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Everton Game 2 2010

There was an excited buzz about the famous old Goodison Park stadium when our 27 proud Evertonians marched out onto the hallowed turf to the strains of the traditional Z-Cars theme ringing in their ears. The players were only just coming to terms with the exciting late news that Anders Limpar (returning to his old stomping ground with his Swedish youth team) had made the journey from his homeland to take part. Lining up against him was another former Everton winger, Football Aid board member Pat Nevin and the crowd weren't to be disappointed as the pair certainly rolled back the years and turned on the style in the 90 mins that followed.

Thursday 13th May 2010
Everton Home v Everton Away
Kick Off: 18:30pm
Game 2
Legends: Pat Nevin & Anders Limpar
Match Officials: Alan Butler, Matthew Butler & David Menzies

The game kicked off with both teams showing plenty of drive and vigour and it looked to be an exciting match as the ball changed sides constantly, with the balance of play tipping with it. The first goal attempt of the match came from the Away side's left midfielder, David Cockram, who intercepted a pass and shrugged off three defenders and his subsequent shot looked destined for the bottom left corner of the net had it not been for a brilliant save from Home keeper, Marc Harris.

The Away side looked like taking an early lead as they applied great pressure on the Home defence. They held it together however and the Away team only managed a few attempts at goal. The Home side also managed precious few shots at goal, their first real attempt was by centre-forward James Bransford, who received a neat pass through the defence from Anthony Alty and sent the ball goal wards but his shot was just too high and bounced to safety off the crossbar.

It looked odds on that the Home side were going to break the deadlock when legend Pat Nevin was fouled in the penalty box. But centre forward James Bransford didn't quite do enough to beat Mike Prescott in the Away goal and the score remained 0-0. With this narrow escape the Away team attacked again with renewed energy and almost succeeded in getting themselves on the scoreboard but lacked that crucial final pass in the penalty box and the Home defence managed to clear the danger.

The Away side tried time and time again to grab the lead, with one particular effort from Mike O'Reilly the stand out attempt, his long range shot wide right towards the goal looked to trouble the keeper but he was able to gather comfortably. First blood however went to the Home side as a ball in from right back Michael Cooper resulted in centre forward Andrew Chambers cleverly looping the ball over the keeper and into the goal (1-0). With his efforts to make sure the ball went over the line the Home side's Gerard Powell managed to injure himself in what can only be described as a particularly sensitive area of his anatomy after colliding with the post. He was up in no time though, joking with his team mates about his mishap and he certainly wasn't hampered for the rest of the game, as he was to be Pat Nevin's pick for Man of the Match for the Home team after a classy performance. Half-time arrived soon afterwards denying the Away side the chance to equalise.

Half-time: Everton Home 1 - 0 Everton Away

As the second half kicked off the Away side immediately seized possession and looked very eager to get an equaliser. They simply wouldn't let the Home side out of their own half and when the ball occasionally did get cleared the Away defence was looking strong. And equalise they did. In the 50th min a corner from Alan Schumacker went straight over all the players' heads and into the back of the goal, levelling the scores (1-1).

The struggle to keep possession and dominate the game then began again in earnest as both teams tried to take the lead. It looked as though the Away side were slightly stronger as they delivered some impressive play, passing into space and taking on the defence with strong runs and their play finally providing a chance for Mike O'Reilly to take a pot shot at goal from 15 yards out, but Marc Harris was on hand to perform a textbook save.

With the introduction of their 2nd half subs turning the balance, the Away side were looking very strong and time and again they pressured the Home defence. The Home team finally cracked under the pressure, winger Paul Cockram scoring impressively with a low shot past the keeper into the bottom left corner, despite the close attentions of two defenders (1-2). The celebration from the goal was certainly memorable as Cockram proceeded to shadow box with the corner flag, Tim Cahill style.

Shortly after the Away side extended their lead when Paul Cockram's inch perfect cross was met well by centre forward John Cotton, whose well placed shot flew past the keeper into the back of the net (1-3). Less than two minutes later the Away side struck again as Paul Cockram skilfully beat off two defenders before shooting comfortably past Marc Harris in the Home goal (1-4).

The Home side hadn't given in however and they responded by making their way down the Away end, a few quick passes into the box and centre forward James Bransford sent the ball smacking off the crossbar and into the grateful hands of Away keeper, Mike Prescott. They then had even more success as a pass into the box and a neat return ball allowed Andrew Chambers a shot at goal, his effort was well saved by the keeper but James Bransford fed Neil Wells who slid the ball into the open goal (Note that on the DVD the scorer is wrongly recorded as Philip Widdowson, the two players having confused the camera team by swapping numbers!) (2-4).

The Home side seemed to gain renewed spirit after their goal, though the Away side were even more determined to deny them a comeback and they almost extended restored their three goal lead when Paul Cockram went for goal after a long arcing pass from Dave O'Reilly, Cockram hit a well struck half-volley but unfortunately for him it was spectacularly saved by Marc Harris.

The referee's whistle blew for full time shortly afterwards, bringing to an end a match which was later described by Pat Nevin as being played at the highest standard he'd experienced in his time at Football Aid, a fitting complement to the excellent efforts of all the players involved.

Full-time: Everton Home 2 - 4 Everton Away

Man of the match (Home): Gerard Powell
Man of the match (Away): Mike O'Reilly
Moment of the Match: Paul Cockram

Home Team: Marc Harris, Michael Cooper, Pat Nevin, Neil Wells, Frankie O'Connell, Philip Widdowson, Gary Gavin-Pitt, Gerard Powell, James Bransford, Anthony Alty, Andrew Chambers, Dale Young, Colin Robertson & Gerard Powell

Away Team: Mike Prescott, Todor Kolev, Anders Limpar, Chris Swain, Kevin Sweeney, Alan Schumacker, Mike O'Reilly, David Cockram, John Cotton, Dave O'Reilly, Ste Westhead, David Cunningham, Stein Sherlock, Ian Starkey & Paul Cockram

Mascots: Daniel Morton & Ella Starkey