Forty Years Ago — 1973-74: Match 14

Billy Bingham’s Everton had still been smarting from their shock League Cup defeat at Goodison Park, at the hands of Norwich City (0-1) in their most recent match, which had ended Everton’s unbeaten home record, although for the truly pedantic among us, it wasn’t strictly their first home defeat as Heart of Midlothian (0-1) had beaten Everton at Goodison earlier in the season in the Texaco Cup tournament and Everton had lost the tie on aggregate following a goalless draw at Tynecastle. However, Everton’s recent league form at Goodison Park had been excellent and the team and its supporters would have hoped to have kept that winning streak alive, when Tottenham Hotspur, were the visitors to Goodison Park.

Tottenham Hotspur had been predominantly known as a good cup side, which was perhaps a little unfair as they had, in all but one season, finished in the higher echelons of the First Division in the previous ten years or so. It was true that Spurs hadn’t added another championship to their glorious ‘Double’ triumph of 1961, but they had featured among the top six clubs in England, eight times since that historic year for the club. FA Cup wins, the first in 1962 followed by a European Cup Winners Cup triumph in 1963 and the FA Cup again in 1967 were added to their honours list before the end of the sixties.

In the more recent past a two-legged Uefa Cup Semi-Final defeat, in 1973, due to the away goal that Liverpool had scored at White Hart Lane had enabled Liverpool to go through to the Final. Martin Peter’s two goals in the first leg were of little value in helping Spurs valiant attempt at retaining the trophy that they had won the previous year by beating fellow English club, Wolverhampton Wanderers (3-2) on aggregate in the two-legged Final.

The League Cup had also found its way into the Tottenham Hotspur trophy cabinet in 1971 after their triumph over Aston Villa (2-0) at Wembley and Tottenham Hotspur were the holders of the trophy having won it in 1973 having defeated Norwich City in the Wembley Final thanks to a goal scored by Ralph Coates.

In a follow up article Promotions Manager David Exall once again examined the possible reasons for the falling attendances in the Football League and he said that this decline was not only a cause for concern in England but that it had also blighted the various European leagues. Brian Glanville football correspondent of the Sunday Times claimed, in what Mr Exall said was basically a marketing magazine, Europa, “There is something schizophrenic about the current position of soccer in Europe…time and time again one hears someone holding forth about the pattern and merits of a match, only to discover that they have not been there; that for them ‘reality’ consists of the television screen, with its arbitrary angles and pictures often, too, of its arbitrary selection in terms of sheer time.”

He continued to say that the alarming fall in spectators had been prevalent in every major footballing nation of Europe, with only Italy, despite a rise in admission prices showing a positive picture. Despite the description of the TV watching habits of people who don’t necessarily attend the game in person, Mr Glanville believed that the reasons for the decline in spectator numbers could be found within the game itself. The generally negative and defensive strategies employed by the leading teams in order to compete for the major prizes, had led to a fall in paying customers. But as if to undermine this argument Brian also said that despite the German League producing some exciting football in a truly entertaining and competitive league where in one given week 34 goals were scored in seven games, the crowds were still not that high and this in a country who were due to hold the 1974 World Cup Tournament and whose national side were current European Champions.

Marketing experts believed that the game and the people within it were unable or unwilling to promote the game in the correct manner and it had been this failure to utilize marketing as a tool to attract more paying customers and its failure to attract money from other sources that has led to a crisis of confidence within the game in general. It is a reason that David Exall took issue with and he said that many within the game were alive to the potential of bringing in money from outside sources. He accused the authors of these types of articles of not doing their homework and failing to carry out research any further north, than Hendon Way

David Exall claimed that Everton had marketing strategies in place to address the problem of meeting the shortfall in cash due to lower attendances, but that the only real solution was to play winning football and he cited the plus 40,000 attendance at Goodison for the recent game with Burnley as an example. He said “Certainly Merseyside, as we suggested a fortnight ago, seems to be more concerned with the results achieved.”

A crowd of just over 31,000 saw Tottenham Hotspur bring to an end Everton’s winning streak in the league, but Everton’s unbeaten League run extended to nine matches. John Connolly who had claimed a goal in the previous game at Birmingham City was definitely credited with the goal in this match – although it had deflected into the net off Steve Perryman, unfortunately for John and the Everton team, Steve Perryman had prevented it from being a winning goal by scoring for Tottenham Hotspur and the Toffee’s had to settle for a draw.

The result at Goodison meant that Everton had lost ground on Leeds United as they had won again at Elland Road this time beating lowly West Ham United (4-1), but Derby County had lost at home to QPR (1-2) and Burnley had failed to win their game as they were held to a draw by Southampton (2-2) at the Dell. Newcastle United joined Everton and Burnley in joint second place virtue of their victory over Stoke City (2-1) at St. James’ Park.

