Forty Years ago: 1973-74 — LC Round 2

Everton set about mapping out a road to Wembley by taking on Fourth Division Reading at Goodison Park in October 1973. Everton hadn’t travelled to Wembley since the unfortunate loss to West Bromwich Albion in the FA Cup Final some five years earlier. In fact, they hadn’t progressed past this round in the League Cup since the 1969-70 Championship season and it was the first League Cup match staged at Goodison Park since Arsenal lost 1-0 in a replay at the ground in the same season.

This was the first meeting between the two clubs in a cup competition and the only two previous meetings between the sides had come in the Second Division in Everton’s promotion season of 1930-31.

The Biscuitmen (the nickname of Reading at the time) was due to the town’s close association with Huntley and Palmers, the manufacturers of biscuits and crackers. Reading had appointed Charlie Hurley as their manager a year earlier and he had helped the club to transform its fortunes and begin the steady climb back up the table and they hoped to get out of their present division by playing attractive and winning football.

That 1973-74 season had seen Reading have their best post-war start, and away from home they were unbeaten in five matches with three victories and two draws. A win over Third Division Watford in the previous round (after extra time) showed their ability and their fitness.

Ray Minshull, then Everton’s Youth Development officer, was celebrating his first anniversary in the role and in ‘Club Talk’ he gave his assessment of that first year and his aims for the future. Ray described how a youngster was not only schooled in football development but also, with the help of the Littlewoods organisation, they were encouraged to study subjects such as Mechanical Engineering and A-Level Mathematics, so that – in the real probability that the youngsters didn’t make the grade in professional football – they would have something to fall back on. Despite the rewards of the professional game, there was according to Ray a smaller pool of youngsters to choose from compared to earlier years; this was in his opinion due to youngsters having so many alternative attractions and the increased competition for their services.

The recent raising of the school leaving age had also had an effect as some players were marking time before a club like Everton could sign them as apprentice players. Ray praised all the volunteers and teachers who gave their free time and energy to coach the boys and without whom, he said, clubs would have no pool of talent to pick from. All-in-all, Ray thought that Everton and its coaching staff were making good progress and he expected a number of the current crop to make the Everton first team in the years ahead.

1973-74 Round 2 Monday, October 08, 1973
v Reading (Goodison Park), Score: 1-0 (Buckley), Attendance: 15,772
Lawson; Darracott, McLaughlin, Clements, Kenyon; Hurst, Bernard, Buckley; Lyons, Harper, Connolly.


Thirty Years ago: 1983-84 — LC Round 2

Everton set out on their first adventure in the cup competitions of the 1983-84 season with a trip to Chesterfield’s Saltergate for the first leg of a Second Round tie in the ‘Milk Cup’, hoping to improve their dismal record of never having won the competition in any of its various guises since its inception in 1961.

Chesterfield, then lying 11th in the Fourth Division, were managed by former Tottenham Hotspur and Derby County player John Duncan. John Duncan took over at Saltergate in the previous summer following Chesterfield’s relegation from the Third Division. Duncan was offered the permanent vacancy at Hartlepool following a short spell as interim manager earlier in the year but instead he decided to join Chesterfield.

Chesterfield had very nearly gone out of business and ironically the day that John Duncan took over at Saltergate was the day that they were scheduled to close under a winding-up order. Fortunately for both parties, this was avoided due to the formation of a new board of directors and they quickly set about rebuilding a squad that had been decimated by the forced sale of many of the staff in the dark days which had gone before.

In the previous round, Chesterfield had beaten Middlesbrough courtesy of a penalty shoot-out after the two-legged tie had ended all square. Everton had faced Chesterfield in the FA Cup in 1905-06, although the Toffees had been drawn away for the 2nd round (last 32) tie. The game was switched to Goodison Park after Chesterfield agreed to play on Merseyside rather than at their home ground, the game ended in a 3-0 victory for Everton with the goals being scored by Settle, Taylor and Young.

Perhaps playing Chesterfield would turn out to be a good omen for the Toffees as Everton went on to win the FA Cup in 1906. Everton had last visited Chesterfield in 1946 in the Northern Football League first championship game which ended in a 1-1 draw. Everton finished Runners-up to Sheffield United in the last of the wartime competitions prior to the resumption of the First Division in 1946-47.

Howard Kendall was pleased with the professional attitude his players had shown in the first leg of the Milk Cup tie at Chesterfield and said that the conditions had a large bearing on the game especially in the second half where Neville Southall’s goal-kicks were not even reaching the half-way line due to the gale force wind. Howard said he had chosen to play Kevin Richardson in this game because he wanted to tighten things up and because it was a two-legged tie. Graeme Sharp scored the goal that won the game to give Everton a slight advantage for the return leg at Goodison Park.

1983-84 — League Cup Round 2 (1st Leg): Tuesday, 4 October 1983
v Chesterfield (Saltergate), Score 1-0 (Sharp): Attendance: 10,713

Southall; Harper, Bailey, Ratcliffe, Higgins; Reid, Steven, Heath; Sharp, Richardson, Sheedy. Unused Sub: King.

