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Everton Reserves, 1996-97

Fixtures & Results   Match Details   Appearances     Reserve Review   Friendlies

Pontin's Central League - Premier Division: Final Table

Club                Pld   Won  Drn  Lst   GF    GA   Pts    GD
Manchester United    24   15    6    3    55    24    51    31
Blackburn Rovers     24   13    4    7    28    23    43     5
Sheffield Wednesday  24   12    4    8    42    32    40    10
Stoke City           24   11    2   11    34    37    35    -3
Leeds United         24   10    4   10    29    34    34    -5
Derby County         24    9    6    9    41    32    33     9
Birmingham City      24    8    7    9    34    31    31     3
Nottingham Forest    24    9    4   11    33    45    31   -12
Tranmere Rovers      24    9    3   12    48    48    30     0
Everton              24    8    6   10    31    42    30    -9
Liverpool            24    8    5   11    32    39    29    -7
Bolton Wanderers     24    7    5   12    31    38    26    -5
Oldham Athletic      24    5    8   11    27    40    23   -13

Fixtures and Results

Home games for Everton Reserves are in CAPITALS, either at Goodison Park (GP) or at Haig Avenue (HA) in Southport. Hypertext links lead to team details and any match reports (if available).

Day No  Opponents           Result  Pos    Scorers 


Thu 22  BOLTON WANDERERS     D 1-1   8th   Branch
Wed 28  Manchester United    L 2-5  11th   Holcroft, Rideout


Thu  5  DERBY COUNTY         L 1-4  12th   McCann
Wed 11  Leeds United         W 2-0  10th   Rideout (2)
Wed 25  Tranmere Rovers      W 1-0   5th   Holcroft


Tue  1  LIVERPOOL            W 2-1   2nd   Grant, Cadamarteri
Sat  5  Blackburn Rovers     L 0-1   3rd   �
Thu 24  Oldham Athletic      D 2-2   5th   Samways, Holcroft (pen)


Tue 12  Birmingham City      D 0-0   6th   �
Thu 21  NOTTINGHAM FOREST    L 2-3   7th   Townsend, Branch
Tue 26  Stoke City           W 2-0   6th   Hills, Branch


Tue 10  LEEDS UNITED         W 3-2   5th   Rideout (3)
Tue 17  Derby County         W 3-0   4th   Townsend, Rideout, Ball


Tue 21  Sheffield Wednesday  D 0-0   3rd   �   


Tue  4  OLDHAM ATHLETIC      L 0-3   4th   �
Thu 13  SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY  D 1-1   4th   Jevons (pen)


Thu  6  Nottingham Forest    L 0-1   4th   �
Mon 17  STOKE CITY           W 3-1   4th   Hussin, Branch, Hottiger
Tue 25  MANCHESTER UNITED    L 2-3   6th   McCann, Dunne


Wed  2  Bolton Wanderers     W 2-1   5th   Cadamarteri 2
Tue 22  TRANMERE ROVERS      L 0-6   7th   �
Sat 26  BLACKBURN ROVERS     L 1-4   8th   Cadamarteri


Thu  1  BIRMINGHAM CITY      D 0-0   9th   �
Mon 12  Liverpool            L 1-3  10th   Townsend

Friendlies and Other Reserve-Team Matches

Pre-Season Friendlies

Wed  7 Aug 96  Yeovil                    D 0-0
Sat 10 Aug 96  Inter Cable-Tel           W 2-0  Rideout (2; 1 pen)
Wed  5 Feb 97  BLACKBURN ROVERS              Private Match Played at Bellefield

Pontin's Central League - Premier Division

The section below contains team details and brief match reports for Everton Reserve games.

Everton Res 1 - Bolton Res 1

Thursday 22 August, 1996

Everton: Gerrard, Hottiger, Allen, N Moore, Ball, Limpar, Samways, McCann, Holcroft, Branch, Rideout.
Subs Not Used: Speare, Hussin, Dunne.  Scorer: Branch

The Evertonian: Michael opened his account for the reserves in stunning fashion with a curling shot from 25 yds. Midfielder Peter Holcroft then lobbed the ball onto the crossbar as Everton controlled the first half.

Bolton were the stronger side after the break and drew level with a goal from Scott Taylor whose double strike for Millwall at Goodison last season knocked Everton out of the Coca-Cola Cup. Everton's Gavin McCann was booked.

