Everton v Nottingham Forest

FA Carling Premier League, Saturday, 25 February 1996; Goodison Park, Merseyside

Previous Match: Manchester United v Everton Next Match: Middlesborough v Everton

Three class goals ...

Everton (0) 3 Nottingham Forest (0) 0
Ferguson 60, Kanchelskis 52, Watson 56.

Everton: Southall, Hinchcliffe, Unsworth, Watson, Stuart, Ferguson (Amokachi 69), Ebbrell, Parkinson, Kanchelskis, Grant, O'Connor. Subs Not Used: Short, Kearton. Booked: Hinchcliffe, Parkinson.

Nottingham Forest: Crossley, Lyttle, Cooper, Chettle, Phillips, Gemmill, Campbell, Stone, Woan (Haaland 77), Bart-Williams, Roy. Subs Not Used: Howe, Allen.

Att: 33,163
Ref: K Cooper (Pontypridd).

A Game of Two Halves

Guy McEvoy: As the teams were announced prior to kick off, as always, we politely clapped each member of the squad, giving particular applause for O'Connor on his home debut. With the exception of the players shouts to each other, that applause was to be practically the last sound heard at Goodison for 45 minutes.

The first half was a curious affair of "hopeful hoofs" and poor passing, the Street End failing to find any incident to spark a single chant, the sparse showing of away fans able to muster little more. There were brief moments worthy of mention, a powerful strike by Kanchelskis at the near post into the Keeper (when in all honesty Stuart at the far was a much better option), Stuart himself coming close and apparently having his shot pushed to the bar (I say 'apparently' because my attention had wandered at this point in proceedings and I was surreptitiously checking out the girl next to me when the rare moment of excitement occurred).

Ferguson, also had a decent effort at an overhead flick that was lifted a little too high and ended in the Park End crowd. Forest meanwhile, only had one notable effort after Roy beat O'Connor and sent the ball across the face of the Everton goal, fortunately Forest were not able to get the toe to it required and danger passed.

The half time whistle was greeted with a chorus of boo's, I thought it wasn't so much our performance that was awful as the game itself that was dire. The atmosphere still felt extremely flat during half-time as a power failure meant that they couldn't pipe Radio Everton over the PA, and Brian Labone seemed to completely fluff all his lines in the Half-time draw. Even the scoreboard and floodlights at this point hadn't been turned on. Perhaps someone needed to put another 50p in the meter.

The return of the teams at half time, in the absence of Z Cars was instead announced verbally with an appeal to "roar us up into Europe". At last the Street had an excuse to sing! And suddenly sing they did - as if in response the floodlights flicked back on, all as if someone had put that 50p in the meter, and at last it felt like a proper Saturday afternoon.

In response to the change in atmosphere, the team burst into action in Blitzkrieg fashion. Straight from kick-off, work by Duncan forced us a corner. The knock on from this found it's way to Stuart who volleyed goalward; regrettably though, the ever present Stone was able to clear off the line.

Within a couple of minutes, hard-working Stuart was again unlucky not to increase his season's tally. He chased in on a seemingly hopeless situation as the defender attempted to shepherd the ball back to Crossely. Stuart's industry was rewarded though when he was able to find a way round the defender and at full stretch get a foot to the ball just in time to lift it over the keeper; it bobbled inches wide.

The screw though was very clearly turning and when Kanchelskis picked up an Ebbrell pass in the right hand corner of the field there was only one possible outcome as his head went down and he broke back across to the edge of the box allowing him to launch his favourite low drive into the far corner of the net. In one moment Andrei had assured us all value for money on our admission fee.

Unusually, the foot did not now come off the pedal. It seemed only moments later that we had another corner. Hinchcliffe floated it in and Dave Watson rose a head clear of everyone else to guide it into the goal. Watson's gleeful celebration was testament to how much he, rightfully, enjoyed the moment.

With the result now seemingly beyond doubt the crowd was treated to the goal it most wanted to see, Andrei now fully involved in the match, breaking again past his marker to the corner, floating a cross which was met by the head of Duncan with such a large running leap he buried himself in the net with the ball. 3-0 in the space of less than 10 minutes.

A very relieved Joe Royle was now able to withdraw Duncan (presumably not wanting him to risk injury) and give Amokachi a run out.

