Everton 1 - 0 Crystal Palace

After the rain at Selhurst Park came the Arctic-like cold of Goodison Park. Well, not cold… it was absolutely freezing!

A quiet train on the way up from Euston and no Palace supporters visible in the carriage I was sat in. The usual pitstop in the Northwestern. A curious observation: When did people start queuing in lines at bars or am I just old now? Hasn’t it always been about bar etiquette and knowing who is first? Much to my protests, I got sent to the back by the School Mistress-like barmaid. Anyway, as always, I digress on my first-world problems.

I briefly called in at The Brick but then on to The Harlech Castle to meet up with Derek, Stephen, Brian and Neil. No standing on the pavement on County Road yesterday though. It was definitely a night to stay inside. I grabbed some food (the usual) but didn’t eat facing by the Holy Trinity statue as it was freezing, so I headed straight into the Upper Gwladys. It didn’t make much difference as it was still freezing. I should have taken my gloves. 

I had managed to get a great seat. Unusually for Goodison, absolutely no posts, so a clear and a perfect unobstructed view of all four corners of the pitch. I like that as although I am there to primarily support Everton, I like to watch the football, the shapes and the movement on the pitch. And I have to say, as I looked down, the pitch looked great. Well done to the grounds people.

The match itself was a tough watch. Very scrappy and niggly, which led to a subdued atmosphere for large parts, not helped by a very small away following. But we kept a clean sheet (again) and did look threatening on the break. The most important thing is that we go on to the next round to beat Luton. You can’t ask for more than that in a cup match, however you achieve it.

At one point, Palace made 5 substitutions in a brief period. In a way, that may have played into our favour. For those who have played, in my opinion and experience, it is never easy coming on as a sub and trying to get into the game, let alone when you change half of the outfield players.

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At times, we rode our luck and Palace are dangerous on the front foot. Once again, I thought the midfield looked a bit ropey, but we are currently relying on two 22-year-olds holding the fort. But it did free up Gomes. Hopefully Doucouré will be back soon, and we miss Idrissa’s sheer work ethic and tenacity – even if he can’t shoot and plays the odd stray pass.

Yet again, Dominic just needs one to go in. He was unlucky but played well. I’ll come back to Virginia, but their keeper made a couple of very good saves to deny us. I thought the chance from Dobbin was going in and Dominic’s was destined for the top corner.

McNeil did well in the context of what wasn’t really a great team performance. In the last two games, you wouldn’t have thought he got stretchered off a few weeks ago with what initially looked like a serious injury. A few mistakes (it's football), but great effort and energy from him.

Gomes showed the class he has within. The manager is speaking highly of him and seems to be managing him when we thought he was done. What a free kick! It always looks special when it comes off the post. I’m glad to see him back, we just need to rebuild his confidence and know how to use him properly surrounded by the right players. Technically, he is very gifted and creative, which is what we lack.

Branthwaite and Tarkowski were solid as ever. Branthwaite was having a right tussle throughout the match with one of their forwards. They were almost wrestling on a few occasions, and he isn’t shy of a tackle. A good central defensive pairing is developing there.

Virginia has to be Man of the Match. Based on what I’ve seen of him, if we do have to cash in on Pickford, I’m less concerned. He was superb and I was surprised to read that he is only 24.

Eventually the whistle went after what felt like an eternity. I watched them all off, Onana fist-pumping to the Gwladys Street in his usual way. He might not be everyone’s favourite, but you can’t deny his passion. On that note, read Virginia’s interview on the official site. Very interesting views towards Everton.

I opted to walk along Priory Road rather than across Stanley Park before heading up Arkles Lane. I thought I’d made a mistake as the pavement was covered in ice and it was a bit tricky to navigate. But two young lads no older than 10 years old shouting 1-0 at every open door of the Palace coaches made me smile. Your day will come, young men. A very quiet Arkles. Probably due to the lack of away supporters. I think I counted three.

Over 37,000 on very cold night with what I guess were only somewhere between 500-1,000 Palace supporters in attendance. Pretty much a full house apart from the empty seats in the away section. Total respect to all of you. Especially given what is going on off the pitch at the moment. And credit to those few Palace supporters that made the long trip on a very cold Wednesday night.

As the last trains depart around 8pm, once again, it had to be the overnight National Express just before midnight, arriving home a 6am to go straight out with the boy dog. Always worth it.

What is the phrase from the Braveheart film? “You’ll never take our freedom”? Well, they will never take our dignity, desire or belief.

So we march on to the next round and beyond. Not before Fulham away, which I will be attending with my son and Mike.