Manchester United Res 5  - Everton Res 2

Wednesday 28 August, 1996

Everton: Gerrard, Allen, N Moore, Ball, Hussin, Dunne, Holcroft, Branch (45 Lane), Rideout, Samways, Grugel (45 Townsend).
Subs Not Used: Speare.  Scorer:

The Evertonian: Peter Holcroft's superb 30-yd strike was one bright spot as Everton Reserves felt the force of a returning Andy Cole. The former Newcastle goal king scored twice on his return from a bout of pneumonia, and was only denied his hat-trick by a fine save from Paul Gerrard.

United were already two up, with goals from Cole and Poborsky when Holcroft sent his sweet left-footer into teh top corner of the net.  Cole got United's third, just after the break, before Rideout made it 3-2.

Paul Scholes was first to the ball to knock in the rebound after Cole's shot hit the woodwork for 4-2. To add to the Blue's disappointment, Poborsky's cheeky back-flick had young Michael Ball stranded with John O'Kane finishing off his cross.

Footnote: This turned out to be the last appearance for Mark Grugel, although he was on the bench a few more times before saying goodbye to Everton when his contract expired in December 1996. United's John O'Kane joined Everton in January 1998.

Everton Res 1 - Derby County Res 4

Thursday 5 September, 1996

Everton: Gerrard, Hottiger, Dunne, O'Connor (Ball), Allen, Holcroft (McCann) Ebbrell, Samways, Rideout, Limpar and Branch.
Subs not used: Speare.  Scorer: McCann

Richard Marland: The Post seems to be claiming some sort of mitigation in that Derby had a strong side out and we had a young defence. (Our side looks pretty strong to me and I wouldn't have thought that the defence was that young, Hottiger is a full international, Allen and O'Connor are supposed to be just about ready to come up to the first team, and they've all been saying how good Dunne is). McCann scored for us.

The Evertonian: An experienced Derby side took full advantage of some sloppy defending to inflict a second successive heavy defeat for Jimmy Gabriel's side. Substitute midfielder Gavin McCann grabbed a consolation goal for the Blues with a clever lob in injury time, but it was an otherwise disappointing display. Craig Smith (2), Sean Flynn and Paul Simpson scored the visitor's goals.

Leeds United Res 0 - Everton Res 2

Wednesday 11 September, 1996

Everton: Gerrard, Hottiger, Ball, Allen, Dunne, N Moore, Holcroft, Grant, Samways, Rideout, Stuart.
Subs not used:
Speare, Grugel.  Scorer:

Richard Marland: The Daily Post described it as a classy display. Rideout scored twice, one from an "exquisite" Grant pass and one from a Stuart pass. He also came very close to a third goal. The Daily Post also says that the defence was superbly marshalled by Richard Dunne.

The Evertonian: Jimmy Gabriel's side claimed their first victory of the season thanks to a double strike from Paul Rideout. Tony Grant played Rideout through after 18 minutes and he smashed his shot into the roof of the net. The striker had Graham Stuart to thank for his second goal. At the back, Richard Dunne looked impressive.

Tranmere Rovers Res 0 - Everton Res 1

Wednesday 25 September, 1996

Everton: Gerrard, Jackson, Ball, Allen, Dunne, N Moore, Grant, Holcroft, Samways (McCann), Jevons, Cadamarteri.
Subs not used:
R Moore, Lane.  Scorer:

The Evertonian: Youngsters Danny Cadamarteri and Phil Jevons, still both apprentices, lead the front-line as Everton chalked up an impressive win. Peter Holcroft hit the all important goal on 77 minutes, beating Steve Simonsen with a fine 20-yard free-kick. Matt Jackson was impressive at right-back for Jimmy Gabriel's side.

Everton Res 2 Liverpool Res 1

Tuesday 1 October, 1996

Everton: Gerrard, Jackson, Ball, Allen, Dunne, Moore, Hottiger, Holcroft, Grant, Jevons, Cadamarteri (McCann 84).
Subs not used:
Speare, Grugel. Scorers: Grant, Cadamarteri  Att: ~10,000

Richard Marland: Everton won the mini derby 2-1 at Goodison in front of 10,000. We went 1-0 down but came back with goals from Grant and Cadamarteri. This was only Cadamarteri's second reserve game but he scored one and set up Grant for the first. He then got injured during his goal celebrations and had to be substituted.

