St Truiden Logo Sint Truidense 0 - 0 Everton
Half-Time: 0 - 0
Everton Logo
1998 Pre-season Tour, Game 4
Wednesday 5 August 1998
Truiden, Belgium
Att: 4,500
« Standard Liege (f) Ref: ? VV Una (f) »
1998-99 Fixtures & Results


St Truiden:
EVERTON: El Hamruun
   LINEUPS  Subs Not Used 
St Truiden: Volk, Vrancken, Voets, Van Oekelen, Lenglois (Ducoulombier 75), Englebert, Mertens (Vangeel 85), Rudonja, Dierickx, Teppers (Deckers 80), Aerts (Petersen 46). Belic.
EVERTON: Myhre, Thomas, Cleland, Short, Materazzi (45 Tiler), Hutchison, Dacourt (74 Farrelly), Collins (74 Branch), Barmby (70 Oster), Ferguson (70 Madar), Spencer (45 El Hamruun).
Unavailable: Gerrard, Dunne, Ward, Cadamarteri, Williamson, Phelan, Parkinson (injured). Unsworth (signing not resolved)
Watson, O'Kane.
   Yellow Cards  Red Cards
St Truiden:

Sorry, none filed
SPORTING LIFE Chances missed
THE EVERTONIAN Smith fears mount as Blues fire blanks

Smith fears mount as Blues fire blanks
Paul Joyce
Shot-shy Everton's lack of a cutting edge was again exposed last night, leaving manager Walter Smith to nurse an attacking headache just nine days before the start of the season.

Everton managed just three attempts on target in the entire 90-minutes against Belgian Premier side St Truiden in a dour and ultimately disappointing display.

And their failure to find the net will be causing increasing concern for Smith and number two Archie Knox with the Premiership opener against Aston Villa looming fast.

Everton have managed just six goals in six pre-season outings so far and never looked likely to improve on that statistic, despite the trio of Duncan Ferguson, John Spencer and Nick Barmby starting in attack.

Smith kept faith with the 4-3-3 line-up which had been successful in the Standard De Liege Tournoi De Centenaire at the weekend and Don Hutchison operated in a 'Dunga-style' role just in front of the back four.

The formation gives Everton a firm foundation on which to build and the Blues have now kept three successive clean sheets, restricting St Truiden to just one effort on target themselves.

But there are also just two more games, starting tonight against Dutch non-league side UNA, for Smith to uncover the right blend of defensive solidity and forward penetration that will test their Premiership rivals.

Olivier Dacourt's work-rate and positional sense again caught the eye in an opening half in which Everton managed two headers on target. Firstly, intelligent link play between Dacourt and Tony Thomas created space for Nick Barmby to curl in the type of cross Duncan Ferguson relishes on 29 minutes.

The Scot's powerful header was palmed over the crossbar by keeper Robert Volk, but he will have been disappointed not to have claimed his first goal of pre-season.

Craig Short almost showed his skipper how it should be done when another cross from the right, this time from Thomas, saw the centre-half beat Volk in the air. But as the ball rolled towards an unguarded goal, Wouter Wrancken was on hand to clear the lines.

Tunisian triallist Yasser El Hamruum replaced Spencer, Carl Tiler came on for Materazzi and Thomas switched full-back berths with Alex Cleland at half-time. The changes, however, made little impact on the overall display in front of around 150 Everton supporters.

Dacourt and Hutchison both collected yellow cards either side of a disallowed headed goal for offside from Mickael Madar, who replaced Ferguson after 70 minutes. Madar's ambitious shot from a tight angle completed Everton's tally of efforts on target six minutes later.

Afterwards Smith said: "Our possession of the ball let us down more than anything else and that meant chances were few and far between. Obviously we are concerned. The whole object is to look for and try to get goals, but first and foremost for any new manager coming in, the first job is to make sure we are not giving goals away."

"We have gone a few games now without conceding a goal which has been an important factor for us in terms of starting out. For all clubs the hardest part to get around is the goalscoring part so we have a bit of work to do in that respect."

Italian Marco Materazzi left the game nursing a suspected broken nose and four stitches in a cut, while Michael Ball is unlikely to play again on the tour to allow a groin injury to settle down. Tony Grant and Gavin McCann are also nursing knee and hamstring injuries, which makes them doubtful for tonight.

Chances missed
The Sporting Life
Slaven Bilic rejoined his Everton team-mates this week after his controversial World Cup but watched a 0-0 draw against St Truidense from the stand, as the Blues created a string of openings without hitting the back of the net.

New boss Walter Smith will have been pleased to see Duncan Ferguson in the thick of the action, but Olivier Dacourt continued to be the most impressive performer of Everton's pre-season tour of Holland and Belgium

In the first half, Ferguson rose to head Nick Barmby's cross goalwards only to see the ball skim the bar.

The visitors followed that with the defence hacking clear Craig Short's header from Tony Thomas' cross.

One scare for Smith was the clash that left his £2.5million signing Marco Materazzi clutching a bloody nose, but the former Perugia man was able to continue after treatment.

After the break, Everton continued to have most of the play with little goalmouth action until Mickael Madar, on as a substitute for Ferguson, saw his shot smothered at the near post, the best opportunity of the half.

About 200 Blues fans were in the 4,500 crowd. Those who travel on to the last two games of the tour, when Bilic looks certain to get at least one outing, will be hoping for something more stimulating than this.

Report © The Sporting Life


[Fixtures] [History] [Current Season] [Club] [Fans] [Home] [Top]

© Michael Kenrick 1998
Last updated: 8 August 1998