<% Dim oCs, oRs, strSQL set oCs = server.createobject("ADODB.Connection") oCs.Open "Driver={Microsoft Excel Driver (*.xls)}; DBQ=" & Server.MapPath("/season/02-03/data") & "/premtable.xls;" strSQL = "SELECT * FROM [Summary$] ORDER BY Pos ;" Set oRs = oCs.Execute(strSQL) %> ToffeeWeb: Fulham v Everton, Premiership Season 2002-03
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 FA Premiership (37); Loftus Road, London; Saturday 3 May 2003; 3:00pm
  Stubbs (og:34') 
Malbranque (40') 
Attendance: 18,385
Halftime: 2-0


Referee: Graham Barber

Match Summary

Yobo and Pembridge start in place of Weir and Naysmith, who are both suspended following red cards in the derby.  Leon Osman is on the bench.

Everton's first real attack led to a scramble in which a Carsley strike hit the post, but Rooney was unable to follow up.  Fulham were equally lively in the opening exchanges, 

Rooney then won a free-kick 10 yards outside of the Fulham area that Pembridge belted wide.   Rooney was very active for Everton, winning a corner after 15 mins, and it was a superb floating in-swinger from Pembridge.

More opportunities for Everton, but another free-kick wasted, this time by Stubbs.  But Fulham started to get more into it, and Boa Morte went on a good run, but Yobo was masterful in defence.

Then, disaster struck, Everton not dealing with a bobbling ball, as Alan Stubbs managed to score a bizarre own goal while trying to clear under very little pressure, the ball looping over Wright.  Everton had an immediate chance to respond, but Campbell again fired straight at Taylor with the goalmouth gapping.  But Fulham were competing well, Legwinski's header hitting the Everton bar.

Another golden free-kick opportunity was won by Rooney but Pembridge fired over.  Everton seem painfully inept at hitting the target with these chances... why not give Rooney a go at them?  

Fulham then showed them how to do it from a very difficult angle, which beat a simple two-man Everton wall and it sneaks in at the near post.  Pathetic by Wright, by all accounts, with some sources giving it as another own goal! 

David Moyes responded to the fiasco by putting Ferguson on at half-time, with Gemmill sacrificed.  A quick attack looked very promising but Rooney strike over was ruled offside.  Ferguson then won another of those free-kicks, 10 yards outside.  Rooney takes this one, and at least it was on target.  Excellent stuff in the first 2 minutes of the second half. 

Wright then failed to hold a Malbranque drive, and Hammond almost got it in.  Wright's confidence looks shaky.  Fulham then began to come back into it after Everton's resurgence and Moyes eventually responded with a double substitution, Pistone and Watson on for Hibbert and Gemmill.  Campbell then got another great chance created by Rooney but he slipped at the crucial moment. 

Campbell was again the weak spot after more good work by Rooney, but the kid simply can't do it all...  Rooney was moving back into a forward midfield role with Watson playing forward and an aerial bombardment was on the cards as Everton desperately searched for two goals.

Ferguson then set up Rooney but he wastefully fired over from a glorious position.  Then, a fifth free-kick chance hat Stubbs bashes wastefully into the wall, and Fulham break quickly, the ball finally whizzing past Wright's post.

Then a great corner, a Ferguson header down, and Yobo stretched but could not control it.  And then a sixth glorious free-kick chance: Unsworth this time so tame, lacking any power to speak of.  Do they practice this stuff or what? 

So, another disappointing performance and the season petering out  with a painful splutter, the bold chance of Champions League gone, the real chance of a Uefa Cup place hanging in the balance.

Richard Wright: Not me, boss: it's these lousy 
gloves, honest.

Fulham v Everton:
Prior League Games
 Fulham 7
 Everton 3
 Draws 4
 Fulham 1
 Everton 0
 Draws 0
 Last Season:

Fulham 2-0 Everton 

Premiership Scores
Saturday 3 May
Man Utd 4-1 Charlton
West Ham 1-0 Chelsea
Aston Villa 1-0 Sunderland
Blackburn 1-1 West Brom
Fulham  2-0 Everton 
Liverpool  1-2 Man City
Middlesbro 5-1 Tottenham
Newcastle 1-0 Brum
Sotton 0-0 Bolton
Sunday 4 May
Arsenal  2-3 Leeds 
Wednesday 7 May
Arsenal  6-1 Sotton

Match Facts
 Fulham  (4-4-2)
 White shirts, black shirts, white socks
Everton   (4-4-2; 46': 4-3-3)
 Blue shirts, white shirts, blue socks
Melville {c}
Boa Morte
Malbranque (85' Hayles)

Subs not used: Van der Sar, Collins, Knight, Saha

Yellow Cards: Clark (90+2')

Red Cards:
Hibbert (65' Pistone)
Gemmill (46' Ferguson)
Pembridge (65' Watson)
Campbell {c}