Forest were demoralised, the few chances they managed to create were more than comfortably dealt with by blue shirts. Nev's only serious save of the game came in the last minute, when in any case, most of the Forest fans had long since left in disgust and missed it. It is slightly worrying that they our now England's flagship team in Europe, I hope for the nation's pride that they find a massive improvement in form before they again fly the flag.

For Everton, it was an important confidence-restoring victory after two unfortunate defeats. The way the other results went today suggest that a European place will only go to a team that can hold it's nerve. There is still plenty to play for.

Individual Performances

Southall 7 - Quiet game for him really, his defence did his job for him.

O'Connor 7 - Looked incredibly anxious for the first half and was reluctant to come too far forward, a couple of passes went astray and his confidence was knocked, however, the crowd stuck with him and you could see the confidence flood back once we went ahead, he started looking for the ball, making runs into space, trying to take on his man, and even came up with an audacious mini chip that sent Kanchelskis goal bound. Recent experience shows that all defenders need time to settle (Barrett, Short), his home debut was probably less shaky than either of theirs.

Watson 8 - Had a very good game, did an excellent job covering and keeping an eye on O'Connor so the inevitable mistakes never lead to anything, showed that despite our doubts he still has a bit of pace in the old legs yet, and to cap off a sound day's work, he notched up a goal.

Unsworth 8 - Looked like his old self again, looked so much more comfortable and assured at centre-back. Short will be worried.

Hinchcliffe 8 - Another player who looks like he's reverting to his proper position. 3 of his corners caused very real problems (including the goal), but it was his defending that was the greatest asset to the team on the day. Stone looked up for the game but was consistently frustrated by Andy.

Parkinson & Ebbrell 7 - Both harassed and closed down very well, both running all game and popping up all over the place. Ebbrell had a number of good long range passes (particularly to Kanchelskis) however his shooting has not improved!

Grant 7 - Good to see him back. A competent performance, his loan spell seems to have done his confidence the world of good. Has a lovely touch, and had a couple of exciting runs at his men. One aspect of his play he needs to improve is his awareness of men coming at him from behind, he was caught out more than once (the crowds shouts of "man on" always come to late!). As we see his self assurance rise further then I'm sure we will see even more of his undoubted skill.

Stuart 8 - Yet again put in a phenomenal work-rate, very unlucky not to score with 3 good chances. Had a bit of a bad spell when his passing went a bit wonky, but always got stuck straight back in and won a few of them back.

Kanchelskis 8 - Had exactly the kind of game we all imagined him having for us when we first signed him. Worth every penny.

Ferguson 8 - His best performance for a while, gave both central defenders big problems, finished a solid days work with a nice goal.

Ammo (sub) 7 - Seemed to have been only subbed on to provide amusement for my section of the crowd with whom it appears (at least among the more vocal) he has now lost all credibility, every touch was greeted with bated breath as they waited (possibly even hoped) for the error. Pity, because he certainly didn't do anything terribly wrong today.

Stylish win against poor opposition

Richard Marland: After the Port Vale debacle and the setback against Man Utd, this was an important game for Everton, a chance to get the team back on the rails and set the tone for the remainder of the season.

Conditions on Merseyside were good, the weather was mild and there was no wind about, the pitch didn't look too bad but it is starting to show distinct signs of wear. There were no great surprises in the team selection, Dunc coming back for Amo and Joe Parkinson returning as Barry Horne starts his suspension.

So we lined up with Nev in goal, a flat back four of O'Connor at right back, for his home debut, Hinchcliffe at left back, and Watson and Unsworth in the centre. We played three central midfielders, Ebbrell, Parkinson and Grant, with Grant detailed to drift left, and Kanchelskis on the right, and Dunc and Graham Stuart up front.

The first half had a distinct end of season air about it, the crowd was muted and both teams were playing neat, tidy football with no passion and no penetration. We had to wait 35 minutes for a shot on target, Crossley beating away a near-post Kanchelskis drive, followed shortly after by a similar effort from Stuart, and that was about it. Everton did have the better of the first half giving a good solid performance but with no real cutting edge.

