Tuesday 24th May was a big day for the Football Aid team with 2 x Everton games and an England vs Italy International all scheduled to take place at the iconic Goodison Park. The 1st of 3 games certainly didn’t disappoint, with the Toffees fans witnessing a thrilling, high scoring 3-6 game, played in glorious late spring sunshine.
Date: Tuesday 24th May 2016
Venue: Goodison Park
Game 1: Everton (Home) vs Everton (Away)
Kick Off: 10:00 am
Legends & Managers: Jamie Milligan and Stuart Barlow
Match Officials: Liam Ocklshaw, Jack Deakin, William Vaughan & Sam Worrall
The Away team started the 1st of our 3 games at Goodison Park, bathed in warm late May sunshine. Both teams started strongly early on and neither side could make any clear-cut chances.
However there was nearly a chance for the Away side when a bit of confusion in the Home defence saw Away No 11 Andrea Dezi almost pounce, but Home No 5 Craig Morris recovered well.
Causing all sorts of problems for the Home defence, Away No 11 Andrea Dezi was through on goal again. However he couldn’t sneak his toe poked effort into the goal.
The ever energetic Away Legend Stuart Barlow won his team a corner after a lung bursting run down the left hand side saw him end up very close to the goal, however he was challenged well and the resulting corner was defended well by the Home team.
The Home side had looked resilient in defence and at the other end they made the most of their 1st real chance of the game to take the lead in the 24th min. A dangerous cross by No 14 Andrew Scully found No 9 Campodonico Nicolo’, who was in the perfect position in the 6 yard box to send the ball into the net (1-0).
The Away No 1 Kieran O’Hanlon was increasingly busy in the 1st half, and a fine low save with his feet denied Home No 7 Gwyndaf Rowlands from making it 2-0.
More chances arrived for the Away side to level the score. A corner into the box saw both No 4 Kevin Kirby and No 7 Ian Dermott go for a free header but neither could guide the ball towards goal.
The chances kept coming for the team in White and No 6 David Cashin tried sneaking the ball in from a tight angle but the midfielder could only find the side netting.
Home goalkeeper & Football Aid Photographer Matthew Nuttall then proved that his hands don’t only work wonders with a camera; a fantastic superman diving save at the feet of Away No 10 Ben Dermott stopped a certain goal!
Matt’s impressive save was the end of the chances and the 1st half drew to a close soon afterwards. Both sides were attacking well but it was the Home side that were just edging the game by a solitary goal.
Half Time: Everton (Home) 1 - 0 Everton (Away)
The Home side restarted the 2nd half with their noses in front, so were we about to see a flurry of goals or another solid defensive performance from both teams?
It looked like it might be the latter as we didn’t have long to wait for the 1st goal of the half! Home No 11 & Captain Ben Fitzsimmons slotted home skilfully to double his team’s lead in the 50th min and he also received a yellow card for removing his shirt during his celebration, he must have been lost in the moment! (2-0)
Just 5 mins later and the Away team found a way back into the game. Away No 4 Kevin Kirby well struck shot proved too powerful for Home No 1 Matthew Nuttall and it somehow sneaked into the net to make it (2-1).
We were then treated to another great save from Away No 1 Kieran O’Hanlon as he quickly met Home No 9 Campodonico Nicolo’ one-on-one and stopped his shot. Home No 17 Jeff Wallace tried scoring from the rebound but O’Hanlon reacted quickly and made himself big to distract the striker.
Goodison Park then witnessed a wonder strike in the 60th min as Home No 17 Jeff Wallace made it 3-1 with a sensational swerving left foot strike from 25 yards, which flew high into net, giving keeper O’Hanlon no chance (3-1)!
However the goal only boosted the Away team who immediately replied in the 62nd min. Away No 11 Andrea Dezi capitalising on a mistake in the Home defence to poke the ball home (3-2).
Away Legend Stuart Barlow then showed his class & leadership as he orchestrated the Away team equaliser in the 71st min, the flying winger finding Matt Gibbs in the box, and the No 23 showed great composure to slot the ball home to make it (3-3).
Away No 23 Matt Gibbs couldn’t stop scoring and he got his 2nd goal of the game in the 77th min with a stunning strike from distance to put the Away side in the lead for the 1st time in the game (3-4).
The Away team had their tails up now and their Legend Stuart Barlow couldn’t miss out on the goal scoring action. He scored 10 goals in his time at Everton, and he got another one to add to his tally when he scored a cracking header at the back post in the 80th min (3-5).
There was just time for 1 more goal for the team in White, this time from the penalty spot. A handball by the Home team gave the Away team the chance to increase their lead and No 7 Ian Dermott slotted past the despairing dive of Home No 1 Matthew Nuttall to seal the Away team victory (3-6).
A fantastic comeback from the Away side saw them overcome the Home side in the end. It had been a great start to our back-to-back Everton games with both sides giving it everything and producing an excellent game in the blistering sunshine.
Thanks again to all the players and spectators involved, and also many thanks to EFC Legends Jamie Milligan and Stuart Barlow for playing alongside our Football Aid players and lending their expertise!
Full Time: Everton (Home) 3 - 6 Everton (Away)
Man of the Match Home: Campodonico Nicolo
Man of the Match Away: Kieran O’Hanlon
Moment of the Match: Jeff Wallace
Home Team: Matthew Nuttall, Liam Nash, Jamie Milligan, Paul Gabbutt, Craig Morris, George Malcolm, Gwyndaf Rowlands, Jeff Wallace, Campodonico Nicolo’, Darren Wollaston, Ben Fitzsimmons (C), Andrew Scully, Davide Gianelli, Massimiliano Vulpani, Jeff Wallace (H8)
Home Mascot: Cohen Morris
Away Team: Kieran O’Hanlon, Paul Needham, Stuart Barlow, Kevin Kirby, Sean Monaghan, David Cashin, Ian Dermott, Sam Dickinson, Mark Maguire (C), Ben Dermott, Andrea Dezi, Paul Roberts, Chris Roberts, Jamie Fitzsimmons, Matt Gibbs
Away Mascot: Jack Kirby
Match Report written by Matt Annis