Reader Comments (47)

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John Pendleton
1 Posted 18/01/2024 at 17:37:08
You saw the game as I did, Danny, and have rightly shown respect to everyone who travelled last night. May I confer the same sentiment on you and your travels.

37,000 sounded like 3,700 from the highest row of the Upper Bullens (don't mention the view) but all that matters is we're in the hat with the Hatters.

Paul Kossoff
2 Posted 18/01/2024 at 17:46:25
Well done, Danny, for braving the Arctic weather virtual medal on its way. We are more under the tyrannical glove than William Wallace ever was, what with the idiot head of the Premier League as King Edward Longshanks we need every one behind the club to survive this season. Our moto then,

Run and you'll live – at least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom!

Stephen Vincent
3 Posted 18/01/2024 at 17:54:39
Hi Danny, Good to meet up last night, your dedication and absence of a jacket never cease to amaze me!!!! Just dropped you a message about Fulham.

I thought Calvert-Lewin had a fabulous game, he never stops, is an absolute nightmare for opposing centre-backs. The shame is that, for the majority of last night, he was chasing his own flicks, he was that isolated. But he kept Palace's defence occupied. It was noticeable that, when Beto came on, the ball forward came back a lot quicker.

Virginia has been a revelation in the two games against Palace, what a joy it must be for the defence not to have to put up with Pickford's histrionics. Joao just goes quietly about his job – and what a job he has done. I hope we treat him better than Arsenal treated Martinez because, on first showing, he could be as good.

Amadou Onana – why? Waste of a blue shirt.

Dave Abrahams
4 Posted 18/01/2024 at 18:08:33
Well done, Danny, all those hours of travel both ways in atrocious weather, you shamed me, mate. I wouldn't take the chance on 2 miles and the offer of a lift there and back!

Stephen (3), I never saw the game but nice to see you complementing Dominic on his very unselfish running for Everton with little back-up. Also Virginia, we could have a safe pair of hands there!

Paul Kossoff
5 Posted 18/01/2024 at 18:51:28
Stephen 3, here's why.

Onana was signed by Lille from Hamburg for €7M (£5.9M) last summer so they stand to make a significant profit,
(from some mugs) on the Belgium international who made 11 starts and 21 substitute appearances in France's Ligue 1 last season.

He had all but signed for West Ham but wanted more money; soft arses Everton, despite needing a striker, agreed to pay whatever he asked for, and paid £33M for an untried, unproven novice. Someone at the club was either conned, desperate, or received a massive backhander to pay that much for a player who seems to have no strong skill set.

And all this talk about "If he goes to a bigger club, you will see how good he is." … Not necessarily so: Kalvin Phillips, prime example.

Danny O’Neill
6 Posted 18/01/2024 at 19:14:38
Seen Stephen. We will arrange to meet up.

Dave, I don't think my wife would agree. Six months in Afghanistan was accepted. One day watching Everton is a cardinal sin.

Paul, as the saying goes, we shall not be moved.

Stand up and fight Everton.

John Raftery
7 Posted 18/01/2024 at 19:24:43
Thanks, Danny, for another report. It was cold but thankfully without any northerly wind to make it feel colder.

I wonder if queuing for the bar is a Wetherspoons thing. The only place I have seen it is in the Thomas Frost near the ground.

Virginia has certainly made a favourable impression in these two cup matches. He is out of contract in June 2025. It's possible he might be the keeper we sell given the lack of interest from any of the well-heeled clubs above us in the table.

Roger Bingham
8 Posted 18/01/2024 at 20:31:47
Thanks for seeing the game as I did; I sometimes wonder if it's just me.

I'm in the Park End so thought very highly of young Virginia. The cold really affected the atmosphere. My kids bought me a heated vested a couple of Xmases ago, it was great until the battery went flat.

That's never happened before but epitomised the whole night. Listening to Evertonians on the bus back to Lime Street was fascinating in regards to points deduction, but apparently more interesting than the game itself.

Stuart Sharp
9 Posted 18/01/2024 at 20:42:22
Onana is a bit of an enigma, at least to me. I can't work out whether I think he's got potential or not. I change my mind even during a game...

But whether or not he comes good elsewhere is irrelevant to me. We aren't in a position to gamble on nurturing players like that if huge bids come in.

Robert Tressell
10 Posted 18/01/2024 at 20:48:48
I said on another thread that Onana is the only player who hasn't kicked on since Dyche arrived.

He clearly has ability but he seems not to know how to use it (or his physique) properly or consistently.

With some players, it takes time. With some players, it takes a particular style of football to unlock their talent.

I think both probably apply to Onana.