Blackburn Rovers Res 1 Everton Res 0

Saturday 5 October, 1996

Everton: Gerrard, Jackson, Ball (Hills), Allen, Dunne, N Moore, Ebbrell, Holcroft (McCann), Grant, Jevons, Cadamarteri .
Subs not used:

The Evertonian: With a blank weekend due to International matches for the first team, midfielder John Ebbrell requested to play for Jimmy Gabriel's side in a bid to step up his fitness.  The match also saw the return to reserve action of talented defender, John Hills.  He has been out since the start of the season with a knee injury.

Oldham Athletic Res 2 Everton Res 2

Thursday 24 October, 1996

Everton: Gerrard, Hottiger, Ball, Jackson, Allen, N Moore, Holcroft, Grant, Townsend, Samways, Limpar.
Subs not used:
Speare, Grugel, Jevons.  Scorers: Samways, Holcroft (pen)

Dave Shepherd: Reserves managed to get a 2-0 lead at mighty Oldham only to throw it away and almost lose. With an attacking threat of of Samways, Limpar, Grant and Townsend, EFC failed to impress despite a lion's share of possession against a team of virtually no quality.

After a 0-0 first half, EFC took the lead from a neat Samways sweep on 48 mins after being put though form the right. Interesting formation was played throughout -- Neil Moore was played in front of the back 4. He was the closest to scoring too, put though one-on-one with Hallworth; his shot was parried to his chagrin.

On 65 mins, it was a Limpar scuttling run to the byeline that created Everton's second. The 7-man melee in the 6-yard area produced an undisputed penalty for a hack at Townsend. Holcroft converted the penalty.

With the game heading for the comfort zone, I was just deciding how to tell you how great Gerrard had been, especially in the air, when he missed a rare Oldham corner following an attack produced from a mystery Townsend booking, and a far post header flew in -- 15 mins from time.

This gave the Div 1 bottom club's second stringers a glimmer of hope, and the pie crumbled their way with only 3 minutes  left for a goal which made a mockery of the game. Then they came within inches of getting a winner as 400 yokels almost wet themselves in excitement.

Despite the possession dominance, and a decent showing from almost every yellow-n-black shirt, no Evertonian managed to impress. Limpar was a sad figure, beating every man who faced him but never looking like having a clue how to use this advantage to produce goals.

The Evertonian: An impressive display from Vinny Samways wasn't enough to earn Everton all three points, as they threw away a two-goal lead at Boundary Park.  Samways lifted his shot over Hallworth to give the Blues the lead just after the break and their advantage was increased when Peter Holcroft converted a penalty, awarded for a foul on Richie Townsend.

Everton seemed to lose concentration in the last 15 minutes and Oldham snatched a point courtesy of an own-goal by Graham Allen and a powerful header with just six minutes remaining from veteran defender, Andy Holden.

Footnote: Matt Jackson, to many a hero of Everton's 1995 FA Cup campaign, made what was to be his last appearance for the club.  He moved to Norwich for £450,000, to finally rejoin Mike Walker, after being unable to impress Joe Royle.

This was also Peter Holcroft's last appearance in an Everton shirt.  He moved to Swindon Town in November 1996 on a free transfer.  

Birmingham City Res 0 Everton Res 0

Tuesday 12 November, 1996

Everton: Gerrard, Hottiger, Ball, O'Connor, McCann, Allen, Townsend, Grant, Ferguson, Branch, Hills.
Subs not used:
Speare, Grugel, Lane.

CarlingNet: Ferguson emerged unscathed from a run-out with the reserves last night. Keys Park, home of GM Vauxhall Conference club Hednesford, was the venue for the goalless Pontins League draw with Birmingham.

Although he could not find the target, Ferguson, who has scored twice in seven FA Carling Premiership games this term, produced some neat touches, looked good in the air, and came through a couple of crunching challenges. The only black mark was a booking, said by observers to be harsh, for a push on Birmingham's Steve Castle.

Two players were red carded in separate incidents Birmingham's former Everton striker Mike Newell for elbowing Graham Allen and Everton's Gavin McCann for a late challenge on the home goalkeeper. Jon O'Connor and John Hills played as they continued their comeback from injury.