1973-74 — First Division: Saturday, 3 November 1973
Tottenham Hotspur @ Goodison Park, Score: 1-1 (Connolly), Attendance: 31,181
Everton: Lawson, Darracott, Mclaughlin, Clements, Kenyon, Hurst, Bernard, Buckley, Lyons, Harper and Connolly


Thirty Years Ago 1983-84 Match 14

Arsenal and their supporters would have been in buoyant mood at Highbury as the satisfaction of beating their local rivals in the League Cup, would no doubt have lasted for a little while longer, Everton would have hoped to put a dampener on those high spirits and increase the newly arrived feel-good factor surrounding Goodison, as their new signing Andy Gray had added that missing something into the team as they had also won through to the last sixteen of the League Cup and had managed to overcome Nottingham Forest in their last competitive league fixture.

Following Arsenal’s League Cup victory at White Hart Lane against Tottenham (2-1) which had taken them into the last sixteen of the competition, they had lost their recent league game at Portman Road to Ipswich Town (0-1). At the start of the day Arsenal were on the same points as Everton with eighteen points from thirteen matches played. They had yet to feature in a drawn league game and their results at Highbury were very similar to those they had achieved on the road. They had won three times at Highbury in the league against Luton (2-1), Norwich City (3-0) and Nottingham Forest (4-1) but had lost to Manchester United (2-3), Liverpool (0-2), Coventry City (0-1) and Sunderland (1-2) in their previous home game. Thumping wins at Aston Villa (6-2) and Notts County (4-0) and a win at Wolverhampton Wanderers (1-0) had made up for their inconsistent home form, but defeats at Southampton (0-1), QPR (0-2) and Ipswich Town (0-1) hadn’t helped Arsenal to maintain their challenge for the European places.

In the 1982-83 campaign Arsenal had met Everton four times and they had won three and drawn one of the games. In the league game at Highbury Andy King had given the Blues the lead but Brian McDermott had equalised to prevent Everton from winning at Highbury for the first time since Martin Dobson and Mike Lyons had scored in the victory which had taken place in March 1975 against Arsenal (2-0).

The 1982-83 return fixture held at Goodison ended in an Arsenal (3-2) victory with their goals coming from Alan Sunderland, Stewart Robson and Tony Woodcock who had scored the winner, Alan Ainscow and Adrian Heath had been on target for Everton.

The two sides had also faced each other in a Milk Cup third round tie with the game staged at Goodison ending in a one-one draw, Gary Stevens had given Everton the lead, but Stewart Robson had equalised to force a replay. Tony Woodcock’s hat-trick at Highbury had put paid to Everton’s League Cup hopes as Arsenal (3-0) had ran out winners.

Irishman Terry Neill had been in charge of Arsenal for around seven years and while he had tasted success in the FA Cup in 1979 when Arsenal had managed to score in the final minute to snatch the trophy and deny extra-time to a Man United (3-2) side who had rallied from a two goal deficit, thanks to goal scored by Alan Sunderland. But Neill’s ambition to match the achievements of his predecessor Arsenal legend Bertie Mee and make Arsenal Champions of England had so far proved elusive. Arsenal had been a strong and on occasion an exciting team under Terry Neill’s stewardship but they had lacked the necessary consistency to mount a full-blown title challenge and so far Arsenal’s highest position in Division One had been fourth during his reign as manager.

Kevin Connolly’s Highbury scene gave a warm welcome to Arsenal’s latest young signing Niall Quinn and he said that at 6ft-4ins he must be one of the tallest players in the game. Seventeen year-old Niall could have chosen to play professionally in two other sports as he had been a schoolboy star in Hurling, Gaelic Football and Soccer. Other future high profile players, who had been in the Arsenal reserve side at that time, included Martin Keown – who had broken his nose in a recent game with Watford – and his replacement Arsenal debutant David Rocastle, John Lukic, Lee Chapman and Tony Adams.

Once more Everton had succumbed to Arsenal at Highbury as a match in which Everton had had more than their fair share of the ball, ended in defeat, as two defensive lapses had cost them at least a share of the spoils. Andy King had converted a penalty, but goals from Stuart Robson and Alan Sunderland meant that Arsenal had gained maximum points and Everton had left Highbury with nothing to show for their endeavours, despite a decent performance. Howard Kendall said of the defeat at Highbury, “The result…was an injustice to the quality of our football. Even in defeat, I believe that our performance suggested we have turned the corner.”

1983-84 — First Division: Saturday, 19 November 1983
Arsenal @ Highbury 1-2, Score: (King (pen)), Attendance: 24,330
Everton: Southall, Harper, Bailey, Ratcliffe, Mountfield, Reid, Irvine, Heath, Gray, King, Sheedy, Unused Sub: Gary Stevens



Twenty Years Ago — 1993-94: Match 14

Bobby Gould had resigned as Coventry City manager on 23 October 1993, following his sides defeat at QPR (1-5); it had come as a surprise to everyone connected to the club and especially to the Chairman Bryan Richardson. The Chairman said “We had absolutely no idea that Bobby was going to resign…It came as a complete surprise to all of us.”

