Everton Logo Everton 1 - 0 Newcastle United
Half-time: 1 - 0
Newcastle United Logo
FA Carling Premiership 1998-99 – Game 14
Monday 23 November 1998
Goodison Park, Merseyside
Att: 30,357
« Coventry City (a) Ref: Neale Barry Charlton Athletic (a) »
1998-99 Fixtures & Results League Position: 16th Premiership Results & Table
EVERTON: Ball (18:pen)
Newcastle United:
   LINEUPS  Subs Not Used 
EVERTON: Myhre, Short, Ball, Watson (c), Unsworth, Dunne, Grant, Collins, Hutchison, Cadamarteri (90 Jeffers), Bakayoko (87 Milligan).
: Ferguson, Materazzi (suspended); Dacourt, Barmby, Williamson, Phelan, Parkinson (injured); Branch, O'Kane, Spencer (on loan).
Simonsen, Cleland, Bilic.
Newcastle United: Given, Barton (Hamann, 69), Serrant (Albert, 45), Batty, Charvet, Dabizas, Lee, Gillespie, Andersson, Dalglish (Brady, 61), Speed. Harper, Solano.
   Yellow Cards  Red Cards
EVERTON: Dunne, Cadamarteri.
Newcastle United: Barton, Serrant, Lee, Charvet.

Steve Bickerton Get in there, Bally!
THE INDEPENDENT Ball bowls Newcastle over from the spot
by Dave Hadfield

THE GUARDIAN Gullit plunged into deeper gloom
by Michael Walker
THE TIMES Ball pens perfect Everton script
by Stephen Wood
ELECTRONIC TELEGRAPH Ball ends Everton's barren home spell
by Henry Winter
THE EVERTONIAN Link to the latest Match Report

SPORTING LIFE Link to Sporting Life/PA Match Report
CARLINGNET Link to CarlingNet Match Report

 Get in there, Bally!
Steve Bickerton
The relative positions of the two sides before the game tonight didn't inspire any confidence that this was going to be anything other than a dour struggle between two sides who regularly fail to find the net at home (in the case of Everton) or away (in the case of Newcastle). If a result was to be achieved it was likely that one of those runs had to come to an end.

We knew beforehand, of course, that there were to be no places in the line-up for the suspended Ferguson and Materazzi, but the news that Dacourt had failed to regain fitness came as something of a blow. It was bad enough that he was missing, but it meant that as we have a wealth of centre-backs, we again persevered with the wing-back system, which so obviously – to the fanbase – ill-suits us.

First Half

The game started nervously for Everton after Newcastle kicked off. It was nearly a full two minutes before we ventured upfield into the Newcastle half. It was worrying that we seemed to be starting off in the manner in which the Coventry game finished: short of pace at the back, nervous in possession and giving the ball away too easily. But the efforts of Hutchison and Grant turned things around so that the pressure was soon being felt by the Magpies.

One fine move down the left saw Michael Ball, unusually, in an advanced position delivering a perfect cross for Ferguson (oh! he wasn't playing was he?) which drifted harmlessly away. Up front the partnership of Cadermarteri and Bakayoko looked lively as the two pacey forwards tried to make the space that never seems to be there for us these days, but still it was all too hurried, all passion and no finesse.

Collins seemed to be playing far too deep for a man of his talent, but maybe that's where Walter prefers him. We still seemed to be trying the long punt upfield though, and with the diminutive Caderarteri, and the less than airborne Bakayoko the Newcastle defence – despite its lack of aerial prowess – was never going to be troubled. Until Hutchison moved forward that is...

A long diagonal cross-field ball from Unsworth in the left-half position found Hutchison, who nodded the ball forward for himself over Serrant. As he rounded the Newcastle defender and jinked into the box, he was unceremoniously dumped to the ground. The referee had no option but to point to the spot.

Who would take the kick though? The ball was still out of play close to the rising Hutchison, who punched the air in delight as Bakayoko raced over to him. Was Baka going for third time lucky? No, the honour fell to the Ice-Man.

Bally placed the ball calmly on the spot, took a quick look at the goal, turned away to judge his run and again faced Given. The whistle blew, Bally ran and whack! 1-0 - oh yes! Delirium, Dancing and Disbelief. Not only had we scored at home for the second consecutive match, but we'd converted a penalty and we were ahead! Was this Everton? Bet your life it was!