Christy Ring
11 Posted 18/01/2024 at 21:06:28
Well done again, Danny, a die-hard, travelling again in those conditions. Great assessment, I watched the game, spot on.

I thought Dom's workrate was unreal, against two centre-backs. He had two good efforts which weren't easy.

Paul#5, The fee for Onana, whether it's too much or not, is staggered over 4 years.

Tony Abrahams
12 Posted 18/01/2024 at 21:37:17
I don't think I have ever seen Tarkowski pass the ball as well as he did last night, Danny, and he might have been calmer because he had a much calmer presence playing behind him.

Small details, but you could even see the lack of governance that is engulfing our club by just walking around the ground last night. For all the stick I gave Bill Kenwright whilst he was alive, I'm absolutely certain he would have made sure the streets around the ground would have been gritted before the game!

Neil Tyrrell
13 Posted 18/01/2024 at 21:38:11
Great report as usual, Danny, glad you got to see a win.

No TV for this one so I had radio commentary via YouTube. The announcers echoed what you said about Roy making 5 changes in 5 minutes, "That's half the team!" and mentioned the away support seeming unhappy about Eze going off.

They also mentioned the cold, hope you remembered your coat this time.

Rob Jones
14 Posted 18/01/2024 at 22:10:37
Onana will go for £60M, minimum. Argue the toss whether he's been all that for us, but he's streets ahead of the likes of Lavia, who went for £53M last summer.

Come the summer, he'll have completed two seasons in the Premier League. He'll go for a significant profit, and will show the potential we've been unable to unlock, likely due to the limiting playing style our mediocre squad requires.

If all, or even a fraction of our buys had led to profits like Onana will yield, we wouldn't now be in the position we're in.

On a different note: Danny, great report as always.

Stephen Vincent
15 Posted 18/01/2024 at 23:06:41
Neil # 13, " hope you remembered your coat" - he didn't.
Paul Kossoff
16 Posted 18/01/2024 at 23:56:23
Christy, the fee for Onana is stagger-ing.🙄
Matt Traynor
17 Posted 19/01/2024 at 01:31:49
Danny, get the Spoons app. Find a table, place and pay for your order, and it gets delivered sharpish. Especially if time is at a premium.
Neil Tyrrell
18 Posted 19/01/2024 at 01:53:53
Stephen @15,

He's nothing if not consistent, our Danny. A true blue even when it means his skin turning that colour! 💙

Andy Crooks
19 Posted 19/01/2024 at 18:54:41
Top report, Danny.

I always enjoy the whole day experience. Where is Paul Trail, by the way? Loved his stuff too, and the great Ken Buckley.

Tony Marsh, hope all ok with you. I reckon if you were still posting the web would explode with your indignation!!?

Rob Halligan
20 Posted 19/01/2024 at 19:42:17
I don't think Danny owns a coat. I met him at Palace for the first game and it was bouncing down. He walked into the Prince George like a wet lettuce, soaked right through.
Barry Thompson
21 Posted 19/01/2024 at 20:15:20
Andy C @ 19.

Two names there, Andy, that were a blast from the past for me. Ken Buckley (was it ‘From my Seat'?) – I always looked forward to reading Ken's match reports, feels like ages since he was posting and for me is very much missed. Hope he is keeping well as I've not read anything about him or his wellbeing for a long while.

And Tony Marsh, he certainly kept ToffeeWeb lively with his views and opinions. Eugene and his Moyes family holiday skit still ranks as the funniest thing I have read on ToffeeWeb and though others have tried on occasion, none have compared to Mr Ruane's Moyes skits.

My god, almost makes me wish Moyes was here again. But then again…

Andy Crooks
22 Posted 19/01/2024 at 20:25:12

"The Moyes Family Holiday" by Eugene Ruane is a masterpiece of comic writing.

Made even better that it was fired on here as a tiny afterthought. For new contributors to the cause, please Michael or Lyndon, put a link up!

Andy Crooks
23 Posted 19/01/2024 at 20:29:40
Also, Moyesy's first day in the Man Utd dressing room is comedy gold (by Eugene as well).

Barry Thompson
24 Posted 19/01/2024 at 20:45:49
Andy, it truly was a masterpiece of comic writing. I am always amazed by the depth of knowledge on a plethora of diverse topics often raised and often when the main post goes off on a tangent…

However, despite all this, for me, Eugene was definitely the GOAT and I too wish Michael or Lyndon could put a link to it. Pure comedy gold – fork handles meh.

Duncan McDine
25 Posted 19/01/2024 at 21:17:23
Now now, we don't want Eugene to get an ego...

