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Everton boss Walter Smith
"It's been an awful season for everyone at the club."
 real 56k

Bradford boss Jim Jeffries
"We're going down but it's not for lack of effort."
 real 56k

Saturday, 28 April, 2001, 16:33 GMT 17:33 UK
Bradford pay penalty against Everton
Duncan Ferguson scores Everton's opening goal
Duncan Ferguson scores Everton's opening goal
Everton 2-1 Bradford

Bradford only had themselves to blame as their brave battle against relegation finally ended at Goodison Park.

The Bantams missed two penalties as Everton staged a second-half comeback to finally end their own relegation worries.

The first spot-kick, taken by Robbie Blake, was brilliantly saved by home keeper Paul Gerrard, and the second was blazed embarrasingly over the crossbar by Italian Benito Carbone.

Things had looked good for the Bantams when they took the lead through Andy Myers after just two minutes, but Everton came back with goals from Duncan Ferguson and Niclas Alexandersson.

We had a real go, battling for each other and we showed that we will be capable of challenging to win our Premiership place back
  Jim Jefferies
Bradford manager
The Goodison crowd were stunned when Myers rose above his marker on the edge of the six-yard box to head home Carbone's corner from the left.

Bradford found themselves under almost incessant pressure for the remainder of the half.

Everton piled forward but were frustrated by a combination of superb Bradford defending, poor finishing and a bit of bad luck.

Everton's second-half comeback

Bantams keeper Gary Walsh and his central defenders Myers and Robert Molenaar were the rocks on which numerous Everton attacks foundered.

After half an hour Everton had a strong claim for a penalty when Molenaar appeared to handle a right-wing cross to stop it reaching Ferguson.

But referee Paul Durkin instead chose to award a free-kick to Bradford for a foul on the Dutchman by the Everton striker.

Bradford were still lively on the counter, with Blake and Carbone particularly impressive.

Obviously there is immense relief, particularly when you consider all the problems we have had this season
  Walter Smith
Everton manager
Blake came close to extending Bradford's lead when he evaded despairing challenges from Gough and Weir and chipped the ball over Gerrard, but wide of the far post.

Everton however finished the half strongly. Alexandersson shot over the crossbar from 15 yards out when unmarked and later Ferguson hit a low shot that was destined for the far corner before Walsh pulled off another superb save.

The home side then came out firing after the interval, no doubt stirred by some strong words from manager Walter Smith.

Second penalty miss

They equalised almost immediately, Campbell heading on a left-wing cross at the near post for Ferguson to shoot through Walsh's legs from close range.

Just 10 minutes later, Bradford were awarded the first of their penalties. Carbone surged into the right corner of the area and was brought down by Watson.

Blake stepped up confidently to take the spot-kick, but Gerrard pulled off a brilliant save low to his right.

This proved costly when relieved Everton took the lead after 64 minutes. Gemmill crossed in from the left and Alexandersson side-footed first time fractionally inside Bradford's far post.

But again, Everton's goal was quickly followed by a Bradford penalty.

Durkin controversially adjudged Watson to have handled Myers' header and this time Carbone stepped up, but ballooned the ball high over the crossbar.

Bradford seemed deflated by this failure and Everton could have extended their lead late on, with Campbell having two excellent chances.

And the Toffees duly held on to preserve their Premiership status as Bradford were finally doomed to Division One.

Everton: Gerrard, Gough, Weir, Ball, Unsworth, Steve Watson, Pembridge, Gemmill, Alexandersson, Ferguson, Campbell. Subs: Simonsen, Gravesen, Hibbert, Moore, Tal.

Bradford: Walsh, Myers, Halle, Molenaar, Jacobs, Blake, McCall, Jess, Lawrence, Carbone, Ward. Subs: Nolan, Davison, Locke, Grant, Kerr.

Referee: P Durkin (Dorset).

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