Everton 3 - 0 Newcastle United

The usual start, but with a bit of a twist this time.

 

First call the usual early morning stroll with the hounds pondering what may be, but optimistic as ever. The second phase was at a plush Westminster hotel to help the wife find it for the work Christmas function. After seemingly ages wandering the streets around Waterloo, it turned out it was just over the bridge from the Houses of Parliament. I should have done my geographical research better. Swift one followed by a dash to get to Euston. Trains delayed so no time for the customary one in the Northwestern by the time I arrived at Lime Street.

 

Sorted out a taxi share in the waiting line as is usual. This time with a blue from Chester and a couple of his friends who were blues over from Scandanavia. They insisted on paying. I guess with the Scandics, they find the UK cheap. Having visited Denmark, Norway and Sweden numerous times, I didn’t argue too much. I’m glad they ended up having a good trip. I reverted back to my common trend of managing to find a Kopite driver, but as always, he was alright and we all had a good football chat on the way in to destination L4 4EL.

 

Arrive at County Road and into the Brick to meet Brian and then make sure he got into the Park End okay.

 

No time for the Goodison Supper Bar. Into the ground just in time for kick off with the siren wailing as I queued outside, Z-Cars playing as I made my way up the stairs. I was in the Upper Gwladys Street but in that corner section that almost feels like you’re in the Upper Bullens. A good spot though and a good view. No coat again and it was a bit cold, but the atmosphere warmed me up.

 

It wasn’t my first match at Goodison, but I’ll never forget walking up the stairs and being mesmerised by the green pitch under the lights. It still gets me now and it did last night more that 40 years on. There is something about Goodison under the lights. I hope we take that with us to Bramley Moore Dock.

 

A great game of football with the crowd on fire. Certainly from where I was sat. Although I didn’t sit much. In the first half we seemed on top and on the front foot. Even though it was down the other end, I’m still not sure how Calvert-Lewin managed to get his shot from about 4 yards out closer to Stanley Park than the back of the Park End net. We were the better team and should have gone in at half time in front.

 

Then the second half. They came back at us and until they faded in the last 15 were looking the better team. I had that horrible feeling that having not taken our chances earlier, they would do us. 

 

Not to fear, it was still end-to-end stuff and they were not really threatening us. A proper game of football, which in reflection, was really entertaining. That’s why we go to watch the beautiful game and Everton. Even if it puts us through a range of emotions, which last night put me through several.

 

Great to see Seamus back, although he had to go off. Hopefully nothing too serious, but Patterson done well when he came on and got the assist with a great sliding pass. Give him time. Between the two of them, they can play an important part in what is ahead.

 

Tarkowski was immense under pressure even though there were a few slips. He also gave Pickford a choice word or two, maybe to calm him down? Branthwaite continues to impress. Almost worryingly. I hope City or United aren’t watching too closely. With those two at the rear-guard, I rarely feel concerned these days on set pieces. Gueye continues to defy the years and let’s not forget we were missing Onana and James Garner.

 

McNeil is hitting form again. When he capitalised on the mistake, he had one thing on his mind as he raced towards the Gwladys Street. I thought that strike was going to go right through the net and end up in the lower Street End. The crowd went wild.

 

He might be erratic and not everyone’s favourite, but to coin an almost Manchester City chant, feed the Duke and he will score. Keep him up the pitch. Great finish. I knew we had it then but was concerned it wasn’t over. I couldn’t see the big screens too well so asked the person next to me how long left as surely it was over. He told me there were 7 and a half minutes of added time. I sighed.

 

Then enter bulldozer Beto. Pace, power and sheer brute force. Bullied the defender and practically swatted him out of the way like a fly to slot the points home. Goodison now in total euryopia. I’m just stood there smiling. I’ve had a sore throat for a week. I think I broke my tonsils last night. Nothing paracetamol can’t sort out.

 

Goodison at its ferocious best. From my vantage point the Newcastle supporters seemed quiet, but maybe I was too far away and all I could hear was a blue wall of noise. 

 

I personally wasn’t too endeared by the stick dished out to Anthony Gordon. He got sold by the club. Someone a few seats away from me used the word rat more times than I say Kopshites. Each to their own.

