Andy Gray, and the latter's readiness to try and take on his marker and find some space was a sporadic feature of a first half which produced precious few chances.

Darcheville responded to Ball's early attempt with a sharp, instinctive shot which rose too high but Everton just held the upper hand and had the ball in the net in the 24th minute through Ferguson. But Nick Barmby, in gathering Ferguson's initial header and guiding the ball back to him, had used his hands and he was rightly penalised.

Ferguson came close when he spotted that Dave Beasant had strayed from his line. As the half petered out, Thomas Myhre was almost embarrassed when Quashie, who clearly needs time to come to terms with the pace of the Premiership, drove one in from 25 yards.

Forest declined the opportunity to make a change and their shortcomings were emphasised again when Darcheville, thanks to a lucky rebound, was given the chance to stretch the Everton rearguard, but nothing came from a promising opening.

The visitors continued to look comfortable and drew more encouragement as Forest became increasingly ragged with their distribution.

Their discipline was wavering as well and when Quashie was drawn into an impetuous foul, Everton took gleeful advantage by transferring play quickly to the left for a move which saw them go in front.

Ball was the instigator and when he flighted over his cross Ferguson was there ahead of Steve Chettle to nod the ball home.

Report © The Guardian Ltd

Forest cut down by Ferguson
by Russell Kempson, The Times
THE honeymoon is over for Nottingham Forest and, perhaps, the frustration has ended for Everton, too, after second-half goals from Duncan Ferguson brought life to an otherwise drab encounter at the City Ground last night. Forest, who could have gone top of the FA Carling Premiership had they won, still have much to learn.

Effort and endeavour, especially when allied to the prolific goalscoring of Kevin Campbell and Pierre van Hooijdonk, was easily enough to win the Nationwide League First Division last season. After three games in a higher orbit, even without those strikers, Forest had continued on their merry way and lay third in the table.

Last night, against an Everton side that had failed to score this season, reality set in. Dave Bassett, the Forest manager, has tried to strengthen his squad, but it remains lightweight in attack and vulnerable in defence. Such frailties will be found out quickly in the Premiership and Bassett's cheerful demeanour is already waning.

"I was most concerned about the midfield," he said. "Giving Nigel Quashie and Andy Gray their debuts, as well as their first games of the season, was always going to be a bit of a risk. They didn't get through the amount of work that I wanted and it showed. With injuries and everything else, it was about all I could do with the personnel available."

The first half was a mishmash of misdirected energy and hopeful punts forward. Quashie began promisingly but was frequently unable to direct his passes. Darcheville, although willing, often ran headlong into a defence well marshalled by the returning Watson.

Everton's opening to the season, in contrast, had been awful. Not a win, not a goal, and a 1-0 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur served only to highlight their inadequacies. Walter Smith, their new manager, had rarely known such frustrating times with Rangers; it was an alien concept to him and he appeared unable to stop the rot.

At last, though, a light appeared at the end of the Mersey tunnel. Ferguson, much maligned and rumoured to be on his way out of Goodison Park, struck twice in the closing 18 minutes to give hope to the impressively large band of travelling supporters.

As Forest tried to reorganise after replacing Rogers with Lyttle, Ball swung in a cross from the left and Ferguson stooped to conquer. Bassett later claimed that Armstrong, his defender, had headed past Beasant, but Smith disagreed. "Do you want to tell Duncan that?" he said.

Forest attempted to redress the balance but, again, were running on empty, physically and mentally. Ferguson could have been sent off for becoming involved in an unsightly disagreement with Geoff Thomas, but he realigned his sights to glorious effect in the 84th minute. He dispossessed Lyttle before thundering in a fierce, angled drive.

"The difference from our other games was that we managed to get the first goal," Smith said. "It meant the other team had to chase the game rather than us and that was important." Smith also dismissed reports that Ferguson would be leaving the club. "I'm fed up with all these stories," he said. "I want to add to my forwards. not deplete them."

Poor Bassett, still searching for strike support, knows exactly what he means.

Report © Times Newspapers Ltd

Ferguson hits form to guide Everton home
Christopher Davies, Electronic Telegraph
EVERTON scored their first goals and chalked up their first win of the season in style at the City Ground as Nottingham Forest failed to take the chance to go top of the Premiership. Captain Duncan Ferguson was involved in both goals – one an own goal and the other a magnificent left-foot shot.

