Bogie man scares Everton

Everton 2 Amokachi 40, Ferguson 88 Port Vale 2 Foyle 59, Bogi e 90 Attendance: 33,168
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The Independent Online
IT WAS difficult to find an FA Cup tie that was actually on yesterday, never mind a shock, but this one came pretty close. Everton will look forward to the replay with all the relish of the Duchess of York opening a bank statement, particularly as the Premiership club thought they had made it to the fifth round, though it would have been daylight robbery if they had.

With seconds remaining, however, Ian Bogie launched a speculative shot from 30 yards that took enough of a deflection to deceive the Everton goalkeeper Neville Southall. Everton's bogey man indeed.

This was no more than Port Vale, 19th in the First Division, deserved, as Everton's second goal had come a minute earlier from a dreadful mistake by their keeper Paul Musselwhite. He appeared to have Anders Limpar's cross gathered but the ball slipped from his hands and Duncan Ferguson was first to pounce. No player was more grateful than Musselwhite when Bogie's shot went in.

"There were too many off days among our players," Joe Royle, the Everton manager, said. "We would have been fortunate to have come away with 2- 1 so you can't argue with the draw."

Anyone who assumed that Everton, who required a last- minute goal by John Ebbrell to win a third-round replay at Stockport County, had put their potential Cup shock behind them would have been surprised by the opening exchanges.

The holders took the field like a team that was apprehensive to the point of absolute paralysis. It was too cold to be lethargic but they managed it somehow and they could consider themselves hugely fortunate not to be a goal down after a furious opening five minutes.

Tony Naylor, who had got a hat-trick in mid-week, turned sharply after a minute and his shot would have located the corner if the ball had not flicked against Dave Watson's legs. Instead it trickled just by the post.

Three minutes later, Everton flirted with danger even more vigorously when John McCarthy bewildered the left flank of their defence with a deft flick and then beat Southall with a volley. Only the sudden appearance of Ebbrell on the line prevented an opening goal.

This had the effect of a bucket of cold water on the home team. They awoke with a start and might have managed to erase all memory of their dopey opening. But Andrei Kanchelskis's first touch was too hard after Daniel Amokachi had put him through on 26 minutes and then Ferguson managed to pull his shot wide after being put one-on-one with just Musselwhite to beat.

Vale were still looking threatening, however, and after 34 minutes they should have taken the lead. McCarthy crossed and the ball was deflected to the far post where Martin Foyle had merely to shoot straight to take the lead. Instead he was too mindful of the unhelpful angle and blazed wide.

Vale's dismay was compounded after 40 minutes when Everton scored. Watson's header from Graham Stuart's corner was saved initially by Musselwhite but the ball came loose and from a range of two yards Amokachi headed in.

The visitors had every reason to feel that fate had not exactly been fair to them but within a minute of the interval they were relieved to be chasing only a one-goal deficit.

Again the visitors had problems clearing Stuart's corner from the right, Watson rolling in like a bulldozer, defenders bouncing off in every direction. The disruption was considerable and Ferguson was able to stoop but put his header against the post. From the rebound Amokachi had a shot which again struck the frame of the goal instead of the net.

Everton, you assumed, had established a command. Instead, Vale refused to accept a position of inferiority and after 59 minutes they got a well- deserved equaliser.

The goal had been heralded by a near-post header from Naylor that flew past the Everton posts, but when he became provider rather than finisher the result was more successful. A cross was delivered low from the left and Foyle dived to head in from six yards.

"I thought we were out," John Rudge, Port Vale's manager, said, "but we deserved a replay. Now it's up to us to go one better than Stockport." Anyone at Goodison Park yesterday will know it is not beyond them.

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