Everton v KR-Reykjavik

European Cup-Winners Cup, 1st Round, Second Leg; Thursday 28 September 1995

Previous Match: West Ham United v Everton  Next Match: Everton v Newcastle United

Everton progress to Round 2:

Everton (0) 3 Reykjavik (1) 1, Aggregate: 6-3

Grant 65, Rideout 87, Stuart 56; Danielsson 20.

1 Southall
2 Barrett
3 Hinchcliffe
4 Unsworth
5 Short
6 Grant
7 Amokachi
8 Parkinson
9 Rideout
10 Ebbrell
11 Limpar

14 Stuart (only sub used)

"It'll be a push-over"

Guy McEvoy: The first thing that struck me about our Icelandic visitors was that their fans seemed to have an identity crisis I'll swear that throughout the match they were chanting "Norway, Norway, Norway" - can anyone translate? The second thing that struck me was how much like a Sunday league team they looked warming up, with their number 9 sporting an impressive beer belly and one or two others had been munching on too many pies. "It'll be a push-over" I informed my companion proving that in all my time watching football I've obviously learnt nothing.

We started with a bit of purpose and they kindly gave us lots of space to knock the ball about, the first meaningful attack came from Limpar's first touch when he chipped the ball in for Ammo to head but it never quite made it. We continued to knock the ball around enjoying a good 75% of possession. They concentrated their marking around Limpar which meant that Barrett (is wing-back a correct phrase from before my time?) and Grant found with ample opportunity to run down the right. It has to be said that the final ball was often disappointing from both Grant and Barrett after they'd both contributed nicely to the build ups.

Despite the amount of possession though we confronted the same problem that has dogged us through the last 3 games. Nobody really seemed to want to be responsible for taking the ball forward and initiating a decisive attack. It was often safe ball after safe ball (then sometimes infuriatingly it went back to Nev). This kept us possession but didn't create great chances. Hinchcliffe seemed to sense the need to at least try something new, but his solution was about 3 dire long range efforts.

Possession meant complacency and inevitably complacency meant slackness and slackness led to the Icelanders stealing a goal. A clever ball was played through and neither Unsworth or Short were their which meant that Danielson had all the time in the world to draw Nev and then hit the ball under him and into the net. (It is a pity Rideout wasn't watching the goal - he could have learnt something from the Icelander's technique).

So things were looking bad and as all we Everton fans know bad usually becomes worse before it becomes better. A long ball was played in another of our nothing attacks, Ammo and Parkinson went up (where was the call?) as did a defender. It looked like nothing Ammo went down, and play continued. Only Ammo stayed down. The first time we got a notion that something was really wrong was when the physio immediately placed Ammo in the recovery position, and gestured for a stretcher. Ammo was carried off and I as I peered over the front row of the Top Balcony (not for the faint hearted!) I got a good view of him being taken down the tunnel - he looked flat out. Everton now have 13 million squids of talent sitting in the doctors.

Just before half time we were lucky not to be two behind. The ball bobbled up and one of their forwards hit a delightful volley that Nev did very well to save.

At half time things weren't looking good. Our team of players earning 5000 pounds a week were getting beaten by a team that gets paid a packet of crisps and their bus fare home.

Whatever Joe said to them at half time certainly seemed to fire them up. Again we enjoyed all the possession except now we seemed to have developed some purpose to go with it. There really were to many chances to count.

By the law of averages, no matter how poor your forwards, if you create a certain number of chances you will eventually score and sure enough on the 56 minute Barrett put in a good ball that Rideout headed back to Stuart who somehow made a connection even though it didn't sit well for him, it took a bobble of one of the defenders that meant it found it's way into the back of the net. Hallelujah, though I was so depressed at waiting so long that my cheer was almost sarcastic. It is the first time ever that I haven't stood up when Everton have scored.

Our second was something to stand up about. Tony G picked up a good pass from Ebbrell and made no mistake with a powerful drive from about 20 yards - the goal of the night.

The game was getting physical and it was astonishing that until the middle of the second half we hadn't seen a booking. In the end Hinchcliffe was the man who picked up a yellow for a tackle that looked wet compared to some of the Icelander's attempts (particularly on poor Grant!). Hinchcliffe got one in the first leg as well, which probably means he is out of the next European match.

The Icelanders now were looking tired and warn down and a third seemed a certainty as we turned it on. We still had to wait till to minutes from time though when Rideout for the third time found-himself chasing

forward with the back behind him. Again he cocked it up, taking too long and allowing the goalie a touch, however this time the ball came back to him kindly and he was able to save his blushes and slot it in.

