Campaigns - boycott to minute's silence

Since forming, as a proactive collection of Hillsborough families, survivors and supporters in Feb 1998, the Campaign has struggled to bring Hillsborough and the continued lack of justice back into the public domain on many occassions.

Many people are aware that all clubs now observe a minutes silence on 15th April following the group's letter campaign. In this section you can read on this and other successes the group has acheived, as well as ongoing activites.

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Red All Over The Land Vs Toffee Web

Contrary to the shameful breaking of the minute's silence before Monday's Merseyside derby, one particular display of unity has proven that Liverpool and Everton fans can still stand as one.

While most fans were still wondering what teams Mssrs Houllier and Smith would be fielding, Everton and Liverpool fansites, Toffeeweb and Red All Over The Land (RAOTL) were kitted up and ready to do battle to raise money for the Hillsborough Justice Campaign.

Played at the Edinburgh Park Dockers Club, Townsend Lane, on Easter Monday morning, the match was arranged to mark the 12th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster in which 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives.

Indeed, as feelings between the city's footballing neighbours were tempered by a minority of mindless Neanderthals at Goodison Park later in the day, the inaugral mini-derby took a significant step towards improving relations between the two sets of supporters.

In a poignant mark of respect to those who died at Hillsborough and in the Ellis Park Stadium disaster in South Africa a week ago, a minute's silence was impeccably observed before Red All Over The Land ran out 2-1 winners over their blue counterparts.

But despite a last minute disallowed goal for Toffeeweb, in a climax that was almost as frenetic as the real thing, the result pales to insignificance when weighed up against the intention of the proceedings.

A total of 283 was raised on the day for the Hillsborough Justice Campaign through donations and the sale of t-shirts, before both sets of players and supporters compared bruises and notes over a few pints.

"All in all it was a fantastic day which showed the true spirit of the Merseyside derby," said Will Melia of RAOTL.

"The game was a great demonstration of Reds and Blues coming together for a good cause and we hope the spirit of this game can somehow be carried over to the real derby in future."

Read on for a match report with a difference as Toffeeweb's Stephen Clegg gives a full account of the game while recalling the 'controversial' decision that even Jeff Winter would have shirked away from.

Toffeeweb 1, RAOTL 2

ONCE more a derby game has been decided by a controversial decision, this time denying the blues a well deserved share of the spoils.

In the final minute of normal time, after a wicked curling corner, Gaz Hughes powered a header over the line, to ensure honours remained even. However, despite having a clear view, Mr Referee did not give the goal and the brave Toffeeweb heroes left empty handed.

TW had been forced into several last minute changes. Goodall picked up an ankle injury in training, forcing him into assuming the coaches role for the day. Also Andy and Telford Blue had been caught laughing on the team coach, and were out of the squad. This meant bringing Gaz Hughes and Paulh into the back-line.

TW also changed their keeper shortly before kick-off, with free transfer Tony, in on a Bosman from Germany making his debut. Manager Ste Clegg had been busy earlier in the day securing the services of Everton ladies captain and England international Mo Marley, and Katy who were late call ups to the squad.

Before the game both teams joined in a minute's silence, which was immaculately observed and a credit to all involved, in memory of the victims of Hillsborough .

The game started at a frantic, erm... pedestrian pace. RAOTL's route one tactics were easily dealt with by the TW defence, however, TW were having trouble making the ball stick up front. Wyke and 3legs had to fight hard for scraps of possession as the TW midfield became involved in a war of attrition in the centre of the park.

As half time approached TW made the breakthrough through Richard Dunne in disguise - Gaz Hughes. A corner from the right was met by a towering header, giving the keeper no chance. Cue TW celebrations and a mini pitch invasion by the hoards of delighted Blues in the stands.

After a few wayward attempts from both sides, RAOTL grabbed a barely deserved equaliser . A ball out wide to PSM saw him skip a challenge, and curl a shot into the top corner. A good goal but on balance against the run of play. The goal prompted a spate of subs, with Ray, Mark Edwards and Tim B all brought into the game to try and sure up the midfield. Jon Gard and Stuey were having trouble showing their genius on a heavy pitch against some robust Red tackles.

Just before half time, the TW injury curse appeared to strike again, when player manager Ste Clegg went down in a heap clutching his knee. This forced Goodall to introduce Mo Marley at centre back and he also bought on Katy in place of 3legs.

After an energising Lucozade session at half time, TW started the second half in strong fashion and dominated the midfield with Ste Hardy and Mark Edwards stamping their authority. Wyke and Katy were combining well to create several chances, while at the other end, Harley began organising the defence with Clegg moved out to right back.

Soon after was the first controversial incident of the day. Gard displayed some trickery down the right and sent over a cross which struck a Red ming on the arm. Penalty!

RAOTL continued their protest but the decision stood. Katy placed the ball on the spot, struck it sweetly, but was denied by the outside of the post. That chance was quickly followed by another as Gaz Hughes bamboozled the Red defence only to see a clear opportunity denied by an awful bobble as he struck the ball.

As the game neared the end, RAOTL were increasingly under pressure. Several offside decisions meant they hardly threatened the TW goal. But then disaster. Blindo, the linesman, failed to flag as a Red ming burst through and netted for RAOTL. Despite Tony getting a hand to it, the ball squeezed in.

TW threw everything forward by switching to a 4-3-3, and forced a succession of corners which led to several goal mouth scrambles. In the final minutes, Gaz Hughes rose highest and met his brother's corner to head in, only to be denied by an outrageous decision as the ball was judged not to have crossed the line. This resulted in heated protests, most notably from Wyke who was lucky not to be booked. This was the last meaningful action of the game as RAOTL escaped with the victory leaving TW with nothing but a sense of injustice.

After the match, manager Ste Clegg and coach Jason Goodall were too upset to talk. 3legs let his feelings be known as he pointedly stated to the ref, "thanks Mr Poll". And so the story of the first Toffeeweb vs RAOTL game was complete. A fantastic 260+ was raised and handed to the Rick Parry of forum footy, Will Melia.

The game was an absolute credit to all involved.

Toffeeweb: Tony, Paulh, Gaz Hughes, Ste Clegg, Yozzer, Mikel, Ste Hardy, Stuey, Jon Gard, Jez Wyke (feat. Paul Bracwell's hair), 3legs (feat. ginger hair) Subs: ray, Mark Edwards, Tim B, Katie, Mo Marley
Coach: Jason Goodall

Referee: The love child of Winter, Poll and Thomas
Attendance - at least 30 (including innercityblue, Wolverhampton blue, and Ray's brother)