Stockport County v Everton

FA Cup 3rd Round Replay, Wednesday 17 January 1996, Edgeley Park, Stockport : First Match

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First, the facts ...

Stockport County (1) 2 Everton (0) 3
Armstrong 88, Bound 22; Ebbrell 89, Ferguson 71, Stuart 73.

Stockport County: Edwards, Connelly, Todd, Ware, Flynn, Bound, Beaumont (Chalk 75), Eckhardt, Helliwell, Armstrong, Jeffers. Subs Not Used: Oliver, Dickins. Booked: Connelly, Todd, Armstrong.

Everton: Southall, Watson, Ablett, Stuart, Ferguson, Horne, Limpar (Amokachi 46), Ebbrell, Kanchelskis, Parkinson, Short. Subs Not Used: Unsworth, Kearton. Booked: Limpar, Ebbrell.

Att: 11,283
Ref: G Poll (Tring).

What a game!

Steve Baker: It cost me over 30 quid to get a ticket (including travel down to Edgeley Park last Wednesday) but it was well worth it. The whole night was bizarre, from the plethora of County fans wearing United hats to a guy outside the ground before the game saying: "If we start singing and getting the atmosphere going tonight Everton will crap themselves." Yeah right, mate!

Inside the ground, I nearly caught a sweet that Vernon the Bear threw into the crowd -- my claim to fame! -- and all the ballboys shunned their players to get their photos taken with Kanchelskis.

The first twenty minutes were pretty even. Limpar got booked for whinging after he got fouled but the ref waved play on. Jeffers had a shot tipped over by Southall and we had a couple of long-range efforts but, like on Saturday, we were up against a side that was getting nine men on the edge of their box and we couldn't break them down.

Then they scored. Flynn hurled a long throw into the area which Southall came for but didn't get to. Helliwell flicked it on and Bound ploughed it in from about a yard out. The next five minutes belonged to the home side and we were under the cosh. Helliwell headed just over and Eckhardt hit a thirty-yard shot which had Southall scrambling across his line just wide.

The rest of the first-half was mostly Everton. Edwards made a brilliant diving save to keep out a Kanchelskis header, Stuart had a shot which went out for a throw-in and Flynn and Bound combined to kick an Ebbrell effort off the line. Ebbrell was also booked for hauling down Armstrong and Todd was booked for fouling Kanchelskis.

We brought on Amokachi for Limpar, who was in a right narky mood, at half-time and put Stuart out onto the left-wing. However, it was County who threatened first. Jeffers sliced a great chance a foot wide and then Eckhardt hit another effort just wide.

But as the half went on we came more and more into it. County were fortunate to clear a couple of corners, Duncan headed just wide and then Sean Connelly (who will be appearing in the "Hello, I'm Wayne Wankling" bit in Fantasy Football League in the near future) was fortunate to be just booked when he hauled Duncan down as he was all but clean through on goal.

Then came our first goal. Kanchelskis was put through and his first-time shot was brilliantly tipped over by Edwards -- even Amokachi congratulated him on the save. But Stuart whipped the corner over and Duncan Ferguson, who at about 6'4" was about eight inches taller than Edwards, powered the header home from about four yards. As usual he ran straight to the crowd -- a true Blue if ever there was one.

I was in the Stockport end but fortunately there was another Blue sitting next to me and he managed to stop me jumping up. It kicked off a bit of bovver at the back of the stand after the goal -- despite all of County's efforts to keep Blues out of the home end some Evertonians had managed to blag their way into the game.

A minute later, Amokachi was put through but his shot was saved but then, just a minute later, we struck again. Kanchelskis jinked his way past a defender and his shot was only parried by Edwards. Graham Stuart, following up, forced it home. Again it knicked off, though this time on a much bigger scale.

We dominated the next fifteen minutes. There was one scramble when Parkinson appeared to block a shot with his hand but the ref rightly waved play on -- the phrase "ball to hand" sprung to mind. We were playing keep-ball in the County half but even so we still had a couple of openings. But then, out of the blue virtually, they scored.

