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  Tuesday, 26 February, 2002, 21:45 GMT
Everton beat brave Crewe
Radzinski heads home Everton's equaliser at Crewe
Crewe 1-2 Everton
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Everton survived a major FA Cup scare at Crewe before clinching a quarter-final date with Middlesbrough.

Dario Gradi's First Division strugglers looked on course to spring a major fifth round shock when gifted youngster Dean Ashton gave them a deserved first-half lead.

But an eventful cup encounter turned dramatically on the stroke of half-time when Everton's Tomasz Radzinski headed an equaliser completely against the run of play.


I felt we never started playing until Crewe scored - then we imposed ourselves better than we had been doing.
Everton manager Walter Smith
It revived an Everton side who had been comprehensively outplayed for the entire first half - and established the platform for Kevin Campbell to score the second-half winner.

Walter Smith's side now travel to Teesside to face Middlesbrough - but will have to take their performance on to another level if they are to enjoy further FA Cup glory as a distraction from another Premiership relegation battle.

Crewe once again showed their ability to produce cultured attacking football, but they will rue conceding a vital goal in the dying seconds of the opening period.

Ginola tries to retain possession
Crewe signalled their capability of giving Everton a shock in the draw at Goodison Park - and confirmed it in a pulsating first 45 minutes.

Young strike pairing Ashton and Rob Hulse gave Everton's experienced duo of David Weir and Alan Stubbs a torrid time.

Weir and Stubbs won high praise for subduing Liverpool's attack in the Merseyside derby, but they were pulled awkwardly and unwillingly to all parts of Gresty Road by Crewe.

Everton goalkeeper Steve Simonsen had fumbled an Ashton shot and watched a header from the same player fly narrowly over the bar before Crewe's much-coveted striker deservedly broke the deadlock after 23 minutes.

Ashton robbed the hesitant Mark Pembridge and raced 40 yards in composed fashion before beating Simonsen with ease.


We lost a bad goal to a small forward and didn't play so well in the second half
Crewe boss Dario Gradi
And Crewe should have doubled their lead three minutes later when Hulse ran in on Simonsen, but he ran wide and found the angle too tight.

Everton were a shambles, and it was against the run of play when they struck a vital counter-punch seconds before the interval.

It was a bitter blow for Crewe, whose only moment of anxiety up to that point had been when goalkeeper Clayton Ince was booked for handling outside his penalty area.

Pembridge made amends for his earlier error by escaping the attention of the Crewe defence to deliver a perfect cross for Radzinski to nod home a simple finish from inside the six-yard box.

Hulse shoots narrowly wide from close range
Everton boss Smith made a double change at half-time, substituting the wretched David Ginola and injured Gary Naysmith with David Unsworth and Thomas Gravesen.

Crewe responded in style to the setback, and it took a goal-line clearance from Pembridge to deny the excellent Hulse from Ashton's flick after 56 minutes.

But Everton's confidence had been lifted by Radzinski's strike, and Efe Sodje was also forced to scramble Stubbs' shot off the line seconds later.

Everton's Premiership quality was finally beginning to exert its effect - and captain Campbell fired the Merseysiders into the lead after 69 minutes.

Radzinski turned creator to provide a cross from the right, and when Sodje missed his kick, Campbell controlled and turned to score superbly.

It was confirmation that Crewe had lost the momentum that carried them through the first half in such compelling fashion - and Everton survived for the victory.


Crewe: Ince, Wright, Walton, Sodje, Smith, Lunt, Brammer, Vaughan, Collins, Ashton, Hulse. Subs: Bankole, Foster, Sorvel, Rix, Jack.

Everton: Simonsen, Naysmith, Stubbs, Weir, Clarke, Ginola, Pembridge, Gemmill, Alexandersson, Radzinski, Campbell. Subs: Gerrard, Unsworth, Blomqvist, Gravesen, Linderoth.

Referee: M Halsey (Welwyn Garden City)

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BBC Sport's Simon Mann
"The longer the game went on the more Everton asserted control"
Everton boss Walter Smith
"We played far better in the second half"
See also:

19 Feb 02 |  FA Cup
Arsenal kick-off request fails
18 Feb 02 |  FA Cup
FA Cup's emotional ties
Links to more FA Cup stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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