Louis Saha 300
THE party failed to get going.
But on the ninth anniversary of his reign, manager David Moyes got the three points he wished for.
It was a low key bash at Goodison Park on a sleepy Saturday evening, the dross only lit up by rare moments of sparkle to conjure Everton’s goals and consequently a lead they would not relinquish.
Fulham threatened to gatecrash after the break when the second goal of the game forced them to show an ounce of adventure resulting in Clint Dempsey’s expertly-worked strike, but Moyes’s men would not let him down.
Victory takes the fluctuating fortunes of Everton’s season back up into eighth in the table, again re-igniting that dim flame of hope supporters carry that the European ship has yet to sail.
Talk of relegation one week, then Europe the next, Everton’s inconsistent 2010-11 campaign has left their prospects blurred, but the fading weekend light revealed something positive.
But the years will have made Moyes wary of getting carried away and his side are unlikely to have reacted with such extremities after any game this term.
Qualification for the Europa League remains a steep hill to climb and Everton may be wise to enjoy the 10th straight Premier League win at Goodison over Fulham and hope for a strong run to close out the season.
Also, with 40 points to their name, relegation should now be firmly out of the question for Moyes’s team.