We hoped for better in the second half, and we weren't disappointed. Once again it was Dunc who set the tone and raised the crowd and his teammates. Straight from the kick off Forest played it backed towards, I think, Chettle. He attempted a hoof upfield but Dunc charged it down and headed off down the flank. Chettle covered him but the outcome was a corner. The resulting corner from Hinchcliffe found Dunc, his header disappointed as it faded to the right of the goal but Stuart picked up the stray ball and hooked it back in where it was cleared off the line.

Finally the match was up and running, five minutes later we took the lead, an excellent cross-field ball from Ebbrell found Kanchelskis just outside the right hand corner of the penalty area. O'Connor offered himself on the overlap, but Kanchelskis didn't need any help as he cut inside and unleashed one of his left foot specials from the edge of the box which found the left hand of Crossley's goal with the goalie well beaten.

The second wasn't long coming, a corner from the right hand side by Hinchcliffe was won by Watson, just ahead of Dunc, and his header found the back of the net. He celebrated by running round the edge of the pitch, waving at the crowd.

If Dunc was deprived of that one, his turn was soon to come. Good work by Kanchelskis on the right took him to the byline where he delivered a delicious cross, it was meat and drink for Dunc who only had poor Des Lyttle to beat. The flying Dunc met the ball at about the six yard line, Dunc and the ball both ended up in the back of the net.

And that was about that. Dunc was pulled off for Amo not long afterwards. He didn't appear to be in difficulty, I assume that it was just a precaution. We continued to dominate proceedings but with a three goal cushion the urgency was gone. Some very nice football was played without us carving out any real chances, Stuart was, as usual, very prominent and Grant and O'Connor made some useful contributions.

All in all a good afternoons work. Yet again we found scoring goals relatively easy, and for once this was matched by a very good defensive performance. Hopefully this team will be given a run now, O'Connor and Grant both looked composed and made useful contributions, both would benefit from a run of games.

Southall 7 Not much to do, his first meaningful save came in injury time.
O'Connor 7 Did OK, occasionally showed his naiveté and lack of familiarity with the right back berth. Showed his confidence late on as he linked well with Kanchelskis.
Hinchcliffe 7 Did nothing wrong, had a comfortable afternoon.
Watson 8 What can you say, solid as a rock is the phrase that usually springs to mind. A goal to boot as well.
Unsworth 7 His best game in yonks.
Ebbrell 8 My man of the match but only just. Did absolutely nothing wrong, excellent ball to set up the first.
Parkinson 8 Another MOM contender. Showed how much we missed him against Vale and Man Utd.
Grant 7 Good first half, went very quiet in the second half, but came good again towards the end. Showed lots of nice touches and confidence, always seems to have a little bit of time.
Kanchelskis 8 Relatively quiet first half but burst into life in the second with one excellent goal and a good cross for the third.
Ferguson 7 Too many misplaced passes in the first half, but in the second half showed his innate ability to influence football matches. Came off after his goal, hopefully just as a precaution.
Stuart 8 Like Dave Watson I could almost have written this before the game started. Ran for miles, harried the defenders and goalie mercilessly, involved in all our good forward movements.

Amokachi 6 came on after we eased off. Didn't have much chance to do much. Didn't stop the Amo-knockers having a go at him though.

Team 7 Almost an 8 but questions have to be asked about the opposition. The defense looked as secure as it has done for ages, but really Forest didn't ask too many questions of it. We played some lovely stuff going forward, especially during our 20 minute purple patch at the start of the second half. BUT, lets not carried away, Forest were very poor, at least, though, we went out and did the business in some style.

Ferguson shines in Everton

Louise Taylor, The Sunday Times: BENEATH slate-grey skies, and against a uniformly negative Forest, Everton continued their steady ascent of the Premier League table.

Although they are out of this season's Cups, Joe Royle's side have, in their manager's opinion: "A real chance of qualifying for Europe next season."

The Uefa Cup would be an ideal stage for Ferguson, who did so much of the leg - and head - work which prevented the goalless stalemate Goodison initially feared.

Centred on containment and denial - leavened by the occasional counter-attack - Forest's cagey game plan had Ferguson frequently foraging around the halfway line or out wide on the flanks.

All spindly legs and stooped shoulders, Everton's Scottish centre-forward looks as ungainly as a colt, but Cooper and Chettle will testify that Ferguson is among the Premier League's more physically robust strikers.

