Blackburn Rovers Logo Blackburn Rovers 1 - 3 Everton
Half-time: 1 - 2
Everton Logo
1997/98 FA Youth Cup Final
First Leg
Friday 1 May 1998
Ewood Park, Blackburn
Att: 9,280
Leeds United (a)
    (Semi-Final; 2nd Leg)
Live on Sky Sports 1
Ref: Neale Barry
Blackburn Rovers (h) 
(Youth Cup Final: Second Leg)  
Blackburn Rovers: Taylor.
EVERTON: Jevons, Cadamarteri, Osman.
  LINEUPS Subs Not Used
Blackburn Rovers: Stewart, Richardson, Taylor, Brown, Murphy, McAvoy, Scates, Dunn, Ryan (71 Baldacchino), Topley (74 Woodfield), Hamilton. Dunning.
EVERTON: Delany, Regan, Farley, Dunne, Eaton, O'Brien (82 Hibbert), Poppleton, Osman, Milligan, Cadamarteri, Jevons (72 Jeffers). Knowles.
  Yellow Cards Red Cards
Blackburn Rovers:

THE TIMES Cadamarteri cuts Blackburn adrift
by Nick Szczepanik
ELECTRONIC TELEGRAPH Everton gain upper hand
by Peter Keeling

Cadamarteri cuts Blackburn adrift
by Nick Szczepanik, The Times
EVERTON'S season may be in danger of ending in tears as far as the first team is concerned, but their under-18 side did their best to lift the gloom with an impressive win at Ewood Park last night in the first leg of The Times FA Youth Cup final, giving them an excellent chance of lifting the trophy for the first time since 1984.

The two players who contributed most to the victory in an entertaining game were the attacking pair of Philip Jevons, a centre forward with a Duncan Ferguson swagger, and Danny Cadamarteri, who impressed in Everton's FA Carling Premership side earlier in the season.

Without the dreadlocks that were his trademark (they are being auctioned for charity), Cadamarteri cut an unfamiliar figure, but it was Jevons who took the eye early on, first just failing to reach a dangerous high cross from the right, then claiming the opening goal with a diving header from Eaton's driven cross to the near post in the tenth minute.

Another header, from Hamilton, fingertipped over by Delany, came close to levelling the scores on 20 minutes, but the equaliser was worth waiting another 60 seconds for. Taylor, the central defender, turned deftly to make himself a yard of space before thumping an angled left-foot shot beyond the goalkeeper.

Cadamarteri seemed to have wasted an opportunity to restore the lead just before half-time when he delayed his pass to Jevons long enough for Scates to halt his run, albeit unfairly. However, from the resulting free kick, taken by Milligan, Cadamarteri's newly shaven head propelled the ball past Stewart.

The home side showed more urgency after the interval but were unable to crack the Everton defence. The visitors continued to look menacing on the break, and when Poppleton was allowed to shoot from long range, Rovers were lucky to see the shot whistle just wide.

A quick, long pass gave Hamilton a run on the Everton goal but the angle was too narrow, Delany blocking the shot at his near post. Minutes later Everton broke away again to make it 3-1, Jevons knocking back a right-wing cross for Osman to score with a dipping volley from 15 yards.

Report Times Newspapers Ltd

Everton gain upper hand
Peter Keeling, Electronic Telegraph
DANNY CADAMARTERI, a first-team regular for a spell before Christmas at Goodison Park, put Everton into the driving seat after an enthralling first leg of the FA Youth Cup Final last night before a 9,280 crowd at Ewood Park.

His stunning 44th-minute header, which came after he outjumped two Blackburn defenders to reach a left-wing free kick, put Everton into a 2-1 lead and broke the home team's spirits.

A similarly spectacular third goal from Leon Osman sealed Everton's victory and made them clear favourites to win the trophy for the first time since 1984.

Blackburn have to go further back for their last success in this competition - to 1959 in fact, when such names as Mike England, Keith Newton and Fred Pickering were in the side.

There were shades of Mike England last night in Blackburn's Martin Taylor, a burly defender who knows his way to goal. He scored a blistering 21st-minute goal, following a left-wing corner, to cancel Everton's opening goal in 11 minutes from Phil Jevons, who glanced a delightful header past the right-hand of England youth goalkeeper Gareth Stewart after a centre to the near post by Adam Eaton.

But after Cadamarteri's goal, Everton were able to dictate proceedings and they gave an impressive victory a gloss when Osman turned smartly and hooked his shot past the despairing dive of Stewart and into the corner of the net.

At a time when the Everton first team are fighting for their Premiership survival, this impressive result at least gave the blue half of Merseyside something to cheer about.

Report Electronic Telegraph

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Michael Kenrick 1998
Last updated: 1 May 1998