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Everton 4 - 0 Wimbledon

Half-time: 1 - 0

Wimbledon Logo
FA Carling Premiership 1999-2000 – Game 5
8pm Wednesday 25 August 1999
Goodison Park, Liverpool
Att: 32,818
Southampton (h) Ref: Jeff Winters Derby County (a) 
[1999-2000 Fixtures & Results] League Position: 7th [Premiership Results & Table]
Nick Barmby: Change of fortune? The match started as a typical dire struggle between the usual combatants, but changed suddenly when Campbell surged into the Dons' penalty area on the quarter-hour and was pulled back by Dean Blackwell. Unsworth stepped up to place the penalty kick but Sullivan pushed it onto the post. Luckily, Unsworth was sufficiently awake to slot the rebound into the net.

After half-time, it was another goal blitz from Everton, with Barmby getting a well-deserved goal, and Jeffers with a cool finish after nice work from Campbell. It was fitting that an excellent Nick Barmby was the provider for Cambell's closing goal, when his strength took him past the flailing Dons defence. Everton continued to play good football with most of the team performing well, especially David Weir, who is excelling as a centre-half. And the first clean sheet of the season for Paul Gerrard.


EVERTON: Unsworth (16'), Barmby (46'), Jeffers (50'), Campbell (68')
   LINEUPS  Subs Not Used 
EVERTON: Gerrard, Dunne, Weir, Gough, Unsworth, Ward, Hutchison, Pembridge (86' Gemmill), Barmby (82' Ball), Campbell, Jeffers (84' Cadamarteri).
Unavailable: Myhre, Williamson, Parkinson (injured); Bilic, Branch, Grant, Farrelly, O'Kane (transfer-listed).
Simonsen, Watson.
Wimbledon: Sullivan; Thatcher, Cunningham, Blackwell, Kimble; Euell, Roberts (45' Anderson), Earle (58' Ainsworth), Hughes (80' Leaburn); Cort, Gayle. Davis, Badir.
   Playing Strips  Formations
EVERTON: Royal Blue shirts; white shorts; blue socks. 4-4-2
Wimbledon: Dark red shirts, shorts and socks.  4-4-2
   Yellow Cards  Red Cards
EVERTON: Campbell (86')
Wimbledon: Thatcher (42')

Steve Bickerton Barmby: committment, skill, vision
Richard Marland Very encouraging...
Philip Pellow Class and flair... Is this Everton?
ELECTRONIC TELEGRAPH Everton into overdrive
by Peter Gardner
THE INDEPENDENT Barmby Provides Inspiration
by an Independent Jurno
THE TIMES Everton banish memories of recent struggles
by Stephen Wood
EFC NEWS SITE Link to the Echo/Daily Post Match Report

THE GUARDIAN Link to Football Unlimited Match Report
SPORTSLIVE Link to SportsLive Match Report
CARLINGNET Link to CarlingNet Match Report

 Barmby: committment, skill, vision
Steve Bickerton
Walter surprised me by playing Ward in preference to Gemmill for the absent Collins. This left Barmby to switch to the left from the right hand side he'd started on last Saturday.

I confess to having arrived at the game a little apprehensively. We'd played well, in patches, against Southampton. In fact we'd played some of the best football that I'd seen us turn out for an age. But that was in patches – and we'd still managed to knock in four. Wimbledon, though, were going to be a different kettle of fish. Dogged determination, a team spirit not really matched anywhere else in the Premiership and possessed of a knack of turning the most attractive team into a dour knock it up in the air, play it their way team. And so it proved to be.

For fifteen minutes they played us off the park, with the trademark game of SW19 – tennis – though this time of the head variety. Up in the air, nod it around and your opponents can't play football. After 15 minutes that approach nearly paid off as Gerrard was called upon to make a snatched save, at the second attempt. After that the contest was over. Down the other end, Blackwell tugged at Campbell's sleeve and down went the striker. Mr Winter didn't react, until his assistants flag caught his eye. Penalty.

Jeffers clung onto the ball for a short while, until Rhino stepped up to place the ball on the spot. Placement seemed to be on his mind still as he pushed the ball to Sullivan's right and the keeper pushed the ball onto the post. In previous years the ball would have rebounded straight back into the keeper's arms or to a defender's feet. And so it was this time, but the defender was ours and Rhino lashed it into the net. 1-0. We're off!

Further efforts from Barmby and Dunne went unrewarded as we dominated possession and stroked the ball around nicely. Pretty patterns, pretty football, total control. Yet still, as half-time came we led by just the one goal. memories of the Dons' last performance at Newcastle where they came from 3-1 down to claim a draw made me more than a little nervous, especially as we could be relied upon to be so good in one half and so poor in another far too often in the recent past.

