Memory Lane – Match 10

Games against Coventry, Watford, Aston Villa and this weekend's opponents, Tottenham

Patrick Murphy 01/11/2013 10comments  |  Jump to last

Forty Years Ago — 1973-74: Match 10

Everton’s home record had been fairly good as they were unbeaten in Division One at Goodison Park in the 1973-74 season, but on the road, their travelling support had yet to witness their heroes win; in fact, the previous occasion those supporters had witnessed an Everton triumph in an away league fixture had been in March 1973, when a Joe Harper goal had beaten Ipswich Town (1-0) at Portman Road. That win was one of only four away league victories Everton had managed for the whole of the 1972-73 season.

Coventry City had established themselves as a First Division club since their promotion in 1967 which had gained them entry to the top flight for the first time in their history. The Sky Blues had managed to avoid relegation in their first couple of Division One campaigns and in the following two seasons, they had finished in the top ten, but 1972-73 had found them struggling once again in the lower reaches of the league. Coventry City had also qualified for the European Fairs Cup in 1970 by virtue of their 6th place finish, but they had only played in two rounds before they had been knocked out when they had suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of German giants Bayern Munich (3-7) on aggregate but they had the consolation of having beaten Bayern Munich (2-1) in the second leg at Highfield Road.

1973-74 had started extremely brightly for Coventry City, especially so at Highfield Road, where they had gained maximum points from their opening five league fixtures. Coventry City had beaten Tottenham Hotspur (1-0), Liverpool (1-0), Southampton (2-0), Manchester City (2-1), and Derby County (1-0) before finally dropping points in their previous home game against Newcastle United (2-2). City hadn’t travelled well though and were defeated at Manchester City (0-1) and at Chelsea (0-1) which when combined with a draw away to Burnley (2-2) meant that their only away victory had been achieved in their most recent league fixture, at Filbert Street, home of their East Midlands rivals Leicester City (2-0).

Those results had propelled Coventry City into second place in the table on fourteen points from ten games, three points behind league leaders Leeds United and a point ahead of Burnley, but both of those teams had played a game fewer than the Sky Blues. Everton’s recent record at Highfield Road had been poor, as they had lost their previous three outings there. A win for the Toffee’s would mean that they would be just a point behind the high-flying Sky Blues with a game in hand and put themselves in a position to make a challenge for a European berth.

Former Everton player and all-time great, Joe Mercer, had been the Coventry City General Manager for this game and he had offered a warm welcome to his former club, Joe wrote in his programme notes “…no-one spends 16 years at a club, as I did at Goodison Park, without having some deep feelings for the club.” He went on to write “I have been interested always in how they are doing, and as a shareholder I maintain an interest.” Joe added that nothing gives a former player greater satisfaction than putting one over your old club, and that it was imperative that Coventry City gained maximum points from today’s fixture. There were no expressions of Gordon Milne’s views about the game in the magazine even though he was listed as Coventry City Team Manager and his Assistant had been listed as Bob Dennison, in what was an unusual set-up for a First Division outfit at that time.

Joe Mercer related a previous occasion in which he and Billy Bingham, had been on opposing sides, it had happened when Manchester City had drawn Irish team Linfield in the European Cup Winners Cup in 1970, Man City had qualified as holders of the trophy. Bingham’s Linfield battled well at Maine Road and Manchester City had emerged victorious with just a single goal scored by Colin Bell. In the return tie in Ireland, Manchester City had lost to Linfield (1-2) but they had won through to the next round thanks to the away goal scored by Franny Lee, or as old school, Joe described it, “…we scraped through on the away goal counting double business.”, he also said that Lee’s goal had bounced four times before the goalkeeper dived over it and the ball entered the net. Joe Mercer may have felt fortunate in that tie but despite progressing to the Semi-Final Manchester City had been knocked out by the FA Cup holders and eventual European Cup Winners Cup, winners, Chelsea (0-2) on aggregate in a two-legged game.

Unusually for a football programme, especially in such a male dominated sport and in the none-PC period of the early 1970s, Quick Cookies (it has nothing to do with computers, kids) by Sky Blue Sue reproduced a recipe for treacle scones and she also gave helpful domestic hints, as well as a warning to plant those evergreens this month in the gardening segment. Her top tip for eliminating the unpleasant smell and taste of eating onions, pickled or otherwise, was to swallow a teaspoonful of tomato sauce or ketchup. Don’t try this at home, children, unless you’ve been given express permission from your guardians or carers...

