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Everton Game 1 2013

The first of Football Aid’s Everton Games took place at Goodison Park early on May 14th 2013. Despite early drizzle the weather took a turn for the better and this, as well as the eagerness and excitement of the two teams created a great tone for the match to come. It was an exciting game of football with a high number of goals that only marginally reflected the strength of the teams, who both gave their all.

Date: Tuesday 14th May 2013
Venue: Goodison Park
Everton Home vs Everton Away
Game 1
Kick off: 10:00am
Legend: Jamie Milligan
Match Officials: Gordon Johnson, Kieron Johnson and Dale Baines

The game started amidst an atmosphere of friendly competition and anticipation, which was not dampened by the drizzle. The Home side won the toss and elected to let the Away team kick off, however it was the Home team who immediately began to pile on the pressure, preventing the Away team from getting out of their own half and then tackling well to gain possession. No 17 Ryan Cullen, doing a great job filling in at Left Back, was quickly set up, taking the ball swiftly down the left wing. A great 1-2 pass with No 4 Brian Parr allowed him space in the box for a brilliant low cross, which was cleared decisively by a Home defender.

The Home side retained possession, and immediately created another chance with a well hit cross into the box. The attempt rebounded off a defender, whose attempted clearance went straight to the Home side No 7 Chris Didsbury, but his volley went just the wrong side of the post. After some more midfield action the Away side created a chance with a long lofted pass to the edge of the box to Alex Taylor. The No 4 beat his marker and took a shot at goal, however it was well saved by Home Keeper Sean Rimmer and then cleared by a defender. Another possible chance by the Away side was left to go out and play settled down.

Both sides continued to pass well and attempted to create space for chances, with Rimmer again called into action by another shot by the Away team. True to form and due to the number of chance they had created, it was no surprise that the Away side were the first on the score-sheet on 12 mins. Another long pass down field freed the ever lively Striker Dave Taylor and he did well to set up fellow front man Terry Rickeard. Despite pressure from three defenders Rickeard continued his excellent FootballAid13 scoring form to slot the ball cleanly past the keeper (0-1).

Play quickly resumed with the Home side showing no sign of letting the Away side’s early lead affect them. No 17 Cullen quickly got into space again before taking a long shot at goal which curled wide. The match continued smoothly with more end to end play and another chance for the Away team which slid past the keeper but failed to make the net. The same thing happened again soon after but this time the Away side was able to convert their chance into a goal. In the 19rd min, an intercepted pass and a good run enabled the Away team to play in Terry Rickeard once again who, and with no one but the GK to challenge him, the No 9 slid it into the bottom left corner for an easy goal (0-2).

The game continued with some periods of good passing and some scrappy play. No side looked truly dominant, with neither really getting any clearcut chances. However the Away side once again applied pressure, putting more men up front, and quickly secured their third goal. A miscommunication between two Home defenders allowed the ball to be retrieved up by the Away midfield and passed out to Liam Armstrong. The No 6 promptly played in a strongly hit cross into the box, where a Home defender tried to clear the ball with a bicycle kick, unfortunately he could only send the ball at into the face of Terry Rickeard, in the right place at the right time to put the ball into the net! His headed goal securing a perfect hat-trick for the skilful left footed Striker and increasing his side's lead to 3 goals in the 28th min (0-3).

The Away team did not let up though, continuing to press for yet another goal. An early chance was called offside and halted play. however shortly afterwards the ball was down the Home end again and in on 35 mins the Away side converted a corner into a goal. The ball was skilfully curled into the box right to the feet of No 7 Neal Clague, who thumped it into the back of the net despite the best efforts of keeper Sean Rimmer (0-4).

The Home side then began to step up their game, retaining possession and attempting to set up chances. More end to end play followed with both sides fighting for possession and tackling fiercely to retain it. Chances were minimal but the Away side continued their dominance and nearly struck again. Another long pass into the box resulted in a cross being cleared, but landing at the feet of Liam Armstrong, whose strong shot from outside the box struck the woodwork at just the wrong angle, with the ball cutting across the face of the goal, allowing the keeper to jump on it.

The Away side persisted in their dominance on the pitch, maintaining possession with a couple of passages of play that almost turned into chances. This paid off and they struck again in the 42nd min. After a break they had three men up, but they initially failed to get it into the box, however a mishit by a defender sent the ball into space where it was secured by the Away side and after it was sent into the middle to Liam Armstrong latched onto the ball. Despite overbalancing and losing his boot, he showed great improvisation to fire the ball into the bottom left corner (0-5).

