Date: 23rd August 2006 at 10:02pm
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A late goal from Everton substitute Tim Cahill earned Everton a 1-1 draw with Rovers at Ewood Park.

Benni McCarthy had given Rovers the lead with a goal on his home league debut only for Rovers to be denied by the Australian, although they would have to hold on for a draw in the end.

On his first league game at Ewood Park Benni McCarthy opened his account with a shot from around the penalty spot into the bottom corner. Rovers would be denied a first win of the season as Tim Cahill, followed up fellow sub James McFadden effort which had hit the post with time running out.

In the end Rovers will settle for a point, although they had chances in the first half, as Everton pressured and could have won after looking like losing. It was good to see Benni open his account, and Rovers to pick up their first point of the season, therefore avoiding equalling a ten year old record of losing both their opening games.

1st Half
In Only the second minute of his home league debut summer signing Jason Roberts forced Everton’s loan goalkeeper Tim Howard into a good save with his effort from the edge of the area.

Irish International, and team mate of Rovers’ own Steven Reid and Jonathan Douglas, Kevin Kilbane tried his luck from twenty yards shortly after Roberts, but his effort failed to trouble Brad Friedel.

Andy Todd, free to play following the decision to overturn the red card he received at Portsmouth on Saturday had to be alert to block a dangerous looking Andrew Johnson effort.

Good work from England U21 International David Bentley ended in a cross to Benni McCarthy who would be disappointed not to have done better with his volley. His effort put over the bar from only six-yards out, although he was off balance. Less than sixty seconds later strike partner Roberts would send an effort wide following good work of his own.

Another man missing from six-yards would be James Beattie. A pass from his strike partner would find Beattie who could only put his effort wide.

A wonderful last ditch challenge from Nigerian Joseph Yobo denied McCarthy a certain goal as the half neared its end.

Half Time:
Rovers 0 Everton 0


2nd Half
With a first half out of the way that most Rovers fans would have been placed with, the McCarthy – Roberts partnership was looking lively, and it would be McCarthy who would open the scoring on 48 minutes. Rovers 1 Everton 0.

A few minutes later a David Bentley corner would be volley wide from twenty yards by Morten Gamst Pedersen. Bentley would try a speculative thirty-five yard drive with twenty minutes left.

Rovers Substitution: 73 mins David Bentley (Off) Paul Gallagher (On)

After having a shot parried by Friedel, Andy Johnson would be denied what appeared a clear penalty as Andy Todd “strongly” challenged the England striker, who would only get a corner.

Rovers Substitution: 80 mins Jason Roberts (Off) Francis Jeffers (On)

Shortly after Jeffers’ arrival Everton would draw themselves level. A long ball found its way to McFadden who lofted over Friedel, who turned the effort onto the post, only for Cahill to follow up into the empty net. Rovers 1 Everton 1

Zurab Khizanishvili would have to clear a Mikael Arteta cross before Andy Todd`s injury time foul on McFadden would give McFadden himself the chance from the resulting free-kick. The Scotsman’s curling free kick from twenty yard went over the top as the game ended in a draw.

Full Time:
Rovers 1 Everton 1

Rovers – Benni McCarthy 48
Everton – Tim Cahill 83

– Friedel, Reid, Todd, Khizanishvili, Gray, Emerton, Savage, Bentley (Gallagher 74 mins), Gamst Pedersen, McCarthy, Roberts (Jeffers 80 mins). Unused Subs: Brown, Kuqi, Mokoena

Everton – Howard, Neville, Yobo, Stubbs (Lescott 48 mins), Naysmith, Osman, Arteta, Carsley, Kilbane (Cahill 64 mins), Beattie (McFadden 64 mins), Johnson. Unused Subs: Wright, Davies


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