Everton v York City

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Coca-Cola Cup 96/97, 2nd Round, First Leg
Wednesday 18 September 1996; Goodison Park, Merseyside

Result: Everton (0) 1 - York City (0) 1
Kancheskis 58; Tolson 55

Everton: Southall; Barrett, Short, Unsworth (c), Hinchclife; Ebbrell, Parkinson, Speed, Grant (50 Rideout); Kanchelskis, Ferguson. Booked: Ferguson
Subs Not Used: Stuart, Gerrard. Unavailable: Watson.

York City: Warrington, McMillan, Himsworth, Pepper, Sharples, Barras, Murty, Randall, Tolson, Bull (Cresswell 80), Stephenson.
Subs Not Used: Bushell, Clarke. Booked: Himsworth, Pepper.

Ref: S W Mathieson Att: 11,527 Link to Second Leg Other Coca-Cola Cup Results

Previous Match: Everton v Middlesbrough - Next Match: Blackburn Rovers v Everton

Who cares about the Coca-Cola Cup?

Guy McEvoy: I've a confession to make - I actually care about the Coca-Cola Cup and want us to win it. Not, you understand, because I respect the competition, quite the opposite, but because until we win it nobody (least of all RS fans) are going to take my dismissivness as anything other than jealousy. It is a ghost we need to lay to rest.

Add to this our recent poor results and York's memories from last season, and the curious fact that this was the first time we had ever met York in any competition ever, and you have a match that really mattered. At least it did to me. Not though, apparently, to most Evertonians as only just over 11,000 bothered turning up, the poorest attendance for a good spell and giving the away section the chance to out-sing us (not that they always took it).

The team line up was a bit of a surprise in that Joe finally decided to try something he'd mentioned in the close season and play Andrei up front (albeit in a wideish sort of way), allowing him to enjoy both Grant and Ebbrell in midfield. The three-sub rule of the competition meant that there was no room for Branch or Hottiger in the evening's squad.

First Half

The formation did seem to be working; early on, it looked as though York were just going to sit back and attempt to absorb it all. Duncan weaved his way to the first shot; Andrei picked up a couple of class through balls from Grant and was unlucky; even Craig Short found the space to carry the ball the full way up the pitch and make a nuisance of himself. The focus of the attack was refreshingly not channelled solely through Ferguson and our patience looked worthy of reward.

York in reply, managed a few moments of extremely competent build up with great on-the-floor passing. Nevertheless, before the break things never felt in any danger at all. As time dragged on, the static score-line became a frustration but my belief that we were approaching the game the right way stayed. Miss of the half went to Unsworth who headed from about 5 yards into the keepers hands.

Second Half

The team was changed very quickly after the break with Grant making way for Paul Rideout, and Kanchelskis being stuck back into his more traditional wing role. He hadn't been having a bad game to that point but suddenly he seemed to up another gear and immediately set to work intent on causing problems.

Nevertheless, York managed to raise their game to the occasion just long enough to snatch the lead, the scorer ripping his shirt off Ferguson style and clearly enjoying his moment (but not picking up a card as I understand an FA directive demands for such flesh displays).

For 3 minutes I sat there bemused. I had the strangest feeling of Deja vous, sort of like being teleported back to the Walker tenure. "One Anders Limpar" came the chant. I was too dumbfounded by it all to join in.

Mercifully, the total misery was short lived. Andrei Kanchelskis did his thing, -- you know the one: take on a defender at the edge of the box, cut past him, and powerfully drive the ball into the corner of the net. Vintage.

Finally, with the lift we needed, something of a barrage began (in no small part due to the immense contribution of Rideout), but again it was another "turning point" that proved to raise false hope. Speed might have got three, Duncan might have got three, Grant might have got one, Short might have knocked in another header, Kanchelskis might have extended his tally. Might of -- but didn't. And that is the story of Everton at the moment, that final touch just isn't going our way, again and again.

Full credit to York, they weren't overly intimidated (yet paid us due respect), played some attractive passing football and took their chance when they got it. Their Keeper was outstanding.