Unfortunately for the Home side, at this stage despite their best efforts they simply couldn't prevent the Away side running away with the match. Less than a min after the last goal No 8 Stephen Miller went one on one with Home GK Sean Rimmer, only to be defeated by the charging keeper, who put his body on the line. The Home side tried once again to turn the tide, only to be sent back up their end where Rimmer left the goal wide open, attempting to close down the ball to prevent another one on one. He was unable to get the ball away and only a decent block from Home No 4 Brian Parr prevented Stephen Miller’s shot towards goal.

Despite some more chances being created by both sides, the score remained the same until half time with the more clinical Away team in command.

Half Time: Everton Home 0 - 5 Everton Away

Half time saw both teams discussing how they might catch up or maintain their lead respectively, with talk of changing positions and keeping the other team frustrated.

Play resumed with the Home side kicking off, both sides managed to create early chances but neither looked truly dominant at the start of the half. The Home side looked to be picking up their game and No 17 Cullen went on a mazy run, beating four of the opposing team and setting up David Thompson. However the Striker's shot was handily blocked by the keeper and then jumped on. Play continued back and forth for some time until the Home side attempted to replicate the long, lofted pass the Away side used to their advantage in the 1st half. While this tactic didn’t quite pay off, the pace of No 14 Jay Connolly nearly did, and a fearsome two man tackle enabled him to break away for a one on one with the keeper, which he unfortunately lost.

The Home side really looked to be upping their game as a few seconds later they had another chance in the form of the boots of Connolly and Cullen, however their chances were blocked by the keeper and went wide respectively. The Away side saw fit to remind their opposite numbers of who was the more dominant team as a beautifully weighted cross just failed to be redirected. The Home side refused to be intimidated; however the Away side struck again in the 63rd min with a long, flat pass, leaving the ever deadly Dave Taylor completely in the clear. The No 11 drew GK Rimmer out of his goal and casually chipped the ball over his head to increase the Men in Blacks' lead (0-6).

Play settled down into a rhythm again with both sides seeking the upper hand. The Home team again looked like they might score in the 77th min but a desperate tackle from the Away side in the box prevented the initial chance, however it only delayed the inevitable after the ref blew for a penalty! This was what the Home side had been waiting for and their impressive No 17 Ryan Cullen didn’t waste his chance, sending the ball hard and low into the back of the net (1-6).

Obviously none too happy about their supremacy being undermined the Away side struck back a min later! A clever through ball allowed Terry Rickeard to secure his 4th goal of the match, sliding it past the keeper into the bottom left corner (1-7).

A high cross into the box mins later showed that the Home side hadn’t put their heads down and were still dangerous, but the attempt was smothered by the Away defence.

After plenty of action down the Home end of the pitch, the Away side were unable to convert. The Home side used this to their advantage, quickly getting players up field and a perfectly weighted through ball allowed Ryan Cullen to snatch another goal as he slid the ball underneath the keeper, reducing the margin once again (2-7).

With the majority of chances now coming from the Home side it looked like the two goals had injected belief back into their game as they pressed forward in numbers and when the Away side did make it down their end the Home side were unwilling to let another goal in, with a spectacular leaping save from Keeper Rimmer epitomising their resolve.

Despite an unfortunate injury to their No10 James Robinson, the Home side valiantly carried on attacking, almost scoring after a long, low shot from the boot of Cullen, however their efforts weren't enough to pull the score back and the game finished 2-7 to the impressive Away team.

Full Time: Everton Home 2 - 7 Everton Away

Man of the Match Home: Steve Murphy
Man of the Match Away: Alex Taylor
Moment of the Match: Sean Rimmer (Home)

Home Team: Sean Rimmer, Adam Canning, Jamie Milligan (1st Half), Brian Parr, Steve Murphy, Justin Bradstreet, Chris Didsbury, Lee Edwards (c), Kevin McDermott, James Robinson, David Thompson, Jay Connolly, Martin Bispham, Mark Page, Ryan Cullen
Home Mascot: Thomas Parr

Away Team: Ronnie Smollet, Andrew Green, Jamie Milligan (2nd Half), Alex Taylor, Matthew Pritchard (c), Liam Armstrong, Neal Clague, Stephen Miller, Terry Rickeard, Johnathan Harris, Dave Taylor, Iain Jones, Ian Lloyd-Grundy, Daniel McLaven, Owen Duffy
Away Mascot: Evie Pritchard