Former Liverpool captain, Phil Neal had been given the role as caretaker manager until such time as the East Midlands club could find a suitable replacement. Everton would have hoped to have capitalised on the Sky Blues upheaval by recording another away win which would have given the Blues’ a chance of putting pressure on those clubs above them as the gap between second placed Norwich City (23) and eleventh placed Everton (19) had been only four points.

Coventry City hadn’t lost a game until Leeds United (0-2) had left Highfield Road with all the spoils in the Sky Blues tenth match of the season and since that defeat they had failed to win a single match. The Sky Blues had beaten Arsenal (3-0) at Highbury on the opening day and had also beaten Newcastle United (2-1) and Liverpool (1-0) at Highfield Road. But the real problem for Coventry City had been the number of draws they had taken part in, as a not so magnificent seven of their Premier League fixtures had seen them share the spoils. In the League Cup they had beaten Wycombe Wanderers (5-4) on aggregate but had been knocked out of the competition by Oldham Athletic (2-0) at Boundary Park.

The column entitled ‘A Personal View’ was this week written by Coventry City Chairman Bryan Richardson in the wake of Bobby Gould’s resignation and amid rumours that the club was in a precarious financial position. On the financial situation Mr Richardson realised that the club needed to generate more funds and that the club wouldn’t be able to match the spending power of other Premier League clubs by going out and purchasing players for £3m plus. As such it was imperative that the club created an image that attracted younger talent to the club, where they could be nurtured and offered the chance of playing Premier League football, which they might not get at some of the big money clubs. Speaking about the redevelopment of Highfield Road the Chairman says “We have only had to find a fraction of the overall cost of the redevelopment, due to our securing such good commercial sponsorship. That has meant we haven’t been forced to sell players in order to meet the requirements of the Taylor report – ahead of schedule I might add. Many clubs will not be so fortunate.”

Out of the Blue reminded its readers about the day Gordon Lee the Everton manager required a police escort to prevent him from approaching the match referee, Tom Bune. The game had taken place on April 8th 1978 at Highfield Road. Everton had the ball in the Coventry net within four minutes but Dave Thomas’ celebration had been cut-short as the offside flag had prevented what the author of the piece Jim Brown had said seemed like a legitimate goal. Everton had started the game with a dazzling display and after 18 minutes Bob Latchford had opened the scoring, but two minutes before half-time Thompson had grabbed an equaliser getting on the end of Bobby McDonald’s cross. Four minutes into the second-half and Coventry had taken the lead as Ian Wallace scored his 22nd goal of the season, but two-minutes later Mike Lyons had scored an equaliser for the Toffees. The game was there for either side to win, but with ten minutes to go Alan Green had grabbed the controversial winning goal. Jim Brown described it as follows

“McDonald stabbed the ball towards goal, Wallace had a shot blocked and with the boots flying Green prodded home from close range. Wood lay motionless and for the next ten minutes Everton’s players were dropping like flies. They finished with only nine men, David Jones and Trevor Ross having limped off and at the final whistle manager Lee needed a police escort after attempting to get near the referee,”

Coventry City: Blyth, Roberts, McDonald, Yorath, Holton, Coop, Green, Wallace, Thompson (Osgood), Powell, Hutchinson.
Everton: Wood, Jones, Pejic, Lyons, Darracott (Telfer), Ross, King, Dobson, Latchford, McKenzie, Thomas.

Judging by the match report it looked like Everton had annoyed Coventry City when they had beaten them six-nil at Goodison Park, earlier that season, but surely that particular Sky Blues line-up wouldn’t have resorted to underhand methods would they? Lee should never have taken Terry Darracott off, he would have surely have made sure that the likes of Holton, McDonald and Yorath hadn’t got the better of him in a battle.

Highfield Road’s 1983 meeting of Coventry City and Everton hadn’t been quite as feisty as the game from 1978, but it hadn’t been short of incident. Everton were left chasing the game for most of the second-half as they had allowed Coventry City to take a two-goal lead. Coventry City had taken the lead when Mickey Quinn (27’) scored in the first-half and then Quinn (49’) struck again early in the second-half. Howard Kendall had thrown caution to the wind and had decided to go three at the back. Paul Rideout (69’) pulled a goal back and Everton nearly salvaged a draw but Tony Cottee missed his penalty seven minutes from time and once again the Toffees left Highfield Road empty-handed. Howard Kendall said “Overall though, I felt that too many players were below par and also we didn’t defend well. You don’t want to be battling back from 2-0 down when it’s unnecessary. Basically we gave ourselves too much to do.”

