Barnsley 2 - 2
Half-time: 1 - 1
FA Carling Premiership 97/98 - Game 25
Saturday 7 February 1998
|« West Ham United (a)
|Ref: Martin Bodenham
|Derby County (h) »
|1997-98 Fixtures & Results
|League Position: 16th
|Premiership Results & Table
|Fjortoft (24), Barnard (63).
|Ferguson (40), Grant (50).
|Subs Not Used
|Watson, Eaden, Moses, De Zeeuw, Redfearn, Bullock, Bosancic, Barnard, Ward, Morgan, Fjortoft (Hendrie, 62).
|Leese, Tinkler, Hristov, Markstedt.
Myhre, Ball, Short, Watson, O'Kane (83 Oster), Grant,
Farrelly, Ward, Barmby (46 Thomsen), Ferguson, Madar (62 Cadamarteri).
Unavailable: Parkinson, Branch, McCann, Williamson, Thomas, (injured); Bilic, Jeffers (sick); Tiler (suspended); Southall, Barrett, O'Connor, Hills (on loan); Speed (transferred).
|REPORTS BY EVERTON FANS
|Barnsley or Brazil?
|A big day out for Tommy
|Myhre rises amidst the confusion
|THE SUNDAY TIMES
Barnard strike saves Barnsley
by Martin Searby
Wilson convinces all but himself
by Nick Szczepanik
Barnard keeps Barnsley on an even keel
by Derick Allsop
|OTHER INTERNET REPORTS
|Link to SoccerNet Match Report
|Link to CarlingNet Match Report
|Barnsley or Brazil?
This was my first trip to Barnsley. Though the road signs told me I was where
I wanted to be, I could just as well have been in any northern town in the
UK . The back-to-back terrace housing, the large Asda supermarket, the
'drive-thru' (sic. (and sick)) McDonalds. The only things that distinguish
Barnsley from a visit to say Blackburn or Leicester is the quarry scarred
hill-tops that surround the town and the complete and utter shit-hole of
a football ground.
To be fair, I think the club was surprised last season to see itself go so convincingly into the Premiership and so the club's stadium plans are still strictly Nationwide league. One decent stand to house the obligatory corporate boxes, two adequate stands for the 1st Division, and one original terrace with seats simply bolted on for the away fans to put up with. Believe me, only an unsuspecting away fan would be gullible enough to stump up £15 for a seat of this quality.
They haven't got round to sticking a roof over the terrace yet. Good job it didn't rain. For the nostalgic they still have four massive flood-light towers in each corner of the ground, the likes of which have gradually gone missing from all top class stadium over the past decade, much to the regret of the travelling fan who's been lost in many a strange town and so always glad to see the floodlight towers above the horizon giving you something to aim for. I won't mention the toilets.
It was bright sunny day spoilt by an icy blasting breeze. The glaring sun was directly opposite the Everton contingent and with no roof to shield the glare we all had to stand and watch the first half with a permanent hand salute.
Everton, unchanged from the West Ham game save Short replacing Bilic, won the toss and wisely choose to attack towards our own fans first, keeping the sun out of their eyes.
Without the roof to keep the sound in all the Everton chants that got started seemed a bit half hearted. After a while we stopped bothering which meant we had one of the quietest supports I've sat with this season. This is curious given that the ticket allocation methods for this game meant that only the most faithful of supporters should have been there. Then again, maybe our subdued singing was a reflection of what was happening on the pitch.
Barnsley, straight from kick-off had got a strangle-hold on the game. Our midfield could not get a grip and we were placed under the cosh constantly in the first half. This was probably Myhre's busiest game since he got to the club. He had already made one world-class save when Barnsley took the lead. A perfect deep cross by Ward was met by Fjortoft to head in comfortably. I don't think that there was anything we could have done about the goal. You can't possibly prepare for a cross of that quality.
That Barnsley couldn't extend their lead was a surprise, particularly as we were unable to deal with their No 14, Bullock, who showed the best ball skills I've seen so far this season. He danced through our defence with contempt. Thank goodness his final touch lets him down.
A bigger surprise though was that Everton somehow managed to end the half on level terms. I guess the goal was fair in so much as, although it was against the run of play, the quality of the move deserved some reward. Ferguson started it off in midfield with a telepathic first-time punt to Madar. Madar carried the ball on into the box, he looked likely to go all the way but when he ran into trouble with two defenders in his path he thought better of it and turned. Ward was running in to back him up, Madar laid it off, Ward crossed and the Big man was there to guide it in. Very nice team goal, just before half time too.
