Newcastle United 1
Everton's dismal season turned even bleaker yesterday when in a raw, rugged tie they went out of the FA Cup. Goodison is left with only a long haul against relegation to sustain it through the winter.
On a day of teeming rain and freezing, gusting winds it was a miserable way to end your contention for the domestic prizes but the the knife was turned a little more by the identity of the goal scorer. The Everton supporters would have regretted any Newcastle goal but ancient hatreds were stirred when their ageing bete noir, Ian Rush, got the winner.
Rush, 36, one of the great strikers of the Eighties and early Nineties with Liverpool, always reserved his best for Everton and yesterday was no exception. After an unhappy time at Leeds and a less-than-prolific start at Newcastle it seemed unlikely that he would improve on his FA Cup record of 42 goals but give him a scent of blue shirts and he is a different man. His 26th goal against the old enemy duly arrived after 68 minutes.
The fourth round draw also arrived neatly packaged for Newcastle, pairing them with non-League Stevenage Borough. "We'd settle for the same result as today," their manager, Kenny Dalglish, said with his usual verbal economy.
It was not a classic tie by any means. There was plenty of energy, too much aggression at times - Duncan Ferguson, Rob Lee, John Oster and John Beresford were booked for off-the ball scuffles - but hardly any moments of great skill. The conditions did not help but neither did the records of either team with only one win in 18 games if you added their current runs together. One goal was always likely to settle it.
Newcastle probably wonder why it took them so long to find that elusive prize because if there was little in the match to make you sit up and take notice the Everton line-up had you wiping your eyes and wondering. The defence was not so much patchwork as held together with tape and string as Dave Watson, Slaven Bilic, Craig Short, Terry Phelan and Andy Hinchliffe were all absent.
In theory that should have left the home side vulnerable but Newcastle sometimes give the impression they would have problems scoring in an empty net and once they got near the penalty area their accomplishment vanished and the first 45 minutes was a story of bluster but no threat.
Everton were not much better but in Danny Cadamateri they at least had a player who carried an implied threat even if it was not fully delivered. The best chance pre-interval fell to him when Michael Ball's long pass put him beyond the Newcastle rearguard. His first touch was not perfect and Shaka Hislop was able to stretch a long arm to tip the ball away from his feet.
Everton also began the second half the more brightly, Tony Grant firing wide from the edge of the area and Duncan Ferguson swinging but missing with his left foot when Cadamerateri had prised an opening at the near post.
The arrival of Rush as a substitute after 52 minutes had an immediate impact, however, if only for his eagerness to hover on the shoulders of the Everton defence and make runs. Suddenly the home defence looked less forbidding and with 22 minutes remaining it cracked.
Keith Gillespie volleyed across the six-yard box from the right and when the ball stuck in a puddle John Barnes lofted it towards the back post. " I knew Ian would be there," he said and Rush was, just ahead of Claus Thomsen.
Had Rush thought his days of FA Cup goals were over? "You keep on going. You never know what is going to happen in football," he replied. "I was happy to be part of the squad when I came to Newcastle and I feel the same way now. It's always nice to get on and, of course, to score again on Merseyside."
Everton would love to know the feeling. Ferguson charged around but could not deliver in the last 10 minutes and the biggest cheer the home fans could muster all afternoon was when the loudspeakers mischieviously repeated Saturday's score from Anfield. They live on scraps at Goodison these days.
Goal: Rush 68.
Everton (3-4-1-2): Myhre; Dunne, Thomsen (Oster, 71), Tiler; Thomas, Branch, Farrelly, Ball; Barmby; Ferguson, Cadamarteri. Substitutes not used: Jevons, Allen, Gerrard (gk).
Newcastle United (3-5-1-1): Hislop; Peacock, Pearce, Pistone; Watson, Gillespie, Lee, Hamilton, Beresford; Barnes (Hughes, 84); Asprilla (Rush, 52). Substitutes not used: Ketsbaia, Tomasson, Given (gk).
Referee: M Bodenham (East Looe)
Bookings: Everton: Grant, Ferguson, Oster. Newcastle: Pistone, Lee, Peacock, Beresford.
Man of the match: Cadamarteri.
Attendance: 20,885.Reuse content