Everton v Bolton Wanderers

FA Carling Premier League, Saturday, 6 April 1996; Goodison Park, Merseyside

Previous Match: Blackburn Rovers v Everton Next Match: Queens Park Rangers v Everton

Everton (1) 3 Bolton Wanderers (0) 0

Amokachi 90, Hottiger 21, Kanchelskis 86.

Everton: Southall, Hottiger, Watson, Unsworth, Hinchcliffe, Kanchelskis, Horne, Parkinson, Grant (Ebbrell 80), Ferguson, Amokachi. Subs Not Used: Limpar, Speare.

Bolton Wanderers: Ward, Bergsson, Phillips, Fairclough, Coleman, Green (De Freitas 59), Stubbs, Curcic, Sellars, Paatelainen (Blake 73), McGinlay. Subs Not Used: Thompson. Booked: Phillips, Sellars, McGinlay.

Att: 37,974
Ref: M Bodenham (Looe).

Match Summary

SoccerNet: Everton staged a grand finale to strengthen their bid for a place in Europe at the expense of Bolton's hopes of pulling off a great escape.

Joe Royle's team had gone ahead in the 21st minute against ten men, after Bolton central defender Simon Coleman had gone off injured.

Wanderers chose not to bring on a substitute during the 18 minutes that Coleman was off the field. He had been absent for 14 of these when Everton full-back Marc Hottiger scored his first goal for the club.

The Swiss international, signed from Newcastle United, got his chance in a goalmouth melee. Duncan Ferguson's header from an Andy Hinchcliffe corner was knocked back in the striker's direction by Chris Fairclough, stationed on the goal line. Ferguson's instinctive attempt to back-heel the ball rolled it into Hottiger's path, and the Swiss international finished with a low shot.

Despite their lead, Everton supporters grew restive as they failed to cash in on the inadequacies of Bolton, who showed little of the fighting spirit which had raised their hopes recently. Neville Southall was never severely tested, but Bolton's keeper Gavin Ward made some important interventions in only his second game after leaving Bradford City.

On the half-hour, he foiled the best move of the match when Tony Grant's defence-splitting pass was followed by a point-blank shot from Andrei Kanchelskis, which the young keeper beat away. Five minutes from the end, however, Kanchelskis skipped round him after a long pass from Hinchcliffe to tap in Everton's second goal.

Ward made two more fine saves in the closing minutes before Daniel Amokachi scored from an acute angle with virtually the last kick of the game.

Bolton are left for dead by brilliant Kanchelskis

Louise Taylor in the Sunday Times

IT LOOKS as if Bolton will make just one League trip to Merseyside next season - when they visit Tranmere.

Mathematically, it may not be all over for the Premier League's bottom club, but averting relegation appears an ever more remote prospect.

Second best in a series of personal sub-plots, they also straggled in the skill stakes, barely testing Southall at all and failing to muster a shot on target until the 89th minute.

All the individual honours went to the boys in blue, notably Hinchcliffe - surely one of the country's best left-backs - Kanchelskis, Unsworth and young Grant, who produced some subtle midfield moments before tiring.

Well before the final whistle, Bolton looked weary of the sheer pace and physicality of Premier League life. And when the public address played Oasis's Don't Look Back in Anger it might have been a farewell anthem.

The anger - the fight - seems to have drained from Bolton. They played like a team meekly accepting their fate. You sensed the gods were against them as early as the kick-in when McGinlay and Curcic collided leaving the Serb nursing an aching head.

No sooner had the game started than Coleman, Bolton's centre-half, was involved in a collision with Ferguson. Off he went for 17 minutes, having six stitches inserted in a wound beneath his eye.

During this interlude Hottiger shot Everton ahead. Hinchcliffe's cross was met by Ferguson's head and as soon as the centre-forward outjumped Stubbs, Bolton were in big trouble. The partly-cleared ball rebounded off Fairclough, falling conveniently for Hottiger's right boot.

Poor Bolton. By expending so much effort containing Kanchelskis - Phillips and Paatelainen frequently serving as double markers - they had overlooked the Ukrainian's back-up.

Nobody could accuse Unsworth of neglecting his defensive duties and, in fulfilling them early in the second period, he left Curcic limping.