Football managers may subscribe to the theory about there being no such thing as a free lunch but centre-halves know that free headers are definitely few and far between when Ferguson is lurking.

Sensibly, Forest endeavoured to mitigate the potential damage by marking Kanchelskis particularly tightly. Whenever Phillips appeared perturbed, Bart-Williams moved across to supply protection.

When Kanchelskis did escape, Ferguson used his pace to outstrip everybody and meet the centre, but sent a resultant close-range shot swirling over the bar.

Earlier, the No 9 had turned sharply after intercepting a casual Chettle clearance only to shoot wide but, generally, Ferguson's control proved impressive. Accordingly, the best moment of the first half featured his pass from which Stuart struck wood.

Much that went on around that, however, was excruciating - a litany of misplaced passes, offside flags and cat and mouse tactics. No wonder the half-time whistle was greeted by a cacophony of boos.

At that time, Roy's air of rather bored resignation seemed to sum up an indifferent spectacle but things perked up after the interval.

First, Ferguson won a corner, Hinchcliffe directed it on to Stuart's head and Stone cleared off the line. Then, Ebbrell picked out Kanchelskis who cut inside before beating Crossley from the edge of the penalty area.

Soon afterwards, Forest's goalkeeper again picked the ball out of his net, this time following a Hinchcliffe corner and a Watson header. Then another scoring header, from Ferguson after a Kanchelskis cross made it 3-0.

Job done, mission accomplished, Amokachi replaced Ferguson. And that was that.

Forest felled in quick blitz

By Derek Potter, Electronic Telegraph

WHAT manager Joe Royle really said at half-time is probably best unrecorded, but it can only have been an explosive and deserved rocket for Everton.

The result was three goals in eight volatile minutes after a first half best forgotten except by those who can find solace in mediocrity.

The sudden and unexpected collapse was far short of the kind of build-up that Forest, Britain's standard bearers in Europe, would have wanted before their UEFA Cup tie against Bayern Munich a week on Tuesday. Forest, so serene if unambitious in the first half, were stunned by goals in the 52nd, 56th and 60th minutes.

After the FA Cup holders' ungainly slip up at Port Vale in the fourth-round replay, the Everton manager has shifted the goalposts. Seventh place, Everton's highest in the table so far this season, fuelled his ambitions of a place in the UEFA Cup next season.

Clark said afterwards: "We got what we deserved - nothing. Some players stopped showing they are good players and we lost our togetherness. We'll have to battle to put things right. There's no magic wand."

Everton were a different side from the start of the second half. Andrei Kanchelskis cut in unchallenged to score his seventh goal of the season with a left-foot shot from 20 yards. Then a delighted Dave Watson claimed his first goal of the season with a glancing header from a corner by Andy Hinchliffe who, like David Unsworth and Jon O'Connor, making his home debut, hardly put a proverbial foot wrong.

It was Watson's 50th goal of his illustrious career and his first in 45 games. "We could finish in the top six," he said optimistically. "We must go flat out for the rest of the season."

    1. Duncan Ferguson finally scored the goal he deserved with a header from one of Kanchelskis's better crosses before taking the opportunity to rest a troublesome groin injury.

After losing to the somewhat helter-skelter style of Manchester United in mid-week, Everton were inept against the more laid-back Forest in the dreary first half.

"It was almost funereal," admitted Royle, still shell-shocked by the Port Vale experience. "But we got better and better after the first goal and Neville Southall made his first save in the last minute."

That came from Bryan Roy, back in the side in place of Andy Silenzi, rested for "domestic problems".

Graham Stuart, on another day, might easily have added to Forest's considerable headache with better luck in front of goal.

Electronic Telegraph is a Registered Service Mark of The Telegraph plc

Half-Time Tea and Vitriol

Daily Mail Soccernet: Three goals in eight minutes early in the second half kept Everton in the UEFA Cup hunt and continued Forest's dismal away record. Yet until Andrei Kanchelskis opened the scoring in the 52nd minute it was hard to believe that either of these sides had any target to play for.

