Deane denies Everton

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The Independent Online

Leeds United 2 Everton 2

Everton may have to wait another 44 seasons for a better chance to break one of the longest-running hoodoos in football. Leeds, with an FA Cup quarter-final replay at Liverpool on Wednesday and the Coca-Cola Cup final on Sunday, had a host of regular players elsewhere if not their minds.

Their midfield was so light on experience that it looked momentarily as though four ballboys had taken the places of Gary McAllister, Gary Speed and co.

That Everton could not exploit this situation to gain a first League win at Elland Road since the 1951-52 season was attributable even more to their own shortcomings than it was to the two Leeds goals from Brian Deane.

Deane, playing in his old position up front rather than the wide role often required of him these days, put his side ahead after only six minutes, helped by a deflection from David Unsworth.

Everton, with hopes of a European place if they could sustain their recent form, showed nothing until Graham Stuart put them level with a header from Anders Limpar's cross, but that equaliser ushered in a period of dominance during which they should have sewn up the game.

Within a minute, Stuart had tested the side-netting with a shot. Straight after that John Lukic saved from Duncan Ferguson, Lucas Radebe cleared off the line from John Ebbrell's follow-up and Andy Couzens conceded a penalty for bringing down Ferguson.

The normally precise left foot of Andy Hinchcliffe failed him, with his kick going past the post, but Everton had other outstanding chances with headers from Ebbrell and Craig Short, both magnificently saved by Lukic.

Everton were starting to wonder how they could fail to go in for the interval in the lead when, on the stroke of half-time, Deane put them in arrears once more, taking advantage of Mark Tinkler's clever pull back to side-foot home.

Everton equalised again four minutes after the break, Hinchcliffe's corner eluding everyone until it was met by Andrei Kanchelskis at the far side of the area, his low shot finding the net with suspicion of a helpful thin edge off Tony Ford.

The stage was set for an assault on that long barren record, but it was the last minute before Everton seriously threatened again, Limpar's half- volley flashing over the bar.

Of Leeds' absentees, the injured Tony Yeboah and Tony Dorigo, plus the rested McAllister, should be fit for Anfield, whilst Speed could make an accelerated return.

Leeds United (4-4-2): Lukic; Pemberton, Radebe, Palmer, Kelly; Couzens, (Wallace, 79) Tinkler, Ford, Gray; Brolin (Masinga, 87), Deane. Substitute not used: Beesley.

Everton (4-4-2): Southall; Hottiger, Short, Unsworth, Hinchcliffe; Kanchelskis, Ebbrell, Horne, Limpar; Ferguson, Stuart. Substitutes not used: Rideout, Amokachi, Kearton (gk).

Referee: G Ashby (Worcester).

Bookings: Leeds: Tinkler. Everton: Short.

Man of the match: Deane. Att: 29,425.