So is it time to panic yet? Hmmmm. The result stinks, we should not be held to a draw at home by a team at this level. So, we obviously have a problem but is it malignant or benign? I'd say the latter, I really don't think that we could have done much differently (other than the final touch of course) but that is just football. I hate to try to learn any lessons from over the Park but look at the RS last season, remember their crap November, well that was by and large exactly the same squad that went on to cause real fear later on in the season. Evans didn't panic, nor will Joe. I'm doing my best not to, are you?

Individual Performances

Slow Progress

Dave Shepherd: Everton and York have something in common - they both produce their best in 'big' games, then get beat in routine matches. To York, of course, this is their 'big' game of the season, plus they are blessed with outrageous Cinderella self-belief after last year's 3-0 win at Trafford (which incidentally, they barely managed to cling on to at home).

The Micky-Mouse Round Two is stage-managed to give the league's small fish a day in the sun and a cash injection -- two legs have now been joined by seeding to ensure all the big clubs get to suffer a hiding-to-nothing tie (except the European teams, who now get a bye).

Evertonians voted with their feet on what they thought about the importance and romance of this tie -- only about 8,000 turned up to join the 3,000 York fans who filled the Away section apart from 2/3 of their Paddock seats. Should the same fixture come out in the FA Cup 3rd Round, the crowd would triple.

Personally, I'm one of those who cares not whether it's Jorvik or Juve: if the Blues are on show -- I'll be there. History was also made, as the two teams had apparently never met in any competition (York were founded in the 1920s).

Team news had Grant back in for Branch, a decision which immediately looked good as Tony made early inroads into the York defensive midfield, probing for the best weakness to exploit.

First Half

York themselves started with a lot of confidence and purpose -- medium-range midfield passes out to the wide men and back found their mark consistently and neatly, and only blue challenges won possession back. The few times they progressed as far as the deep wing however, York betrayed their low-division status by banging bog-standard crosses over and hoping for their big men up front to connect.

At the Park End, Everton were building too slowly to create scoring chances in the required numbers, yet chances there were. Andy Hinchcliffe's delivery was back to the prescribed height, and EFC won plenty of corners. From one of these, the best idea was to play it straight to Kanchelskis on the corner of the box for a snap shot -- this, like many attempts, cannoned away off a pinkish-red body. Other melees required goalline clearances... it was a survival exercise.


Time did it's job though and the half-time scoreline of 0-0 was only slightly harsh on Everton. The only noticeable difference in the second half was that the players would have the advantage of being able to hear their own supporters as they attacked: both factions were generating noise, but neither was loud enough to be heard at the other end. Since Everton did all the attacking, this was looking like a good deal, and the early forays encouraged Joe to tinker by putting in Rideout for Grant. Despite the referee's disinterest in jump-ball interference, Everton were well in control of the headed balls and a first leg lead was demanded.

Naturally, this progress was the cue for the opposition to mount their best attack of the game, and a neat goal from a highly creditable passing buildup which Everton would not have been ashamed of was finished by ex-Oldham and Bradford City failed centre-forward Tolson.

York's players might want to consider that the celebrations they devised and executed to the borderline of excess might well have directly contributed to the venom with which Everton responded to this latest in a long line of kicks in the teeth from whoever doles out the shares of reward for craft and industry in this crazy game... From the kick-off, Everton's possession lasted somewhere around 90 seconds and did not end until the ball, hammered in by Kanchelskis, notched up Everton's first 2nd-half goal of the season. It was so typically Andrei, except perhaps that it was not a breakaway run, but that he moved through the defenders to his favourite shooting position unchallenged.

And that was not all. Everton continued to shake York like a rag dog and could easily have had two more inside five minutes. The reason for the increase from 'threat' to 'serious danger' was that the home team were now playing it all a yard faster, a pass less and a cross harder than previously, and York had't a clue what to do except send all hands to the pump and pray.

Survival seemed out of the question, but the thought of the Second Leg seemed to prey on the minds of the players -- York forgot the carrot of winning and concentrated on taking a level score or 1-goal deficit home; and Everton, not getting usual wall- of-noise support, and not having the fear of knowing it was a tonight-or-never situation, drifted gently back into 'patient' mode.

All, that is, except Paul Rideout, who continued to try as if (ahem) the Devil was after him. One suspects his last chance with Everton has already passed, but he had a damn good go at resurrecting his career one more time the way he did in exactly this fixture at Lincoln.