San Presland: The Post described Ferguson's performance as 'somewhat subdued', but said he seemed to suffer 'no reaction' to his injuri(es) although he wore a protective bandage on his knee.

Both Clubcall last night and the Daily Post criticised the referee, The Post saying 'Goalscoring chances were limited for Ferguson and everyone else for that matter in a game spoilt by poor refereeing'.

Mike Newell was 'deservedly sent off for elbowing Graham Allen' (Daily Post) and according to Clubcall 'the only correct decision the referee made in the whole match'.

This was followed my Gavin McCann's dismissal described by the Post as 'rather more bewildering after he made an innocuous challenge on the City goalkeeper'.According to clubcall, Joe Royle described this as the worst decision he has seen in 30 years..

According to the Post..'Ferguson also found himself in the referee's notebook again in rather unfortunate fashion after an innocent collision with the City's Steve Castle, ironically the namesake of the ref'. The Clubcall said that 'even the Birmingham players flocked around the ref asking him not to book Ferguson', to no avail.

Paul Gerrard showed his goalkeeping skills off to good effect, and Jon O'Connor returned after being out for most of the season. Apparently Samways pulled out with flu and Limpar with a training knock.

Liverpool Echo (Wednesday): Ferguson reported back in for training on Wednesday (usually players are allowed to rest up the day after playing a full 90 minutes), -- he also put in a double training session on Monday.

Joe Royle described the Gavin McCann sending off as the worst referring decision he has seen in 30 years of football. The club are to appeal against it.

Everton Res 2 Nottingham Forest Res 3

Thursday, 21 November 1996 (Haig Ave, Southport)

Everton: Speare, Hottiger, Ball, Allen, Dunne, McCann, Townsend (Grugel 45), Hills, Rideout, Branch, Limpar.
Subs Not Used: R Moore, Jevons.  Scorers: Townsend, Branch

Daily Post: The reserves got beat 2-3 by Notts Forest last night in a home game played at Southport's Haig Avenue. We took the lead through Townsend, Forest then equalised before we took the lead again through Branch. We then threw away the points by giving away two sloppy goals. Rideout, Limpar and Branch all played, John Hills continued his comeback with another game but Jon O'Connor didn't play.

Evertonian: Everton Reserves threw away three points at Southport's Haig Avenue, allowing Forest to win with two sloppy goals.  The Blues took a deserved lead on 13 mins when Gavin McCann freed Richie Townsend, who buried his shot past Fettis.

Steve Chettle levelled four minutes later only for Everton to restore their lead midway through the second half when Michael Branch headed home a corner.  However, a hotly disputed goal on 77 minutes by Jason Lee, and a third from substitute Richard Irving gave Forest their victory despite a fine display of goalkeeping from Jason Speare.

Stoke City Res 0 Everton Res 2

Tuesday, 26 November 1996

Everton: Gerrard, Hottiger, Ball, Dunne, Short, Allen, Samways, Hills, Rideout, Branch, Limpar.
Subs Not Used: Townsend, Speare, Grugel.  Scorers: Hills, Branch

The Evertonian: A star-studded Blues Reserve side earned 3 pts at the Victoria Ground thanks to two goals from stars of the future.  Young John Hills gave the visitors the lead just before the half-hour mark after being fed by Vinny Samways. Despite coming close with a terrific shot, Michael Branch didn't find the target until 75 mins to make it 2-0. A large home crowd watched a strong Everton side dominate proceedings and never look in trouble.

Footnote: This was the last public appearance of Vinny Samways in an Everton shirt.  In December, he finally agreed terms with Las Palmas and ended a dismal spell of mostly reserve football at Goodison Park.  See Transfers

Everton Res 3 Leeds United Res 2

Tuesday, 10 December 1996

Everton: Gerrard, Hottiger, Hills, Allen, Short, N Moore, Ebbrell, McCann (79 Townsend), Rideout, Stuart, Limpar.
Subs not used: Speare, Tynan.  Scorers: Rideout 3

Paul Rideout bounced back to form following his Achilles injury with a hat-trick for Everton reserves in their 3-2 win over Leeds United at Haig Avenue. The blues found themselves behind after five minutes when Paul Gerrard allowed the ball to squeeze between him and the post from Ian Harte's shot.