Luckily Ward, Bolton's goalkeeper, was alert, particularly when saving smartly from Ferguson after the striker veered out left before abruptly switching direction, catching out Fairclough.

Ferguson might have scored had Kanchelskis not been repeatedly selfish in attempting to beat an extra defender when a pass was called for.

On one such occasion, Kanchelskis gave Coleman a free gift of the ball, and Bolton went near on the counter-attack. But you can forgive the Ukrainian most things when he scores a goal as good as the one he claimed after 86 minutes.

Controlling Hinchcliffe's through-ball, he glided into the area - leaving Bolton appealing for an offside decision - and with Ward standing his ground and refusing to commit himself, cleverly rounded the goalkeeper before lifting the ball into the net.

Amokachi, too, atoned for earlier profligacy when, with the referee counting down the seconds, he surged in from the right before taking aim from an awkward angle. The shot was so precise, so perfectly weighted, it left Ward with no hope. A bit like Bolton.

Everton show the door to Bolton

By Ian Cotton, Electronic Telegraph

THIS was a game Bolton had to win if they were to keep alive their dream of Premiership football. That they failed, and in such disappointing fashion, made a mockery of the huge improvement they had shown in their previous five outings.

Daniel Amokachi may well have scored the third of Everton's goals in injury time but this was an overwhelming victory for the Merseyside club against opponents who failed to display the necessary skill and more surprisingly the passion for this most crucial of clashes.

Colin Todd, the Bolton manager, admitted afterwards: "We're disappointed today with our own performance attacking-wise because away from home we have created chances, but today just wasn't one of those days. It just leaves us once again with a mountain to climb but we've got a home game on Monday and we'll keep fighting."

Goodison Park has never been a happy ground for Bolton, their last visit here in 1980 ending in a similarly comprehensive defeat and ultimate relegation from the top flight. Nothing on show here suggested anything else than another quick return to the lower division.

Their problems began as early as the eighth minute with Simon Coleman forced to leave the pitch after a clash of heads, the central defender returning 15 minutes later after receiving six stitches for a cheek wound.

With Todd unwilling to use any of his substitutes in the meantime, Bolton's 10 men found themselves a goal down after Swiss international Marc Hottiger benefited from good work by Duncan Ferguson to fire a low shot past Gavin Ward for his first Everton goal.

With Serbian midfielder Sasa Curcic a virtual spectator, Bolton offered little in reply though Alan Stubbs showed again why he is unlikely to accompany his team on the return trip to the Endsleigh League.

That the two sides should be separated by one goal until the dying stages said everything about Everton's failure to finish though nerves were eventually settled with a typically dynamic finish from Andrei Kanchelskis as he rounded Ward in the 86th minute to score from close range. Amokachi's late strike did little more than add respectability to the scoreline.

Electronic Telegraph is a Registered Service Mark of The Telegraph plc

Profligate finishing prevents ritual slaughter

Guy McEvoy: Bolton Wanderers have been playing out of their skins lately, survival brings that desperate spirit and those quirky results at the end of the season that mean a glance at the table is not going to give the assurance that the gulf of points between the clubs normally would. I honestly went to this match worried. In the event my anxiety was misplaced.

Joe Parkinson had shaken off the virus that kept him out at Blackburn and returned to his role playing just in front of the back four. Tony Grant, in response to his Ewood performance, and also due to the continued absence of Stuart was given a floating role behind Amo and Duncan. Barry Horne was to be the calming influence in the midfield whilst Andrei was a lone winger on the right. We reverted to a flat back four.

The first half was a curious affair. You would expect a team in Bolton's predicament to play with the sort of passion we've put in at this stage of the season for the past couple of years; however, they quickly settled into a lack-lustre pace that remained for the whole 90 minutes. Everton soon started to dominate possession, long balls were played toward the head of the big Scot and in an opening melee, Dunc clashed heads with a Bolton defender leaving the Trotter in need of off-field attention (and no doubt a number of stitches).