Subs not used:
Simonsen, Osman 

Yellow Cards: Hibbert (53')

Red Cards:


(Suspended:) Naysmith, Weir
(Recovering:) Radzinski, Rodrigo;
(On Loan:) McLeod, Nyarko.
Match Reports

Everton Web Sites
ToffeeWeb Match Summary
EvertonFC.com Match Report
When Skies Are Grey Match Report
Blue Kipper Match Report
Everton Fans' Reports
None Filed Match Report
Links to Other Media Reports
Electronic Telegraph Match Report
BBC Sport Match Report
4 the Game Match Report
Sky Sports Match Report
Sporting Life Match Report
SoccerNet Match Report
The Sunday Times Match Report
The Observer Match Report
The Guardian Match Report
The Independent Match Report
The Times Match Report
Liverpool Echo Match Report
Daily Post Match Report
Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Man Utd 80
2 Arsenal 75
3 Newcastle 68
4 Chelsea 64
5 Liverpool 64
6 Everton 59
7 Blackburn 57
8 Man City 51
9 Tottenham 50
10 Charlton 49
11 Southampton 49
12 Middlesbrough 49
13 Birmingham 47
14 Aston Villa 45
15 Fulham 45
16 Leeds 44
17 Bolton 41
18 West Ham 41
19 West Brom 25
20 Sunderland 19

After 7 May 2003

Match Preview

You never really doubted last Saturday, did you?

On four occasions this season we have now scored last-minute goals that have brought us points draws against Man City and Birmingham; wins against Southampton and now Villa.  On seven occasions we have come back from a goal behind to win the most in the Premiership, and five times more than Houllier's reds have managed during his entire stewardship!  This team refuses to lie down Spirit!

Blackburn's disappointing win at Leeds however still means that we have lots of work to do.  As they face the mighty (!) West Brom at home, we can assume that nothing less than 3 points will be needed from our trip to Craven Cottage sorry, Loftus Road!

Fulham.  A team that last season I waxed lyrical about but which seems to have lost all form of direction.  Informing the team that their manager was to be jettisoned whilst in midseason immediately brought what little forward momentum they had to a juddering halt.  This has been somewhat regained by bringing Tigana's date of departure forward and installing Chris Coleman in a caretaker capacity (he of the car crash remember?).

Hammerings by Blackburn, Man Utd and Liverpool have been followed by a win over Newcastle and draw with Chelsea.  In Malbranque, Legwinski and the re-installed John Collins, they have some very talented footballers.  Finnan and Goma lend pace and ability at the back; Saha, BoaMorte and Marlet have a great deal of pace up front; and Barry Hayles's physical presence we know all about...

They should be a comfortable mid-table side but instead they are scrapping on the fringes of relegation remind you of anyone over the previous few seasons?

But let's ignore them someone rather good once said "Don't worry about the opposition, let the opposition worry about you."

We are still challenging for a Champions League place well mathematically at least.  More realistically, we crave a UEFA spot.  With United on the last day, nothing less than three points in this game will do.

So it's a massive game.  It's away from home.  Not the time to blood a new youngster?  SO what!  Colin Harvey and Inter Milan, I remind you.  Leon Osman must get involved.  With Naysmith banned, our only other option is the limited but hardworking Mark Pembridge.  

Let's see what the kid has got.  His performances in the reserves have been excellent and his confidence is sky high: please, David gamble with another young English player.  Rooney, Hibbert and Osman: a trio of immensely talented English lads who can go all the way.  Allied with Unsworth and Stubbs, we have a backbone of Scouse - Love it!

Pistone has come through 90 minutes for the reserves and will be in the squad - given Unsworth's dire form (scouse or not) of the last few months he could well be thrown straight in - I hope so!

With Weir suspended we may be forced (!) in to what I consider our best back line Pistone, Stubbs, Yobo, Hibbert. To me that is as good as most in the Premiership and well suited to an away fixture as there is pace in abundance (apart from Stubbs obviously!).  Peter Clarke was supposedly recalled form loan at Port Vale as cover but he now seems unlikely to be called upon.

Midfield will be the usual mix and match: Moyes will hopefully continue to rotate and freshen up the middle of the park which has been pretty stale for months now.  Linderoth is back from injury and was withdrawn from the Reserves game against Leeds at ha0lf-time on Thursday; perhaps he will be vying with Leon Osman for a chance to get off the bench. 

Upfront I would love to see Dunc start but as Campbell has started to find the net again (particularly deadly from 3 yards!) he may well hold down his place.  Shattered or not, Rooney will remain.  Despite Rooney's goal-scoring, I still believe that we are missing Radz and hope that the two of them can play together next year.

It's must win so it's will win!  Another tough one but I am going for a 2-0 win about time that Dunc scored, I reckon!!


Lee Doyle





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