The P.A. announcer said Alun Armstrong was the man of the match and right on cue he scored. The ball came into the area and Armstrong turned Short brilliantly and drove home from ten yards out. There were two minutes left on the clock. I was gutted. However, the County team was still celebrating when we hit them with the real sucker punch. Horne fed John Ebbrell and everyone's favourite footballer ran at their defence before unleashing a magnificent twenty-yard shot which Edwards got his fingertips to but could only help into the top corner. The Cheadle End (which is where I was) fell deadly silent.

The ref played only a minute of injury time (which was right - there were no stoppages in the second period apart from when they had to get the fans off the pitch after all of the last four goals) before blowing up.

The feeling of relief was tremendous. Edwards just stood there shaking his head. Most of their players fell to the ground in despair. Armstrong was in tears. County had given us one hell of a fright and the players knew we were lucky to get through.

We deserved extra-time at the very least after all the possession we enjoyed in the second-half but it was still hard on County. There was still enough time for an Evertonian to drag Duncan over some railings and cut his leg (three stitches but all right for Saturday - judicial review permitting) but that didn't matter - we were through.


Southall 7 - His method of coming for throw-ins went wrong for the first goal but he made a couple of good saves in the rest of the game. Enjoyed the "Wales Number Two" chants at the start of the second-half from the Cheadle End.
Short 7 - He still doesn't look great on the deck when people run at him and turn him - viz. the second goal - but he won virtually everything in the air. On one occasion, he knocked Duncan and Watson out of the way to make a header.
Watson 7 - Played OK. He seems to have decided to allow Short to come for everything in the air.
Ablett 7 - He was playing as an auxiliary left-winger for much of the game. Royle left Unsworth out and kept Horne in to make room for Watson - strange move?
Horne 7 - He played quite well in midfield. He didn't let County dominate the midfield like they did at Goodison. Had a long-range effort saved by Edwards.
Parkinson 7 - Not his best game of the season but then again he has been our player of the season and quite magnificent up until now.
Ebbrell 8 - He would have got 7 but that goal! ... I take everything back. Well, everything apart from the stuff I said in Feyenoord after he set up their goal. Good work fella!
Limpar 5 - Had a 'mare. He got quite a lot of service but he didn't use it at all. Dragged off at half-time.
Kanchelskis 6 - Not great. His shot led to Stuart's goal but he didn't do too much apart from that.
[NB Both Kanchelskis and Limpar are restricted by us playing three at the back - a flat back four is much better (though Jackson's clearly not up to playing at right-back).]
Stuart 8 - he played well. A typical Stuart game, i.e. he put himself about, made a nuisance of himself and scored a goal.
Duncan 7 - he didn't look fully fit and he wasn't helped by the lack of support in the first-half. Great goal and showed some very nice touches.
Amokachi (sub 45 mins - Limpar) 7 - a typical Amo game, i.e. he put himself about, made of nuisance of himself and missed a great chance.

Team 7 - showed the battling qualities which we were (in)famous for last season. The system is not right - we need a right-back badly.

Referee: Graham Poll 7 - he was OK. Let a lot go but he was (quite) consistent which is what the players want.

Top six County songs:

  1. "I O County, County I O"
  2. "Wales number one" (to Neil Edwards)
  3. "How high do you want the goals?" (tune: Go West) This was sung whenever a shot went more than a foot over the bar
  4. "How wide do you wants the goals?" This was sung whenever a shot went more than a yard wide
  5. "F*** off Elton Welsby" (tune: Go West)
  6. "Come on County, Come on County" (ad nauseam)

Ebbrell silences Stockport

By Nicholas Spencer, Electronic Telegraph

TIRED limbs and tired minds cost Stockport the chance of extra-time against the holders as John Ebbrell settled a pulsating match a minute from time.

The gallant Second Division side, who had led for 49 minutes through Matt Bound's goal, thought they had earned an extra 30 minutes, when Alun Armstrong's opportunism tied the scores at 2-2 in the 89th minute.

But while 11,283 spectators savoured the prospect of the extra half-hour, Ebbrell strode forward from the restart to plant a 20-yard shot past Neil Edwards and into the top corner to earn Everton a fourth-round tie with Port Vale.