Harte had another chance just before the break which rebounded off a post. But six minutes into the second period Everton were level, Rideout firing in from about 15 yards. Rideout gave his side the lead a minute later,finishing off an Ebbrell cross at the far post.

On 64 minutes, Graham Stuart fed Rideout who turned superbly to fire right-footed past the keeper. Leeds pulled a goal back on 73 minutes when Harry Kewell raced free to shoot home.

Derby County Res 0 Everton Res 3

Tuesday, 17 December 1996

Everton: Gerrard, Hottiger, Ball, Dunne, Short, N Moore, Allen (53 McCann), Hills, Rideout, Townsend, Limpar.
Subs not used: Speare, Tynan.  Scorers: Townsend, Rideout, Ball

Liverpool Echo: The goals came from Richie Townsend (from a Graham Allen cross after good work by Rideout), Paul Rideout (capitalising on an error by goalkeeper, Martin Taylor) and Michael (racing into the area and unleashing left foot shot under the advancing goalkeeper).

Joe Royle saluted his "Young Lions" as this followed on from victories for the A and B teams at the weekend. He said that Ball, Dunne and Hills were all outstanding and Rideout and Gerrard did very well too.

Footnote: This became the last occasion on which Anders Limpar played before the public in the beloved shirt of Everton. In January, he moved to Birmingham City for the paltry sum of £100,000, on the basis that he would have become a free agent at the end of the season.

It was also the final game in a blue shirt for Neil Moore, who never quite fulfilled the promise of his early showings in 1993-94. He moved on to join Norwich City on a free transfer.  See Transfers

Sheffield Wednesday Res 0 Everton Res 0

Tuesday, 21 January 1997

Everton: Gerrard, Hottiger, Ball, Dunne, Short, Parkinson, McCann, Grant, Rideout, Branch, Hills (Price 45).
Subs not used: Townsend, Speare.

San Presland: Everton fielded a pretty experienced team, but everyone in the Wednesday team had played a number of games at first-team level. The newspaper report doesn't say much other than Branchy had our best effort (well saved) and David Hirst was thwarted by Gerrard on a couple of occasions. Chris Price did well after a long lay off, coming on after 45 minutes.

The Evertonian: Joe Parkinson and Craig Short gave the watching Joe Royle a timely fitness boost ahead of the FA Cup clash with Bradford City.  The duo, who missed the recent run of defeats through injury, returned to action, along with midfielder Chris Price.

Price, who is hoping to clinch a move to First Division Oxford United, came back after nearly 12 months on the sidelines with an ankle injury.  Michael Branch saw the Blues' best effort saved by Wednesday keeper Matt Clarke, Paul Gerrard impressed for Jimmy Gabriel's side.

Everton Res 0 Oldham Athletic Res 3

Tuesday, 4 February 1997

Everton: Moore, Hottiger, Eaton, Tynan (45' Quayle), Dunne, Hussin, McCann, Allen, Rideout, Townsend, Ball.
Subs not used: Gabrielson, O'Toole.

The Evertonian: Despite starting as the better team, a young Everton Reserves side fell behind to a Mark Allot lob on 27 mins, and were 2-0 down just 2 mins later when Darren Lonergan finished from 6 yds out. Four mins after the break it was 3-0 when David Berisford's deflected shot found its way past Richard Moore in the Blues' goal. The best Everton could offer were a couple of efforts from Paul Rideout.

Everton Res 1 Sheffield Wednesday Res 1

Thursday, 13 February 1997

Everton: Southall, Allen, Ball, Dunne, Short, Hottiger, Townsend, McCann, Rideout, Jevons, Hussin,
Subs not used: Tynan, Speare, Eaton.  Scorer: Jevons

The reserve side included Southall, Hottiger, Short and Rideout. Sheff Wed took the lead but Everton equalised two minutes later through a Phil Jevons penalty. The Post described it as a deserved equaliser.

Nottingham Forest Res 1 Everton Res 0

Thursday, 6 March 1997

Everton: Speare, Allen, Dunne, Ball, Eaton (Lane), Tynan (Jevons), McCann, Hottiger, Townsend, Branch, Rideout.
Subs not used: O'Toole.

With the exception of Marc Hottiger and Paul Rideout, this was a very young Everton side. The only goal came straight after half-time. Otherwise, James Speare did not have any saves to make, but we did not trouble their keeper either. It was a dour midfield game.