The incident brought about one of those bizarre incidents that prove match officials are not normal human beings. As the player went down hurt the ball found it's way to the Bolton Keeper who responsibly kicked it into touch. After the player had left the field, the Everton player, as the unwritten law demands, threw the ball back to the keeper. The whistle went, the linesman flagged, and they insisted the throw was taken again from the proper place about 7 yards up the line. "Get a life" was among the politer phrases levelled at the officials.

Bolton were therefore temporarily down to 10 men and Everton managed to press home the advantage. An inspirational through ball from Grant picked out Kanchelskis and in all honesty the Ukrainian should have done much better than his wide effort. Nevertheless, the goal soon came after a Hinchcliffe corner was instinctively flicked on by Ferguson into the path of Hottiger who enjoyed forays forward all afternoon. His assured finish will no doubt do his confidence the world of good.

Other incidents in the half worthy of mention included an injury to Amokachi that left him visibly choking on the ground for a full minute before play was halted and he was allowed desperately needed medical attention, and a wonderful effort at a lob from the edge of the box by Grant. Other than that it has to be said that the half was one of the dullest witnessed at Goodison this season. Even the Bolton fans, who filled the away section failed to raise a decent chant, and once more we were subjected to a game played in a morgue like atmosphere.

Whatever the inspiring words Colin Todd pressed upon his players during the break were obviously ill chosen as they had no effect. Bolton continued to offer nothing, and it started to get embarrassing that the lead wasn't being stretched. At times it was almost like they were dragging us down to their level. One spell saw five miss-kicks in a row before Amo ended the embarrassment with a clever back heel, --"class" we all thought -- then he received a one-two and stuck it a mile wide. Indeed, some of the play was better suited to a Sunday league kick in the park than the creme of the British game (if you can say that and include Bolton).

Amo and Kanchelskis both squandered identical chances with great through balls beating the offside trap and leaving them one-on-one with the desperately busy Keeper. Both chose to take it round rather than chip and in both cases it proved to be an error. Grant was withdrawn, possibly due to lack of match fitness, and replaced by Ebbrell who's immediate contribution was to beat a man and put a fine cross in for Duncan. It was not however Duncan's day. He'd been raining headed shots in all game, he won every single corner, he had it cleared off the line twice, from Ebbrell's cross his connection was not true enough to do the damage it deserved.

Like Blackburn last week it was frustrating that the score wasn't reflecting the play, again Everton left it to the last five minutes (when Bolton are notoriously vulnerable) to do the scoreline a little justice. Again, Kanchelskis beat the offside trap, again he chose to take it round the keeper (and how my heart sank for a split second!) but this time there was no error, this time he put it away.

Finally, in injury time Amokachi made up for earlier misses and finished the job when he broke into the box and held off two half-hearted defenders before slotting the ball in at a tight angle. His relief was obvious.

It wasn't a good game nor a particularly good Everton performance and it must be said that Bolton were particularly dire. It was however our second 3-0 win in a row and again the scoreline could have been extended so any moans I may have -- (like it would be nice to score the goals earlier in the game rather than leaving it so long for the sake of the heart) -- must be put in perspective, it's probably just me being picky. We have climbed a place up the table and that Europe slot is starting to look back on again.

Individual Performances

Southall - Nothing much to do really, did do a couple of stinkers of throws though.

Hottiger - Better. Looked good coming up in support, scored a goal and made a few decent tackles as well. Will have answered some critics at this game.

Watson & Unsworth - In total control of their duties, Unsworth is right back in form at the moment and we looked formidable in this area.

Hinchcliffe - His delivery that failed him at Blackburn was much better today, one national newspaper remarked "surely the best left back in England" this morning, -- not sure I'd go that far but nice to see him leaving that sort of impression on a neutral.

Parkinson - Fitted right back in to resume normal service. A couple of long range efforts show how confident he is.

Grant - Not quite as magic as at Blackburn but two moments from the first half stay in the memory, one an outstanding through-ball to Kanchelskis and the other an audacious lob; tired into the second half and made way for Ebbrell.

Horne - I thought he had a good game, ran for 90 minutes and was demanding the ball all the time (a trait that seems to often missing in players!).

Kanchelskis - Had he not have stuck it in I would probably moan about him doing a touch of the Limpars and trying to do too much when perhaps a pass would have been in order, but he did score so I won't ;) . The big question now is will he beat Graham Stuart to seasons top scorer. It's getting close.