We needed to improve in the second half if we were going to take anything home and thankfully we did. Our midfield 'bolstered' by the arrival of Claus Thomsen in place of injured Barmby saw a good deal more of the ball. When Grant got the ball on the edge of the box, you begged him to float it in for Ferguson. Instead he chipped a speculative lob from a strange angle. Goal. Did Grant mean it? Who gives a shit? His celebrations certainly suggested he knew exactly what he was doing. Chalk it down for my Everton goal of the season so far.
Barnsley felt themselves being robbed as Everton turned up the heat to press for all three. A draw was obviously on neither side's wish-list and we were now treated to a exciting final half hour. There was a long pause when Tommy lost a contact lens, the ref was so impatient for him to get it back in that as soon as it was he allowed Barnsley to take a corner even though he hadn't got one of his gloves back on yet. Gloves? Who needs gloves? A reflex dive to the right which pushed away a goal bound effort suggested that our Tommy doesn't.
Barnsley did manage an equaliser eventually though, Ward's shot hit the bar and bounced back out, Myhre managed yet another stunning reflex save from close range, but this time the loose ball fell kindest to a Barnsley scavenger to tap in.
"Brazil, it's just like watching Brazil" came Barnsley's favourite chant. Well I don't know if I'd go that far but it was certainly fluid and confident football they were playing which made a mockery of their league position. It wasn't so much that Everton were playing badly, more that Barnsley were playing well.
We brought on Oster for O'Kane and Cadamarteri for Madar for our final charge but the game ended on level terms. In truth I left the Oakwell feeling very pleased with the single point.
|A big day out for Tommy
Those of you who went to Barnsley in the Cup years and years ago, will not
be too surprised that the place hasn't changed much; its still a toilet of
a ground. Back then it was bad even for an old 3rd Division ground. It can
safely lay claim to being probably as bad as any ground in the top two divisions
even worse than Filbert Street.
Complemented by over-the-top policing and stewarding, an away-fan pub desert, pathetic catering, and half a dozen urinals for an entire stand. The away end was the old terrace with a few seats dumped on top of it and completely open to the elements.
The icy cold wind combined with the bright sunlight in their faces, the blue support was as subdued as I've heard it in along time and never really got going until the big fella's goal. Traumatised by their surroundings and in the main very sober. It was very difficult to see what was happening at the far end because of the sun behind the goal.
The wind made sure this game was never going to be a classic. Barnsley had a lot of territory but the more incisive football always came from Everton. Everton possibly played a bit too deep for most of the game, and seemed to invite Barnsley onto them.
Tommy Myhre was busy throughout the game and never had a chance with the opener from Barnsley. Fjortoft headed in an accurate cross from the right. Possibly this was Everton's weakness throughout the game. Ward struggled to get tight to whoever came down his wing. The greatest strength of Ward's game is his crossing ability and he duly obliged the Big Fella, who made it look so easy.
The Barnsley fans had been taunting our boys a fair bit and had been singing their favoured "It's just like watching Brazil!" and indeed it was when Grant equalised with the most accurate of lobs from a tight angle outside the penalty area over the head of Dave Watson (the impostor not the real one).
People who don't know how good Grant is will no doubt have it down as an intended cross, but we know better.
Their equaliser was a bit fortunate Tommy confident of his angles let the shot from Ward go, it ricocheted of the bar Tommy making a superb save from Barnard lost his contact lens and was unable to recover the ball as it bobbled across the line.
After the game had been stopped to allow Tommy to put a new lens in, the subsequent corner was headed towards his bottom right corner by De Zeeuw. Tommy made a superb save without having put his glove back on. What a cult hero he has become!
The biggest feature of the game was that possibly for the first time since his arrival Tommy was bossing the defence in front of him more than even the old fella. His handling throughout the game was good and if anyone earned us the point it was Tommy. The busiest he's been and he was outstanding even with one eye shut and a hand tied behind his back.
We lost Barmby in the first half but to be honest he was a bit quiet. We invited a lot of pressure. Short and Ball stood out; in particular, Ball did a lot of covering for Ward. Farrelly put in a lot of hard work as did Dunc. Danny looked lively when he came on. The rest not too impressive.
Given Barnsley's recent form, a point away at their shithole of a ground was not bad. Although we gave them a bit too much respect and should have gone at them more.I dare say in years to come we will just look back on this one as being Tommy's big day and Grant's touch of brilliance.
|Myhre rises amidst the confusion
A confusing match, in that it was difficult to tell exactly what the outcome
would be. This confusion was worsened by the similarities in some of the
players names, for example, Dave Watson was not only an Everton defender,
but Barnsley's goalkeeper.
