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Everton Game 1 2011

The morning sun was shining on the famous old Goodison Park stadium when 27 proud Evertonians marched out onto the hallowed turf. Stuart Barlow was back to pull on that treasured jersey being best remembered for scoring the winning goal in an FA Cup fifth round replay win again Premiership Southampton in the 2000-01 season. Along with the wild cheering and applause from their fans, Z-Cars created a rousing reception and one that would have helped to dispel any last minute nerves.

Tuesday 24th May
Everton Home v Everton Away
Match: Game 1
Kick Off: 10:00am
Legends: Stuart Barlow
Match Officials: Sean Carr, Jordan Paterson and Craig Winning

The game kicked off with the glowing Away side in pink shirts. From the word go both teams were 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. What should have been a simple clearance for Away defender Danny Jones turned out for his worst nightmare, an own goal. The big no.5 slid in and put the ball past goalkeeper Michael Kelly who was rushing off his line to collect the ball. Captain Declin Ward had to pick up the devastated Jones getting him focused for the rest of the game. (1-0)

To Jones’ relief, from kick off his side were determined to pull one back straight away. Kick off was played back to Jones to settle his nerves and the side in pink immediately pushed forward without the Blues getting a touch. Centre midfielder Ryan Muldoon lofted cross that was difficult for the defence to the back post. Matthew Snape controlled the ball and lobbed it over the Home goalkeeper Marc Harris. There was nothing the ‘keeper could have done there to prevent the goal, a great finish! (1-1)

The Away goal scorer set up the next chance, his through ball latched onto a arched run from no.11 Phil Bateman but the striker couldn’t convert his one on one with a comfortable save by Harris. Dave McCann had the real first test for Harris in goal when he pick the ball up on the half volley, steadied himself and let loose a stinger that was well saved.

Both teams started to settle down and play along the Toffees carpet but neither side were able to create anything too dangerous for either keeper. Stephen Hobson had a chance with a dipping volley from the edge of the box that was tipped over by Kelly. Shortly after Bateman came close with a strike across the goal that was dealt with comfortably by the keeper.

The Blues won a corner in the 25th minute taken by Stephen Hobson. His whipped in corner beat all the defenders and goalkeeper and looked to be going in at the near post but unfortunately the whistle went. Keeper Kelly was obstructed by Home striker James Bransford.

Snape attempted another lob over the goalkeeper but only managed to hit the roofing of the net.

Away no.7 Dave McCann seemed like a real handful for the Home defence. The left footer cut inside every time across goal and looked to get a shot off but his accuracy let him down. On the 35th minute McCann had a set piece opportunity perfectly placed but put the ball into the stands.

5 minutes before the half time whistle the Home side took the lead again. A slip by the Away captain let Home no.8 Daniel Connolly in on goal. His left footed attempt was well palmed away but fell nicely to Nicholas Charnley who smashed the ball into the top of the net. (2-1)

The pinks team would have taken a being one goal down going into half time but unfortunately it never went that way. Andrew Chambers picked up the ball after some poor passing play from the defence, his deft touch round the goalkeeper left a simple tap in. (3-1)

Stuart Barlow was pushing his team forward for a late goal and they came close. An inswinging corner causing a goal mouth scramble but eventually the ball ended up over the bar. McCann got shot away that hit defender Stuart Seddon en route, the deflection spinning over the keeper and onto the left hand post. Unlucky!

The game got into injury time in the first half and the Away side got what must have been the last kick of the half. Charnley’s outswinging delivery was met by the head of Ian McKuhen. The ball hit the top of the bar, bounced up and span back down and across the goal line. The Away side will be devastated to have conceded another, three goals within the space of 5 minutes. (4-1)

Half-time: Everton Home 4 - 1 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. Both teams could have scored again but two poor headers ended up in the goalkeepers arms.

Substitutions for the Away side made an instant impact and the Pinks pulled one back. Dave McCann received the ball on the right, cut in on his favoured left foot past defender Seddon and his rocket shot left the goalie rooted to the spot. The pinks weren’t going to go down without a fight! (4-2) It wasn’t going to stop there and Bateman had another opportunity but Harris made another good save pushing it inches round the post.

The Blues just couldn’t break into the opponent’s box until and snap shot from the edge crept in. Stuart Barlow set Dale Young up nicely and his shot went through several defenders into the far bottom corner. (5-2)

The Pinks weren’t finished yet and on the half an hour mark they scored again from a poor Blues corner. There was a quick breakaway involving good link up play with the strike force as Phil Bateman brushed of Barlow and toe bashed the ball past the goalkeeper. (5-3)

It was like a game of ping pong and with 30 minutes played saw a stroke of magic by Ian McKuhen. A poor defensive clearance landed at the Home no. 14’s feet, he had 4 defenders surrounding him but managed to trick and turn in the middle of them all before rolling the ball into the bottom corner. Team mate Nicholas Charnley rugby tackled McKuhen to the floor in celebration. Superb finish! (6-3)

5 minutes later the Pink side still hadn’t given in and they responded by making their way towards the Home end, a few quick passes into the box and Snape’s headed effort towards the top corner was tipped over by Harris. They were unlucky not to pull another goal back when great link up play between the Away strike force saw Bateman knock in a squared ball. Bateman ran away with one arm in the air only to shortly notice the lineman’s flag up. They then had even more success and actually beat the offside trap the next time. McCann’s great vision spotted the run through the middle of Phil Bateman, who’s right footed half volley rocketed passed the helpless goalkeeper. Could the Pinks use this momentum to go on and grab another? (6-4)

With the introduction of their second half substitutes turning the balance, the Away side were looking very strong and time and again they pressured the Home defence. Robert Reay hit the underside of the cross bar but it unfortunately bounced back and was cleared by the Blues. Minutes to go and a deflected Home clearance ended up in the path of Snape, but the rushing presence of Harris put the ball out for a corner. The pinks did create dangerous chances but couldn’t capitalise.

The referee’s whistle blew for full time shortly afterwards, bringing to an end a match which was a thoroughly entertaining Football Aid experience, a fitting complement to the excellent efforts of all the players involved.

Full-time: Everton Home 6 - 4 Everton Away

Man of the Match (Home): Marc Harris
Man of the Match (Away): Michael Kelly
Moment of the Match: Phil Bateman

Home Team: Harris, Griffin, Stuart Barlow, Seddon, O’Connor, Hobson, Charnley, Connolly, Chambers, Schofield, Bransford, McKuhen, Gabbutt, Bateman, Young.

Mascots: Izzy Schofield

Away Team: Kelly, Ambrose, Stuart Barlow, Ward, Jones, Westhead, McCann, Young, Snape, Muldoon, Bateman, Westhead, Tasker, Williams, Reay.

Mascots: Charlie Ward