Forty Years Ago — 1973-74: Match 27

Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane was a venue which had provided Everton with plenty of points in previous years, although they had suffered a shock defeat in the FA Cup Third Round in 1970, but the Toffees would have looked forward to travelling there as they were still seeking their first league win of 1974.

Everton’s first game back in the top-flight had been against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on 21 August 1954 and the Toffees announced their arrival in fine style as they had beaten the Blades by five goals to two. John Willie Parker (10’) had the honour of scoring Everton’s first goal back in the First Division when he scored after just 10 minutes and John Willie Parker (12’) had doubled Everton’s lead just 2 minutes later. Hagan and Hawksworth scored for the Blades but Eddie Wainwright (25’, 70’) with two goals, one in each half, and another from Tommy Eglington (74’) ensured the Blues returned to Merseyside with all the points from an impressive display. Everton: O’Neill; Moore, Donovan; Farrell, Jones TE, Lello; Wainwright, Fielding, Hickson, Parker, Eglington.

Tony Pritchett in his regular column had plenty of praise for Everton’s stadium as he had written:

“Those of you who followed United to Everton a few weeks ago could not, I am sure, help but be impressed at the rebuilding and modernisation that has gone on at their Goodison Park ground. It must now, in my humble opinion, be the best appointed ground in the country.”

Everton had drawn that game at Goodison Park in December and would therefore not be able to repeat last season’s feat of a league double over the Blades.

In the match at Bramall Lane played on 21 October 1972, Everton had beaten Sheffield United (1-0) thanks to a goal scored by Alan Whittle (58’) in front of nearly 23,000 fans. Everton; Lawson; Scott, Newton, Kendall, Kenyon, Hurst; Whittle, Bernard, Royle, Harvey, Connolly.

In the return match at Goodison Park that had taken place on 17 March1973 Everton won the game with Sheffield United (2-1). Mike Lyons and Joe Harper scored for the Blues and Jim Bone scored the Blades consolation in a game that saw Sheffield United reduced to ten men following the dismissal of Tony Currie early in the second-half. Everton: Lawson; Wright, Styles, Hurst, Kenyon; Bernard, Husband, Kendall (Darracott); Lyons, Harper, Connolly.

The Match: Billy Bingham’s Everton did not manage to obtain their first win of 1974, but they did gain their first away point of the year as Mike Bernard (52’) scored from the spot to put Everton ahead but Micky Speight (78’) equalised for Sheffield United late in the game. Yet another drawn match in a very tight First Division and Everton could view it as a good point considering that Sheffield United had beaten Burnley the previous week.

With seven of the top-flight fixtures ending in draws there had been little movement in the table as Everton (29 pts.) remained in eighth place and Leeds stayed top thanks to a draw with Chelsea (1-1), one noteworthy result had been Ipswich Town’s demolition of Southampton (7-0) which had moved them up to fifth place a point ahead of Everton.

1973-74 — First Division; Saturday, 2 February 1974
Sheffield United @ Bramall, Score: 1-1 (Bernard pen), Attendance: 19,492
Everton: Lawson; Darracott, Styles, Kendall, Kenyon; Clements (Harvey), Bernard Buckley; Lyons, Jones, Telfer.

Thirty Years Ago — 1983-84: Match 27

Everton were Watford’s first top-flight visitors when the two sides met at Vicarage Road the previous season. Watford had enjoyed their time in the First Division and found a way of playing that suited their players and produced the desired results – although not to everybody’s taste. Everton may have played a lot of cup football at the time but Howard Kendall constantly reiterated the need for the Toffees to keep picking up league points. Everton (35 pts) were in 13th position in the table, while Watford (40 pts) were five points ahead of the Blues and in 9th place. Both sides remained in the FA Cup and both had quarter-final ties to look forward to; Watford had to travel to Birmingham City and Everton were drawn to play Notts County at Meadow Lane.

The two matches played at Goodison Park between the two sides both ended in victory for Everton and both had been won by a single goal, scored on both occasions by David Johnson. The first-ever encounter between Watford and Everton took place at Vicarage Road in the 1982-83 campaign when goals from Gerry Armstrong and Pat Rice without reply, were enough to give the home team their first ever top-flight win.
Everton: Southall; Borrows, Bailey, Higgins, Wright; Heath, McMahon (Richardson); Johnson, Sharp, King, Sheedy.