Then there were the two Wards Mitch and Ashley. It was the latter who seemed Barnsley's greatest threat to us especially on corners, as he scored from a header to beat our beloved neighbours at the oh-so-mighty fortress of Anfield, and he also scored from a header against Spurs in the cup.
As any Evertonian who has seen our team recently would know, Everton really need to sort out the marking for corners and crosses. Barnsley's Ward is quite good at losing his marker and providing, or receiving crosses. Unsurprisingly, it was Ward who had the best chances to put his team ahead early on and, amazingly, Everton actually let him play.
Maybe if Howard invested in Ward when Barnsley go down, he could cross the ball for Duncan and Madar, especially as we have lost Hinchcliffe. However, if Ward could beat our defence, we have one of the greatest keepers in the country (in the world, actually), and he would be sure to prevent any Barnsley goals. Myhre, as ever, lived up to the club motto, and provided the best saves to help prevent them from scoring.
But not even Southall in his day could help conceding a few goals, and unfortunately Myhre is not (as of yet) invincible. Ashley Ward provided an excellent cross and Fjortoft's header was always going to reach the back of the net, there was not much that Myhre could do about it.
Duncan was committed and inspirational to both the players and the fans present in his permanent role as captain. The arrival of Madar has helped him to settle down immensely, and he loves to give the Frenchman opportunities, and to receive them in return from him.
Michael Ball provided a long ball, which Duncan flicked on for Madar. Although it didn't go in, it's nice to see someone there when Duncan nods it down. A few minutes later, the captain was rewarded for his generosity in setting Madar up when his team-mate found himself surrounded by Barnsley players by the corner flag. He escaped the defenders and passed it back to Ward (Mitch, not Ashley), who provided the cross for Ferguson's header.
Level at half-time away from home, with two first-choice defenders sorely missed, is not a score-line to be laughed at. Within just five minutes of the break, Tony Grant found himself on the inside of the box, to the right. Naturally, he would cross it to Madar and Ferguson, who were waiting patiently in the centre. Dave Watson (the goalkeeping Watson, not the defending one) obviously expected the cross.
I think Grant surprised us all when his cross looked to be going wide. Another opportunity to score passing by...... But the would-be cross was curling towards the top corner of the goal...... Yes! Of course! It was a chip! Why would Grant go for the average cross when he could chip it? Watson clutched wildly at the air, and the ball deservedly ended up in the net to credit Grant with a certain contender for "Goal of the Month".
Immediately afterwards, Barnsley forced an excellent save from Myhre. Could the premature victory celebrations be tempting fate?
When Barnsley were awarded a free-kick, and Redfearn stepped up to take it, I began to worry. I was sure that he had scored one of those goals against Spurs, and that was from a similar distance. But Myhre didn't let us down, and produced yet another superb save to deny him.
In the 63rd minute, however, Ashley Ward's shot hit the bar, his second shot hit Myhre, Barnard was the first to react to the rebound off Myhre, and a goal-line scramble with (Everton's) Dave Watson and O'Kane led to Barnsley's second.
Myhre's hands went to his face, and at first I thought, that's typical of Myhre, someone did point out on Toffeenet that he hates conceding goals. Then I realised, he must have been injured. Apparently, he lost a contact lens, but play was stopped for a long time, about five minutes. The Everton physio remained behind the goal for a long time afterwards, but he soldiered on heroically. He continued to save all that Barnsley shot at the goal.
Everton too had chances to win the game, coming from Ferguson, and from John Oster, who was making a rare appearance as substitute. The final whistle brought mixed emotions. At one stage we were a goal down, at another we had levelled it, at another point we were a goal up and finally, we were back on level terms.
I was frustrated because we had not used our chances to our advantage, relieved because we had not sat back and died when they took the lead, proud because we had fought back to take the lead, and mad because the defence had not protected Myhre's goal properly, allowing them the equaliser. Then again, I'm used to these emotions in every game, because at the moment, these feelings are what Everton is all about at the moment.