The half continued with Everton pressing. Grant and Hutchison were playing like men possessed, chasing everything that moved in the middle of the park. Cadamarteri and to a lesser extent, Bakayoko did the same to the Newcastle defence. We had returned to the Dogs of War, not pretty, but effective. And yet, that said, we could have scored more.

Bakayoko dispossessed a Newcastle defender wide left and made an incisive dart into the box, striking firmly across Given, but Given managed to parry the ball away and the Newcastle defence cleared it away. Again he went close with a diving header which whistled past a post. He looked altogether more comfortable in his role as part of a mobile partnership than in the role which he has previously filled with Ferguson.

Cadamarteri was giving Barton a rough time with his twisting and turning, which eventually lead to the Newcastle man being booked, but he wasn't particularly effective in front of goal. The fervour with which we had been playing eventually got to Dunne's head though. He lunged in on a Newcastle player with a stupid tackle and was rightly booked. He has to learn to control his impetuosity. Half-time came, though, with no real scares for Everton and a comfortable 1-0 lead.

Second Half

The second half was a disappointment. Admittedly Newcastle changed their shape with the introduction of Albert for Serrant. This gave them a bit more composure at the back – composure of which they were glad when Albert made a telling interception with an outstretched boot as Bakayoko was in sight of goal.

Bakayoko, at times, seems to have some of the attributes of Derby's Paulo Wanchope, the ball seems to stick to his feet as he goes on runs which he has no right to complete, and yet he does, as he turns, drops his shoulder, goes between defenders. If he's still not match fit for the Premiership (and his late substitution to be replaced by Milligan may bear testimony to this), I'm happy to wait till he's up and running at full throttle. He could have had that all important goal though.

One surging run from Short left the Newcastle defence in tatters. The 'on' ball was Bakayoko in the clear, but Short went for glory and missed. Watson too, had a chance, late on from a corner, which was somehow blocked by a defender, and Collins and Unsworth both had efforts which sailed over the bar. Grant saw an effort deflected for a corner, though in this case I'm not sure it would have been a problem for Shay Given.

All of these efforts belied the fact that we had started to sit deep, almost as if we wanted to play like the away team, hitting the opposition on the break. All it did though, was invite more pressure and more panic. Shades of Coventry; but Newcastle, for all their possession, never looked like scoring, despite the best efforts of Gillespie, who was giving Michael Ball far more to think about in defence than he normally has to worry about. His treatment by Gillespie will be a good education for him.

Sadly for Danny, he was booked again. It was a wee bit unfortunate really, though justified in the context of what happened. Danny was dragged down by Batty near the corner flag, right next to the linesman, but no whistle went when it was patently a foul. Danny got up and dived in with the next tackle. Out came the book. Petulance – at that moment it was a justifiable booking, but in truth the moment should never have arrived as the whistle had already gone.

In the dying moments, Cadamarteri was replaced by Jeffers. Suddenly we broke, Ball racing up the left. A ball delivered to Jeffers was pushed behind Milligan, who, seeming to be expecting an offside flag, made only a half-hearted attempt at reaching it. He made a slight contact and Jeffers, who had continued running, raced across goal, defender in tow and managed a late shot at goal. It didn't go in but it ended the game on a positive note.

All in all the points were deserved. We still looked goal-shy up front, but more because the luck wasn't with us again, rather than the lack of effort which appeared to be the case at Highbury and Highfield Road. If we keep making the chances it'll come right. The problem is we're so inconsistent that we aren't going to make the chances all the time. And we can't blame the luck forever, can we?

Man of the match: Hutchison, just shading it from Grant.

Ball bowls Newcastle over from the spot
by Dave Hadfield, The Independent
AT the seventh time of asking this season, Everton finally won a League game at Goodison Park. Although they had little to beat, they only needed one goal last night, which they got thanks to a needlessly conceded penalty. But there were some mildly encouraging signs for Walter Smith as they broke their duck.

In the absence of each club's leading striker, the injured Alan Shearer and the suspended Duncan Ferguson, both sides had an incomplete look about them.

Of the two, Everton's plight should have been the worse; Ferguson was, at start of play, their only player to score more than once this season and the only one to register at home in the Premiership.

Under the circumstances, it was not surprising that early scoring chances should be rare enough to qualify as non-existent. After 17 minutes, however, Newcastle made their hosts a present of one.

David Unsworth sent a long ball forward and, although there was no danger when Don Hutchison nudged it into the area near the byline, Carl Serrant's lunge brought him down comprehensively. Michael Ball, now Everton's recognised penalty-taker, fired it into the top of the net.

