Saturday, April 07, 2007

Defender's night off

I had a feeling as the train got into Kirkdale that we had no business playing a footy game at 7:30 on Good just felt odd. Don't want to soudn too pious but it's meant to be a solemn day after all. Bearing in mind the gutting late defeat against Spurs on Ash Wednesday "No good will come of it" I thought.

What a fine advertisement for the standard of defending in Premiership the game was. The 4 doesn't flatter Everton at all but the 1 certainly does. I suppose we deserved to win, that much isn't up for debate but it's difficult to remember an occasion when Everton's defence looked that shaky. I don't want to be a glass-half-empty sort of chap but every single time Fulham got a corner or set piece we looked all at sea.

We probably should have been in the lead fairly early on but we got ourselves in a mess, conceded a corner and before we'd got any semblence of organisation we were a goal down. The reaction from the blues was superb...we knew this was a game we couldn't let go if a European place wasn't to slip from our grasp. First Carsley then Stubbs chipped in with great glancing efforts into opposite far corners (a sweeping shot for Cars & a header for Stubbs supplied by Lescott and Arteta respectively). A great strike from Vaughan made it 3-1 at the break but every time Fulham got the ball wide we looked decidedly dodgy and had no answer to their mobility.

This wasn't just typical Evertonian fretfullness, Fulham were creating good chances and there were numerous let-offs for the blues before Victor Anichebe finally broke their resistance by finishing off a good team move (that he himself had helped build).

An injury to young Victor left us with 10-men towards the end, he tried to play on whilst hobbling...the Evertonians urging him off the pitch lest he do himself further damage...whilst you hope he's okay it allowed him to recieve warm applause from the Gwladys St and slap hands with the fans as he limped past. It was nice moment as was the joyous reaction to his goal from his mate Vaughan (who'd been substituted by this time). Moyes had said that he didn't need to set targets for the players 'cause he overhears them setting them for themselves. It was apparent tonight...Fulham were spririted and should have scored more but in the battle of the ropey defences we took at least some of our chances. Man of the match for me was Carsley...he was everywhere despite having a bandaged head wound. He's having a great season and he's not alone. Come on you blues! This reports sounds a bit gloomy but the ovation afterwards was one of genuine pride and joy...we were all thoroughly happy chappies as we met up with our mates outside the church and headed to Orry's for a quick pint...we were chuffed with the win but certain things we take for granted. We have a good defence this year, it's just odd to see them un-solid. Ah well no harm done.

We are fifth as it stands...the best a club in our position can realistically hope for in our G14 dominated league. It's great to be truly proud of our side...there is plenty to be disappointed about this season but we have been solid and efficient all season...we've not had to heroically snatch games at the death. We've just won them unspectacularly...we've let a lot of games slip, but for that it could be a tremendous season, as it is it's just a very good one. That'll do me. My cousin Daniel doesn't get to go to the games much, him and his dad are isolated Evertonians in the red, red side of our family...He was there last night and had a smile a mile wide when he got into his mum. Oh Everton we love you.

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