But in fairness, most of the top 10 best posts over the god-knows-how-many years have come from that man. ToffeeWeb Hall of Famer.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
26 Posted 20/01/2024 at 09:17:47
I've found a couple of Eugene classics — using the beloved 'keyword' Morag… that still cracks me up. What a grand evocative name for a fine Scottish lass.

Not finding the Moyes Family Holiday though… Pity as we could do with cheering up!

Brian Denton
27 Posted 20/01/2024 at 09:22:38
I c&ped the Moyes Family Holiday back in the day. I'll see if I can find it.
Brian Denton
28 Posted 20/01/2024 at 09:26:57
Fuck me, I can just picture the Moyes family holiday:

Open on a Presbyterian church graveyard in Peebles.

The Moyes family sit on a bench

DM: "Nae doot aboot it Morag, there's nuthin' like a mornin's brass-rubbin' tae gi' a man an appetite"

(missus opens greaseproof-paper package)

Mrs "Sardine and tomato paste or cheese?"

DM: "Cheese ahhhh this is the life, look at that view! Seriously, whit would ye want tae go abroad fae, when ye have all this beauty on yer ain doorstep? (looks up). looks like the rain is easin' a wee bit"

Wee Sandy: "Da, can a have a couple o' boab tae get masel a twix?"

DM: "TWIX!!? Get tae hell! Let me gi' ye some advice son 'never a borrower or a lender be' - Twix indeed!"

Mrs: "So whit's next on the itinerary fer the rest o' the day David?"

DM: (Jumping to his feet) "Brisk walk tae the top o' Ben Doon, back tae toon fer 5pm, early-bird discoont fish supper at McGrimms Caff, bed fer 7pm"

Wee Sandy: "Aww dad, we're on wah holidays!"

DM: "Well...ok, maybe we'll have a shandy in the Frown And Scowl..but don't be askin' fer crisps and the like coz I promise you now son, you'll be sorely disappointed"

Etc blah, continue for 2 weeks.

(And Steve, 584, he'll STILL take the factor 50, just to be. safe)

Michael Kenrick
29 Posted 20/01/2024 at 09:34:29
Great stuff, Brian. You saved us, as I can't find it, searching on 'discoont' as a keyword. Which means it's probably gone. That would suggest it's pre-2012 or when Lyndon initiated the database-driven archive for news, articles and comments.

Totally off-topic, I did find this brilliant one on the remarkably joyous thread celebrating the record signing of one Romelu Lukaku back in 2015. [Moyes on holiday? Not exactly a family holiday though… not this one, was it?]

Mark (307) - "I wonder how Davey Moyes feels watching this unfold. Regret? Jealousy?"

DM sits in a darkened room, naked and covered in calamine lotion.

There's a knock on the door.

DM: "Whit is it the noo!!?"

Morag: "Av brought ye another bottle o' lotion."

DM: "Aye come in, this wan is awmost empty."

Morag enters.

Morag: "Ach Davey, that looks awfy sore, whit have a told ye aboot sittin' in the sun, yer've no got the complexion fer it."

DM: "Thought a'd be ok... had two cardies oan... an mah duffle coat."

Morag: "By the way, that boy's gone back tae Everton."

DM: "Which boy?"

Morag: "Och ye know... ahm nae guid wi names... the big powerful looking black boy, cannae remember hoo tae say his name."

Moyes smiles and thinks 'mugs'…

DM: "It's pronounced 'An-ee-chee-bee' and he'll no do them much good, the boy's gash."

Morag: "No it's no him... whit's his name? LUKAKEEE... or sumpthin like that, anywayz they paid £28 million fer him – ah'll gi' ye a knock when yer fish fingers are ready."

Morag leaves.

Davey takes the bottle of calamine lotion and begins to drink it.

Pete Bridson
30 Posted 20/01/2024 at 09:53:33
Rarely post but the mention of names like Tony Marsh, Eugene Ruane & Ken Buckley demand respect for their contributions over the years...

I feared for Tony's health as he incandescently raged against Moyes's 'knife to a gunfight' type statements.

Ken's matchday reports – including the 'House of Nonsense' – made me feel like I was there.

But Eugene's contributions, whilst always entertaining, often elicited a side-splitting guffaw that would wake the missus up from the other end of the house.

There was another lad from Freshfields who (if I remember correctly) had a boundless tendency towards positivity, even in the darkest of times. Anyhow, love all contributions... from all the way down here in Australia!

I feel for all the youngsters (who aren't that young anymore) that missed out on the golden times in the eighties. Thanks to all contributors.

David West
31 Posted 20/01/2024 at 10:00:36
MK, I had a read of that that Lukaku thread. Before we were "rich" with Moshiri money. Blues were happy, signing players of Lukaku's class without having the riches we all craved for.