The second half began slowly. A little tap from Jeffers to Campbell to kick off, back to Hutchison, back to Dunne and the ball is at Gerrard's feet. Hardly inspiring. In the twinkle of an eye, Campbell had headed on Gerrard's clearance, Jeffers had flicked it into space and Barmby had appeared from nowhere to drive the ball past Sullivan at his near post. 21 seconds from the restart and we were 2-0 up! That could, quite simply, be the most important goal of Barmby's career. He's played so well both at the end of last year and the beginning of this, going so close without actually getting on the score sheet that he must have wondered what he had to do to find the net. Having done it now his already excellent work rate has been boosted by a class finish. His confidence could not be higher at the moment. Could it be that the best is yet to come? Such a pity that Mr Keegan wasn't there to see him.

Back to the game. It was fantasy football time. Quick one touch passing, the ball kept to feet. Wimbledon always on the back foot and then suddenly the ball is through to Jeffers and its 3-0. I looked at the score board. 50 minutes played. What on earth has Walter taken to saying in his half time team talks? Or is it that everyone can understand him this year?

We now bathed in the warm glow of a team playing excellent football. A team which looked as though it was the most natural thing in the world to play like that, as if it had done it, week in, week out, for years. I was dazed by the number of passes we were able to string together without a Wimbledon player touching it, stunned by the level of skill shown by players who'd shown no real indication of it to the fans. The scoreboard was dizzy with delight too, as the lights decided to do a dance of their own, before they were turned off, told to calm down and then turned on again. My biggest concern now was how on earth I would choose a Man of the Match.

Then came goal number four. Unlike Saturday, there was no question that Campbell scored this one. Franny pushed a neat ball through to Campbell who was just outside the box with two defenders in close attendance. The pass beat one of them and a deft flick with his heel saw the ball fly past the other and Campbell brush him aside before, with only Sullivan to beat, he slotted the ball coolly into the net. 4-0!

And then we took the foot of the gas as one or two players tired a little. Not surprising really. Nevertheless, even in this "cruise-control" state we could have added more, with Jeffers, Campbell and Barmby all having efforts saved by Sullivan. Then Barmby took a knock and he was replaced by Ball. This caused no problems for the buoyant mood of the side as Ball, playing in unusually advanced positions, might well have added a fifth. Cadamarteri, who replaced Jeffers, might also have added to the tally as he saw a looping header tipped over by the Wimbledon keeper. The score could have been enormous. It was a rout.

The final whistle brought a standing ovation. Four goals, two matches running at home. "I don't believe it!" was my reaction. But looking back we did it last season, and then it was six and four. Maybe we really can score goals. Maybe we can play football. Maybe I can believe it now!

Man of the Match: Of the eleven who started the game, there were only two who didn't figure in the equation. The first, Gerrard had hardly a thing to do and what he did have to do he did competently. The other was Dunne, who was pretty poor to begin with, but as the game progressed became a lot more confident. One particular charge down the right wing, where he dispossessed an opponent and brushed aside the referee's assistant, before delivering a cross, will remain with me for a long time.

That left nine players to choose from. Gough just edged it from Rhino and the vastly improved Weir in defence. In midfield Barmby's all round performance saw him win that battle too. Special praise here for Ward who had by far the best game I've seen him play in a Royal Blue shirt. Pembridge and Hutchison were also no slouches.

Up front Campbell edged it from Jeffers for an all action, rumbustious display which left the Wimbledon defence wondering what had hit them. That narrows it to three and my final vote goes to Barmby for a display of true determination, of consummate skill and exceptional vision. He may well be our most expensive signing, but he's now justified the tag. I can't remember him ever playing better and if this form doesn't deserve an England call up, how did he ever make the International squad in the first place?

All we need to do now is to translate such sparkling home form into an away form which can get us some meaningful points. Once we start doing that we can believe that Walter's getting it right and that we won't be worrying about safety this year and we'll be able to enjoy the whole of the season.

 Very encouraging...
Richard Marland
I'm going to give up trying to second guess Walter's team selections. I wasn't surprised that Watson wasn't used (why change a defense that played well?), but I never even considered Mitch Ward replacing John Collins. This caused a bit of a midfield reshuffle with Pembridge moving into the centre to partner Hutchison, Ward going to the right flank and Barmby returning to the left. What I think Walter was trying to do was snuff out the threat of Michael Hughes and give Richard Dunne a helping hand.