Billy Bingham, in an article by Alan Williams of the Daily Express, explained how he had wanted – in a similar vein to Harry Catterick and Bill Shankly – to work his way up through the ranks as a manager before taking on a First Division club. He went on to say that “I am determined to bring success to Goodison, and it shall be done by maintaining Everton’s standard of good, open football. I am an Evertonian. You could say I have blue blood.”

Alan also reflected upon the last occasion that Everton had visited Coventry City for a league fixture in December 1972 when it had ended in defeat for the Toffees where an injury time goal scored by Brian Alderson had been enough to send Everton packing. David said that the margin of defeat for Everton could have been greater had it not been for the heroics of Everton’s goalkeeper David Lawson. In the return game at Goodison Park back in April 1973, Joe Harper had scored twice without reply to give Everton the victory and revenge.

Billy Bingham had found out what it was like to be the winning Everton manager in the away dressing room, for the first time during his tenure, when he oversaw his team win away from home. Dave Clements the former Coventry City stalwart along with his Everton team-mates also found out what an away win felt like, after such a long wait.

Coventry City’s Alan Green had scored for the home side but thanks to late goals from Mick Lyons (82’) and John Connolly (90’) Everton had beaten Coventry City (2-1) – I assume that Coventry had scored first in this game but I couldn’t find any more details, not even the half-time score. Everton and their fans could once again look forward to challenging at the right end of the table that season and would have hoped to have many more days like this on their travels.

1973-74 — First Division: Saturday 6 October 1973
Coventry City @ Highfield Road, Score 2-1 (Lyons, Connolly) Attendance: 26,765
Lawson; Darracott, Mclaughlin, Clements, Kenyon; Hurst, Buckley; Husband (Bernard), Lyons, Harper and Connolly

Thirty Years Ago —1983-84: Match 10

Watford had enjoyed a meteoric rise up the divisions during the previous six years: they had finished as Runners-up to Liverpool in their first ever appearance in the top flight, they had started that campaign by beating Everton (2-0) at Vicarage Road with the goals having been scored by veteran Irishman Pat Rice and Gerry Armstrong.

Graham Taylor had engineered Watford’s rise and he remained adamant that his job remained unfinished. Taylor had seen no reason that his club could not compete for the top honours in the coming six years. One of the men who had helped Watford climb through the leagues’ had been Ross Jenkins, but he had been given a free-transfer, while the Top Divisions leading scorer Luther Blissett with 27 league goals had joined AC Milan for a Ł1M fee. Gerry Armstrong – who had scored a famous goal in the 1982 World Cup for Northern Ireland against Spain – had been sold to Real Mallorca for Ł200k.

As well as those departures, injuries to key players in Taylor’s squad, had taken their toll, but the signings of Lee Sinnnott from Walsall and George Reilly from Cambridge both for six-figure fees may have helped Watford overcome their recent difficulties. Both players had been signed too late to be eligible for Watford’s successful Uefa Cup contest with Kaiserslautern who they had beaten on aggregate (4-3), having managed to overturn a three-one deficit from the first leg in Germany by winning the home leg 3-0.

In 1983-84, Watford had not had the surprise element that they had enjoyed the previous term and it had showed in their results thus far, especially at Vicarage Road where they had won only one of their five league games, which had come in their game with Notts County (3-1).

Watford had also won, only once on the road, but that had been a convincing thrashing of Stoke City (4-0) at the Victoria Ground. Watford had been beaten in the League Cup by Huddersfield Town (1-2) in the first leg, but they would have been confident of overturning the deficit and turning the tie around at home, following their successful Uefa Cup exploits against the German side.

The meeting of the two sides at Goodison Park was an important game for both clubs as Watford had been in 18th position on eight points whilst Everton had been in 15th position just four points better off. The Toffees would have hoped for a repeat of last season’s victory in the corresponding fixture in January, when a David Johnson goal had been enough to earn the Blues maximum points.

Howard Kendall said in his Team Talk feature that he would have laughed if someone had have told him that Everton’s home form would be a growing concern for him during the season, especially as at the start of the season he had drummed into his players the importance of picking up points away from Goodison. But the fact that the Blues had registered only one win and scored only two goals at Goodison from five league fixtures had inevitably led to much criticism from supporters and the press alike.

Howard said that it was his job to find a solution and to stop all the negative talk and he had been convinced that ‘an early goal and one good win would make the world of difference.’

Jim Greenwood, the Everton Secretary, reported that Everton FC had moved its bank account to the TSB, who were the sponsors of the Watford match, and he hoped that the ‘bank that likes to say Yes’ and Everton FC would be ‘reaching for the top together’.