The Match: At half-time, Everton trailed to a goal scored by Watford’s John Barnes (24’) and things looked bleak for the Blues as they had yet to score at this ground. Graeme Sharp (52’) rectified that situation though when he bagged an equaliser, but two goals in quick succession scored by Mo Johnston (57’) and John Barnes (64’) rocked Everton as Watford led 3-1. Andy Gray (67’) pulled a goal back for the Toffees to give the Blues hope of rescuing a point, but that hope appeared to have been extinguished when Wilf Rostron (75’) put Watford 4-2 ahead a quarter-of-an-hour from the end.

But Everton, transferring all of their cup-fighting qualities into this league encounter, had not finished and Graeme Sharp (79’) gave Everton renewed belief. And when Adrian Heath (90’) scored the equaliser, it earned a point for Everton and that was the least that the Blues had deserved from a memorable encounter. The draw did little to alter either side’s league position and they probably both believed that a cup victory would be the best chance of seeing European football in the 1984-85 campaign.

1983-84 — First Division; Saturday, 25 February 1984
Watford @ Vicarage Road, Score: 4-4 (Sharp 2, Gray, Heath), Attendance: 16,982
Everton: Southall; Stevens, Bailey, Ratcliffe, Mountfield; Reid, Irvine; Heath, Gray, Sharp, Sheedy.
Unused Sub: Harper.

Twenty Years Ago 1993-94 Match 27

When Everton travelled to Old Trafford on 22 January 1994, Manchester United were as a Club mourning the loss of perhaps their greatest ever manager: Sir Matt Busby. Sir Matt had died just two days prior to this encounter, aged 85. Although Sir Alex Ferguson would eventually win more trophies, Sir Matt would always be the person seen by many as the most responsible for the rebuilding of the club after the ravages of WWII and following the tragic events of Munich in 1958, when so many talented young footballers and others had lost their lives in that horrific air-crash. Even the most ardent supporters from rival clubs could appreciate what Sir Matt had done at Old Trafford and he would be a sad loss to the game as a whole.

The recent Premier League victory over Swindon Town (6-2) had given the Blues a much needed boost in confidence, but the manner of the defeat in the FA Cup against Bolton (2-3) in the midweek replay at Goodison Park had also raised plenty of doubts as to the team's ability to close out games and their seeming inability to keep a clean-sheet. However, Everton had beaten Manchester United (3-0) on their most recent visit to Old Trafford in August 1992, and would be hopeful that they could at least have taken a point back to Merseyside.

Since the start of the 1962-63 campaign, Everton had only managed seven league victories at Old Trafford. In August 1962, Everton had beaten Man Utd (1-0) thanks to a goal scored by Roy Vernon from the penalty spot. Seven years later, at the beginning of 1969-70, Everton had beaten Manchester United (2-0), thanks to goals from John Hurst and Joe Royle. Nearly 10 years would elapse before Evertonians could celebrate a league victory at Old Trafford when Bob Latchford scored twice to help Everton beat United (2-1) in March 1978.

Kevin Sheedy’s second-half strike in the game played at Old Trafford in December 1983 had been enough for Everton to take all the points and on 10 May 1989, Graeme Sharp (10’) had opened the scoring in the encounter at Old Trafford, but Mark Hughes (33’) equalised to take the sides in level at the break, but another goal from Graeme Sharp (61’) meant that Everton had beaten United (2-1).

Everton’s last league win at Old Trafford, prior to the beginning of the Premier League era, had come in March 1991, when Mike Newell (34’) and Dave Watson (39’) had both scored late in the first-half to earn the points for the Toffees.
Everton: Southall; McDonald, Hinchcliffe, Ratcliffe, Watson, Keown; Nevin (Atteveld), McCall; Sharp (Cottee), Newell, Ebbrell.

The Match: Ryan Giggs (26') scored the only goal of the game to ensure that Manchester United continued their quest for the title and put a question mark over Everton’s future in the Premier League on what had been an emotional day for everyone involved at Old Trafford. Neil Moore had made his Everton debut in this match and in truth Neville Southall had been largely responsible for keeping the Manchester United forwards at bay.

Match referee Rodger Gifford described the emotional day from his perspective (abridged version from the MUFC official site).