One major disappointment about the season so far is that the Speed-Ferguson partnership, which worked well and promised much in pre-season, and produced goals against the Borussia and the Toons, has floundered. Well, Rideout remembers how it used to work; he combined many times with Dunc to produce a queue of sweaty situations for York and chances for the heads of themselves and Short.

It was a Rideout header that came nearest to winning the game - -a parry of the eight-yard effort by the relatively useful keeper was half-fumbled, but regathered on the floor, getting goalline chalk on his back.

This chance was very similar to Dunc's against Boro, and eerily, Hinchcliffe's angled miss against Boro was also echoed in a second-half open-goal by Gary Speed from the corner of the six-yard box as it went just wide. Gary -- if you just slam them, they go in just as well!

(In fact the net balance of the game in terms of skilful play by the opposition and relative possession and chances was remarkably similar to the Boro game -- a curiosity which both teams should find interesting to ponder. The gap between teams fronted by Tolsons and those fronted by Ravanellis is not as vast as all that, on this evidence.)

Everton, meanwhile, were foolishly left over-exposed at the back for a First Leg, handing York two good chances to get a late winner, even as their fans desperately whistled for the final whistle four minutes early. But both attempts followed the well-worn Goodison channels and went across goal and just wide.

One thing was certain as the press gleefully headed off to invent more premature fairy tales of a giant-slaying -- whatever is wrong with this version of Everton, it certainly ain't a lack of created chances. If we had those enlarged goals people talk about, or got points for misses like in Gaelic-type games, we'd be top and clear and about 6-2 up against York City.

Someone's going to take an awful hammering by Everton soon if they can convert anywhere near the proportion of goals per chance that is the modern league average. If that doesn't confuse the armchair pundits to the point of dementia, I'll be disappointed.

Then if the confidence from that takes hold...

The Players

TEAM PERFORMANCE: 7 Without doing anything wrong, EFC failed to do anything special to break the hearts of the honeymooning Yorkies. Great response to come back after the goal, but the secret of getting the ball over the line still eludes.

Ref: S. Mathieson (Stockport) [Non-premier] A highly liberal performance. Very card-shy, and you need to wrestle your man to the ground before he calls shirt- pulling. i.e. a bad draw against low division hopefuls.

Joe's Blues or Tokyo Jo's?

The Suggs-Meister (S B Baker): The choice was simple: go to Goodison and watch us struggle against a bunch of Yorkshiremen (not my favourite race) or go down to Preston's premier night spot (sic) Tokyo Jo's and pull some poor, unsuspecting (and probably ugly) first year. For my sins, I went to watch Joe's Blues.

The whole mood for the evening was set when I heard the team. Only one change: Branch out (no surprise) and Grant in (a very big surprise) with Andrei playing up front. Oh dear.

First Half

The match started with York getting as many men behind the ball and just letting the Blues come at them. Straight away, it seemed that Royle had instructed the players to try to avoid hoofing the ball at Duncan as some of the build-up play would have tested the patience of an RS fan, it was so slow. However, we were quickly on top and we started creating chances.

Duncan had an effort well saved by Warrington after he had managed to bulldoze his way through about three defenders. The 'keeper then excelled himself with a brilliant one-handed save from a Speed header. A Hinchcliffe corner (possibly after the save from the Speed header - I've forgotten) went straight to Kanchelskis on the edge of the penalty box and his effort was blocked in the six-yard box.

But the best chance of the half fell to Unsworth. He managed to head straight at Warrrington from six yards out after a header across the face of the York goal had found him unmarked.

The first-half ended 0-0. The Blues had been on top for most of the half but had been unable to turn their dominance into goals (sound familiar?). At the other end, York had posed us few problems and both sides could be relatively happy going in at the break - the Blues expecting the goals to come after half-time and York hapy to be level at 0-0.

Second Half

Rideout came on for Grant just after the restart, a move which allowed Andrei to move onto the right-wing. However, almost immediately after the substitution we were a goal down. A free-kick from the halfway line was nodded down and Neil Tolson, who Royle had bought and sold when at Oldham, fired past Southall from ten yards. The marking was nowhere.