1993-94 — Premier League: Saturday 6 November, 1993
Coventry City @ Highfield Road, Score: 1-2 (Rideout), Attendance: 15,662
Everton: Southall, Holmes, Watson, Ablett, Hinchcliffe, Ebbrell, Ward (Barlow), Horne, Rideout, Beagrie, Cottee. Unused Subs: Kearton & Snodin


Ten Years Ago — 2003-04: Match 14

If Everton could manage to maintain the form they had shown in their last game against Wolves’ and also to repeat the result of their previous trip to the Reebok, a triumph over Bolton Wanderers (2-1), then today’s game at Bolton Wanderers would go a long way to dispel the nagging doubts of the Goodison faithful.

Sam Allardyce’s Bolton Wanderers were on a pretty good run of form, as they had won at Elland Road against Leeds United (2-0) in their most recent fixture and had won at Tottenham Hotspur (1-0) in the away game before that. They had also been a difficult side to score against as they had kept clean sheets in each of their last four competitive fixtures. Their most recent match at the Reebok had ended in a goalless draw with Southampton and only Birmingham City (0-1) had left the Reebok with maximum points. Similarly to Everton Bolton had also found difficulty to find the net regularly and their only home Premier League victory had come against Middlesbrough (1-0) in the middle of September. They still retained an interest in the Carling Cup as home victories over Walsall (3-1) and Gillingham (2-0) had gained them passage to the fourth round where they would play Liverpool at the Reebok. Bolton Wanderers were in fourteenth place in the league, one place and two points ahead of Everton.

Bolton’s match day mascot Lofty the Lion had hoped to storm up the charts with his new release ‘Let’s rock this town” recorded on the Mane record label and backed by Bolton based band ‘Pitch Invasion”. According to the author of the article “the song is a classic rock anthem, full of emotion and energy with strong vocals and lyrics, which reinforces Lofty the Lion’s status as one of football’s most entertaining and popular characters”. I thought it had only been Peter Kay and his mate from Bolton, who could tickle my rib-cage. Don’t forget that this match took place only a few weeks prior to Christmas and I’m sure the local children would have loved it.

Bolton’s trip to Goodison in February 1961 was recalled in the ‘Looking Back’ feature, and it said that “The big money men of Everton were kept quiet by a resolute performance by Bolton Wanderers.” The game had been lacking in incident and it seemed sure to end goalless, until a late flurry of activity, Jimmy Gabriel had fouled Brian Birch in the area and Bolton’s Billy McAdams fired the ball past Albert Dunlop to give Bolton the lead.

Two minutes from time Irish International McAdams had struck again as he “flashed a low shot out of Dunlop’s reach” to put the ‘trotters’ two goals up and they would surely return to Burnden Park with all of the points. A minute later Bobby Collins had put the ball into the Bolton net beating Hopkinson to make the score look respectable, but it had been too little too late as Bolton had held on for the win. It turned out to be an important two points for Bolton Wanderers as they had only escaped relegation that season by three points, Everton had finished in fifth place a point behind Burnley. Dennis Stevens who had played for Bolton Wanderers in the match with Everton, out of position, according to the article would join Everton and become an important member of the 1962-63 Championship winning side.

In the latest match at Bolton, Per Frandsen (26’) in the first-half and Youri Djorkaeff (46) just after the half-time break had scored the goals that had been enough to consign Everton to another damaging away defeat. As they had done on their last visit to Lancashire, Everton had left with nothing to show for their performance, as Bolton Wanderers had taken all three points and had put Everton back to where they had started prior to the Wolverhampton Wanderer’s game.

The defeat at Bolton and the results of most of the teams around the Blues in the table, had taken maximum advantage of Everton’s loss. Aston Villa had beaten Southampton (1-0) at Villa Park, Leeds United had won at Charlton Athletic (1-0), Blackburn Rovers had beaten Tottenham at Ewood Park (1-0) and Leicester City had won away at Portsmouth (2-0). Only Wolverhampton Wanderers had failed to win, but even they had clawed a point back on the Blues as they had drawn with Newcastle United (1-1) at Molineux. Everton had returned to the bottom three, a point adrift of Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers the two sides directly above them.

2003-04 — Premier League: Saturday, 29 November, 2003
Bolton Wanderers @ Reebok Stadium, Score: 0-2, Attendance: 27,350
Everton: Martyn, Hibbert, Stubbs, Yobo, Unsworth, Carsley, Gravesen (Nyarko), Linderoth (McFadden), Kilbane Rooney (Jeffers), Radzinski. Unused Subs: Simonsen, Naysmith, Clarke.

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Karl Masters
407 Posted 04/12/2013 at 19:01:24
30 years ago! Sorry. If only it was only 3 years ago :)

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