Two goals in three minutes, from Duncan Ferguson and Graham Stuart, extricated Everton from a perilous position. Just 19 minutes remained when Ferguson, well policed by the Stockport defence hitherto, soared to meet Stuart's left-wing corner to cancel out Bound's goal.

Two minutes later Stuart snapped in the rebound when Edwards failed to hold a shot from Andrei Kanchelskis.

Just as when Bound, a £100,000 signing from Southampton, scored his first goal for the club against Burnley on Saturday, he profited from Michael Flynn's throw and Ian Helliwell's flick.

Not even the presence of three Everton centre-halves could prevent one of their own applying the finishing touch almost underneath the crossbar, while Neville Southall will not recall his role with any pleasure.

Royle had left out last season's Wembley goal-scoring hero Paul Rideout to accommodate Ferguson. But while Everton were working out the best way to outwit a powerful Stockport back line, the home side's tricky left-winger John Jeffers forced Southall into an acrobatic ninth-minute save with a swerving shot from the edge of the area.

Stung by the goal Everton worked space for Ebbrell close to goal only for Bound, then Flynn, to clear. Chances were few but when Kanchelskis met Stuart's cross six yards from goal, Edwards responded with a fine diving save.

Electronic Telegraph is a Registered Service Mark of The Telegraph plc

Ebbrell makes his mark right on time for Everton

FA Cup holders reach fourth round after unconvincing victory against Stockport

By David Maddock, The Times

EVERTON, the FA Cup holders, came close to relinquishing their grip on the trophy at an embarrassingly early stage at Edgeley Park last night before denying the persistent challenge of Stockport County with virtually the last kick of the match.

As a denouement it was as dramatic as it was undeserved for the Endsleigh Insurance League second division side. Stockport pushed their illustrious opponents to the very limit with an intelligent and courageous display, and had the chances to win the game and write a little piece of history.

Instead, many of their players were left in tears as the final whistle sounded seconds after John Ebbrell had provided Everton's winner with a goal that was at least fitting in such an intense contest. If the timing was cruel, it was made even worse by the fact that Stockport had themselves scored, to raise the spectre of an upset, with two minutes remaining.

Afterwards David Jones, the Stockport manager and a former Everton player, said he had never seen a game like it. "It was the most dramatic end to a game I have ever seen and we didn't deserve that; nobody deserves that," he said. "I don't want too many more nights like that as a manager. But I suppose if we had to lose, then I'm glad it was to Everton."

Ebbrell ensured that Everton survived when he took responsibility almost from the kick-off after Armstrong had given Stockport hope with his late equaliser. The midfield player took the ball on the halfway line, ploughed through the middle of the field and produced a shot of such venom that one wondered where he could have mustered the energy from. "It was the best and most important goal I have ever scored," Ebbrell said.

Armstrong sank to the turf in tears, his efforts undone in one stroke. Stockport had trailed when he intervened with two minutes remaining, a twist and stab in the six-yard box enough to shrug off the Everton defence and beat the ever-impressive Neville Southall in the visiting goal.

Extra time had seemed inevitable then, but Ebbrell added: "We might have been forgiven for hoping for extra time at that stage, but we went for broke and got a goal because of that."

Stockport had done so much to deserve another 30 minutes of plotting the downfall of the Cup holders. They had taken the lead in the first half and were prevented from stretching that lead into a winning position only by the experience of Southall.

He could do nothing in the 22nd minute when Flynn's throw from the left was flicked on by Helliwell, the towering Stockport striker, and steered into the net with all the subtlety of a ram-raider by Bound, the centre half.

It was a tactic that produced dividends for Stockport in the first game and they could hardly be forgiven for trying again. That it worked said little for the visiting defence, Southall excluded. He came to the rescue of his side on numerous occasions, most notably in the 49th minute when he produced a wonderful double save from Helliwell and Eckhardt.

That moment proved a decisive one because it seemed finally to stir Everton from a complacency that threatened to end their interest in the competition. They were put on the road to victory by Ferguson, their enigmatic centre forward.