Looking back, how different it could have all been if instead of pissing all the money on players who were just chasing the £££, Moshiri should have concentrated on the stadium first, continuing the transfer strategy that hadn't been so bad for us.

Where would we be now?

Hindsight is beautiful thing!!!

Danny O’Neill
32 Posted 20/01/2024 at 10:06:20
Entertaining that, Michael.

Equally off topic, but I see that Toney is available to play for Brentford again after an 8 month suspension for breaking gambling rules.

Not only that, he'll captain Brentford at their next match.

Is that an unfair advantage? Different era, but Tony Kay was initially banned from football for life and imprisoned.

Anyways, slightly back on topic, but I'll wear a jacket to the next match. Maybe one of my old Army smocks!!

Dave Abrahams
33 Posted 20/01/2024 at 10:21:35
Talking of Eugene and his posts, one I liked had nothing to do with football but his bad-tempered older cousin who according to Eugene “Was a right twat” among a variety of other things.

I remember reading it out to my wife who thought it was hilarious.

Clive Rogers
34 Posted 20/01/2024 at 10:23:23

Tony Kay was done for betting against his own team in a game he was playing in, ie, match-fixing.

Still very harsh though.

Dave Abrahams
35 Posted 20/01/2024 at 10:31:15
Clive (34),

He was MotM in that game so he wasn't working deliberately to lose the game.

Tony Abrahams
36 Posted 20/01/2024 at 10:37:41
Different era, Danny, but if you think about match-fixing, logically, then it's very apparent who has got the most influence.

With people reminiscing over some of Eugene's funny posts, my mind instantly went to that classic FA Cup Quarterfinal in Kes between Man Utd and Tottenham, in the game were the ref/schemer Brian Glover, was instrumental in everything!

Brian Harrison
37 Posted 20/01/2024 at 10:45:28
Not only was Tony Kay banned for life — so were his Sheffield Wednesday and England team mates, Bronco Layne and Peter Swan.

As Dave said, in the game that they took the bribe for, Tony was made the MotM from the Sunday People – the paper that broke the story.

They thought it was easy money, and they had no intention of throwing the game.

Funny how times have changed over the years – remember Grobbelar given the brown envelope while playing for I think Southampton? I can't remember if there was any punishment or not.

For me, Tony Kay was the best midfield player to play for Everton – and we have had a few good ones.

Ray Roche
38 Posted 20/01/2024 at 10:47:55
Peter, was that Richard Dodd from Freshfields?
Kevin Naylor
39 Posted 20/01/2024 at 11:07:23
Somebody should write a book of all the bad decisions, off-field sanctions etc we've had to endure, there must be at least 20 over the years.

Title would be an interesting topic, 'Everton – We shall not be moved, a history of injustice'. Doesn't seem to do them lot any harm being the victims all the time.

Pete Bridson
40 Posted 20/01/2024 at 11:11:57
Ray 38, thanks, that's the chap.
Barry Thompson
41 Posted 20/01/2024 at 12:20:12
Thanks to both Michael and Brian for the Eugene posts.

I'm sat here having caught bloody Covid and feeling as grim as a pair of tramps grundies but reading those Eugene classics again was the best medicine I've had all week.

Clive Rogers
42 Posted 20/01/2024 at 13:53:20
Brian, 37, there were two trials for Grobbelaar, Segers and John Fashanu and both juries failed to agree so the charges were dropped.

Grobbelaar sued the Sun and won damages, but the Sun appealed and won and Grobbelaar was ordered to pay legal costs estimated at £500k but was declared bankrupt.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
43 Posted 20/01/2024 at 14:12:31
It was suggested to Tony Kay that, as Wednesday always lost to Ipswich and Ipswich were reigning Champions then why not make a bit of money. I understand they gained £100 each – which was a decent amount in 1962.

As most commentators say, Tony Kay was Man of the Match – the sort of thing you do when you are trying to lose.

Triumph and despair — The Observer, 4 July 2004

Former England footballer Tony Kay on his downward spiral after betting on his side to lose a crucial match

Jeff Armstrong
44 Posted 20/01/2024 at 15:15:28
Bill 45, yes, a quick Google says he was betting on football.
Paul Kossoff
45 Posted 20/01/2024 at 15:29:19
Tony 36,

Brian was definitely clipped in that game and the keeper moved, so no complaints.😀

Tony Abrahams
46 Posted 20/01/2024 at 17:17:31
My only complaint was that he never put on any extra time Paul!
Dave Abrahams
47 Posted 20/01/2024 at 19:46:17
Billy (44) you wasn’t far out!

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