A new schoolboy signing had been made, 14-year old midfielder John Ebbrell from Wirral Grammar School. Because John’s school had been one that predominantly played Rugby Union, John didn’t have any representative honours, but thanks to a phone-call from a Scottish scout to Everton FC, the club had followed up his tip and had watched him playing for Sunday League side Eastham Blades where John had been the captain.

Howard Kendall’s gamble to rest Adrian Heath and recall David Johnson had paid dividends as it had been David’s goal – as it had been in January – that had earned the Blues a much needed home win over Watford.

Howard Kendall had also rested Peter Reid and had replaced him with Kevin Richardson because he had wanted to retain Andy King in the side. Kendall argued that the changes had created a better balance to the side and it had been tough on Peter Reid as he had been playing quite well, and Howard had thought it unfair especially at home, to have asked Adrian Heath to play as an out and out striker.

Howard said that David Johnson ‘is a true professional, who will always give 100%’ but his goal ratio has been disappointing and that is why the club will consider offers for him whilst it is no secret that Everton FC are looking for a new striker.’

1983-84 — First Division: Saturday, 22 October 1983
Watford @ Goodison Park; Score: 1-0 (Johnson), Attendance: 13,571
Southall; Harper, Bailey, Ratcliffe, Higgins; Richardson, Steven (Irvine), Johnson; Sharp, King, Sheedy.

Twenty Years Ago — 1993-94: Match 10

Despite the shock defeat to Norwich City (1-5) in their previous league game, Everton had travelled to Tottenham’s White Hart Lane in the hope that their defeat by Norwich City had been only a blip and that they could get their season back on track, by gaining three points from today’s encounter. Tottenham had the same number of points (15) as Everton and were just ahead of the Blues’, virtue of a superior goal difference, in ninth place. The gap between fourth placed Norwich and today’s adversaries’ was a mere three points, so a win could see either side improve their prospects of attaining European qualification.

Duel Forecast focused on Spurs' recent games and the encounters between Spurs and Everton during previous season. Tottenham had done the double over Everton, winning both games 2-1. In the match at Goodison, Gary Mabbut had given Spurs the lead before Kenny Samson – with what I believe was his only goal for the club – equalised for Everton, but with 20 minutes remaining Paul Allen grabbed the winning goal.

At White Hart Lane, the previous September, Peter Beardsley had given the Toffee’s the lead just before half-time, but some excellent goalkeeping from Ian Walker had kept Tottenham in the game. Paul Allen grabbed an equaliser before teenage substitute Andy Turner, in the dying seconds, unleashed a volley which flew past Neville Southall, a goal that had given Tottenham the victory which had seemed most unlikely for large parts of the match.

In the previous league game played at White Hart Lane, Tottenham Hotspur had beaten Oldham Athletic (5-0) where they found themselves three goals up within ten minutes, the goals being scored in a frantic two minute period where Spurs capitalised on some dodgy goalkeeping from Oldham’s Paul Gerrard. The only defeats that Spurs had suffered came in the North London derby with Arsenal (0-1) at White Hart Lane and away at Villa Park to Aston Villa (0-1).

Ossie Ardiles, the Argentinian World Cup winner and recently appointed manager of Tottenham Hotspur – having taken over from Doug Livermore in the summer – said in his column that he has been impressed with his side’s start to the season and especially the togetherness and spirit of his players, but he felt that some of the performances had been patchy and on occasion his team overdid the passing but if they could break that habit, he believed that his team could become a real force in the Premier League. Gary Mabbut in his column said that he was looking forward to making his 500th senior appearance for his club in the fixture against Everton. Nicky Barmby was pictured in a busy looking training top, which was available for purchase at Ł34.99p.

Previous matches between the two clubs were highlighted in the Looking Back article and the author noted that Spurs had scored more league goals against Everton than any other visiting side (110) and the article also reminded us that in 1966-67, the two sides had met twice within a week.

In the first encounter, played at Goodison Park on Wednesday 22 March 1967, a goal scored by Jimmy Greaves in the 48th minute had been enough to beat Everton for the first time at Goodison since their double-winning season and the first time that they had beaten Everton for almost five years. The return fixture at White Hart Lane on Easter Monday also saw an unchanged Tottenham side secure another victory courtesy of goals from Alan Gilzean and Joe Kinnear.

Reprint was a column where Steve Ellis selected a programme from the archives and reflected upon a particular match and it came as no real surprise that he choose to focus on the game played on the day that Bill Nicholson was appointed Manager of Tottenham Hotspur, taking over from Jimmy Anderson, who had been forced to retire due to ill-health. Steve says that there had been no hint of what was to come on that Saturday afternoon. Both Spurs and Everton sat in the bottom half of the table and a goal fest had seemed unlikely. Whether Everton supporters would come to think of the match as a goal fest is open to question but fourteen goals were scored on the day, the first time, according to Steve, since 1892 that a Division One game had produced fourteen goals. - When Newcastle United (12) had beaten Accrington Stanley (2).