Everton Res 3 Stoke City Res 1

Monday, 17 March 1997

Everton: Gerrard, Hottiger, Allen, Ball, Eaton, Townsend, McCann, Price, Hussin, Branch, Rideout.
Subs not used: Speare, Lane, Cadamarteri.  Scorers: Hussin, Branch, Hottiger

Hussin scored the 1st following good work by Chris Price. Branch scored the 2nd after hitting the post and Hottiger the 3rd after good play from Rideout...

Everton Res 2 Manchester United Res 3

Tuesday, 25 March 1997

Everton: Speare, Allen, Short (Cadamarteri), Dunne, Ball, Hottiger, McCann, Price, Hussin (Tynan), Branch, Townsend.
Subs not used: O'Toole.  Scorers: McCann, Dunne

No report available.

Bolton Wanderers Res 1 Everton Res 2

Wednesday, 2 April 1997

Everton: O'Toole, Lane, Eaton, Price, Dunne, Ball, Jevons, Hottiger, Cadamarteri, Townsend, Hills.
Subs not used: Milligan, Hussin, Holmes.  Scorers: Cadamarteri 2

Cadamarteri put thee Blues ahead early in the second half with a sidefoot finish when Marc Hottiger played the ball in from the right, and his second goal came from a similar move. Then Bolton scored from a penalty, putting the Everton lads under pressure for the last 5 mins.

Everton Res 0 Tranmere Rovers Res 6

Tuesday, 22 April 1997

Everton: O'Toole, Hottiger (Regan), Tynan, O'Connor, Hussin, Denton, McCann, Price, Hills, Quayle (Jevons), Townsend.
Subs not used: Hardman.

The 0-6 scoreline represented Everton's biggest defeat at this level since a freak 10-3 loss at Derby in the Pontins League Second Division. Michael Branch's cousin Graham did most of the damage with 4. Defensive mistakes allowed Tranmere to take a 3-0 lead by half-time, and the substitution of Marc Hottiger meant that the young players had hardly any first-team experience.

Everton Res 1 Blackburn Rovers Res 4

Saturday, 26 April 1997

Everton: O'Toole, Hottiger, Hussin, Tynan, O'Connor, McCann, Price, West, Townsend, Jevons, Hills.
Subs not used: Denton, Holmes, McDermott. Scorer: Jevons.

Everton were already 4 goals down when Phil Jevons capitalised on a defensive mix-up 9 mins form time to grab a consolation goal.

Everton Res 0 Birmingham City Res 0

Thursday, 1 May 1997

Everton: Gerrard, Hottiger, Hussin, Tynan, O'Connor (88' Denton), McCann, Jevons, Price, Townsend, Quayle, Hills.
Subs not used:O'Toole, Holmes.

Everton Reserves wound up their home fixtures with a hard-earned point.

Liverpool Res 3 Everton Res 1

Monday, 12 May 1997

Everton: Gerrard, Lane, Hussin, Poppleton, O'Connor, A Eaton, Tynan, McCann, Cadamarteri, Townsend, Price.
Subs not used: O'Toole, Jevons, Milligan. Scorer: Townsend

The Reserves loss to Liverpool at Anfield saved the reds from relegation. They scored first after 5 minutes but we equalised later in the first half through Townsend. They then took the lead again and added a third with a penalty in the last minute. The Post said that it was a good game with good passing football from both sides.


<< Under Construction >>

Reserve Review

Until last season, Dave Whiteside of St Helens was publishing a mini-programme and news-sheet focusing on the progress of Everton Reserves.  Unfortunately, Dave is no longer pursuing this venture, mainly due to the reduced Pontin's Central League programme, with the new Premier Division, and the partial relocation of home matches to Haig Avenue, Southport.  

Pre-Season Friendlies

Inter Cable-Tel 0 Everton XI 2

George Wood Testimonial, Saturday 10 August 1996

Scorers: Rideout 50', 80' (pen). Attendance: 1,300
Match abandoned after 85 mins

Kevin Whitby: This match started and finished in driving rain. The Everton side included Short, Jackson, Limpar and Rideout all of whom have had plenty of first team experience. Only three players particularly stood out in what was a dull scrappy first half:

Anders was brilliant, with calm controlled passing, and one audacious back-heeled volley to release Mark Grugel on the left.