My Man of the Match: Myhre, without a doubt. He led an inspired performance, and is an example to his team-mates. In the unlikely event of Ferguson getting injured, my vote for captain will go to our goalkeeper. Norway's manager would be insane if he didn't name Myhre as Norway's No 1 every game he has played for Everton has been faultless and he thoroughly deserves international recognition.
|Barnard strike saves Barnsley
|by Martin Searby, The Sunday Times
BARNSLEY were grateful for the point won for them by Darren Barnard, who
bundled the ball over the line after Ashley Ward's shot hit the bar. But
they will not survive if they fail to convert gilt-edged chances, so very
rare at this level, and two first-half misses proved costly against an Everton
side who have lost only once in the last 11 games.
Everton, with a strong wind behind them from the kick-off, went for route one with Mikael Madar the target rather than Duncan Ferguson. But the long balls were often too long and the Barnsley central trio were able to spring the offside trap.
Barnsley, fresh from an FA Cup win over Tottenham, kept it on the floor and played much the neater stuff, but the final ball was too often ill-directed or too late. A prime example came when Martin Bullock picked up a loose ball after a defensive error but Ward was offside by the time the short pass reached him.
Everton, after a good recent run, soon adapted and made inroads down the Barnsley right, a familiar weak spot, and Gareth Farrelly's pace was a constant threat.
With the thick end of £9m in the kitty following the sale of Andy Hinchcliffe and Gary Speed, Everton manager Howard Kendall could well be on the way to building his own team by the end of the month. He has often complained during the Merseysiders' slump that he was having to use players inherited from Joe Royle.
But even the best players would have struggled in the blustery conditions on a pitch which cut up badly. The surface may have been to blame for Ward shooting hopelessly wide when Bullock released a quick ball from the halfway line.
But Barnsley missed a marvellous chance to lead when Jovo Bosancic played a neat one-two on the edge of the penalty area to leave himself with only Thomas Myhre to beat from 12 yards. But the Norwegian keeper shot off his line to block the effort.
He had no chance, however, when Ward crossed from the Everton left, proving as fallible as the Barnsley right, and Jan Aage Fjortoft headed home his first goal since his move up the road from Sheffield United. Everton's defence suddenly went haywire and Neil Redfearn, the home skipper, should have doubled the advantage from another Ward cross.
Barnsley paid a heavy price for such profligacy and when their right flank was exposed again, Mitch Ward swept the ball in for the unmarked Ferguson to head the equaliser. Claus Thomsen replaced the injured Nick Barmby in the second half, which was only five minutes old when Tony Grant chipped the ball over goalkeeper Dave Watson to give Everton the lead.
|Report © Times Newspapers Ltd
|Wilson convinces all but himself
|by Nick Szczepanik, The Times
WILL the real Danny Wilson please stand up? One minute, the Barnsley manager
was emphasising his faith in his club's ability to avoid relegation, the
next he was puncturing the mood with a self-deprecating remark about Alex
Ferguson losing sleep at welcoming Barnsley to Old Trafford for the FA Cup
fifth-round tie next Sunday.
Kidology? Very possibly. If Barnsley are improving, as Wilson says, perhaps Ferguson really should be worried, especially with Manchester United in such poor form. Until then, the audience, ready to believe anything after seeing a game of little early promise burst into life, had even swallowed Wilson's assessment of the Cup victory over Tottenham Hotspur and a draw with Everton as "a good week".
"It's not bad to draw against the likes of Everton and feel disappointed," Wilson said. Yet Barnsley have to beat "the likes of Everton" if they are to avoid relegation. Having gained four successive home wins before Saturday and, given their poor away record, home advantage must be made to count.
Thus Barnsley rued their failure to add to Fjortoft's first goal for the club, a free header at the far post from a cross by Ward. Duncan Ferguson was allowed to start and finish the move that brought Everton's equaliser five minutes before half-time and worse followed when Grant's cross drifted in to give the visiting team the lead early in the second half. Then, after 62 minutes, Ward's shot rebounded from the crossbar for Barnard to squeeze the ball in at the second attempt. It was not for want of trying that neither team could find a winner.
"We've got better as a team and, individually, players have got tougher and more accustomed to this league," Wilson said. "The heads have never gone down and I'm sure they won't." Convincing words; it was only the Ferguson quip that made you wonder whether, in his heart of hearts, he believes it himself.
|Report © Times Newspapers Ltd
|Barnard keeps Barnsley on an even keel
|Derick Allsop, Electronic Telegraph
BARNSLEY salvaged a point from a match they almost contrived to throw away
but Everton will be the more content side after this enthralling contest.
Barnsley, again belieing their starting status as the Premiership's bottom
team, outclassed Everton for much of the first half and the wonder is they
had only Jan Aage Fjortoft's maiden club goal to show for their superiority.