The second leg of the tie took place at Goodison Park some three weeks later and the Blues managed to scrape through to the Third Round following a 2-2 draw, which meant that Everton won the tie by three goals to two on aggregate. Howard Kendall was angry that his side, having taken a three-goal lead on aggregate, had somehow managed to allow Chesterfield back into the tie, but he admitted that the major aim of any cup game is to get into the next round and fortunately for Everton that is what happened on this occasion. It was surprising that the game at Saltergate had attracted more fans than the match at Goodison Park...

1983-84 — League Cup Round 2 (2nd Leg): Wednesday, 26 October 1983 v Chesterfield (Goodison Park), Score: 2-2 (Steven, Heath); Attendance: 8,067

Southall; Harper, Bailey, Ratcliffe, Higgins; Richardson, Irvine; Heath, Sharp, Steven, Sheedy. Unused sub: Rimmer.


Twenty Years ago: 1993-94 — League Cup Round 2

For the first time in some 40 years, Everton made the trip to Lincoln City to play a Coca-Cola Cup Second Round First Leg tie at Sincil Bank. Lincoln City had only won a single game in the Third Division and lay fourth from bottom of the league when they faced Everton. If you fancied placing a bet on the outright winners of the competition, a well known high street bookie was offering 11/2 Arsenal and Manchester United with Liverpool priced at 13/2. Everton were relative outsiders with odds of 18/1; given Everton's form in this competition, you could argue that those odds were far from generous.

Keith Alexander, the manager of Lincoln City, was hopeful that his team could forget the tribulations of the league programme and that the players could reproduce the form that had helped to overcome Port Vale in the last round. He felt that it was best not to concentrate on the talents of the Everton team and instead try to find ways of upsetting their illustrious Merseyside opponents in order to give his team a good foothold in the tie.

‘First Team File’ highlighted the difference in the two squads, stating that the Lincoln squad had cost a combined total of £343,000 whilst Everton had a squad which had cost £11,890,000. Grant Brown, who Lincoln had purchased from Leicester City for £63,000, was their most expensive signing whilst Tony Cottee at £2M was Everton’s most expensive squad member.

The previous meetings between the Imps and the Toffees were remembered in the ‘Us and Them’ section and it pointed out that Lincoln City actually once finished above Everton in the table for the only time in their history. This auspicious event happened in 1951-52 when Everton finished the season in a lowly 16th position in the Second Division and Lincoln City were a point and a place better off in 15th position. The sides had played twice against each other home and away, with both games at Sincil Bank ending in 1-1 draws and the games at Goodison Park showing a victory apiece with a 3-0 win for the Imps and a 3-1 win for Everton in their promotion season.

Howard Kendall was far from happy with his side's inability to see out the game at Lincoln City. Everton had gone a goal down but gained the upper hand and raced into a 3-1 lead... but, once again, defensive frailties led to Lincoln City scoring another couple of goals and take the score to 3-3 before Paul Rideout scored a late winner to complete his hat-trick and give Everton a slender one-goal advantage to take to Goodison for the second leg.

1993-94 — League Cup Round 2 (1st Leg): Tuesday, 21 September 1993
v Lincoln City (Sincil Bank), Score 4-3 (Rideout 3, Cottee); Attendance: 9,153 Kearton; Jackson, Hinchcliffe, Ablett, Holmes; Ebbrell, Ward (Preki); Rideout, Cottee, Horne, Beagrie. Unused subs: Reeves, Stuart.

The second-leg was overshadowed to a certain extent with the news that Sir John Moores had passed away on the day of Everton’s previous home game against Norwich City. On 25 September 1993, Sir John Moores died at his home, "Fairways", at Shireburn Road, Freshfield, Formby, where he had lived since 1930. He was cremated six days later in Southport.(Source: Wikipedia)

Dr David Marsh, the Chairman of Everton FC, wrote a tribute to Sir John in the Lincoln City programme where he stated:

“...though he had interests in both city clubs, Everton was his love, and the club successes gained in the distant past were enormously enhanced by his contributions in the sixties and seventies. It was his influence in the financial affairs of the club, as well as the players that transformed the results, and thus improved the economic base of the club. He too was especially mindful of the true blue supporter, and the ground improvements carried out throughout the years were part of a forward policy which, even though he is no longer with us, will be remembered and will benefit future generations. We mortals will never see his like again, and I for one feel honoured to have known him, and to write this tribute. We shall miss Sir John.”
Everton managed to progress to the third round of the competition with a 4-2 victory at Goodison Park over Lincoln City. Quite what the late Sir John would have thought of the attendance of just over 8,000 at Goodison Park that evening is open to question, but the lack of people in the ground accurately reflected the pessimistic mood that was beginning to envelop the club.