The first fifteen minutes of the game were as wretched a fifteen minutes as I have ever witnessed. Wimbledon only had one aim and that was to hoof it long at every opportunity, if you thought we could be bad at that well, even at our worst, we don't get close to Wimbledon. Within that first fifteen minutes I reckon that Neil Sullivan kicked it straight through to Paul Gerrard on 4 or 5 occasions, with Gerrard returning the favour once or twice.

It took a goal to change the pattern of the game. A long ball from us, Campbell gave chase, did very well to get goalside of the defender and then went down under pressure from the defender. Penalty. From my distant vantage point it looked a bit of a soft one; I didn't doubt that contact had been made but Campbell seemed a little eager to go down. Not one for looking gift horses in the mouth, Unsworth despatched the penalty via Sullivan, the post and his own second touch. It wasn't a badly taken penalty, credit goes to Sullivan for saving it and he was unfortunate that it went straight back into the path of Unsworth to place it into a now empty net.

That was it, we were off and running. With a goal under our belts we started to play some football. For a ten or fifteen minute spell we stroked it around as well as we have done during Walter's tenure. It became apparent that everyone was playing well and contributing to the team effort, it was a delight to watch. However, despite this control we didn't add to our tally and we reached half time at 1-0, nowhere near enough to feel confident against a side such as Wimbledon.

The second half brought our habitual deluge of goals (does twice make it habitual?). Within the first minute Nick Barmby got a richly deserved goal, Campbell flicked on a long ball, Jeffers did well under pressure to move it onto Barmby who took it into the area and scored despite Sullivan getting a hand to the ball. Within minutes the third arrived Campbell did well down the right, taking the ball into the area before squaring to the unmarked Jeffers who scored with a first time shot.

For the second time in 5 days we had very quickly moved ourselves into the comfort zone. Once again this gave us licence to play some football. Hutchison started to run the midfield in impressive style, Barmby, Campbell and Jeffers were all lively and inventive. It was impressive, convincing stuff with everyone, and I mean everyone, playing their part.

Chances continued to come our way and it was no surprise when we added the fourth. And it was also no surprise to see Campbell get on the score sheet. Once again he used his pace and strength to get goalside of the defender and take the ball into the box; this time he was able to finish with ease to claim another well deserved goal.

The scoring over, it was time for a stroll in the park. What was encouraging to see though was that there was no loss of concentration or commitment. Yes we took our foot off the gas but we continued to control the game and continued to fashion goal scoring opportunities. Walter had his usual flurry of late substitutions, Barmby was first to leave the scene, if anyone deserved to put their feet up then it was him, and he left to a standing ovation to be replaced by Michael Ball. Before the final whistle he also swapped Gemmill for Pembridge and Cadamarteri for Jeffers.

Today was a distinct step forward from the Southampton game. The overall quality of the play was much better, the passing was much better, and individually there were better performances. There is still room for improvement but the signs are very encouraging, very encouraging indeed. It's becoming fun to go to Goodison again.


  • Gerrard 7 Not called on to do anything other than the routine.
  • Dunne 7 A more confident, assured performance than that against Southampton. Obviously feeling the benefit of a run in the side.
  • Unsworth 7 Not as good as he was against Southampton but still a good performance.
  • Weir 7 Another good performance at centre back, I like him.
  • Gough 8 Outstanding. Dealt wonderfully with the aerial bombardment and wasn't found wanting on the deck. A decent footballer too who knows how to use the ball. Very impressive.
  • Ward 7 His best display in a blue shirt. Backed Dunne up well in defence and also got forward well. Passes the ball well and rarely gives it away.
  • Hutchison 7 Don is back. This was Don back to his form of last season. Was running the show at times and if he does that consistently then he's even better than he was last season.
  • Pembridge 7 Was undecided after Southampton but he's winning me over. Doesn't do anything flashy, just gives the ball simply which is precisely what is required of him.
  • Barmby 8 On an outstanding run of form. Involved in everything.
  • Campbell 8 The man who makes it all happen, without him in there it just wouldn't work. Involved in all 4 goals, can play it in the air or on the deck. Priceless to us at the moment.
  • Jeffers 7 Another quality performance with yet another goal. A tendency for greediness at times, but we'll forgive him that.
  • Ball 7 Looked quite lively, did well.
  • Cadamarteri 7 His brightest performance in a while, even came close to scoring.
  • Gemmill 7 Did his job.

Team 7 A true team performance. Everyone played well and a few played very well, when that happens you aren't going to go far wrong.