The first in the 73rd minute came when Forest were reorganising after a substitution. Michael Ball was free down the left and his centre was headed past Dave Beasant by Craig Armstrong under pressure from Ferguson. Ten minutes later John Collins' astute pass put Ferguson clear and a text-book low drive from 15 yards almost burst the back of the net.

While Everton will be relieved to have got off the mark last night, it still looks like being a long demanding season for the Merseysiders while Forest's early romp is surely a misleading indication of where they will finish 1998-89.

In a tense but unsatisfying first-half it was easy to see which team were hoping to go top of the Premiership and which were aiming to score their first goal of the campaign. While Forest's attacking play was generally smooth, if lacking punch, Everton too often failed to support Ferguson and Nick Barmby, no doubt afraid of over-committing themselves and being caught on the break.

A strong run by Jean- Claude Darcheville was ended with a tackle and the ball broke to Andy Johnson whose centre was met by the Frenchman but his first-time shot was too high.

A testing cross by the outstanding Steve Stone saw Thomas Myhre punch clear under pressure as the home side pressed forward and dictated the pattern of the game. A promising move between Ferguson and Barmby came to nothing because the latter looked up only to find he had no support.

Ferguson was then booked for dissent even though the foul had been given in his favour. Showing a more positive side of his leadership, the Everton captain knocked down the ball in typical style for Barmby but his shot which beat Beasant was disallowed because of handball by the marksman.

Everton came more into the game after the interval though too often they failed to beat Forest's well-organised offside trap. On one occasion when they sprung the trap a superbly flighted pass by John Collins put Barmby clear. His return ball found Collins whose fiercely struck first-time shot cannoned off Armstrong.

Forest almost equalised in the 81st minute when Andy Johnson's free-kick was deflected by Danny Cadamarteri and Myhre pulled off a fine reaction save. A hobbling Ferguson was substituted in injury time to a standing ovation from the away fans – though it remains to be seen for how much longer they will be able to call him their own.

Report © The Electronic Telegraph

RESULTS  (Game 4)
Tuesday 8 September 1998
Leeds United  3                Southampton  0
Marshall(og), Harte 52, Wijnhbard 86
Nottingham Forest  0           Everton  2              25,610
                               Ferguson 73,83 

Wednesday 9 September 1998
Aston Villa  1                 Newcastle Utd  0        39,241 
Hendrie 62:pen           
Chelsea  0                     Arsenal  0              44,644

Derby County  1                Sheffield Wednesday  0  26,209
Sturridge 23           
Leicester City  0              Middlesbrough  1        20,635
                               Gascoigne 45
Liverpool  2                   Coventry City  0
Berger 26, Redknapp 48
Manchester United  4           Charlton Athletic  1
Solskjaer 38,63, Yorke 45,48   Kinsella 32
Tottenham Hotspur  2           Blackburn Rovers  1      28,338
Ferdinand 26, Nielsen 50       Gallacher 11
West Ham United  3             Wimbledon 4              25,311
Hartson 7 Wright 14 27         Gayle 30,77 Euell 64, Ekoku 80

LEAGUE TABLE (after 9 September 1998 )
Club                          P    W    D    L   GF   GA   GD   Pts
Liverpool                     4    3    1    0    8    2    6   10
Aston Villa                   4    3    1    0    5    1    4   10
Leeds United                  4    2    2    0    5    1    4    8
Wimbledon                     4    2    2    0    8    5    3    8
Arsenal                       4    1    3    0    2    1    1    6
Derby County                  4    1    3    0    2    1    1    6
Nottingham Forest             4    2    0    2    4    5   -1    6
Tottenham Hotspur             4    2    0    2    4    7   -3    6
Manchester United             3    1    2    0    6    3    3    5
Charlton Athletic             4    1    2    1    6    4    2    5
West Ham United               4    1    2    1    4    4    0    5
Middlesbrough                 4    1    2    1    3    4   -1    5
Leicester City                4    1    1    2    4    4    0    4
Blackburn Rovers              4    1    1    2    2    3   -1    4
Everton                       4    1    1    2    2    3   -1    4
Coventry City                 4    1    1    2    2    4   -2    4
Sheffield Wednesday           4    1    0    3    3    3    0    3
Chelsea                       3    0    2    1    2    3   -1    2
Newcastle United              4    0    2    2    2    6   -4    2
Southampton                   4    0    0    4    2   12  -10    0

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