If that was a piece of pure good fortune, then Everton twice came close to earning a second goal around the half hour mark.

Tony Grant's through ball to Ibrahima Bakayoko was a beauty and the striker's shot had to be well saved by Shay Given. Then Hutchison's flighted cross gave the same player a headed chance, which he glanced just past the far post.

An insipid Newcastle's best hope of getting on terms came from the pace of Keith Gillespie on the right, but too often his final ball was poor.

Ruud Gullit's switch to a back three and wing-backs at half-time produced little or no improvement. Newcastle were still vulnerable when Everton passed the ball two feet and a twisting run from Bakayoko yielded a free-kick in a dangerous position, sent in too high by John Collins, who then did something similar with another shooting opportunity, this time from Grant's corner.

Newcastle also sent on their summer signing from Tottenham, Garry Brady, in place of the ineffective Paul Dalglish, but there was still no sign of the spark that might ignite them.

Yet another Newcastle substitute, Dietmar Hamann, had a deflected free-kick well saved by Thomas Myrhe as they belatedly showed some urgency, but Everton came closer to a second when Dave Watson had a close-range effort blocked.

As full-time approached it was perhaps understandable that a side that has fgorgotten how to win at home should become a little jumpy, Watson's slice over his own bar being one signal of that, but Everton hung on for the three points.

Report © The Independent

Gullit plunged into deeper gloom
by Michael Walker, The Guardian
Michael Ball's well-taken penalty midway through the first half, only the second Premiership goal scored by Everton at Goodison all season, allowed Walter Smith's side temporary respite from a possible descent into a relegation battle and left Ruud Gullit's Newcastle United looking nervously over their shoulders this morning.

They will still see Everton and a few others there, but that is small consolation. This was as bad a Newcastle display as there has been under Gullit and he clearly requires that transfer money more urgently than at any time in his three months in charge.

The too-good-to-go-down cliche was trotted out about Blackburn in several quarters yesterday, funnily enough a sentiment rarely used in the Everton context over the past few seasons. Having won only two of their previous 13 league matches, the Blues are bad enough to be relegated, though Newcastle, only four points higher at the start of play, have little to be smug about.

Those neutrals already pessimistic about seeing a glut of goals received dreaded reassurance when the two sides appeared. Nikos Dabizas, Newcastle's Greek centre-half, was the leading scorer on show with just three to his credit this season.

Unsurprisingly, given the under-confidence in both camps, the early stages were scrappy with no one in either midfield capable of directing play and both defences looking edgy. It seemed certain that any breakthrough would come as the result of a defender's mistake.

Sure enough, Newcastle's left-back Carl Serrant supplied it, lunging at Don Hutchison inside the area near the byline when all that was needed was cautious shepherding. Hutchison went to ground, Serrant was booked and Ball drilled in the penalty kick in the 18th minute with calm assurance.

Newcastle's reaction was tame intellectually and emotionally, Everton's meagre but the lifting of their spirits was sufficient for them to assume territorial superiority.

Just past the half-hour Ibrahima Bakayoko went close twice. First he turned Laurent Charvet easily and forced an impressive block from Shay Given, then he flicked a Hutchison chip deftly but narrowly wide of Given's right-hand post.

At half-time Serrant paid for his earlier error as Philippe Albert, told last week that he is surplus to requirements at St James' Park, came on in a formation rejigged to 3-5-2 by Gullit.

But the effect of the switch was not immediate and instead it was Everton, via two left-footed strikes from John Collins, who looked the more attack conscious.

Not until the 56th minute did Newcastle mount anything to resemble a similar threat, then Keith Gillespie skinned Ball and delivered a tempting cross, only for Richard Dunne to clear it without the goalkeeper Thomas Myhre being needed.

Sixteen minutes from the end Myhre at last made a save. It came from Dietmar Hamann's free-kick, the German having belatedly replaced Warren Barton, but Myhre was able to smother the deflected shot. At the other end, after finally relieving Newcastle's low-quality siege, Everton almost scored a second when Dave Watson applied the best touch in a goalmouth scramble from a corner by Collins. But his shot from six yards hit a black-and-white shirt and the ball was cleared to safety.

Report © The Guardian

 Ball pens perfect Everton script
by Stephen Wood, The Times
AT TIMES this season, Walter Smith, the manager of Everton, must have wondered why he took the job. Embroiled at the wrong end of the FA Carling Premiership, Smith has pleaded for patience while criticism has been the pervading sentiment. Perhaps this result at Goodison Park last night, therefore, will have been cherished by Smith like no other.

