since 1878

Everton (1) 1 - 2 (2) Ipswich Town

FA Barclaycard Premiership 2001-02

Saturday, February 2, 2002

Referee: S Dunn

Manager: Unknown

Goodison Park

Attendance: 33,069

Manager: George Burley

Match Number: 2937
























Match Report

Great Escape Continues

The Tractor Boys' great escape continued at Goodison Park, with another magnificent win. A Sixto special and a Holland spectacular did the damage today, as Town climbed to the dizzy heights of 12th in the league...

I'm beginning to like Goodison Park, despite its dreadful view of the pitch. Last season's victory was truly memorable, but this one much more important, as three more precious points were secured as Town leap-frogged the Toffeemen in the table. Another battling performance brought the deserved win, as Town outperformed their hosts in most areas of the pitch. Not only did it mean our spectacular run has stretched to seven wins out of eight, it also brought Everton's recent run of five games without a defeat to an abrupt end.

Burley kept faith with the same team that beat Fulham, and it paid dividends. After a brightish start by the home team, Ipswich took control of the midfield and out passed the Toffeemen. After a number of corners, we took the lead after eleventh minutes. Jamie Clapham, enjoying his recall to team, got forward well down the left, and whipped in a cross that picked out Sixto. The Argentinean didn't need any first touch as smashed the ball into the net from the edge of the area. It was a fine finish from Sixto, who has become such an important part of the team as the season has progressed.

Town continued to dominate, and Holland, Bent, Armstrong all had chances to increase the lead. However, after twenty-seven minutes the home team were suddenly back in it. Gemmil played the ball to Ferguson, who passed it onto Campbell in the box. The big striker turned away from goal and Marshall weighed in with a challenge that won the ball. Unfortunately Campbell crashed down and Steve Dunn pointed to the spot. It was a 50/50 decision, and what was even more frustrating for Marshall, was that he so nearly saved Unsworth's kick. He dived the right way, got his hand to the ball, but could only help it into the net.

The equaliser revitalised Everton, and they took control of the game for the next ten minutes. Ferguson went close but was stopped in his tracks by Veno, and there were further claims for a penalty when Peter Clarke went down in the area.

But a couple of minutes before half time, Town restored their lead thanks to a blaster from Holland. An indirect free kick twenty-five yards out was laid surprisingly into Holland's path, and he powered the ball high into the top left hand corner. It was another corker from Holland; he doesn't score many, but when he does they're always out of the top draw. It makes you wonder why he doesn't have attempts from free kicks.

Jim Magilton replaced Jermaine Wright at the start of the second, while Everton's new signing Linderoth came on for his debut. We were all expecting a barrage of attacks from the home team, but it never really came. Ferguson and Campbell toiled away and were a constant physical threat, but like against Fulham, the hardworking and organised Ipswich defence held firm and restricted them to a few half chances.

In fact Ipswich were denied a blatant penalty that would have wrapped up the game. An Everton player clearly handled the ball in the area following an Ipswich attack, but all we were given was a corner.

As the clock ticked down Everton huffed and puffed but appeared to run out of ideas, and Marshall actually enjoyed a fairly quiet game. The final whistle came, and with it another tremendous away victory.

Everyone played their part, and this was another outstanding team effort. It makes a pleasant change to see the goals coming from midfield, and what great goals they were. The defence was immaculate again, and this must be the main reason why our fortunes have changed. We've always scored goals, but we have now cut out the silly mistakes that always led to weak goals being conceded.

So, another three points in the bag and Town are in the giddy heights of mid table- a simply amazing situation considering our position in mid-December. We've not yet safe, not by a long shot, and we're still only five points above the relegation zone. It looks like half the table are going to be involved in the relegation scrap and the foot mustn't be taken off the pedal, although there is no reason to believe it will. The players are all battling for each other, and we're winning games in the same manner as last season. That's one have of Merseyside done, let's hope we can do the other half next week at Portman Road!

From The Terrace

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