Amokachi - The kind of performance he came up with so often last season, worked very hard all game, but made several silly mistakes which a lot of the crowd picked up on, had the last laugh by scoring his toughest chance of the day.

Ferguson - Wasn't his day. Didn't really do anything wrong, it was just good goalkeeping and desperate defending that kept him out. Nice flick on for the first goal.

Ebbrell - Made a positive impact when he came on as play switched a bit more to the left. Put a glorious ball across for Ferguson. Will be interesting now to see who starts at QPR.

Scores: I thought everyone played OK with no-one either outstanding nor particularly poor, all against very mediocre opposition - everyone gets a 7.

Foreign Legion leads the way

Ian Maher: A warmish day and just under 39,000 in Goodison for the last Saturday home game of the season. In Short's absence, Royle played a version of 4-4-2 with no obvious left sided midfield player but a case of whoever's nearest; play there...

Bolton filled 90% of their section. From the Top Balcony, you can see all the seats in the away section and only the back 2/3 rows were empty.

I got the impression in the minutes leading up to kick off that someone at Everton recognised how flat the crowd had been in the last 3 home games. Both Queen and our version of "All together now" preceded Z Cars..

Surprisingly for a team in Bolton's position, we had little opposition for most of the first 20 mins. I was pleased to see Watson and Unsworth offering themselves to take possession from Southall and change the point of attack. Of late, Neville's long boot down field had become too common.

With the defence able to keep possession, it enabled the midfield to attack Bolton at will and the first half saw about 70% of play in Bolton's half. Hinchcliffe provided many crosses for Ferguson and Hottiger/KanKan played more short passing on the right.

After a couple of good chances, we scored through Hottiger. Hinchcliffe's cross, Ferguson's challenge, loose ball, clean finish by Hottiger from about 16 yds out through the Bolton defence.

My main memory of the first half was hoping Grant was going to score. He is the more imaginative of our midfield and showed, via a great pass to KanKan, that he has the ability to deliver, but he does lose possession and unfortunately is often the first to get stick.

Second half was below the first for overall standard of play. Bolton still couldn't up the tempo enough to cause any concern. Ferguson had two fine headers saved, with Ward the Bolton keeper playing well all game. As my mind started to wander to the Derby (and if our average home gate was now over 35,000 ?), we started to play keep ball and see how many times we could fail to score when through on goal.

But! Our top man KanKan showed the way with the type of finish which makes up for his sometime selfish approach to attacking. He must have as good a ratio of chances to goals, over this season, as anyone.

And finally, Amokachi. There is no better way of shutting up his critics than scoring. A well-taken goal based on effort and determination where it counts -- in the box. How I wish he could have done this in the first minute or even in the first half.

I don't rate Amokachi. Never have. Even on his home debut v QPR his basic failure to control the ball shone out as a fault he would not correct. I have always liked players whose effort topped up any flaws they had: Bracewell's continuous movement made up for a lack of decent pace; Sheedy's passing made up for his lack of defence awareness; and even Parkinson has improved greatly just by getting fitter. But Amo, oh Amo! Controlling the ball is a basic and I don't think a goal makes up for that..

So 3-0, Bolton don't deserve to stay up with a commitment level of 2/10. We shouldn't bother with Stubbs he is no better than our current players.

Other thoughts

In the second half we had about 6 corners in quick succession where Hinchcliffe went from one side of the pitch to the other -- each time getting more and more applause from the St. End corners. Could there be a competition as to which corner can cheer him loudest ?

Parkinson put in some great tackles in recovery situations, Hottiger is poor in the air but gets away with it due to Watson covering, Unsworth had a good game willing to take the ball, not diving in, reading the crosses better than in the past.

Todd's fighting talk has hollow ring

By Mark Hodkinson, The Times

A GOAL conceded by your team in the first few minutes of a match is regarded as a disastrous start, so how does it rank when your top scorer collides with your leading player and injures his shoulder before the kick-off, as happened to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday?

During the pre-match warm-up, McGinlay ran into the back of Curcic and, though the Scotsman's apologies were copious, the Serbian scowled gloomily and spent much of the match rubbing the muscles at the top of his arm.