OK we won 3-1, but lets not get too excited we should be looking to whoop teams like this (Even Ladbrokes were only offering 10-1 on a 6-0 victory) and the injury to Amo could prove significant in our forthcoming league games -- not a particularly good night. Still -- a wins a win and we're through to the next round - here's hoping for somewhere nice.

Individual Performances

Southall 7 - One good save, one bad fumble. Other than that not often troubled.
Barrett 7 - Played more as a winger than a defender, some nice touches but often let down by his cross.
Short 7 - His best senior performance to date. (not sure that's saying much!)
Unsworth 7 - Had four shots!!! Proved he'd never make a forward. Must share some responsibility for the goal with Short.
Hinchcliffe -7 Still hasn't found his inch perfect touch from last year.
Grant 8 - nice touches, confidence is definitely growing, lovely goal.
Parkinson 8 - I thought he had a good game, seemed willing to try an start things, was also unlucky not to score, had one rasping long range effort.
Ebberell 7 - can claim an assist, I wonder if Man City were watching??
Limpar 7 - To heavily marked, despite desperate attempts to get involved (which at one point some him trying to steal a header from Rideout!) however, when he did get the space he looked very creative (as always)
Ammo 7 - looked likely to score before his knock. Hope he's OK.
Rideout 6 - Not my man of the moment. Missed some sitters, was unlucky from two good efforts, and was lucky from the one that did go in. Looks like he's gonna be our main man still till at least Xmas. Not a cheery thought.
Stuart 7 - Scored but we still await a performance like the one he gave in last years semi.

Guy McEvoy pldgcm@cent1.lancs.ac.uk

Everton Finally Break The Ice

David Shepherd: My prediction of a sparse crowd was correct -- in fact I was surprised at 18,000 (a propaganda overestimate?); my guess was about 12-14k. (Can anyone tell me why when all seats are Sq10 and all areas are open ANYONE wants to sit in the top balcony?!?).

The other thing about such fixtures is the crowd composition is different - a lot less 'fans' and a lot more of variously casual punters, RS ghouls, and Evertonians who never get out of bed for less than an expected 3-0 win.

This confirmed the second prediction - quiet atmosphere. When 150 Vikings can drown out the St End, you know the atmosphere is not quite up to the decibel level JR was hoping for, nor that at the last Euro fixture at GP... Bayern Munich!

The first half was surreal for me, and that's even before we talk about the football. I spent much of the first 20 minutes wondering the best way to report to the 350 Toffeenetters that they had been written up as 'nerds' by Kermit in Speke From The Harbour, and then worrying about how to recognise the players in the distance wearing 1-11.

Sparse crowd, cold night, 1-11, unreserved seat (for nominally the last time ever) ... take away the word 'Reykjavik' and replace with 'Rotherham' and it was easy to believe you were in a time-warp, back in say 1982, struggling to stay in the League Cup.

All I can really tell you is that it was a very dull performance by Everton in the first half, and that they created about 9 scoring chances. How these two facts occurred together I'm not quite sure. Certainly none of the chances were clear cut or blatant misses, and when one each had fallen to Rhino and Short, you had to admit there was not a shortage of bodies in the box.

When Reykjavik scored with a simple through ball and a shot which was lucky to miss Neville's legs, at least the crowd woke up. All the 3-0 vultures got rather annoyed, fearing what they would have to suffer at work from red mates, and shouted angrily at almost every touch. A lot of other faces sat around with impassiveness -- almost smugness..

On the field EFC responded a little, but their reward was to lose Amo and then nearly Short too, and a heart-stopper when Reykjavik's second attack of the match so nearly got a 'go-ahead' goal ... an average shot from near the D took a deadly deflection, but somehow Southall reversed his leftward motion, and leapt like a salmon to palm the ball for a corner. A save of miraculous status may well have turned the game.

Second half Everton kept up the assault, and -- it's so true -- their persistence made their own luck because one of the weakest attempts got the goal - cruelly another deflection, Stuart scoring. For the tie, that was just about the end of the drama.

The Icelanders had no response, whilst Everton's confidence blossomed into the kind of dominance not seen since the semi-final, and the two icing goals could easily have been 5, because fitness towards the end caused Blue breakaways every 2-3 minutes.

It is especially warming to see that Grant has a scoring habit (not just a blue-moon) and nice for Rideout to get one for persisting when his best attempt -- a thumping header from a Hinch free kick had hit the goal-line but been unbelievably saved. The fickle crowd cheered both teams off with a standing ovation.