Saturday, 11 October 1958: Spurs 10 - 4 Everton.
Scorers First Half: Stokes (1-0), Harris J (1-1), Smith (2-1), Robb (3-1), Smith (4-1), Stokes (5-1), Medwin (6-1), Second Half: Harris J (6-2), Smith (7-2), Harmer (8-2), Harris J (8-3), Smith (9-3), Collins (9-4), Ryden (10-4). The team line-ups were:
Tottenham Hotspur: Hollowbread, Baker, Hopkins, Blanchflower, Ryden Iley, Medwin, Harmer, Smith, Stokes and Robb
Everton: Dunlop, Sanders, Bramwell, King, Jones, Harris B, Fielding, Harris J, Hickson, Collins and O’Hara

An awful day at the office for Everton and there can’t be many Everton players who have scored a hat-trick away from home and still finished on the losing side; unfortunately that is what happened to Jimmy Harris.

So to that Super Sunday game, a good performance seemed to be going the Blues way, but in a topsy-turvy encounter Everton managed to lose at White Hart Lane, despite being in the lead with just minutes to go.

Paul Rideout (15’) had given Everton a first-half lead but Teddy Sheringham (59’) equalised. Then midway through the second half Tony Cottee (67’) converted his penalty and Everton looked set for victory until goals from ‘sick-note’ Darren Anderton (88’) and youngster Darren Caskey (92’) snatched the game from Everton’s grasp and left the Blues to rue their missed opportunities.

The Everton supporters must have left the ground wondering how their heroes had managed to snatch a defeat from the jaws of victory. Whilst it must have been entertaining for the neutrals watching on their satellite channels it was infuriating for all concerned at Goodison.

1993-94 — Premier League, Sunday, 3rd October, 1993
Tottenham Hotspur @ White Hart Lane
Score 2-3 (Rideout & Cottee pen) Attendance: 27,487
Southall, Holmes, Hinchcliffe, Ebbrell, Jackson, Ablett; Ward (Angell), Horne, Rideout, Cottee (Barlow), Beagrie (Preki). Unused Sub: Kearton.

Ten Years Ago — 2003-04 Match 10

David O’Leary had taken over from Graham Taylor in the summer as in the 2002-03 season as Aston Villa had suffered their worst Premier League campaign for eight seasons, which had seen them finish outside of the top half and just three points clear of relegation. In comparison the previous seven seasons had seen the club finish in no lower than eighth and as high as fifth in the premier league. The defeat to Blackburn Rovers (1-4) in the 3d Round of the FA Cup, as much as a disappointing league campaign probably sounded the death knell for Taylor’s tenure at Villa Park.

Aston Villa went into the match on equal points with Everton and lay in 10th place in the league table. They had not lost a home game, as they had won games against Leicester City (3-1) and Charlton Athletic (2-1) with draws against Liverpool (0-0) and in their most recent home match against Bolton Wanderers (1-1). Like Everton, away from home they had struggled and had lost their first four games, until in their last game on the road, they held their city rivals Birmingham City (0-0) to a draw. Whilst David O’Leary’s desire was to make Aston Villa a difficult team to beat, which he felt had begun to happen he also wanted his team to be a tad more threatening in the final third of the pitch. He added that "Everton’s players epitomise their manager because they work tirelessly and give everything they have in every match." He warned the Villa fans that today’s game would be a tough one, "because Everton are a very tough team with some talented individuals."

In the Visiting Villa section which focused on their opponents, the article said that there was an expectation among Everton supporters that Wayne Rooney could eclipse some of the most famous players that the club had ever had on their books. Rumours about Wayne leaving to join Real Madrid or Chelsea for a fee in excess of Ł30M resulted in Deputy Chairman Bill Kenwright saying that his England International was going nowhere. In a direct quote, Bill said: “I get a feeling above and beyond money when I see that kid in a Blue shirt. To know he’s a Blue and has been a Blue all his life. It transcends money.” In another direct quote he said: “Bill Kenwright will not sell Wayne Rooney. He’s going nowhere. Wayne is an Evertonian, he doesn’t want to leave.” [How quickly things can change in football eh!]

