Memory Lane – Final Fixtures

Pat Murphy summarizes the final classic battles that bring to an end four seasons separated by the last four decades of top-flight football for Everton.

Forty Years Ago — 1973-74

Who Survives? Everton Decides

Everton’s final five fixtures were mostly against teams battling for their First Division lives and the other game was a Merseyside derby at Anfield. Goodison Park welcomed the first of the sides struggling in the league Norwich City on April 13 1974. Unfortunately for the Canaries they caught Everton in no mood for favours as the following Liverpool Echo match report shows.

Four goals were scored inside 18 minutes early in the second half of Everton’s home match with Norwich this afternoon. . Ted MacDougall gave the visitors a 47th minute lead, but Everton replied in style with goals from Buckley, Telfer and Latchford. Colin Harvey was left out of the Everton team to make way for the return after injury of Terry Darracott. A fine leap by Lyons won the ball in the air and laid on a chance for Latchford after seven minutes. He turned quickly to beat Forbes but hit the ball just over the bar with a left-foot drive. When Telfer was trapped offside Norwich took the kick quickly and MacDougall was up well to head on to Suggett but Lawson held his shot firmly.

Everton had a let-off after 14 minutes when MacDougall got possession inside the penalty area only to shoot wide of Lawson’s left hand post from a good position. But the flag was already up for offside. The game badly needed a goal to lift it from the depths but when MacDougall was left free the linesman’s flag was quickly up for offside. Then Forbes cleared from Lyons at the other end. Half-time: Everton 0 - 0 Norwich City.

Two minutes after half-time Norwich went into the lead with a splendid headed goal from MacDougall. Norwich worked the ball through on the left with Kellock and Suggett both being involved before it came into the six-yard area where MacDougall dived forward to head it past Lawson. Immediately Everton were back for Lyons to win the ball in the air from a Clements free-kick but Latchford was unable to turn and get in the shot.

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Norwich were still looking for goals and after Darracott had been caught in possession Howard came through to shoot just wide of the post. And Everton were right back in the game with a splendid equaliser from Buckley after 54 minutes. Darracott started the move with a fine cross from the right and Keelan was only able to palm the ball out to the edge of the penalty area where BUCKLEY rammed it into the net first time.

The game sprung to life and two minutes later Norwich forced their way back on the right where MacDougall beat Lawson with a header only to see the ball hit the post for Darracott to scramble away. After 58 minutes Suggett was booked for handling the ball to stop a pass from Latchford reaching Telfer out on the left. The Everton pressure was continuing and it put them into the lead with a goal from Telfer after 61 minutes. The Norwich defence was unable to clear a right wing corner from Bernard and the ball came to Telfer who drove it past Keelan from 15 yards.

The goalscoring burst was not finished and Everton went further ahead with a goal from Latchford after 65 minutes. All the work was done by Telfer with a strong left wing run and a cross into the middle where LATCHFORD had the simple job of heading into the empty net after he had slipped past Keelan.

Everton went further ahead with an excellent goal from LYONS after 68 minutes. He timed his run perfectly to meet the ball from a Seargeant free-kick and chested it down before hitting past Keelan from a dozen yards out. As Norwich tried to rescue a lost cause MacDougall shot over after a link up with Boyer and then Benson had another effort blocked by Hurst on the edge of the penalty area.

Norwich City @ Goodison Park, Score: 4-1 (Buckley, Telfer, Lyons, Latchford), Att: 27,962
Everton: Lawson; Darracott, Seargeant, Hurst, Kenyon; Clements, Bernard, Buckley; Latchford, Lyons, Telfer.

The following Monday – April 15, Everton travelled to relegation threatened Manchester United hoping to add another nail in the coffin of their East Lancashire rivals. However, Tommy Docherty’s Manchester United side gave themselves some hope of retaining their top-flight status as they despatched Everton following goals from Jim McCalliog, Stuart Houston and Lou Macari as the Toffee’s crashed to a humiliating defeat at Old Trafford.

Manchester United @ Old Trafford, Score: 3-0 Attendance: 48,424.
Everton: Lawson; Darracott, Seargeant, Hurst, Kenyon; Clements, Bernard, Buckley (Jones); Latchford, Lyons, Telfer.