Southall 8 Concentrated well when he could have let frustration show.
Barrett 7 Fair enough, but I wish he'd make more effort to get back once blues lose possession.
Hinchcliffe 7 Delivered the necessary danger.
Unsworth 7 Kept popping up in goal-scoring positions!
Short 7 Not the blinder he had at Millwall, but good and has a dangerous head in the opponent's box.
Limpar 6 Strangely anonymous in a game he should have dominated.
Grant 7 Didn't really shine through until after things started flowing for Everton.
Parkinson 7 Good midfield workhorsing.
Ebbrell 7 Still yet to have a bad game under Royle.
Amokachi 7 Looked like the main threat before injury.
Stuart 7 Disappointingly anonymous apart from the ice(land)-breaking goal.
Rideout 8 I thought PR worked hardest on the night, even though he was not the main threat.

Subs Not Used: Barlow, Speare, Jackson, and 1 other.

Team Performance: 8 An object lesson in how to keep trying until your luck changes.

Ref (from Slovakia): OK; slightly card-shy; booked Hinch for innocuous time-wasting so Andy will miss the next match.

I thought Ebbrell had a good game ...

San Presland: My view of the match was mixed. I thought we started off well, playing some very pretty football, the like of which we haven't seen for some time ... then they scored a good goal and we started to lose some fluency.

Limpar had at least 2 men on him (usually 3) whenever he got the ball, which meant that the person who probably had twice as many touches as any Everton player was Earl Barrett. Hmmm... Barrett defended well, supported well, linked well with Grant, found space well and then *nothing*..if he tried to go past his full back, the defender almost invariably robbed him/kicked it out, if he put a cross in it didn't tend to be a very good one.

Tony Grant played some excellent stuff, using his skill to get him through players, but again most of his crosses were easily dealt with although the players in the middle seemed unwilling to challenge anywhere near the keeper ... perhaps they had been told to keep away as Goalies are of course 'untouchables' in Euro football.

Amo's injury had us worried, but I though Stuart played well, showing lots of strength and enthusiasm. Rideout obviously *enjoys* playing his football more with either Stuart or DD rather than Amo, as I reckon he takes more physical stick when Amo is his partner ... but overall he doesn't seem happy at the moment. He looks as though he is *desperate* to score and seems to go through matches shaking his head in frustration. Even when he scored last night he seemed angry about it because it had taken 2 bites of the cherry.

{Flame suit on} I thought Ebbrell had a good game, again; tackling, linking, probing, and pushing forward well. I think he currently deserves to stay in one of the 2 mid-field spots ... Craig Short played much better after colliding in a crunching bone-jarring fashion with one of the goalposts. Perhaps we should get him to do this every match.

OK not a great match for us, but far, far better than the one v. UCD in 1984-5.

Mrs S C Presland

Amokachi injury casts cloud over Everton victory

The Electronic Telegraph Friday 29 September 1995

By John Ley

DANIEL Amokachi spent last night under observation in a neurological unit at nearby Walton hospital after undergoing a scan following a first-half clash of heads which rendered Everton's Nigerian striker unconscious.

Late last night Amokachi was being inspected by both a neurosurgeon and a specialist and his injury brought a worrying end to another unconvincing display by an English team in Europe.

Amokachi's injury appeared innocuous when, while attempting to reach a high ball, clashed with Pormodur Egilsson and team-mate Joe Parkinson and fell to the ground with some force.

He remained partially unconscious as paramedic attempted to revive him and was taken to another hospital before being switched to Walton.

Joe Royle, the Everton manager, admitted that the incident clouded Everton's passage into the second round.

"The result has been overshadowed by Daniel's misfortune. He has had scans and a neurosurgeon has been called for. To be honest, he's quite poorly. He normally gets up quickly after going down but it quickly became clear he had a problem."

Everton immediately contacted Amokachi's Tunisian wife, Nadia, and Royle added: "It was difficult to see exactly what happened but obviously we are quite concerned."

Tony Grant and Paul Rideout earned Everton an ultimately comfortable passage into today's second round draw

The striker's departure, in the 31st minute, came at a difficult juncture for Everton, who were playing their first European tie at Goodison Park for 10 years.

They began the second leg with a 3-2 advantage, Amokachi's late goal in Iceland giving Everton the edge, but when Einer Danielsson brought Reykjavik level on aggregate terms, the malaise which affected both Manchester United and Blackburn earlier in the week, threatened to trouble the FA Cup holders.

As it was, goals from substitute Graham Stuart, Tony Grant and Paul Rideout earned Everton an ultimately comfortable passage into today's second round draw, where they will be seeded in the top eight.

However, this was another less than convincing display by Everton who continue to miss the trickery of Andrei Kanchelskis and the power of Duncan Ferguson.

Royle had warned against complacency, particularly in the light of the lessons learnt by United and Blackburn, not to mention Leeds, who lost at home to Monaco.

Everton's early work suggested they had heeded Royle's threat but a lack of confidence nurtured by three successive League defeats and a goalless Coca-Cola Cup draw at Millwall threatened to halt Everton's passage.

