Last Gasp Blues: Beating The Traffic – Causing Room For Regret

ast Gasp Blues: Tomas Radzinski
Last Gasp Blues: Tomasz Radzinski

[quote]Seamus Coleman’s gloriously sliced winner in the 94th minute against Cardiff was remarkably Everton’s 13th league goal scored in the last ten minutes of matches this season[/quote]

Last Gasp Blues – By Mark Ellis

It has been a special season for Evertonians in regards to late goals. Who can forget the two scored at West Ham when 2-1 down? Baines second beautiful free kick of the game being eclipsed by Lukaku’s soaring header on his Everton debut to send the away fans into a classic frenzy.

Draws have been turned into wins; Aston Villa thought they were escaping with a point until Kevin Mirallas gleefully curled the ball into the Gwladys Street net with 5 minutes left.

Arsenal thought they had got away with one when Mesut Ozil’s close range strike looked to condem Everton to an undeserved defeat. Until Gerard Deulofeu’s exocet on 84 minutes gave Everton a richly deserved point to round off a hugely promising display.

The most memorable of all this season? Brian Oviedo giving Evertonians a free flight to the moon at Old Trafford. Rubbing David Moyes nose in it with a clinical finish as the ball drifted along the six yard box with De Gea stranded on 86 minutes. Martinez’s goal reaction just as priceless as Dour Dave looked on in shock.

Lets hope there a few more occasions like these as we try to force our way into Champions league contention with a promising run of fixtures coming up.

As always, it got me thinking. As a lifelong fan I have seen some memorable last gasp Blues winners or equalizer’s down the years, too many to mention but here are a few obscure occasions that standout in the plethora of memories collected watching the greatest football club on earth:

 

Last Gasp Blues: Bakayoko, Bristol City 0-2 Everton, 1999

All I can remember was it took about 3 weeks to travel down to Bristol City and we were greeted by a copper who sounded like Farmer Giles…..

“ALLWIGHT LADDDDSSS, if you aint got a ticket you aint getting in, OK.” These words in the broadest of broad Bristol accents have stuck with me forever.

Everybody sniggered, we all got off the bus and were escorted to the ground. The Bristol City fans were goading us from behind a wall of police; looking like the villains out of Straw Dogs. Easily the worst away ground I’ve been too.

The Bristol City team came out to “I’ve got a band new combine harvester!” This felt like Deliverance country, or at best, Straw Dogs.

We were rewarded with a limp Everton display totally in-tune with the rest of our performances that season. And with the game drifting aimlessly towards a replay, we drew a free kick 25 yards out.

Bakayoko picked the ball up and everyone around moaned with anticipation of yet another poor effort. Collective mouths dropped as the Ivorian stuck it in the top corner with an inch perfect free kick.

The fans went crazy, with amazement more than anything else. 1-0 Everton and the surreal feeling continued as Bakayoko added another from close range a minute later. A great way to end a long-winded day.

 

Last Gasp Blues: Jaap Stam, Everton v Man United

The 1999-2000 season had arrived and so had our first all dayer in Liverpool. The supporters bus went without us as we got the early train up from Wrexham.

After taking in the cheap sights of Slater Street, we headed to the match. Some things never change; still get the same excitement now when meeting the lads.

Manchester United provided our first test of the season and what a huge test. There we were fresh from a relegation scrap with Super Kev having saved our bacon; and promptly signing up despite us not having to 2 pennies to rub together.

And there was United, fresh from the treble and seemingly a team without weakness. We faced the prolific Yorke and Cole with the ageing (putting it mildly) Gough and Watson.

Reality soon set in as United scored through Yorke on 7 minutes. It was an ominous start from United

Everton consolidated and grew back into the game with a masterclass from Richard Gough; the most impressive defender I’ve seen play at Goodison Park. The guy had style and class stamped all over him. Great player.

As the game looked to be heading for a united win, I could see Unsworth making progress down the left. He whipped over a great cross which was greeted by an off-target header from Barmby; amazingly dive-headed home by the confused Jaap Stam. Bullet header own goals never cease to look hysterical.

From the upper Gwladys it looked a ridiculous own goal but in an era of regular hiding’s from United, this felt like a victory. The crowd went berserk and with my previous alcohol intake doing nothing for my balance, more scraped knees and bruised calves were discovered the next day.

 

Last Gasp Blues: Radzinski, Everton v Southampton

2003 was a poor year for me in terms of Match attendance. My boss wouldn’t let me have Saturdays off, no matter how much I begged her. I felt alien to Everton that year; a truly horrible feeling.

February had come round and I decided to take matters into my own hands and went in on the Friday determined to be off sick that weekend so I could go to the Southampton game.

With my best flu-ridden face and out of character behaviour, I managed to make myself look so ill my boss ended up driving me home that morning; the weekend was mine, finally.

Off to Goodison and typically Everton went a goal down with James Beattie chipping Richard Wright to put the saints 1-0 up. Everton totally battered Southampton afterwards. I couldn’t believe I’d gone to all the effort in work to come and see us get beat at home to Southampton.

My sickness-hard-work was rewarded when Rooney, on as a substitute, placed a perfect centre onto Tomasz Radzinski’s head to make it 1-1 on 85 minutes. Getting my boss to drive me home who had halitosis hadn’t been for nothing!

The relief soon turned to sheer elation as Radzinski, from a tight angle with almost the last kick of the game unleashed an Exocet that was straight out of the Hot Shot Hamish book of finishes.

I can still see that shot coming right down my throat.

The Gwladys erupted and the crowd became a mess of unbridled joy. It felt like the whole stand had become weightless. Last minute winners at Goodison are truly moments covered in solid gold.

 

With Martinez pushing and committing the team forward to the very last kick in every game, let’s hope the memorable times under the Spaniard are only just beginning.

Sin Miedo

Mark Ellis

 

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Follow Mark Ellis on Twitter

 

 

Mark Ellis

34 year old Evertonian, BU Supporter, blogger, loving Roberto, busy with my beautiful son Kai who has made me & my fiancee Lyndsay's life complete.

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