The first half was flat and featureless with hardly a worthwhile effort on goal, but Everton opened the second with much more purpose and got an almost instant reward. An Andy Hinchcliffe corner was met by Duncan Ferguson and Graham Stuart's sharp volley was headed off the line by Steve Stone. The same player went close again when he lobbed goalkeeper Mark Crossley only for the ball to bounce just wide of the post. Everton refused to be denied and when John Ebbrell's long ball found Kanchelskis, the Ukrainian cut in at pace and fired a low, left foot drive past Crossley into the bottom corner.

The Forest defence was allowed no let up and four minutes later they were virtually out of the contest. Hinchcliffe's swinging corner from the right was met superbly by Dave Watson whose glancing header gave Crossley no chance. The home side, so inept in the first half, were now powering forward and on the hour they got the crucial third. Ferguson's shot was blocked by Des Lyttle but only spun wide to Kanchelskis and when the winger crossed again Ferguson put the ball and Lyttle into the back of the net.

Poor Forest, without an away point since mid-December, could hardly get out of their half and failed to extend Everton goalkeeper Neville Southall throughout the whole contest and must improve vastly if they are to come through their UEFA Cup quarter final next month.

Who said we should have a clear-out?

Bruce McLaren: The biggest crowd of the day, 33,163 witnessed a rather drab affair as a meaningful contest in which the blues totally dominated a Forest side lacking in both confidence and belief. In fact the scoreline was no more than Everton deserved as we were always probing a dodgy back four with both measured passing and searching balls to the head of Big Dunc who did not disappoint his fans with a faultless display of aerial superiority.

The first half produced very little in terms of goalmouth action and it wasn't until late on that Everton moved up a gear, and their overall territorial advantage nearly paid off when Dunc scissor-kicked a Kanchelskis cross just over the bar ...

The crowd suddenly woke up and this was a signal to light the blue touch paper for what turned out to be an irresistible second half display by the Toffeemen.

Immediately following the restart, Forest cleared off the line and Stuart ran onto a through ball, outpaced the Forest defence and sent a delicate lob over the keeper but ..... narrowly wide .

A couple of minutes later Kanchelskis collected a delicious John Ebbrell pass on the right, cut inside and drilled a superb low shot pass the right hand of Crossley (1-0 Everton)

Three minutes later the blues forced yet another corner and Hinchcliffe managed to get one right and find the glancing head of Big Dave Watson who netted his first goal for some 45 matches to send the Goodison faithful into ecstasy and Forest into chaos. (2-0 Everton)

Three minutes after, Kanchelskis skinned David Phillips to send a scintillating cross into the 6 yard box from the right for Big Dunc to lick his lips, and crash not only the ball but himself and half the forest team into the back of the net (3-0 Everton).

It was all over and Forest must have had the Blackburn (7-0) disaster praying on their minds, as Everton still piled forward looking for a cricket score ..... However, it did not happen and the substitution of Big Dunc subdued Everton's bubbling attack and, although shell-shocked, Forest managed to keep us out. They seemed happy to keep the scoreline down, which was typical of their pathetic attitude all afternoon ...

It wasn't until the last minute that they had a meaningful attack, but Southall saved comfortably from ....... sorry can't remember - (it was that much of a surprise, I can tell ya.)

Two Everton players were booked in a very 'bad-tackle free' game, and maybe Forest can take some heart in the fact that they will NOT play any worse than they did . Everton move onwards and upwards towards a possible European berth.

Well done you blue boys for bouncing back from consecutive defeats, and congratulations to Jonathan O'Connor for making a highly impressive Goodison debut at right back, though I would imagine this will be far from the hardest game of his career ......


Neville Southall 6 - Made the save when required, but distribution (kicking), and clearances were erratic

Jon O'Connor 7 - Never put a foot wrong all afternoon and was good coming forward - a very promising prospect.

Andy Hinchcliffe 8 - Solid as a rock in defence - good to see the old confidence back. Corners weren't as deadly as they might have been (except one of course )

David Unsworth 8 - Back to something like his best

Dave Watson 7 - Never looked 34 when he totally outpaced Bryan Roy on one occasion

John Ebbrell 7 - Typical gutsy display, passing was brilliant, and looked sharp and confident.

Joe Parkinson 7 - Impressive back from injury. He and Ebbrell totally dominated.

Andrei Kanchelskis 8 - After a slow start was unstoppable once balls were placed into the right areas .... a brilliant display.