1993-94 — League Cup Round 2 (2nd Leg): Wednesday, 6 October 1993
v Lincoln City (Goodison Park), Score 4-2 (Cottee 2, Rideout, Snodin); Attendance: 8,375

Southall; Jackson, Hinchcliffe (Snodin), Ablett, Holmes; Ebbrell, Ward; Rideout (Preki), Cottee, Horne, Beagrie. Unused sub: Kearton.


Ten Years Ago: 2003-04 League Cup Round 2

Cup football returned to Goodison Park as Stockport County arrived for a Second Round tie in the Carling Cup. The match rekindled the memories of cup matches between the two sides from past seasons, the most recent taking place in 1996. Stockport County had arrived at Goodison to play Joe Royle’s Everton, the holders of the FA Cup and strong favourites to progress to the latter stages of the competition once again. Stockport had other ideas and took the Third Round tie to a replay. The game at Edgeley Park saw Stockport leading into the latter stages, before eventually losing 3-2 following a late rally by Everton.

Stockport County had endured a week of upheaval prior to the game at Goodison Park: Carlton Palmer, who had been in charge of the Hatters since 2001, was relieved of his duties and first team affairs were to be overseen by former Chelsea and Swansea City player, John Hollins, with former Everton player, Kevin Richardson, employed as his assistant.

This was David Moyes’s first Cup game at Goodison Park as all the previous ties under his stewardship had seen Everton drawn away in both domestic cup competitions. David Moyes said that he would ensure that a professional approach would be taken and that he and his team would not underestimate Stockport County as the debacle at Shrewsbury Town in January was a stark reminder of what can happen in any cup competition.

Alex Young had a feature in the programme due to him being a former Stockport County player, becoming Stockport’s record signing in November 1968, from Glentoran, the Northern Ireland club side where Alex had been their player-manager. Alex admits that he left Everton too soon, but he enjoyed his brief spell at Stockport, which had lasted between nine and ten months.

Stockport began recouping the outlay of £15,000 that they had spent on Alex’s transfer almost immediately as a crowd of 13,000 that turned up for the game with Luton Town at Edgeley Park, was almost double the average attendance that they had been getting at that time. Alex made 23 appearances for Stockport scoring 5 goals, but an injury unfortunately, put paid to his magnificent career.

Alex was so popular with the County fans that they had a special song for him, sung to the tune of ‘Lily the Pink’ a sixties number one hit for Merseyside fun pop group The Scaffold:

We’ll sing, we’ll sing, we’ll sing,
to Alex the King, the King, the King
The greatest player in blue and white,
And when he’s scorin’
The Cheadle end’s roarin’
At Edgeley Park on Friday Night!

One thing that Alex Young did achieve when he played for Stockport County that he had never managed to do in Everton colours, was to score from the penalty spot – not a great surprise as Roy Vernon was the penalty taker for most of Alex’s career at Goodison and Roy rarely missed (in fact just once as I understand it, but I stand to be corrected).

The ‘Bits n Bobs’ section reminded readers that Mark Higgins was the first Everton player to be sent off in the League Cup competition, in a Fifth Round tie at Elland Road in January 1978 – a game which Everton lost 4-1 with Dave Thomas scoring the consolation goal for Everton.

David Moyes was pleased with both the professional performance of his team and the clean sheet achieved by Everton in their three-nil victory over Stockport County. He had praise for the referee, Coin Webster, for allowing the game to flow and he singled out James McFadden for praise who he thought had done well on his Goodison debut. Duncan Ferguson opened the scoring from the penalty spot after 26 minutes and added another on 56 minutes, Nick Chadwick scored in the 44th minute to ensure that Everton made a safe passage into Round 3 of the Carling Cup.

2003-04 — League Cup Round 2, Wednesday, 24 September 2003
v Stockport County (Goodison Park), Score 3-0 (Ferguson 2, Chadwick), Attendance: 19,807

Martyn; Hibbert (Unsworth), Pistone, Yobo (Clarke), Weir, Watson; Gravesen (Rooney), Carsley; Chadwick, Ferguson, McFadden. Unused Subs: Turner, Radzinski;

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Graham Mockford
432 Posted 27/08/2013 at 16:42:06
I remember the Chesterfield game away really well. Was in my first year at Uni and caught the train for the short journey from Sheffield. Met a group of lads who would become my match going companions from Sheffield for the next great four years. Fuck me was it really 30 years ago!
Martin Berry
471 Posted 27/08/2013 at 18:07:47
Can't believe it's 30 years since I traveled with an old workmate to Chesterfield. Remember having a pint on the top of a hill in the middle of nowhere.
Karl Masters
632 Posted 27/08/2013 at 22:43:54
Seeing Rideout scoring those goals twenty years ago brings home its eighteen years since his goal won the FA Cup Final.

It really is time we won something again and I'd be more than happy with the League Cup this season!

Adam Weight
140 Posted 29/08/2013 at 01:59:51
Great article, I remember the Lincoln game at home; although we won... it was a real slog as I recall. They were the really dark days in the 90s... and to think people complain about the state of the club now!!

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