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Season 2002-03
Everton (a) Premier Reserve League (North)
Date: Tuesday 15th April 2003, 7.00pm 

Venue: Autoquest Stadium, Widnes

Balmy night - pitch lacking grass down the centre and sanded in parts, but we've played on worse.

£3 in.

Everton Reserves

1 - 2 Newcastle United Reserves


32 mins Chadwick header 0-1

32 mins Elliott header

Half time: Everton 1 Newcastle Reserves 1

69 mins Cort shot 2-1

Full time: Everton 1 Newcastle Reserves 2

We Said

Tommy Craig commented:

"It was difficult because of the pitch but from numbers one to 11 I got a good effort out of them. As a fitness exercise it was excellent and we picked up no injuries.

"They had a young team - though big Duncan Ferguson played - and it was a good exercise for us."


Tommy Craig's Reserves recorded their first league double of the season at the home of Widnes RLFC as Everton were seen off by one of United's most expensive second string line-ups.

Over £25m worth of talent was in the starting XI with big buys; Viana, Solano, Cort and LuaLua making it a strong attacking side on show on a sandy but playable pitch at Widnes.

The home side were briefly in front after Nick Chadwick had headed in an Osman cross from the left after 27 minutes but 60 seconds later it was all-square. A Solano piledriver came back off the post and after momentary confusion Robbie Elliott headed in from six yards.

The teams went in level at the break as Sir Bobby and John Carver cast their eyes over proceedings.

Carl Cort fired us in front with just over 20 minutes remaining. Viana broke down our right, sliding the ball through to Cort who knocked it home from eight yards.

Nicos Dabizas almost made it safe with a late header that was cleared off the line and Steve Caldwell appeared to take a smack in the chops in the confusion which displeased the young Scot no end.

Our four big money buys did well - Cort was well involved during the game, surviving one brusing 50:50 tackle. Solano and Viana showed some quality touches and passes and LuaLua was his usual self - a mixture of great skill and wild shooting.

It was a deserved win after we had weathered something of an early storm - Big Dunc played the full 90 minutes and was involved in most of Everton's threatening moments. Fifteen minutes either side of the break it was even but we stepped it up in the final half hour and played the better football.

However once again the quality of the playing surface left something to be desired - Everton are seriously considering moving away from this venue for next season. Why don't the FA help them make the decision and ban any reserve side from basing themselves at a ground used for rugby?



Page last updated 14 July, 2016