Reykjavik needed an early break to secure any chance of overturning the first leg and it came in the 21st minute when, from a throw-in, Mihajilo Bibercic, who scored twice in Iceland, fed Danielsson who carried the ball before slipping it under the advancing Neville Southall.

A fine save from Neville Southall kept Everton's hopes alive. Short had headed against the left post and Andy Hinchcliffe miscued from four yards but, after the goal, nerves began to show.

However, a fine save from Neville Southall in first half added time, kept Everton's hopes alive. A shot from Gudmundur Benediktss ricocheted off David Unsworth and though Southall was wrong footed he changed direction to make a telling save.

Rideout was denied by a fine save soon after the break and, with pressure telling, minute Everton drew level on the night, and ahead on aggregate when an Earl Barrett centre was knocked on by Rideout and Stuart, who replaced Amokachi, struck a shot which deflected beyond Kristjan Finnbogason.

The limitations of the Icelanders was, by now, beginning to show and though Everton are way below par, they were able to make certain their place in the second round.

In the 66th minute Tony Grant eased Everton ahead when he shot home off a post to record his first senior goal for the club and with three minutes remaining Rideout, whose goal won Everton the Cup back in May, secured a 6-3 aggregate win.

Electronic Telegraph is a Registered Service Mark of The Telegraph plc

Everton Win Marred by Amokachi Accident

Everton manager Joe Royle said tonight his side's 3-1 victory over KR Reykjavik had been overshadowed by the plight of Daniel Amokachi, who is being treated in a neurological unit after being stretchered unconscious from the field.

Royle said the Nigerian striker had still not regained consciousness at Walton Hospital following a 36th minute incident in which he landed awkwardly on the Goodison Park turf. "He is very poorly at the moment," Royle said.

"Daniel is a strong boy and a hard lad. We do not worry when he goes down as opposed to other footballers because he just gets up again. But it was obvious when he was on the stretcher that it was quite bad.

"He was semi-conscious as he was taken away but we do not know how bad it is. He is in the hands of the medical people now."

Everton In Search For Amokachi's Wife

Everton tonight launched a desperate search for Daniel Amokachi's wife after the Nigerian striker was whisked to hospital for brain scans following a horrific clash of heads in the Cup Winners' Cup victory over KR Reykjavik.

The Nigerian was carried off on a stretcher unconscious after colliding with Reykjavik's Pormodur Egilsson. He was originally taken to Fazakerley Hospital but was immediately transferred to the neurological unit of Walton Hospital for further examination.

Goodison Park manager Joe Royle immediately ruled out Amokachi for at least a month and showed his concern when saying: "The game just does not matter anymore. "The whole thing has been overshadowed by Daniel's accident. He was caught on the side of the temple and never regained full consciousness. He will not play for a month but it was such a bad knock that does not matter.

"He's a big, strong lad and when he stayed down we were concerned immediately. We are now trying to contact his wide who is modelling somewhere on the Continent. "He is in the right place. We must just keep our fingers crossed now. It is wait-and-see time, but he was quite poorly." Amokachi, who scored two goals in Everton's FA Cup semi-final demolition of Tottenham last season, was given oxygen before being taken to hospital but it failed to revive him.

Turning to his side's performance, which sees them through to the European Cup Winners' Cup second round on a 6-3 aggregate, Royle said: "I am well satisfied with the outcome although we have made hard work of both legs. "We were a bit casual tonight. But there was a strange atmosphere in a half-empty stadium. "Sometimes that can work against you -- you can hear every moan and groan. But once we got the equaliser I thought it would be comfortable and that's how it worked out." Striker Paul Rideout admitted Everton had given a "sloppy" first half display against the Icelandic side.

He said: "We showed no real penetration in the first half which gave them confidence. We played some good football but never really hurt them. They caught us on the break and gave us a few problems." Rideout was grateful for the second chance to score his 87th minute goal, admitting his initial shot was "a poor effort".

Graham Stuart, who set the Toffees on their way to victory with a 56th minute equaliser, said: "It had been frustrating for me. I got injured in pre-season and it was my first real action tonight so it was pleasing to come out on top in the end." The former Chelsea star dismissed the deflection before his shot hit the net. He said: "Strikers are supposed to claim things like that. Paul knocked it down very well and it was a question of just getting it on target.

"We needed a break. We were poor in the first half in the final third. Fortunately we worked hard in the second half and got three goals.

"It was a fairly small crowd tonight and we had to make our own atmosphere. "We needed something to get the crowd cheering and, with a lot more commitment and passion in the second half, that's where we got the goals from."

Submitted by Steve Malone