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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 October, 2004, 09:24 GMT 10:24 UK
Tackling Skills with BBC Sport - Everton v Southampton
BBC Sport has teamed up with the Foyer Federation to bring you the best sports reports from budding young journalists around the country.

Tackling Skills is a project that gives Foyer's residents the chance to work with BBC sports journalists to help develop their literacy and communication skills by using sport to inspire, motivate and re-engage them.

Here's a couple of reports from Goodison Park as Everton earn a 1-0 win over Southampton.


Alan Montgomery

It looked like it was going to be a disappointing 0-0 draw at Goodison Park when a goal in the 88th minute sealed three points for Everton keeping them third in the Premiership.

Leon Osman's goal two minutes before time sent the crowd wild after a disappointing performance by the Blues in the first half. Missed chances included Kevin Kilbane's cleverly worked free kick in the 29th minute which was set up by Thomas Gravesen.

Marcus Bent started off brightly but faded as the game went on, a lovely ball from Nigel Martyn straight from a goal kick in the 44th minute gave him a one-on-one opportunity which went behind for a corner.

Late substitutions by Everton worked in their favour as Kevin Kilbane and Tim Cahill were swapped for Duncan Ferguson and James McFadden. Seconds later the first goal of the game set up by Duncan Ferguson was scored by Leon Osman.

For his first half performance Thomas Gravesen takes my man of the match followed at a close second by Tim Cahill.


Leon Gillings

Manager Steve Wigley faced a major dilemma during his team's visit to Merseyside as Southampton were missing nine first team players including strikers Kevin Phillips, and James Beattie.

Looking at the team sheet it looked as though Southampton had come to Merseyside looking for a draw but from the kick-off this did not seem to be the case as both Everton and Southampton came close with early half chances.

The first major attack was made by Saints as they had a strike on goal but this was comfortably saved by Nigel Martyn in the Everton goal on 24 minutes.

A couple of minutes later some powerful running from midfielder Tim Cahill and some good skill to stop the ball from going out for a throw in, then a corner, gave Everton a great chance as Cahill laid the ball off to Marcus Bent in the Saints penalty area but Bent wasted a great chance and blasted over the bar.

Everton were awarded a free-kick and Kevin Kilbane hit a powerful effort that went just wide of Antti Niemi's right-hand post before stretching to reach a cross from Thomas Gravesen and also putting that wide.

Tim Cahill picked up the ball in the 41st minute and ran powerfully into the Saints penalty area before hitting the ball over the bar.

A couple of minutes later an attack by Saints saw Nigel Martyn with the ball and he threw the ball to Marcus Bent who was on the half way line, this sent Bent through clear one-on-one with the keeper but the Southampton defender did really well to get back and pull off a great tackle to save his team but in the end it was all in vein as the linesman had flagged for offside.

By half-time both teams had played really well with Everton having the better of the chances but Southampton did give as good as they got. The best player in the first half was Thomas Gravesen who had stamped his authority on the game from kick-off.

Everton started brightly in the second half with Thomas Gravesen carrying on his great performance and trying his best to open up the Saint's defence but he could not break them down.

Everton had a great chance when Niemi hit the ball at Marcus Bent and he went through and looked certain to score and his shot from all of three yards from a tight angle but it was blocked by Niemi at his near post. It was a great chance wasted by Everton. The best option would have been to play the ball across the box but he went for the impossible and tried to beat Niemi at the near post.

Everton showered the Saints defence with numerous attacks and finally when they broke them down when Osman played a great ball to Kilbane in the penalty area but his first touch was poor and the ball ended up going through his legs.

During the previous attack, Saints caught Everton on the counter attack and Dexter Blackstock put a great cross into the Everton box which Stubbs had to put behind for a corner as Leon Best was looming behind him ready to strike.

Everton had a great chance that was wasted when Marcus Bent crossed the ball across the face of goal - all it needed was a touch from any player and it would have been a certain goal but no-one could provide the finish.

With two minutes to go it looked as though the game was heading for a 0-0 draw but then Everton were awarded a throw-in and as a result of the throw from Gravesen and a great flick on by Duncan Ferguson the ball fell at the feet of Leon Osman who did really well to find the bottom corner through a crowd of legs and hit it past Niemi.

On the whole the game was not really a nailbiter and Everton did really well to get the result leaving them third in the Premiership table which will undoubtedly leave all Everton fans really happy.



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