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Everton 1-0 Fulham Prem35 The Guardian

last updated Monday 29th April 2013, 11:25 PM

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Richard Jolly at The Guardian

Everton (1) 1 Fulham (0) 0

On an afternoon that was as much about the past and the future as the present, there were few signs that an era is ending at Goodison Park. With his contract expiring in the summer this may prove David Moyes's penultimate home game in charge of Everton. However, it merely felt like an end-of-season encounter where, because of Steven Pienaar's brilliantly worked winner, they maintained their faint hopes of qualifying for the Europa League.

"If we do get into Europe we will certainly have earned it," said Moyes, accepting his side will probably have to win each of their three remaining games, which include trips to Liverpool and Chelsea, if they are to finish fifth. While the only title they are on course to win is an unofficial one - they boast a healthy advantage in the private league of the Merseyside clubs - they were able to welcome actual champions on the day. Everton were commemorating the 50th anniversary of their title in 1963, which was secured against Fulham, and five survivors of Harry Catterick's team were afforded a rousing reception when they took to the pitch at half-time.

Moyes has marked a half-century of his own, his 50th birthday having fallen on Thursday. The celebrations were due to take place after the match with the unusually jocular manager saying: "It will be a wild Scottish rave: all Scottish food, all Scottish drink with no one English there at all." The subplot, however, is whether Moyes will be managing Everton when he turns 51.

Increasingly, the indications are that the Scot will remain at Everton. "The goal now for myself and the club is to continue to build on what we've already achieved," he wrote in the match-day programme, suggesting continuity. After the final whistle, he noted: "We have beaten last year's points total and hopefully that shows a sign of progress."

One of Everton's most industrious players is also among their most improved. While there has been a season-long focus on the threat provided by Leighton Baines on Everton's left flank, the goal offered an illustration of the vim and verve of the other full-back, Seamus Coleman. After slick interplay with Kevin Mirallas, Leon Osman released the overlapping Irishman who cut the ball back for Pienaar to slide his shot in. "A nice, intricate move," said Moyes. "A terrific footballing goal."

Before and after, Mark Schwarzer proved unbeatable. Like Moyes, his current deal expires soon and, like the Scot, he looks indispensable. The Fulham goalkeeper blocked Marouane Fellaini's fourth-minute header, setting the tone for his afternoon. When the jinking, juggling Mirallas followed a solo run with a volley, Schwarzer pushed it to safety. When Ross Barkley sensed a first Everton goal, the Australian thwarted him. In between, Fellaini missed an open goal.

"They could have scored at least two or three," the Fulham manager Martin Jol said. His side's openings were fewer, though Mladen Petric almost applied a finishing touch to Kieran Richardson's menacing cross-shot and Urby Emanuelson lifted an effort wastefully high over the bar. While they stirred in the second half, Dimitar Berbatov had long since departed by then. The Bulgarian limped off with a calf tear that may have ended his season. "He says he is a quick healer, so hopefully not," Jol added.

For notoriously poor travellers, the outcome was all too familiar. Fulham have never won a league game at Goodison Park and this was a 20th successive defeat. Their last league draw came back in 1959 - back in the days before Catterick, let alone Moyes.

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