Football: Rideout strikes to subdue City

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The Independent Online
Everton. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

Manchester City. . . . . . . . . . .0

PAUL RIDEOUT'S first goal since Boxing Day presented the Everton manager Howard Kendall with the perfect start to the season last night and at the same time prevented City from scoring their third successive League victory at Goodison Park.

It was Everton's second win of the season and came in a match, which held its drama until the dying seconds when City almost gained a draw.

Gary Flitcroft was amazed to see his goal-bound attempt somehow shoot for a corner from a protruding boot belonging to the prostrate goalkeeper Neville Southall, and then Michel Vonk's header hit a post.

City's only other golden chance came before the interval when Andy Hill beat Southall with a header only for Dave Watson, the Everton captain, to head off the line.

Perhaps the decision of Peter Reid, the City player-manager, to replace the Dutch debutant, Alfonse Groenedijk, in the 65th minute had its influence. However, City struggled for the most part, missing their injured captain, Keith Curle, and the striker, Niall Quinn, and Kendall was relieved afterwards when he said Everton had created enough chances to have made the match safe long before that heart-stopping City finish.

Ian Snodin, before leaving with an injured foot, had played a central role in most of Everton's quality approach play, although Gary Ablett, Peter Beagrie and Tony Cottee added considerably to the fluency.

But it took a blistering shot by City's Steve McMahon to make Everton realise long-range shots were hardly likely to trouble the goalkeeper Tony Coton. They buckled down and went ahead, following a superb move.

Snodin shredded City's defence with a through ball, giving Ablett space on the left to push over a precise, low cross which found Rideout at the far post as Coton looked on.

Reid was dejected afterwards, despite the late surge, and warned his players that unless they got their act together they were likely to stay in the Premiership doldrums.

Everton (4-4-2): Southall; Holmes, Watson (Barlow, 73), Jackson, Ablett; Ward, Snodin (Preki, 54), Ebbrell, Beagrie; Cottee, Rideout. Substitute not used: Kearton (gk).

Manchester City (4-4-2): Coton; Hill, Vonk, Brightwell, Phelan; McMahon, Flitcroft, Groenendijk (Reid, 65), Holden; White, Sheron. Substitutes not used: Quigley, Dibble (gk).

Referee: V Callow (Solihull).