I remember I was getting ready for the game and Alex, whose room was near ours, came in, sat down next to me and asked: ‘What sort of game are you hoping for today?’ I just said: ‘One which would make Sir Matt Busby proud,’ and he just nodded.

There was so much admiration for Sir Matt Busby, and it shone through on the day. I believe there were around 15,000 supporters outside the ground who only arrived to pay their respects on the day, and Everton’s supporters won Carling’s sportsmanship of the month award for the way they respected the minute’s silence.

I think the game played itself. Everybody who was on that pitch wanted to pay their own tribute to one of the greatest managers of all time. My philosophy as a referee was quite simply if they wanted to play, let them get on with it. By God, did they get on with it! It was at such a pace. It flowed, nobody argued, they got on with it and it was a superb advert for the game; one of the finest games of football I’ve ever participated in.

It was just a fantastic game to be a part of. I’ve worked my own national cup final in Wales three times, been to Wembley and travelled all over Europe but that is the one game that sticks out in my mind more than any other. At the final whistle, walking off, Sir Alex appeared beside me, shook my hand and just said: ‘You got your wish son. We paid the old man a good tribute today.’

The victory for Manchester United (43 pts) had been important for their title ambitions as Blackburn Rovers (36 pts) had beaten Leeds United at Ewood Park (2-1).Everton (28 pts) remained 7 points clear of the relegation-threatened clubs but the worrying aspect was that Manchester City (21 pts), who occupied the final relegation berth, had two games in hand on the Blues, as did Oldham Athletic (20 pts) who were a place below City.

1993-94 — Premier League; Saturday, 22 January 1994
Manchester United @ Old Trafford, Score: 1-0, Attendance: 44,750
Everton: Southall; Jackson, Snodin, Moore, Ablett; Warzycha (Hinchcliffe), Stuart, Ebbrell; Beagrie; Angell, Cottee (Barlow).
Unused Sub: Kearton.

Ten Years Ago 2003-04 Match 27

Everton welcomed Aston Villa to Goodison Park, hoping that they could secure their first Premier League victory of the year and send the Villains home empty-handed. Aston Villa’s rivals Birmingham City had been the last top flight club to lose to Everton almost two months prior to this fixture. David O’Leary’s Aston Villa (37 pts) were just 2 points off 4th placed Charlton Athletic and would have seen the visit to Goodison Park as a real opportunity to enhance their chances of Champions League qualification, in stark contrast to Everton (26 pts) who, following their poor start to 2004, were just three points ahead of both Wolves (23 pts) and Portsmouth (23 pts), who lay in 17th and 18th place respectively in the table.

David Moyes in his regular column thanked the departing Niclas Alexandersson for his contribution to the Everton cause during his time at the club and wished him well in his future career. Niclas had signed a pre-contract agreement with Gothenburg and Everton had allowed him to leave the club early to return to his native country.

According to Gavin Buckland’s ‘Bits N Bobs’ column, when Louis Saha scored for Manchester United at Goodison Park in the previous home match, he became the eighth player to score for two different clubs against Everton in the same season. Ronnie Fenton (1964-65), Frank Saul (1967-68), Jim Bone (1972-73), David Speedie (1990-91), Chris Waddle (1996-97) and Dean Sturridge (2000-01) were the other players who had also achieved this feat.

Despite the long history of both clubs, the first player to be sold by Everton to Aston Villa had been Dave Hickson who moved to Villa Park from Everton in 1955 – other former Everton players who had been sold to Villa were Ken McNaught, Pat Heard, Mike Pejic, Steve McMahon, Andy Gray, Warren Aspinall and Derek Mountfield.

In the 1930s, Aston Villa goalkeeper Harry Morton had saved all three penalties conceded to Everton during his time with Villa, and he eventually moved to Everton. His only appearance for the Blues had come in the defeat by Wolves (7-0) at Molineux when he had replaced the legendary Ted Sagar – who had been ill. Harry said that “Ted must have known something, getting out of that one.” It mattered little as Everton went on to become League Champions in the last completed season prior to the Second World War.

In the previous season’s encounter, played at Goodison Park on Saturday 26 April 2003, Kevin Campbell and Wayne Rooney had helped the Blues to all three points in a victory over Aston Villa (2-1) in front of over 40,000.

