Football: Repeat slip by Southall

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The Independent Online
Sheffield Wednesday. .3

Everton. . . . . . . .1

EVERTON must have felt that everything that could go wrong did. On recent form they are beginning to look a respectable side again and might have foreseen some reward against Wednesday, still missing both their leading scorers. Instead, they dug a hole for themselves and jumped into it.

Things looked bleak for Everton with the match barely into its stride. They conceded two goals in a minute, both caused by leaden-footed defending. But if that made recovery look a thin prospect, worse was to come. Two minutes before half- time, Neville Southall was sent off.

Poor Nev. He has been dismissed twice this season now. Yesterday, as at Queen's Park Rangers on 28 December, it was for handling outside the area. As Paul Warhurst chased Chris Waddle's through pass, Southall came out to clear. But there was no chance to kick and as the ball bounced at head height he blocked with his hands. Southall knew what he had done and what was coming: Kelvin Morton. By the time the official had flourshed his red card, Southall had kicked the ball angrily into the crowd and turned on his heels.

There was no way back from that. Jason Kearton, the substitute goalkeeper, showed he could do his job immediately by pulling off a splendid save from Waddle's free- kick, but the numerical imbalance allowed Wednesday, already in control, to impose a stranglehold.

Waddle wrapped things up from close range and Tony Cottee's superb 35-yard lob with seven minutes left was merely a consolation.

Howard Kendall had no complaints about Southall's dismissal, but plenty, one would assume, about his defence. First they allowed Warhurst to head home on the rebound after Southall had saved Nigel Jemson's attempt. Then, following another fine stop by Southall, failed to clear up, giving John Harkes time to pick his spot.

Sheffield Wednesday: C Woods; R Nilsson, N Worthington, C Palmer, J Harkes, P Shirtliff, D Wilson (J Pearson, 66 min), C Waddle, P Warhurst, N Jemson (G Hyde, 31 min), J Sheridan. Sub not used: K Pressman (gk). Player-manager: T Francis.

Everton: N Southall; M Jackson, K Sansom, I Snodin, D Watson, G Ablett, R Warzycha (S Barlow, 45 min), P Beardsley, T Cottee, B Kenny, P Radosavljevic (J Kearton, 44 min). Sub not used: A Harper. Manager: H Kendall.

Referee: K Morton (Bury St Edmunds).

Goals: Warhurst (1-0, 16 min); Harkes (2-0, 17 min); Waddle (3-0, 62 min); Cottee (3-1, 83 min).

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