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Relegation for City after Everton defeat

Adam Bell  Tuesday, May 01, 2001  11:42 GMT


City relegated after double penalty woe
Everton 2 v 1 Bradford City Full-time
Ferguson 47 Myers 3
Alexandersson 64

15:00 Kickoff
Everton: Gerrard , Ball , Gough (Hibbert 46) , Weir , Watson , Unsworth (Gravesen 46) , Alexandersson , Gemmill , Pembridge , Campbell , Ferguson
Subs not used: Simonsen , Tal , Moore
Bookings: Unsworth 13

Bradford City: Walsh , Halle , Molenaar , Jacobs , Myers , Jess , McCall , Lawrence , Blake , Ward , Carbone
Subs not used: Davison , Nolan , Locke , Kerr , Grant
Bookings: Molenaar 25, Ward 31
City were relegated after missing two penalties as goals from Duncan Ferguson and Niclas Alexandersson cancelled out Andy Myers' early opener. The Bantams were finally consigned to life in the First Division next term after crashing to a 2-1 defeat at Goodison Park in a game of real high drama. It all started so well for the Bantams when Robbie Blake won a corner and a dangerous swinging delivery from Benito Carbone saw Myers beat Steve Watson at the near post to head home. The Merseysiders tried to get themselves back into a game that quickly turned into a real blood and thunder encounter, but struggled to break down a resolute visiting defence, although Kevin Campbell did force Gary Walsh into a save. Bradford looked to have a legitimate penalty claim turned down when Robert Molenaar tumbled in the box from another teasing Carbone cross from a free-kick out wide, but Paul Durkin ignored The Bantams' appeals. Mark Pembridge then fired well wide with a speculative shot from the edge of the box with a quarter of an hour on the clock, before Carbone tested Paul Gerrard with a dipping 30-yarder. Moments later and Molenaar was booked for a hauling down Duncan Ferguson right on the edge of the box, but David Unsworth’s fierce drive rebounded off the City wall and rolled to safety. Ferguson must have thought he was a certain scorer on 26 minutes when he was released by strike partner Campbell as Everton broke, but Wayne Jacobs, only in the side after passing a late fitness test, made a wonderful last–gasp tackle with the big Scot bearing down on goal. Bradford were soon back on the offensive on the half-hour with Blake producing a jinking run that took him past two Everton defenders, but the tricky striker screwed his shot wide into the side-netting when he should have done an awful lot better. Bradford's goal continued to live a charmed life, Ferguson forcing Walsh into another save before Everton's last chance to level matters before the break came two minutes from the interval. A long-throw into the box caused problems in the Bradford defence but Watson completely mis-kicked and when the ball trickled to Alexandersson he shot wide. Walter Smith made two half-time changes, bringing on Thomas Graveson and Tony Hibbert to try and force a change of luck. And it worked because within a minute of the re-start Everton were back on level terms courtesy of a Ferguson strike. Bradford failed to deal with a ball slung to the back post and the Scot stroked the ball home on 46 minutes with Walsh this time stranded. But the Bantams could have regained the lead within five minutes when Blake failed to convert a penalty, Gerrard saving well after Carbone was hauled down in the box. Instead it was Everton who took the initiative and the lead on 64 minutes when Scott Gemmill whipped a cross into the box, Molenaar headed clear but it fell straight to Alexandersson who drove the ball home. Within a minute Bradford should once again have been back in the game, awarded a penalty when Watson appeared to handle in the box, but again, Bradford failed to capitalise when Carbone blasted the ball high over the bar. Everton could have sealed the three points on 75 minutes when Ferguson supplied Campbell on the break, but Walsh somehow pulled off a stunning close range save to push the ball away for a corner. And Walsh was again asked to make another fantastic stop moments later denying Ferguson with a fingertip save after the Blues striker seemed to have scored with a bullet downward header from two yards out. With Bradford's Premiership life slipping away, Jim Jefferies pushed Jamie Lawrence forward as City adopted a 4-2-4 formation for the closing minutes of the game, but it was all to no avail as Everton held firm and Bradford were condemned to life in the First Division. Picture: Beni Carbone missed a second penalty for the Bantams

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