Everton’s biggest victory over Aston Villa in modern times came on Tuesday 31 August 1982, when the Toffees won 5-0, matching the scoreline from 1891. Adrian Heath (2) and Graeme Sharp (2) both scored and Andy King added another to complete the rout over the Villains.
Everton: Southall; Borrows, Bailey, Higgins, Wright; McMahon, Irvine (Richardson), Heath; Sharp, King, Sheedy.

Exactly 40 years earlier, to the day, on 28 February 1964, Everton, having recently been knocked out of the FA Cup at Sunderland, faced Joe Mercer’s Aston Villa side at Goodison Park, and at some point in the match, Geoff Sidebottom the Villa keeper had to be replaced due to an injury. As this game had been played prior to the introduction of substitutes, Villa outfield player John Sleeuwenhoek had to replace him in goal and Villa were reduced to ten men.

Harry Burrows (5’) gave Villa an early lead from the spot, but Dennis Stevens (15’) drew the Blues level as the teams went in all-square at the interval. In the second half, Roy Vernon (55’) gave Everton the lead from the penalty spot and two further goals from Alex Young (66’) and Alex Scott (70’) put the Blues firmly in the driving seat although George Graham (77’) pulled a goal back – one of only two goals that he scored for Villa in his eight appearances for the club – but it was too little too late as Everton ran out comfortable winners in front of 50,292 fans.

How much bearing the injury to Sidebottom had on the result is anybody’s guess as I have been unable to find out at what point he had to leave the match. Incidentally former Everton manager Gordon Lee had appeared for Villa at full-back at Goodison that day.
Everton: West; Brown, Meagan; Gabriel, Labone, Kay; Scott, Stevens, Young, Vernon, Temple.

Tony Cascarino had been the last opposition player to score for both sides during the same match and this had taken place while he was a Villa player. The match took place on 5 May 1990 at Goodison Park in front of just under 30,000 supporters. The game had been goalless until Tony Cascarino’s unfortunate own goal (31’); however, Tony made amends after the interval when he equalised for the Villa. Mike Newell (51’) put Everton back in front but just eight minutes later Gordon Cowans (59’) pegged the Toffees back. Tony Daley then put the visitors in front before a successful penalty by Kevin Sheedy (80’) restored parity and the game ended in a 3-3 draw.
Everton: Southall; Keown, Pointon, Ratcliffe, Watson (Atteveld); McDonald, Nevin, McCall; Newell, Cottee, Ebbrell (Sheedy).

The Match: Everton had looked as if the opportunity to take all the points would pass them by as the game entered the last 12 minutes but Tomasz Radzinski (78’) and Thomas Gravesen (84’) eased the nerves of the Evertonians as they both scored to give Everton a priceless three points. The first time the Toffees had won a Premier League game since Birmingham City had been beaten in December 2003 and therefore Everton’s first Premier League victory of 2004.

The first goal by Radzinski had been set up by Wayne Rooney who outfoxed the Villa defender and put in a peach of a ball into the near post area and Radzinski got to the ball ahead of Sorenson in the Villa goal and powered it into the Gwladys Street net. Graveson’s goal was a fantastic individual goal as he slalomed his way into the penalty area before finishing coolly and performing his mad-dog impression during his celebrations. Incidentally Gareth Barry and Thomas Hitzlsperger were in the Villa team for this match at Goodison.

The three points earned from this victory over Aston Villa had helped Everton (29 pts) to move 5 points clear of the danger zone as Leicester City (24 pts) had played out a goalless draw with Wolves (24 pts). The other two sides in the bottom five, Leeds United (22 pts) and Portsmouth (24 pts) had also drawn their matches with Liverpool (2-2) and Newcastle United (1-1) respectively.

2003-04 — Premier League; Saturday, 28 February 2004
Aston Villa @ Goodison Park, Score: 2-0 (Radzinski, Gravesen), Attendance: 39,353
Everton: Martyn; Hibbert, Stubbs, Yobo, Pistone (Unsworth), Watson (Radzinski); Gravesen, Linderoth, Kilbane; Ferguson (Campbell), Rooney.
Unused Subs: Simonsen, McFadden.

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Neil Quinn
749 Posted 04/03/2014 at 22:59:44
I went to that game at Watford as well. I remember thinking what a load of crap we'd signed in Kevin Sheedy.

Funny how you can be proved wrong, isn't it?

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