He has not scored on his home ground all season, but fortunately he still knows how to do it on his travels, and powered a header; and the goalkeeper, Edwards, with it ­ into the net from a corner by Stuart in the seventieth minute. Ferguson will remember this night, and not just because of that goal. He needed two stitches in a gashed leg when a jubilant Everton supporter dragged him into railings during the closing victory celebrations.

A minute after Ferguson's goal Edwards was beaten again, this time when Kanchelskis, for so long an impotent figure standing gloomily on the right, unleashed a shot that was parried to the lurking Stuart, who poked the ball into the unguarded net.

So Everton survived and now meet Port Vale in the fourth round. On this evidence, the first division side will not be unduly worried.

No harder game than this

PA News: John Ebbrell secured an astonishing third-round replay victory for FA Cup holders Everton with a dramatic last-minute winner. The midfielder raced forward and from 30 yards let fly with a pile-driver into the corner past stranded keeper Neil Edwards.

Stockport could not believe it. They had only drawn level 60 seconds earlier when Alun Armstrong turned quickly in the penalty area to knock in the equaliser. But Ebbrell had the last word to complete the saga of an astonishing game, which had left Everton looking poised for their earliest exit from the competition since 1982.

The second division side, so impressive in the 2-2 draw at Goodison, took the lead after 22 minutes when Matt Bound headed home after the ball had been flicked on by Ian Helliwell from Mike Flynn's long throw. Bound then cleared off the line from Ebbrell and Edwards made a marvellous save from a header by Andrei Kanchelskis.

Stockport should have taken the game out of Everton's reach shortly after half-time, when Jeff Eckhardt curled a superb shot just around the post. Then John Jeffers was wide with a clear chance from close range and Helliwell miskicked after Jeffers had swung in a cross.

However, Everton equalised after 71 minutes when Duncan Ferguson -- replacing Paul Rideout, who scored the winning goal against Manchester United at Wembley last May -- powered in a header from Graham Stuart's corner. Two minutes later a shot from Kanchelskis was only parried by Edwards and Stuart knocked in the rebound.

That seemed to be that, but with two minutes to go, Armstrong seemed to have taken the game into extra time. However, as Stockport were still celebrating, Ebbrell rammed in the spectacular winner and Edwards could not hide his annoyance as he raced to berate his defenders.

It was tough luck on a Stockport side who had run their hearts out and played some delightful football, particularly in the first half. But Everton, if nothing else, are resilient these days and have now booked a home tie against Port Vale. If they do make it all the way to Wembley again, it is doubtful they will have any harder games than this.

"Stockport were terrific" - JR

: Scottish striker Duncan Ferguson's eventful season continued as FA Cup holders Everton secured a dramatic 3-2 third round replay victory at Stockport. Ferguson got on the scoresheet, then was hurt at the end of the match when a fan's enthusiasm spilled over.

Everton manager Joe Royle explained: ``Duncan has stitches in his leg after some clown pushed him into the barriers at the end of the game. He got through 90 minutes and then this happens, but I don't think it was malicious.''

John Ebbrell sealed victory with a last-minute goal, only 60 seconds after Alun Armstrong looked to have sent the game into extra time against the FA Carling Premiership side. But Ebbrell skipped away to thunder home a 30-yard shot which sparked scenes of wild celebration among the travelling fans.

Joe Royle said: ``I am very relieved. Stockport were terrific and frightened the life out of us. But having said that, I always fancied us to go through and their goalkeeper (Neil Edwards) made three or four terrific saves.''

Stockport manager Dave Jones said: "We did not deserve that -- nobody deserves that. We are absolutely gutted, but there is youth and inexperience in my side which may have cost us. Alun Armstrong is crying in the dressing room. He is mentally drained and I hope there will not be many more nights like this as a manager."

Stockport took the lead through Matthew Bound, only for Ferguson to equalise. Graham Stuart put Everton back in front before the dramatic late finish.

Everton will be back at home in the fourth round against first division Port Vale. The only sour note is that a booking for Ebbrell means he now faces a suspension. Anders Limpar also received a yellow card and will join Ebbrell on the sidelines.

Next Match: Arsenal v Everton

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