Man of the match For me the three star performers where Gough, Campbell and Barmby. I'd give it to Barmby as much for his run of form as anything else.

 Class and flair... Is this Everton?
Philip Pellow
Just got my feet back on the ground and my bum back in the seat after a great display by the boys tonight. Wimbledon, as usual well populated with six footers, gave the Egil Olsen variety of turnip football – launch it then run after it, but the Blues were determined at the back and would not be intimidated.

And that is where the match was won, because eventually we had the possession to let our real quality show. Passing, movement and pace – the Blues had them all tonight. Okay, so the opposition were crap, but last season we struggled against crap. Not any more.

After a scrappy opening dominated by Everton, with Barmby magical on the left flank and Gough majestic at the back, the breakthrough came when Campbell outfoxed a defender (Blackwell?) in the box and was pulled down for a penalty. Sullivan pushed Unsworth's placed shot onto the post but the rebound left Rhino with an open goal and he duly obliged.

Barmby flashed a shot across the face, then cut in from the right to power a beauty towards the near top corner, but Sullivan saved well. In the opening minute of the second half, Campbell put Barmby through and his fierce drive was too hot for Sullivan, who could get half a hand onto it and that was two nil.

A few minutes later, Campbell powered into the box and squared for Franny, who shot instantly, low to the keeper's right. Again, Sullivan got a touch but couldn't prevent the goal. Mitch Ward, playing his best game for the Blues, had a cross shot brilliantly saved, but from the corner Barmby flashed a shot just wide. It was one way traffic, with Everton passing, moving and entertaining us with a superb display of the highest quality.

The fourth goal had to come, and it was only just that it fell to Campbell, who had made the first three. A good through ball by Pembridge (?) and KC flicked the round Blackwell, ran the other side, collected the ball and shot in the corner – sheer class of the highest order.

There could have been five or six more - great performance. And, hey, guess what? A clean sheet. Dizzy heights!


  • Gerrard 7 Confident and assured.
  • Dunne 7 Subdued the dangerous Hughes so well that the lad was subbed
  • Weir 8 Faultless
  • Gough 9 Quality and leadership
  • Unsworth 8 Took a battering from Cort and Co but never gave an inch nor missed a tackle
  • Ward 8 Best game yet. Pacey (!) and involved, seldom wasted a pass
  • Hutchison 7 great last half hour but anonymous for the first hour or so
  • Pembridge 7 Tidy, efficient, organised
  • Barmby 10 Awesome, brilliant, ran them ragged, deserved the goal and the ovation when subbed
  • Campbell 9 Hand in every goal, won loads in the air, great control and vision on the deck
  • Jeffers 7 took his goal well but not involved as much as saturday

Enjoy, folks. There is more to come. Goals, goals, goals, and more on the way.

 Everton into overdrive
by Peter Gardner, Electronic Telegraph
EVERTON maintained their new-found finishing flourish to account for a wretched Wimbledon at Goodison Park. Second-half goals from Nick Barmby, Francis Jeffers and Kevin Campbell followed the first-half opener from David Unsworth, his third goal of the season.

Everton quickly rediscovered the flair and fluency that had brought the season's first victory with the comprehensive 4-1 demolition of Southampton at the weekend although it took a penalty, the fifth Wimbledon have conceded in as many games so far, for the Merseysiders to assert their dominance.

Campbell had the pace to accelerate past Dean Blackwell, whose shirt-tugging to contain the Everton striker was noted by a linesman. Unsworth, successful with two penalties in the 3-2 defeat at Tottenham, saw his attempt parried on to a post by Neil Sullivan, who had no chance as Unsworth reacted sharply to dispatch the rebound.

Barmby rifled in a right-angled effort that Sullivan turned behind off the near post and from Barmby's corner, Richard Gough headed forward only for Jeffers to shoot over from an excellent close-in position. When Jeffers turned provider, Mark Pembridge's shot was deflected, as was another by Barmby as the home pressure intensified.

Almost on the stroke of half-time Blackwell atoned for his earlier error, revealing excellent defensive qualities to clear as Campbell again threatened.

Inside a minute of the resumption, Barmby finished purposefully from the right, Sullivan again getting a hand to the ball although the sheer pace took it beyond him for Everton's second. Jeffers finished with equal aplomb for a 51st-minute third when Campbell again had the beating of Blackwell before dragging the ball in front of Terry Cunningham.

Wimbledon responded briefly, captain Robbie Earle heading wide from Alan Kimble and Michael Hughes following up a crisp right-angled drive that Paul Gerrard gathered safely at the near post. However, the home side's grasp was total and after Don Hutchison had curled an attempt just wide, Campbell finished clinically from the left when he was set up by Barmby.