Tony Grant 7 - Gelled nicely with Parky and Ebbrell, with some really classy touches, and such vision..

Graham Stuart 9 - Never stopped, and had he scored would have been a 10 - my man of the match.

Duncan Ferguson 8 - Won everything in the air, scored but tired after the goal blitz.

Subs: Daniel Amokachi 6 - Threatened at times to open Forest up for a demolition, but lacked confidence in front of goal .

Team Performance 8 - Comprehensive, and should signal the start of a surge into the top 5 (fingers crossed)

An Exhilarating Everton performance

PA News: Skipper Dave Watson weighed in with a rare goal today to cap an exhilarating Everton performance. The 34-year-old central defender scored for the first time this season as Britain's remaining representatives in Europe took a hammering.

Forest are fading fast after a bright beginning to the season and caved in during an astonishing eight-minute spell in the second half. Andrei Kanchelskis opened the scoring after 52 minutes, Watson added the second and Duncan Ferguson sealed Forest's fate. It was Everton's first home match since the shock FA Cup defeat by Port Vale and they gave their fans the victory they so desperately wanted.

Forest were without Italian striker Andrea Silenzi because of a family matter, so Dutchman Bryan Roy returned to the side after a three-match absence following some indifferent displays. But Roy was again an anonymous figure on a day when Everton called the shots from the outset.

Manager Joe Royle's decision to again include Jon O'Connor and Tony Grant paid off as both youngsters performed creditably against quality opposition. Ferguson reacted swiftly after just seven minutes when Steve Chettle made a hash from clearing a cross by Andy Hinchcliffe, but the Scotland striker's shot flew narrowly wide.

Then Joe Parkinson fired a volley over after John Ebbrell's effort had been blocked. Ferguson was proving a handful and a spectacular overhead kick from a Kanchelskis cross whistled narrowly over. Forest keeper Mark Crossley then did well to turn a shot from Graham Stuart around the post after he had linked up with Kanchelskis.

Everton turned their possession into a goal in the 52nd minute, when Kanchelskis had the crowd on their feet with a marvellous goal. Ebbrell picked out the Ukrainian on the right flank and he cut inside to rifle a shot beyond Crossley for his seventh goal of the season. Moments earlier, Steve Stone, Forest's England midfielder, had headed off the line after Stuart had whipped in a fierce shot.

Kanchelskis' goal was the turning point and Watson added a second after 56 minutes, when he got on the end of Hinchcliffe's corner to head powerfully past Crossley. Ferguson completed the rout on the hour, heading home after Kanchelskis had delivered the perfect cross.

Forest have now lost four of their last five games and face a difficult UEFA Cup quarter-final against German giants Bayern Munich next month. Everton, on the other hand, still have their sights set on a place in the competition next season after this emphatic victory.

Forest Deserved Nothing -- Clark

After losing the fourth out of five games at Everton today, manager Frank Clark said: "We got what we deserved." Forest went down 3-0 after goals from Andrei Kanchelskis, Dave Watson and Duncan Ferguson. With the UEFA Cup quarter-final to come against Bayern Munich next month, Forest's slump is causing some concern.

Clark said: "The spirit of togetherness seems to be missing. After the first goal, there was only going to be one winner and one or two of our players stopped playing.

"We need to work hard to try and turn things round. We defended well in the first half but in the end we got what we deserved."

England international Steve Stone was shackled superbly by Andy Hinchcliffe, who was singled out for praise by delighted manager Joe Royle. He said: "There were a lot of good performances by my players and Hinchcliffe kept Stone as quiet as anyone has done this season."

Everton are on course for a place in the UEFA Cup after being knocked out of the FA Cup by first division Port Vale. It was their first home match since that setback and Royle said: "The atmosphere was almost funereal at the start of the game. "They were waiting for us to score and my players were waiting for them to give support.

"It was a sticky sort of dead pitch and a sticky sort of dead game in the first half.

"But we needed this victory after two defeats. We just got better and better in this game. Forest are good at what they do and are hard to break down.

"Ferguson suffered a sore groin during the match and there is so much more to come from him. He has massive potential and if he realises it he could be one of the best."

Next Match: Middlesborough v Everton

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