The goal, by Michael Ball, came from a penalty and there was precious little to cheer Smith by way of long-term optimism. However, the solitary strike secured Everton's first home victory of the season and their first in six league games.

This time last year, Smith was still master of all he surveyed as manager of Rangers. He ended his glorious ten-year association at Ibrox in the summer and, for a while this season, it must have felt as though it would take a similar time for him to produce just one win at Goodison. Smith will no doubt rise to the challenge ahead and his hope now is that Everton can build on this victory to climb farther away from the Premiership basement.

"I have not been surprised by the size of the job I have been confronted with," he said. "Of course, we are happy to achieve our first win at home this season and I thought we were in control for much of the game. It gives us a platform to do more, but one victory will not transform our season. There is still a lot of work to be done."

Transition has been the watchword at both clubs this season and, with neither having made a particularly encouraging fist of it thus far, the kind of anticipation that greeted this encounter was one of dread. To complicate matters, Duncan Ferguson and Alan Shearer, the respective, talismanic strikers, were in the stand. Everton rely on Ferguson too heavily, likewise Newcastle with Shearer, and an enterprising performance by either side without their influence would have stirred the debate over whether they should be sacrificed for the sake of all-round development.

Such performances never arrived, although that does not mean that either player will remain in situ. Ferguson, in particular, is the subject of rumours linking him with transfers to Sunderland or Newcastle themselves. Smith, however, may be tempted to keep him for the moment, because the club's finances are such that any money received from his sale would not necessarily be available to buy other players.

Ferguson apart, Everton look to Ibrahima Bakayoko, the Ivory Coast international. Alas, he posed a serious threat only twice, in the space of one first-half minute. Cutting inside from the right, he forced a save at a comfortable height by Given and, from a cross by Don Hutchison, directed a glancing header narrowly wide of the far post.

As Smith has pointed out, it will take time for Bakayoko, 21, to adapt to an alien country. To provide Everton with the breakthrough, it was left to a combination of two journeymen British players. After 18 minutes, David Unsworth floated a pass to Hutchison, who advanced into the penalty area before a delightful piece of skill fooled Carl Serrant, the Newcastle defender, into a reckless tackle. Hutchison was brought down, a penalty awarded and Ball, the talented England Under-21 player, powered the spot-kick past Given.

It represented only the second time that Everton had been in front in a league match this season and, despite Ruud Gullit changing the Newcastle system to 3-5-2, Myhre was forced to make just one serious save in the second half, from a deflected free kick by Hamann.

Gullit is losing patience. He has complained about the lack of transfer funds available and last night questioned Alan Shearer's commitment to the club. "We really need strong attackers right now because we just could not compete with Everton," he said. "There was no threat, no real hope of us achieving a satisfactory result. The outlook is not good."

Report © Times Newspapers Ltd

 Ball ends Everton's barren home spell
Henry Winter, Electronic Telegraph
THE HOME fires finally burned strongly for Everton last night as Goodison celebrated its first Premiership victory of the season. Given Everton's trouble in scoring this season – their starting line-up had managed only three league goals between them – it was only appropriate that the strike should come from a penalty, confidently despatched by Michael Ball.

An avalanche of goals was never likely, particularly with Duncan Ferguson and Alan Shearer both absent, but Everton will cherish Ball's solitary strike. They were well worth their victory. Dave Watson stood firm at the back while Don Hutchison was outstanding. Newcastle, though, were disappointing.

In Ferguson's absence, Everton adopted a more varied approach, using the pace of Danny Cadamarteri and Ibrahima Bakayoko to trouble Newcastle's defence. Cadamarteri, cutting in from the left, often worried Warren Barton, who was soon in Neale Barry's book for a foul on the energetic Evertonian.

Over on the other flank Carl Serrant was also having problems coping with Everton surges most notably after 17 minutes. When David Unsworth arrowed a diagonal pass to Hutchison, Serrant betrayed his inexperience and misjudged the ball's flight. Hutchison, anticipating well, turned and sped towards the byeline only for Serrant, diving in vainfully, to bring him down for a clear penalty.

Michael Ball hammers home his penalty kick Ball, showing commendable composure, placed the ball on the spot, stepped back, turned and thumped it hard past Shay Given. It was his second penalty of the season and, given the experience of those around him, like John Collins, Ball's willingness to take the responsibility was commendable. Goodison, which had seen only one other home goal this season, was delighted.