Report The Electronic Telegraph

 Barmby Provides Inspiration
The Independent
FOR THOSE who remember the Goodison, the bad and the ugly of 12 months ago and are astonished by this result, you are not alone. The Everton scoreboard was so overloaded by the turn of events last night it flickered briefly, flashed gobbledygook for several seconds and then went blank.

No one could blame it. A year ago Everton wondered when their next home goal would come from, now they cannot stop scoring and this took their tally to eight in three Goodison matches. For good measure it also took them above Liverpool in the Premiership table, something to be cherished on Merseyside.

David Unsworth, Nick Barmby, Francis Jeffers and Kevin Campbell scored and if Neil Sullivan had not saved splendidly from Campbell (twice), Barmby (twice) and Danny Cadamarteri the result would have been even more embarrassing for Wimbledon who have now won just one of their last 16 league matches. Little wonder Goodison rose to acclaim the newly discovered blue buccaneers.

Everton were so dominant, Wimbledon so Route One poor, the only surprise was that the evening should begin so sloppily. For 15 minutes the fare was dreadful, then the evening was transformed with two swift thrusts.

The first came from Wimbledon, who had been buoyed by a 3-3 draw at Newcastle on Saturday. Michael Hughes raced in from the left wing to deliver a pass that was beyond Unsworth and in Carl Cort's path. He shot low, but too close to Paul Gerrard, and before he had time to berate himself for his profligacy he was punished more meaningfully.

The Everton goalkeeper cleared, Don Hutchison helped it on and Campbell used his strength to manhandle Dean Blackwell out of the way. Whether that had been a foul was debatable but there was little doubt about the Wimbledon defender's reaction, a hefty barge that pushed Campbell to the ground. The penalty, pushed against the post by Sullivan, rebounded kindly for the taker and Unsworth lashed the ball into the net.

Wimbledon's aerial assault threatened to drag them back into the game and Marcus Gayle tested Gerrard's reflexes just before the interval, but Everton had sprung to life against Southampton in Saturday's 4-1 win just after half-time and they did the same again.

The first arrived 25 seconds after the restart when Mitch Ward won a tackle 35 yards out and then supplied Barmby on the outside of a square back line. The angle was not promising but the shot was so powerful that it crashed through Sullivan's attempted block and into the net.

That was a splendid goal, the next was even better. Campbell, a strong and ever eager-target, got beyond Alan Kimble on the right and waited until the Wimbledon defence was drawn towards him before sliding a pass sideways to Jeffers. The shot, too, was blessed with simplicity, a low drive that found the net just by the far post.

Wimbledon's defence was in tatters and Campbell got his just desserts after 68 minutes. Barmby, inventive and intelligent throughout, slipped a ball inside and the burly striker curled the ball past Sullivan's dive.

"It was an excellent result and an excellent performance," Walter Smith, the Everton manager, purred, emphasising how well his team had handled the aerial attacks and physical challenge provided by Wimbledon. "Now we need to take that same form and commitment to our away matches."

Report The Independent

 Everton banish memories of recent struggles
by Stephen Wood, The Times
ANOTHER day, another exhibition of the art of goalscoring at Goodison Park. Everton, the team who could not score for love nor money last season, swept to their second successive FA Carling Premiership victory of the week last night. Remarkably, Everton are now the league's joint-leading scorers, alongside Manchester United with 11 goals.

"We need to transfer that type of football to our away games," Walter Smith, the Everton manager, said. He remains wary, but there is already evidence to suggest that Everton will not endure another relegation-haunted season.

For Wimbledon, the promise of a solid start to the campaign under Egil Olsen, the new manager, was ripped from under their feet. They lacked invention and attacking threat but, worst of all, they lacked both discipline and commitment. Off the pitch, they lost one of their attacking options yesterday when they sold Efan Ekoku, their Nigeria striker, to Grasshoppers of Zurich, now managed by Roy Hodgson, for a fee of around 500,000.

David Unsworth began the scoring in the sixteenth minute, knocking home the rebound after his penalty had been saved by Neil Sullivan. Their confidence galvanised, Everton swept forward again and again. Barmby went close twice before he broke free down the middle to double the home side's advantage.

Five minutes later, Campbell raced down the right-hand side and found Jeffers free in the area, and the striker swept his first-time shot into the bottom corner for the third. Campbell was soon rewarded with a goal as he dispossessed Cunningham in the area and placed the ball under the body of the advancing Sullivan.

Report Times Newspapers Ltd

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