It was ominous to say the least and proof, perhaps, that Bolton and good fortune had finally parted company. After this defeat against Everton, the same could be said of Bolton and the FA Carling Premiership, since they are now five points adrift of safety.

Everton deserved the win, though it was achieved against a team stricken by the kind of lethargy usually brought on by flu -­ the strain which makes a stroll through the park feel like a hike up Snowdon with Jan Molby on your back.

"I felt we won very comfortably," Joe Royle, the Everton manager, said. "Bolton's first shot on target came only minutes from time. It was very one-sided." He had genuine words of sympathy, too. "I'm sad for Bolton. It makes their task harder. I have a lot of affection for the people there. I think they still have an outside chance, but it is going to be difficult now."

Colin Todd, the Bolton manager, issued the routine fighting talk, but, on a day when relegation rivals Coventry and Southampton recorded wins, he was explicit about his team's future. "It has got to be four wins from the last four games now," Todd said. "Once again, we have a mountain to climb but there is no magic formula. We did not seem to have the passion today, especially in the first half. Football is strange, but we are running out of games."

Everton's first goal came via a circuitous assist from Ferguson. Much of Ferguson's allure is based upon what he might do as much as what he actually does. He has a charisma that makes defenders jittery and Stubbs, aware that Ferguson was drawing close, mistimed a simple header. The ball broke free and Hottiger drove home.

The goal came during a long spell when Coleman, who would ordinarily have marked Ferguson, was receiving stitches for a cut on his cheek. It seemed a curious decision by Todd not to replace Coleman because it meant his depleted team had to face a vastly superior side for almost a third of the match.

Everton continued to dominate a languid game and their second goal came when Hinchcliffe played a ball over the top and Kanchelskis, so far ahead of the pack he might have been painting the perimeter fence behind the goal, ran on, rounded Ward, and effectively sealed the win.

Amokachi had one final charge into the Bolton area and steadied himself to repel two timid challenges before firing into the far corner.

Ward bravely mans the floodgates

PA News: Everton took the lead courtesy of Swiss international full-back Marc Hottiger's first goal for the club after 21 minutes, while Bolton defender Simon Coleman was off the pitch getting stitches in a wound below his eye.

From then on Everton laid siege to the Bolton goal and only the goalmouth heroics of keeper Gavin Ward and his defenders kept Duncan Ferguson in particular at bay.

Another goal would have opened the floodgates, but although Everton keeper Neville Southall had his quietest afternoon of the season, there was always the feeling that the longer it stayed at 1 - 0 the more likely it was Bolton would pinch an unlikely equaliser.

There were just five minutes to go when Andrei Kanchelskis finally made the points safe, hurtling on to Andy Hinchcliffe's pass to take the ball wide of Ward and slot home.

Bolton then cleared two more Ferguson efforts off the line before Daniel Amokachi's injury-time strike emphasised the rout that might well have followed if the second goal had come earlier.

Todd admitted: "We came here expecting to create chances, but it was the first time we've been away from home and not looked like scoring.

"We are very disappointed with our attacking performance today because away from home we have created chances, but I don't think their keeper had anything to do." Everton have their sights on QPR tomorrow, aiming for a win that would do their European chances no harm and might give Royle's old friend Todd a crumb of comfort in his relegation labours.

"I've got a lot of affection for the people at Bolton, particularly Colin Todd ," said Royle.

"They have still got an outside chance -- but with the other results today it does look an outside chance.

"They've got a lot to do, but I hope they do it for Toddy and Co." Royle reported no new injury worries for tomorrow's trip to relegation-haunted QPR.

But he has added defender Craig Short, who was suspended yesterday, and promising youngsters Jon O'Connor and Michael Branch to his squad which includes the 14 players on duty against Bolton. Strikers Graham Stuart and Paul Rideout are still injured.

Team (from): Southall, Hottiger, Hinchcliffe, Watson, Short, Unsworth, Ebbrell, Grant, Horne, Parkinson, Kanchelskis, Limpar, Amokachi, Ferguson, O'Connor, Branch, Speare.

Next Match: Queens Park Rangers v Everton

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