These were encouraging times for Everton, with Cadamarteri giving Barton nightmares, and Hutchison and Tony Grant working prodigiously in midfield, often pushing Robert Lee and David Batty deep. Shortly after the half-hour point, Everton could, possibly should, have added to their advantage.

Bakayoko, who continued to buzz around the box, twice had chances to score. The first he made himself, racing in from the left, leaving Charvet gasping on the vapour-trails before bringing an outstanding save from Given. The Ivory Coast striker hit the ball almost too hard when a placed effort might have brought greater reward.

Newcastle were poor, their back-four often exposed, their midfield too deep and predictable while, further forward, they lacked a focal point. Paul Dalglish ran hard, but his labours were rarely rewarded with a decent pass.

Everton's goal was briefly threatened by Nikos Dabizas, following Serrant's inswinging corner, but Newcastle were disappointing in the first half.

In an attempt to gain the initiative in central midfield Ruud Gullit, Newcastle's manager, replaced Serrant with Philippe Albert, going from a back-four to wing-backs. Barton moved into midfield to assist the hard-pressed Lee and Batty until he, in turn, was taken off for Dietmar Hamann.

If Barton's departure was hardly unexpected, given his lack of significant contribution, then the summoning to the bench of Dalglish was perplexing indeed.

Dalglish's attacking partner, Andreas Andersson, had done little in attack and only briefly flickered into life in the second half. The Swede resembled a ghost striker only in his lack of presence. At least Dalglish's exit afforded Garry Brady, the former Tottenham midfielder, his first taste of Newcastle action.

Newcastle were marginally more incisive after the break, doubtless helped by their better balance in midfield. Gillespie tricked his way past Ball down the right, but his cross, ideally weighted, failed to inspire his colleagues, a team desperately short of height up front. Hamann cracked in a free-kick, which Myhre held, much to Goodison's relief.

Everton threatened on occasion. When Hutchison clipped in one of his excellent right-wing corners, Watson almost added a second goal.

Report © The Electronic Telegraph

 RESULTS  (Game 14)
Saturday 21 November 1998
Aston Villa  2                  Liverpool  4            39,241
Dublin 46,64                    Ince 2, Fowler 7,58,66
Blackburn Rovers  0             Southampton  2          22,812
Oakley 4, Basham 90 Leeds United 4 Charlton Athletic 1 32,487 Hasselbaink 34, Bowyer 51, Mortimer 65 Smith 67, Kewell 87 Leicester City 2 Chelsea 4 21,401 Izzet 41, Guppy 60 Zola 28,90, Poyet 39, Flo 50 Middlesbrough 2 Coventry City 0 34,293 Gordon 66, Ricard 83 Sheffield Wednesday 3 Manchester United 1 39,475 Alexandersson 15,73, Jonk 55 Cole 29 Tottenham Hotsppur 2 Nottingham Forest 0 35,832 Armstrong 58, Nielsen 68 Wimbledon 1 Arsenal 0 26,003 Ekoku 75  
Sunday 22 November 1998
Derby County  0                 West Ham United  2      31,366
                                Hartson 7, Keller 72
Monday 23 November 1998
Everton  1                      Newcastle United  0     30,357
Ball 18:pen

 LEAGUE TABLE (after 23 November 1998 )
Club                          P    W    D    L   GF   GA   GD   Pts
Aston Villa                  13    8    4    1   20   10   10   28
Manchester United            13    7    4    2   27   14   13   25
Arsenal                      14    6    6    2   14    6    8   24
Chelsea                      12    6    5    1   21   12    9   23
Leeds United                 14    5    8    1   20   11    9   23
West Ham United              14    6    5    3   18   15    3   23
Middlesbrough                14    5    7    2   23   16    7   22
Wimbledon                    14    5    5    4   18   22   -4   20
Liverpool                    14    5    4    5   24   19    5   19
Tottenham Hotspur            14    5    4    5   18   21   -3   19
Derby County                 14    4    6    4   14   14    0   18
Leicester City               14    4    5    5   15   17   -2   17
Charlton Athletic            14    3    7    4   21   21    0   16
Newcastle United             14    4    4    6   16   18   -2   16
Sheffield Wednesday          14    4    3    7   13   14   -1   15
Everton                      14    3    6    5    8   14   -6   15
Coventry City                14    4    2    8   12   20   -8   14
Nottingham Forest            14    2    4    8   10   22  -12   10
Southampton                  14    2    4    8   12   30  -18   10
Blackburn Rovers             14    2    3    9   14   22   -8    9
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Last updated: 27 November 1998