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The BBC's Jimmy Armfield
"The play was generally untidy"
 real 28k

Saturday, 27 November, 1999, 17:08 GMT
Villa grind out point
Kevin Campbell is policed by Southgate and Boateng

Everton 0-0 Aston Villa

Substitute Benito Carbone missed a glorious late chance for Aston Villa as the Midlands strugglers ground out a point in a dreadful bore draw.

The home side had most of the chances against a Villa side which was a good deal more stubborn than in defeat at Coventry last Monday.

Francis Jeffers missed a difficult open goal chance, but Carbone's opportunity was far easier.

With two minutes of normal time remaining Richard Dunne passed the ball straight to the Italian, who tried to curl it around Paul Gerrard.

The effort struck the woodwork before the ball was cleared - with no other Villa player in the Everton half.

The result will at least help the plight of Villa boss John Gregory, who has not seen his side win a league game for over two months.

Everton misses

Jeffers' chance came early in the second half, after David James had dived to pluck the ball away from Kevin Campbell.

David Unsworth's cross/shot came to the teenage striker quickly and he could do no more than turn it over from six yards, with James still out of the goal.

The same player had put one first half effort into the net which was ruled offside in a marginal decision although Gough could have been penalised for handball just before.

John Collins also came close in the second half with a long range strike from 30 yards.

And Don Hutchison placed a curling shot from the edge of the area just over in the last five minutes.

Joachim pace main weapon

Before Carbone replaced Julian Joachim, Villa relied on getting men behind the ball and using the speedy striker's pace on the break.

Joachim set up Dublin for a long range effort just after half time, but he put it two yards wide.

And Carbone sent George Boateng clear with his first touch midway through the half, but the Dutchman's cross was cleared with Dublin threatening in the box.

Colin Calderwood also had a header tipped over by Paul Gerrard in the second half after an Alan Wright free kick.

But it was Carbone who was left regretting the clearest chance of a game with very few clear opportunities.

Teams:

Everton: Gerrard, Dunne, Gough, Weir, Unsworth, Barmby, Hutchison, Collins, Pembridge, Campbell, Jeffers. Subs: Cleland, Ball, Xavier, Grant, Simonsen.

Aston Villa: James, Watson, Southgate, Calderwood, Wright, Boateng, Taylor, Hendrie, Barry, Dublin, Joachim. Subs: Merson, Carbone, Ghrayib, Stone, Enckelman.

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See also:
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Links to other FA Carling Premiership stories are at the foot of the page.