Their creative, incisive football mesmerised Everton and Jovo Bosancic and Neil Redfearn might have secured the points long before the break. Instead, Everton somehow summoned sufficient order to haul themselves back into contention and Duncan Ferguson headed them level in the 40th minute.
Everton went into the match undefeated in the league this year, continuing a rise from bottom to 14th in the table and earning Howard Kendall the Manager of the Month award. Gary Speed's differences with the club and eventual transfer to Newcastle appeared to have galvanised the other players.
Barnsley have gone through a similarly productive transformation. Four consecutive home wins buoyed their belief they might yet find a way of staying in the Premiership, while the FA Cup victory against Spurs has given them a fifth-round trip to Old Trafford.
Fjortoft, who missed the midweek replay because he was cup-tied, was involved in much of Barnsley's intricate early play and his link-up with Martin Bullock seemed to have created an opportunity for Ashley Ward, only for a linesman's flag to indicate offside. Bullock opted for a more direct route to Ward in the 16th minute. The striker was less accurate with his shot, blazing high and wide.
Bosancic ought to have given Barnsley the lead five minutes later. Splendid control and vision took him to the edge of Everton's area, a return from Redfearn sent him through to confront Thomas Myhre. But there he let himself down with a tame shot and the goalkeeper blocked.
A deserved advantage was Barnsley's however, after 24 minutes. Ward crossed deep from the right and Fjortoft climbed to head in. Redfearn almost connected with Nicky Eaden's centre and Fjortoft again threatened Myhre as Everton struggled to plug the leaks.
Barnsley's carelessness in front of goal was to prove even more costly when Everton equalised. Mickael Madar took Ferguson's pass, played it back to Mitch Ward and Ferguson met the cross with a perfectly-placed header.
Five minutes into the second half, Everton were ahead. Barnsley's goalkeeper David Watson appeared to have Tony Grant's chip covered but his lack of inches betrayed him. A minute later, Myhre was able to touch over Fjortoft's chip, then he fell to his left to hold Redfearn's free-kick, but was beaten by Darren Barnard at the second attempt in the 63rd minute after Ward's shot came back off the crossbar.
|Report © The Electronic Telegraph
|FA CARLING PREMIERSHIP
|RESULTS (Game 25)
|Monday 9 February 1998
CRYSTAL PALACE 0-3 WIMBLEDON Leaburn 47, 51, Euell 5
|Sunday 8 February 1998
ARSENAL 2-0 CHELSEA Hughes 5, 42
|Saturday 7 February 1998
BARNSLEY 2-2 EVERTON Fjortoft 24, Barnard 63 Ferguson 40, Grant 50 BLACKBURN ROVERS 0-3 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR Berti 37, Armstrong 89, Fox 90 COVENTRY CITY 1-0 SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY Dublin pen:74 DERBY COUNTY 0-1 ASTON VILLA Yorke 90 LEICESTER CITY 1-0 LEEDS UNITED Parker pen:44 LIVERPOOL 2-3 SOUTHAMPTON Owen 24, 90 Hirst pen 8, 90, Ostenstad 85 MANCHESTER UNITED 1-1 BOLTON WANDERERS Cole 85 Taylor 60 NEWCASTLE UNITED 0-1 WEST HAM UNITED Lazaridis 16
|LEAGUE TABLE (after 9 February 1998)
Club P W D L GF GA GD Pts Manchester United 25 15 5 5 52 19 33 50 Chelsea 25 14 3 8 52 27 25 45 Liverpool 25 13 6 6 41 22 19 45 Blackburn Rovers 25 12 9 4 44 27 17 45 Arsenal 24 12 8 4 44 26 18 44 Derby County 25 11 6 8 39 31 8 39 Leeds United 25 11 5 9 34 28 6 38 West Ham United 25 12 2 11 37 35 2 38 Leicester City 25 9 9 7 28 22 6 36 Newcastle United 25 9 5 11 25 30 -5 32 Southampton 25 9 4 12 29 35 -6 31 Coventry City 25 7 9 9 29 34 -5 30 Aston Villa 25 8 6 11 27 34 -7 30 Sheffield Wednesday 25 8 6 11 37 48 -11 30 Wimbledon 24 7 8 9 25 27 -2 29 Everton 25 7 7 11 30 37 -7 28 Tottenham Hotspur 25 7 5 13 24 41 -17 26 Crystal Palace 25 5 8 12 21 37 -16 23 Bolton Wanderers 25 4 11 10 22 41 -19 23 Barnsley 25 6 4 15 22 61 -39 22