Bright early, storm later

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The Independent Online
ON THE day that Duncan Ferguson returned to Goodison Park, Everton showed him a mixture of flair and self-destructiveness that will have made him feel instantly at home. The self-inflicted damage came first, their defence twice failing to deal with deep crosses and Mark Bright twice heading home.

Equalising goals by Andrei Kanchelskis and Daniel Amokachi seemed to point `to an Everton winner in the remaining 35 minutes. But they could not convert their overwhelming dominance and a run of three victories came to an end.

Ferguson, recently freed from incarceration, had barely settled into his seat when Bright struck for the first time. Lee Briscoe was given plenty of time to measure his cross and Bright's firm downward header put Wednesday in the lead after only a minute and 45 seconds. After 35 minutes there was a repeat, Chris Waddle curling in a right-wing centre and Bright, in for the injured David Hirst, again beat Everton to the ball.

By this stage, Everton had been forced into a change, Paul Rideout and Des Walker colliding to remind of the dangers of head-to-head contact, appropriately on the day of Ferguson's reappearance. Walker returned later, but Rideout rode out of Goodison in an ambulance.

His replacement, Amokachi, soon forced Kevin Pressman into a good save and Steve Nicol, back on Merseyside, headed off the line from John Ebbrell. In the time added on for the Walker-Rideout incident, Kanchelskis finally got the goal, taking Graham Stuart's headed flick-on, switching the ball to his left foot and beating Pressman.

Amokachi forced the ball in after Kanchelskis had cut through on the right after seven minutes of the second half and the rest was a bombardment. Wednesday conceded 25 corners in the match as they strained to keep Everton out and the closest they came to surrendering their one remaining point was in the last five minutes when Graham Hyde headed off the line from Dave Watson's header and Amokachi hit the post.

David Pleat, the Wednesday manager, could point to a Waddle effort that struck the crossbar when his side were 2-1 up. "I would have been very disappointed and upset if we had come away with nothing," he said.