 

The end was one of those Goodison moments. Pickford was very emotional. In fairness, he kept his head in a fixture he has been known to rise to the bait. He seems to increasingly be commanding his box on top of being the great shot stopper we know he is. Seamus outdoing the smiling assassin across the park with his fist pumping. Doucoure dancing to spirit of the blues. As always, win or lose, I watched every single one of them off the pitch before heading off. I’m not really sure what went on with Pickford at the end with him being surrounded by Newcastle players, but it was encouraging to see the players rally. Young Branthwaite taking the lead in defence of his Goalkeeper and then Tarkowski stepping in the calm the magpies.

 

Regardless as to what is going on, a unified team backed by a unified support. Oh what a night as the song goes.

 

The usual pilgrimage to the Arkles. As I walked out of the ground,I smiled at a young supporter on his father’s shoulders singing the Ole, Ole Beto chant. I shook the young man’s hand before heading along the Bullens Road.

 

This time I opted to walk along Priory Road, before turning on to Arkles Lane. A quick stop to look at my Grandad’s old house and a word in the ear with a few young Newcastle supporters. They were harmless enough but getting boisterous. I won’t repeat, I just told them this is not an area to chant shit like that. I didn’t want them getting into bother so I calmed them down and spoke with them about the match as we headed up Arkles Lane.

 

The Arkles was full of Newcastle supporters and I had a decent half hour conversation with a group of three before heading back to town for the coach home. They were very complimentary about our supporters, Sean Dyche, the team and supportive of our campaign about the 10 points deduction. They love Eddie Howe, who I told them is an Evertonian. They disagreed with me that I think he’s a stop gap until then find a more glamorous name. Fair point made, they said that despite the ownership, they won’t be able to do a Chelsea or City.

 

A late chat with my sister before I headed back. Messages from family who were made up and then onto the last National Express coach. I left Liverpool at 23:45pm, arriving at Victoria at 06:25am. I slept most of the way but it was broken. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve slept in worse places over the years, but a National Express bus seat isn’t the most comfortable bed. Especially when they keep waking everyone up at each stop on the way.

 

Back to the Westminster to meet the wife to get the tube home. As always, a very long day. Pretty much 24 hours. But as always, worth every single minute and hour of it.

 

We are doing exactly what we called for. Defiance and fight. Next up Chelsea, Burnley and then the small matter of a League Cup Quarter Final.

 

Momentum. Keep it going blues. Manager, Team, Supporters. Forget the rest.

 

If we get that appeal sorted, we could be looking at Europe. I have to put that one there!!

 

Spirit. Forever. We shall not (ever) be moved.


Reader Comments (2)

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Tony Abrahams
1 Posted 08/12/2023 at 21:41:13
A good story Danny, encapsulating why you love going to watch Everton so much mate.

Made me smile reading that you needed to escort “Crying Brian” to the park end, but he's still a bit temperamental, even though things are finally beginning to look up!

I love Westminster, and I love Goodison Park, and if the curse has finally been lifted, then hopefully we can start making preparations for a long overdue trip to Wembley, another place we all love going, in the near future. 🤞

This is something I didn't imagine I'd be thinking, never mind saying, not so long ago, but sometimes things change very quickly in football, otherwise me and Brian, would have still been absent, instead of witnessing a great occasion at Goodison last night. 🙏

Jonathan Haddock
2 Posted 09/12/2023 at 11:12:13
A long trip Danny. I had to drive back to Northamptonshire with no train service to get me home. Long days and late nights is the fans reward for having midweek TV football 😤. Worth every minute for that game though!

Just on the Newcastle fans, they weren't the worst (only one poverty chant), but they continually sang about Pickford and Gordon. We had a free kick down at the Park End, with Gordon in a one-man wall. They were chanting ‘He left coz you're shit', Gordon was facing them nodding and smiling.

We gave him some stick for that and after he'd missed 3 good chances we corrected the Skunks by telling them ‘He left coz he's shit'.

Pickford's joy and celebrations on the goals was epic. The problem at the end wasn't Pickford though, Guimaraes followed by others made a bee line for him pointing and shouting, which I can only think was related to his celebrations.

Off comes Pickford's gloves and that was the start! The cavalry (Tarkowski and others) arrived thankfully before Pickford hurt them. 😜


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