The previous meeting between the two sides was featured in the Looking Back section entitled ‘Emotional Rollercoaster’ describing how Aston Villa had taken a two-goal lead, courtesy of Lee Hendrie scoring in the 7th and 48th minutes before Everton asserted themselves and goals from Radzinski (51’) and Campbell (66’) had cancelled out Villa’s lead. When Everton equalised, it seemed that there would only be one winner, but Aston Villa had other ideas and a late strike from Dion Dublin (85’) meant that Everton’s spirited fight-back had been in vain.

No thriller at the Villa this time around, although at least Everton left the ground with a point more than they had the last time they had met the team in Claret and Blue; two future Everton players (Gareth Barry and Thomas Hitzlsperger) and one former Blue (Gavin McCann) played on the day.

In a game of few chances, another goalless draw at Villa Park, following the previous one against Southampton, meant that Everton’s problems in front of goal under manager David Moyes continued as his Everton side’s inability to score goals and thus their inability to win away from Goodison had become a handicap that had undermined their progress in the league.

2003-04 — Premier League: Saturday, 25 October 2003
Aston Villa @ Villa Park Score- 0-0 Attendance: 36,146
Martyn; Hibbert, Naysmith, Yobo, Weir; Le Tie (Stubbs), Gravesen, Linderoth; Campbell (Ferguson), Kilbane, Rooney. Unused Subs: Wright, McFadden, Jeffers.

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Reader Comments (10)

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Mike Hughes
1 Posted 01/11/2013 at 18:20:12
Interesting read but, once again, made me feel old.
Is it really 10 years since O'Leary managed Villa?
Michael Kenrick
2 Posted 01/11/2013 at 22:37:47
There's an awful lot of information here, Patrick, and it was a good 'stretch' to add in the 14-goal killer at WHL back in '58 — we've a couple of posts recalling that game recently.

And I believe it is the only occaision when an Everton player has scored a hattrick but ended up on the losing side.

Patrick Murphy
3 Posted 01/11/2013 at 22:48:07
Thanks to Steve Ellis (Spurs Programme), I had to find a way of giving the detail in a concise way, I hope it worked. I wasn't sure about players who scored 3 and still ended up on the losing side - I thought that perhaps it had happened to Dixie as he scored so many of them 37 I think.

I hope the articles are interesting and informative although they do seem to alarm folk as they realise how much time has passed since the events.

Michael you don't mean there is too much information?

Andy Meighan
4 Posted 01/11/2013 at 22:49:45
Brilliant stuff again, Patrick. While I obviously wasn't born for the infamous 10-4 game, my mum was carrying me at the time and her and my dad were visiting relatives in London. My dad says he remembers this like it was yesterday.

He asked a Spurs fan how the game went, and the guy says, "Oh, the Spurs won 10-4"

So dad bursts out laughing and says, "Yeah, mate, of course they did."

And the guy said, "No, pal, I'm serious."

So when they got back to Auntie's house, they found out and he still says to this day, "I still can't believe it!"

Anyway, looking back at our gates in the '80s, they were shocking:13,000 etc... but I still believe this was down to the economics of the day. The city was a desperate place with mass unemployment etc

What a godsend that mid- to late-80s side were... They certainly lifted the gloom around Goodison Park. Thatcher's Britain, hey.

Anthony Lewis
5 Posted 02/11/2013 at 20:42:42
I've got to be honest Patrick I really enjoy reasing these articles. But this one was a bit too much information and a little confusing. I couldn't make out whether you were talking about the game that year or the similar games of yesteryear. Sorry mate. Please don't stop writing them though. They make us feel old, but they bring back some great memories :)
Patrick Murphy
6 Posted 03/11/2013 at 00:21:59
I appreciate what you say Anthony and I will attempt to address your points, but I'm not really going for a full on match report from the games featured as that would only be the final couple of paragraphs of each era.

If less is more I will eradicate some of the information and see how it goes, it's a damn sight easier for me not to have to trawl through the records.

Thanks for the feedback it's always helpful.

David Ellis
7 Posted 04/11/2013 at 05:27:20
I am fully responsible for that loss to Tottenham 20 years ago. I turned on the car radio on Radio 2 Live on the 88th minute with us winning 1-0. 4 minutes later and we had lost 2-1.

If only I had listened to Radio 4 instead!

Karl Masters
8 Posted 05/11/2013 at 00:47:37
Keep them coming Patrick and don't whittle them down. The fine level of detail makes the articles a much more interesting read for me!
Lee Robinson
9 Posted 05/11/2013 at 18:56:44
Keep them long for me too Patrick, more detail the better. Love reading these
Tony Doran
10 Posted 23/11/2013 at 10:26:06
Thay photo of Davie Johnson makes me feel uneasy. seen him at a diner once and all he done was cream to the shite and slag Everton to hell.

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