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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 December, 2004, 17:01 GMT
Blackburn 0-0 Everton
Stephen Reid in action for Blackburn
Everton held off a feisty Blackburn side to snatch a point and their third away draw of the Premiership season.

Rovers dominated most of the match, with their high-flying opponents forced to produce a series of last-gasp clearances deep in the box.

Paul Dickov and Jay Bothroyd looked dangerous before late substitution Paul Gallagher's goal was ruled offside and Brett Emerton's shot hit the post.

Kevin Kilbane's header over the bar was the best of Everton's few chances.

The result leaves the Toffees just two points ahead of third-placed Arsenal, who play on Sunday, but manager David Moyes will be relieved to have grabbed a point against the run of play.

But it was disappointment for Blackburn, who were held to a draw for the sixth time in eight matches and endured their third successive game without finding the net.

Clear from the start was Everton's strategy to play deep and try to catch Blackburn on the counter.

However, despite losing centreback Craig Short after 20 minutes, Rovers' defence held firm and with goalkeeper Brad Friedel was hardly tested.

At the other end, Nigel Martyn would have been busier but for the intervention of his defenders.

Tony Hibbert cleared off the line, while Alan Stubbs and Tim Cahill both made crucial interceptions on goalbound volleys as Lucas Neill, Dickov and Bothroyd all threatened.

The home side then looked as though they might go ahead after 13 minutes when sustained pressure in the Everton box saw Martyn fumble a catch.

But the referee ruled the goalkeeper was impeded before Blackburn could make the most of their advantage.

Everton's first real chance came after half an hour when Marcus Bent latched onto a Kevin Kilbane long ball in the danger area only to lose it moments later.

After the break, the tension was apparent as the game became scrappier, resulting in the first yellow cards of the game to Hibbert and Blackburn's Andy Todd.

Moyes freshened up their attack by bringing on Duncan Ferguson and James McFadden for Tim Cahill and Leon Osman.

But the home side continued to enjoy the lion's share of possession.

Their endeavour and passion was nearly rewarded in the dying minutes of the game when Gallagher, just on for Bothroyd, tapped Steven Reid's cross into the back of the net, only to be ruled offside.

Moments later, Everton survived another close shave when Emerton's shot hit the outside of the post to mark Blackburn's last chance of the game as the referee blew the final whistle.


Blackburn: Friedel, Neill, Todd, Short (Johansson 21), Matteo, Reid, Flitcroft, Ferguson, Emerton, Dickov, Bothroyd (Gallagher 83).
Subs Not Used: Stead, Pedersen, Enckelman.

Booked: Todd.

Everton: Martyn, Hibbert, Weir, Stubbs, Pistone, Carsley, Osman (McFadden 64), Gravesen, Cahill (Ferguson 63), Kilbane, Bent (Watson 87).
Subs Not Used: Wright, Yobo.

Booked: Hibbert, Carsley.

Att: 25,191.

Ref: M Halsey (Lancashire).




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Interview: Everton manager David Moyes


Interview: Blackburn boss Mark Hughes




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