The goal led to chants of "One Anders Limpar" from the sparse crowd - -considering he wasn't even on the bench, it was hardly helpful to the side's cause. However, three minutes later we got level. Kanchelskis picked the ball up on the right-wing and he cut inside, beat his two markers and drove the ball with his left foot inside Warrington's far post.

It was important that we got on level terms so soon but it was also important that we then went on to score even more. However, thanks to bad luck (you shouldn't need luck against a side like York), bad finishing and brilliant 'keeping we didn't get any more:

(Notice how, after his goal, our winger's name has changed from "Kanchelskis" to "Andrei.")

The last five minutes saw York come close to grabbing a spawny and thoroughly undeserved winner. Someone (I don't know who -- probably some nobody or other) hit a shot just wide and then anohter nobody came close with another long-range effort. Duncan then snapped and got booked for mouthing off at the ref when he was penalised for backing into a defender. Strange that the ref saw that yet missed Barrass and Sharples use him as a stepladder all game.

The side went off to a mixture of boos and applause. The result was very bad but the performance was OK (thougn hardly acceptable) against a side who we knew would be tricky opposition.

My ticket for York away came through today - wonder how many Freshers I can get through by then...


TEAM: 6 - OK but we've got to show more creativity and better finishing. As someone shouted after the final whistle: "Get your chequebook out."

Tolson's Talents

The Times: York City have an opportunity to achieve a feat similar to last season's victory over Manchester United after drawing 1-1 with Everton at Goodison Park.

Neil Tolson, discarded by Joe Royle when he was in charge at Oldham Athletic, gave the Everton manager an uncomfortable reminder of his talents when he gave York a 55th-minute lead. Andrei Kanchelskis replied quickly for Everton, who will not relish their visit to Bootham Crescent next week.

Alan Little, the York manager, said: "Technically we have already done the hard bit. Now they have got to come back to our place, in front of a full house, and we won't be sitting back."

Kanchelskis saves Everton

Peter Keeling, Electronc Telegraph: ONLY an Andrei Kanchelskis special saved Everton at Goodison Park last night. Joe Royle's men now face a difficult trip to Bootham Crescent next week, a venue that has been the graveyard for many major clubs in cup history.

Despite being two divisions below Everton the well-drilled York side played with all the confidence of a side knowing they need fear no-one after beating Manchester United in the same competition last season.

Neville Southall was far the busier goalkeeper in the first 50 minutes having to race out of his goal to act as emergency sweeper and clear off the toes first of Neil Tolson and then Graeme Murty, while he made a magnificent save in the 32nd minute when Tolson looked certain to score.

York looked more enterprising up front and it was no surprise when Tolson put them ahead in the 55th minute, drilling a low drive past the unprotected Southall after good control by Gary Bull had made the opening.

York had looked composed and able to deal competently with most things but Kanchelskis was one man whose pace had troubled them, and it was his sharpness and appetite for having a shot at goal that put Everton back on terms two minutes later.

Report Copyright The Electronic Telegraph

Coca-Cola Cup Results

Visit the Soccernet Coca-Cola Cup webpage for all the results of this competition.

Second Round, First Leg

Wednesday, 18 September 1996

BARNET                      1-1     WEST HAM UNITED
BLACKPOOL                   1-4     CHELSEA
BRISTOL CITY                0-0     BOLTON WANDERERS
EVERTON                     1-1     YORK CITY
LEEDS UNITED                2-2     DARLINGTON
STOKE CITY                  1-0     NORTHAMPTON TOWN
WIMBLEDON                   1-0     PORTSMOUTH

Tuesday, 17 September 1996

BARNSLEY                    1-1     GILLINGHAM
BRENTFORD                   1-2     BLACKBURN ROVERS
BURY                        1-3     CRYSTAL PALACE
FULHAM                      1-1     IPSWICH TOWN           
LINCOLN CITY                4-1     MANCHESTER CITY
LUTON TOWN                  1-0     DERBY COUNTY
PORT VALE                   1-0     CARLISLE UNITED
SCARBOROUGH                 0-2     LEICESTER CITY
WATFORD                     0-2     SUNDERLAND

This Match Report Compilation was prepared by Michael Kenrick for Marko Poutiainen. 12 Dec 1996.