Paul Rideout was poor, he looked very short of fitness and confidence, missing 4 good chances, and often failing to compete either in the air or on the deck.

Matt Jackson was worse, the standard of football in the Welsh league is poor, and our Matt regularly struggled to deal with even long speculative balls.

The second half saw Hussein replaced by Peter Holcroft, and Richard Dunne came on at left back. Everton started to play with more authority and Holcroft started to show what an impressive central midfield player he is with some nice passing and a good work rate. It was Holcroft who found Rideout in some space allowing him to dummy a pass to Grugel before cutting inside the central defender and drilling a shot inside the left hand post.

Rideout's relief was evident, as he began to relax his game improved and started to look like our best player. Holcroft however demonstrated a petulant streak that would be severely punished in the Premiership; as he turned an Inter player elegantly he was cynically clipped and would have won a free kick on the edge of their area, but decided to pick up the ball and hurl it at his assailant directly in front of the ref Keith Cooper. Cooper kindly suggested that he could be substituted rather than sent off, and he was replaced by Hussein.

Given that it was Wood's testimonial, he had to get in on the act. As the ball rolled out, he leapt from the bench and threw the ball in, leaving Inter's centre forward clean through for the first time in the game, but their coolly taken equaliser was disallowed. The ref jogged over to Woods and showed him the red card; it was a nice touch bringing a smile to a cold and wet crowd. By this point the rain was starting to affect the game with the ball skidding quickly off the turf and most passes were over hit.

A pass from the increasingly impressive right back (Allen perhaps?) skipped past the hard working Hussin leaving him running away from goal only to be brought down by an uncontrolled slide from their full back. Cooper had no hesitation in giving the penalty which Rideout coolly tucked away. This effectively killed the game, and given the deteriorating conditions the ref blew the final whistle five minutes early.

Yeovil 0 Everton Res 0

Huish Park, Yeovil; Wednesday 7 August 1996

Mark Jones: I thought I'd send you some info on the experience I had last night of going to Watch an Everton XI play at Yeovil Town (ICIS League Team, i.e lower than the Conference). I knew before I went that it was unlikely to be any of our *stars*, but was pleasantly surprised to see a few of our 'household names' starting for us (Limpar, Samways ( Who I was sure we'd managed to offload), Rideout & Jackson). This gave me the indication that Joe has no intention of any of these being in his final plans, and judging by the game, a wise decision. The rest of the team was made up of our reserves and Youth Team: Hills, Holcroft, O'Connor, Speare, Moore, Allen and some other lad who I can't Remember.

Playing against a team of this standard seemed a bit strange as most of Yeovil were 6 foot and well Built, whereas our young lads did not really have a chance against these in the physical stakes.

Limpar as you would expect is not at all happy playing in front of 1,500 people and this became more & more obvious as the game progressed, for half the game he was playing just infront of our Centre Backs and to add to his evening missed an empty net after Rideout has rounded the keeper and laid it back to him.

As for Vincent, our other Cockney cast off, the least said the better. This excellent passing game of his did not even trouble these part time defenders. Another financial disaster by the Late Mr Walker.

Rideout had his usual steady game, and did have a few chances which always either produced an relatively easy save or skimmed past the post, better but not really Premiership class!

Jackson played well, in the centre of defence (with Moore) and made a few class tackles. Speare was in goal for us, which is the first time I've seen him and he is the spit of David James except about 2 foot smaller. He had a good game, except with his lack of height which made him a bit vulnerable on crosses, but made some good reflex saves, so if he grows a bit, he looks a good prospect.

The one youngster that did impress was John Hills, the lad we bought from Blackpool a year ago for £90,000. He plays left back and did look good, as he is shit fast and was not afraid to run the length of the pitch, beat the defender and stick a decent cross in before chasing back to make decent tackles against big lads. His energy made me feel tired, A definite prospect!

The other lads had a decent game and we never really looked like losing, but a goal would of been nice. We look to have a few decent lads coming through although how people can watch ICIS league footy every week I don't know. I come away from Goodison sometimes thinking that was a bad game, but now I know what really is a bad team, think ourselves lucky, our dads took us to Goodison Park, not Huish Park (Yeovil's Ground).



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