Reykjavik v Everton

European Cup Winners Cup, 1st Round, 1st Leg 14 September 1995

Previous Match: Everton v Manchester United Next Match: Nottingham Forest v Everton

First, the facts ...

Reykjavik (1) 2 Everton (1) 3

Bibercic 36 pen, 67 pen; Amokachi 88, Ebbrell 22, Unsworth 57 pen. Reykjavik: Finnbogason, Adolfsson, Dervic, Egilsson, Jonsson, Porca, Bjornsson, Danielsson, Bibercic, Gudjonsson, Benediktsson. Booked: Adolfsson.

Everton: Southall, Jackson (Holmes 61), Ablett, Unsworth, Watson, Hinchcliffe, Amokachi, Parkinson, Rideout, Limpar, Ebbrell. Booked: Hinchcliffe, Limpar.

Att: 6,000
Ref: R Phillipe (Luxembourg).

European preview: Royle on Horne of a dilemma

By William Gray, The Telegraph

WELSH captain Barry Horne was the surprise omission last night from Everton's squad for tomorrow's Cup-Winners Cup tie with Reykjavik in Iceland.

Manager Joe Royle immediately apologised to the midfielder, who fell foul of the foreigners rule as Royle struggled to perm a trio from his four available non-English players.

Royle admitted: "I feel very sorry for Barry and I have apologised to him. He has been up there with the best players in the country this season but it was a question of balance. I've got a lot of English midfield players and a lot of foreign frontmen and I feel there is less disruption this way. Barry was very disappointed but he took it like a man as I expected him to."

John Ebbrell, the former England under-21 captain, returns for his first game of the season in place of Horne while another Welshman, goalkeeper Neville Southall gets the foreigner vote along with Swedish winger Anders Limpar and Nigerian striker Daniel Amokachi.

Andy Hinchcliffe will deputise for the injured and ineligible Andrei Kanchelskis while fit-again Matt Jackson is recalled for his first game of the season in place of the injured Earl Barrett.

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Everton rely on power of Amokachi

By Nicholas Spencer in Reykjavik: A 10-year wait for European football brought an uncomfortable contest and a fortunate win for Everton last night against the part-timers of Reykjavik.

Only after Nigerian international Daniel Amokachi had dug out a loose ball and swivelled to score the winning goal, via a post, with two minutes remaining, could the English cup holders relax in front of an enthusiastic 6,000 crowd.

Goals here from the transfer-listed John Ebbrell and a David Unsworth penalty will doubtless have given security to ensure progress.

But there were worrying signs of complacency, particularly after an initial flourish had brought Everton the security of an early goal. Too late, they realised that the cutting edge provided by Reykjavik's two professionals, strikers Mihajlo Bibercic and Guomundur Benediktsson, allied to their own poor marking, would cause them severe problems.

It took two good saves from Neville Southall and the intervention on a further two occasions of the woodwork to stave off defeat.

Reykjavik began like a team standing at the wrong end of a 32-2 aggregate from three previous ties against British sides, surviving a 20-yard strike against the angle of post and crossbar within 30 seconds.

Ebbrell, for whom the shot represented his first touch of the season, was soon proved an industrious replacement for Barry Horne - whose foreign categorisation cost him his place - and he gave Everton the lead in the 23rd minute, tapping in David Hinchcliffe's cross shot after a strong run from Amokachi.

Everton's attacking compared unfavourably with their opponents

But Southall's goal, already threatened when the young Icelandic international Guomundur Benediktsson volleyed against Unsworth's chest, soon shook as Bibercic's dipping 30-yard volley, following a long free kick, hit the crossbar.

Increasingly, Everton's attacking, with Amokachi attempting to beat the defence on his own, compared unfavourably with the efforts of Reykjavik's teachers and computer operators who unsettled them with the simple expedient of early passes inside the full backs.

The policy brought ultimate reward when Guojonsson got the wrong side of Unsworth, who could not resist a tackle from behind in an innocous position. Luxembourg referee Roger Philippe had no hesitation in awarding a penalty and Bibercic showed equal certainty in sending Southall the wrong way.

Joe Royle stalked to the dressing room when the half-time whistle blew, having watched further narrow escapes when Ablett cleared dangerously close to his own goal and then an attempted clearance from Southall was charged down, but ran behind for a goal kick.

Everton's determination to assert authority on the resumption could not be faltered, but they never gained control as the referee increasingly took centre stage with two penalty awards, one to each side.

Both decisions were debatable as fouls on Hinchcliffe by Adolfsson and Benediktsson by Paul Holmes, who had replaced the injured Matt Jackson, were given with great authority, matched by the scorers Unsworth and, for a second time, Bibercic.

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Plus and Minus Marks for Royle

Martin Thorpe on an up-and-down night illuminated by Amokachi's strike.

If Joe Royle is looking for a comforting omen after Thursday's wobbly win over the butchers, bakers and canned-fish makers of Reykjavik, he need only look back to Everton's last appearance in Europe in 1985.

They struggled to beat another bunch of part-timers, University College Dublin, 1-0 on aggrigate in the first round of the Cup Winner's Cup - but they went on to win the competition.

The main problem with Thursday's performance was the defence, which last season was the bedrock of the team's revival but recently has developed more cracks than are to be found in an Icelandic Glacier.

After Thursday's game the Reykjavic coach rightly warned that the squareness of Everton's back four would be punished far more severly by better teams than his - and tomorrow's opponents Nottingham Forest, are without doubt a much better team than his.

The worrying thing for Royle was that. though Reykjavic's two equalisers were from penalties, the second dodgier than an Arthur Dayley motor, the icelanders twice hit Southall's bar and found space behaind the back four with alarming ease, only losing 3-2 to Amokachi's classy strike three minutes from time.

Recent mistakes by the central defender Unsworth and his ponderous disposition, are a major concern while on Thursday the full-back Jackson was exposed for lack of match fitness on his comeback from injury.

"Dave Watson apart, we didn't really do it defensively, and I think we were a bit naive," said Royle/ The absence of Horne's drive and experience in midfield because of the three-foreigner rule did not help, and he will return tomorrow.

Predictions of a cricket score were always optimistic. And sure enough, once tranfer listed John Ebbrell had hit the bar after 30 seconds and scored the opening goal 22 minutes later, Everton suffered a severe bout of complacency and the game became a struggle for them.

Hinchcliffe won the second of the game's three penalties, Unsworth converting for 2-1 but the home side were not going to lie down in the biggest match of their lives and only Amokachi's magnificent turn and shot saved Everton's blushes.

The 3 million-pound Nigerian was on the point of being sold by Royle until Duncan Ferguson was injured. Now he is "in the best form since he joined the club," said the manager. "He was well out on his own as our best player in Reykjavik."