All square at Woodison: Everton 2 Aston Villa 2

I'm going to write this post in two phases. The first phase is now and I'll write about the first half. In a few minutes, I'll write the second. I'm doing this because this was a game of two halves. But you would have guessed this.

The first half was dire. We went out not looking for a win. We went out looking for a draw. This manager does that. He did it against us when he was manager of The Clowns and he did it today.


In the first half we had one shot - a long range effort from Barry Bannan who came on after twenty minutes for Emile Heskey. That was basically it.

We were dire and Everton deserved the half time lead, because we didn't want it and they did.

Second half was different

But the second half started differently and that really shouldn't be a surprise, as the manager was still looking for the draw. We attacked for the first 15 minutes and looked liked we were looking for it and then, after about 23 minutes of the second half, a moment of beauty, from possibly the most unlikely of sources.

Stiliyan Petrov picked up the ball 30 yards out, he made a little space for himself and beat Tim Howard with a shot as precise as that injection you used to get when you were a naughty boy.

Things were all even and the manager was happy, so things went back to normal as he was getting his draw. But because of that, Everton came back into the match and they got a second.

This time it was a penalty. Delph climbed all over an Everton player and it was rightly awarded and perfectly converted.

But Delph shouldn't be blamed. He is a very very good player and he is going to get better. Just before Petrov scored a fantastic goal, comments were flying onto the site about him and they were not positive - then he scored and they stopped. You either have an opinion and stick by it or you don't. Just because Delph gave away a penalty doesn't change things. He is still a very good player that deserves our support and trust.

So, because we are back to a goal down, the manager needs to chase the goal. That doesn't really happen, because Everton are confident and rightly so. They were the better team and deserved the lead.

Albright on the night

Then, Albrighton came on and with him and Bannan, two players I think should start and I know you know that and why, things start to look a little better. It starrs and ends with Albrighton crossing for Gabby, who gets his head on it to make it 2-2. Things are back to where the manager wants it and I think it is all over.

But Gabby did get the equaliser in the 83rd minute and 7 minutes is not long, although I can do a lot of things, twice, in seven minutes, it isn't enough always to get a goal. Sometimes, you need longer and when playing Everton, unless you get enough extra minutes, it might not happen, although I was thinking, my dream nearly came true.

But it wasn't to happen and well, we came back twice, so some are going to be happy with that and I suppose I should be. A point away at Everton - a fantastic result. Man of the match vote to the right - I'm going Bannan, but just because.

In conclusion

We were second best for the majority of the game but when needed we found an extra gear, but not that inspiring. However, more proof if it was needed that Bannan and Albrighton should start and with Delph and Ireland - I think we have something special, I really do.