Anfield was the setting for another local derby match that took place on Saturday April 20, but this one could not be approached in the same way as the Old Trafford debacle. There was nothing but pride at stake for Everton as that defeat at Old Trafford had all but ended the Blues’ hopes of qualifying for Europe. However, for their nearest rivals Liverpool they still retained hopes of winning the title and they also had the FA Cup Final to look forward to in a fortnight’s time. Everton kept a clean sheet in a goalless but entertaining encounter which dented the Reds’ hopes of taking the League Title as Leeds United had extended their lead to six points by beating Ipswich Town (3-2) at Elland Road and if they got at least a point from their final fixture at Loftus Road home of QPR, or if Liverpool failed to win any of their remaining three fixtures Leeds United would be crowned Champions.

Liverpool @ Anfield, Score: 0-0, Attendance: 55,848.
Everton: Lawson; Bernard, Seargeant, Hurst, Kenyon; Clements, Harvey, Jones; Latchford, Lyons, Telfer

Manchester United arrived at Goodison on Tuesday April 23 1974 hoping to complete the league double over Everton to enhance their chances of staying in the top-flight. For Everton it was an opportunity to avenge their defeat at Old Trafford earlier in the month and strike a devastating blow to the Manchester club. Mike Lyons was the player who scored the only goal of the game to give Everton the two points and left Manchester United’s hopes of survival hanging by a thread.

Manchester United @ Goodison Park, Score: 1-0 (Lyons), Attendance: 46,183
Everton: Lawson; Bernard, Seargeant, Clements, Lyons; Hurst, Harvey, Jones; Latchford, Royle, Telfer.

The final fixture of the season saw yet another relegation threatened side arrive on Merseyside to face Everton at Goodison Park, as Southampton lay in the final relegation spot at the start of play. Southampton needed to take all the points and hope that Birmingham City would lose at home to already relegated, Norwich City, if the Saints were to retain their place in the top-flight. Everton could finish in fifth place if they won the game and their rivals lost their remaining fixtures and Billy Bingham and his team would want to sign off the season in style.

But from the moment that Peter Osgood (17’) opened the scoring it seemed that it would be the Saints who would be signing off in style and when Mick Channon (41’) put the visitors two up before the break their fans would have hoped that by some miracle their team might even escape their awful fate. Brian O’Neill (71’) scored the third goal of the game and sealed the points for Southampton but their victory had been in vain as the Saints’ reliance on results elsewhere had been their undoing as Birmingham City had beaten Norwich City (2-1) and the South-coast club had dropped out of the top tier of the Football League. Incidentally Manchester United had joined Southampton and Norwich City in the relegation places in what had been the first season that three teams had been relegated from the top-flight. At the other end Leeds United had already been crowned champions prior to their last day win at Loftus Road where they beat QPR (0-1) as Liverpool had succumbed to Arsenal (1-0) at Highbury in a midweek fixture.

For their part, Everton had suffered another inglorious defeat during the run-in, although the season had on the whole seen a vast improvement in performances and results when compared to recent seasons. The Evertonians’ hopes of greater and grander things seemed as far away as they had been in recent years, but the acquisition of Bob Latchford had at least given them hope that their club could once again field a goalscorer who would be feared by top flight defenders in the next campaign. The World Cup in Germany would occupy the minds of the supporters for a brief period during the summer until all too soon their attentions would return to all things Everton.

Southampton @ Goodison Park, Score: 0-3 Attendance: 30,509 Everton Lawson; Bernard, Seargeant, Hurst, Lyons; Kenny, Smith, Clements; Latchford, Royle, Telfer


Thirty Years Ago — 1983-84

Wembley Bound Blues’ Final Fixtures

Following their impressive victory at Goodison Park against Wolves the previous Monday Everton fans had the long journey to Norwich to negotiate on Saturday 28 April as they continued to dream about Wembley and their captain lifting the FA Cup.

Everton’s Youth side had fought out a draw (2-2) with Stoke City at Goodison Park in the first-leg of the Final of the FA Youth Cup played on Thursday 26 April. Everton’s youngsters had led by two goals to nil, but Ian Macowat had received an injury and had been replaced by Paul McKenzie and many players in the team had to switch places to accommodate the loss of Macowat. This re-shuffle was according to Graham Smith the reason why Stoke City had got back into the game as they took advantage of Everton’s lack of organisation. Everton’s goals had been scored by Rob Wakenshaw and Neil Rimmer. Everton: Hall; Oldroyd, Marshall, Macowat (McKenzie), Hughes, Walsh, Hood, Fielding, O’Brien, Wakenshaw, Rimmer N.

Howard Kendall had been pleased with his player’s commitment and application in the games since his side had won a place at Wembley and he expected them to continue in that vein for the rest of the campaign. Andy Gray gave Everton the lead at Carrow Road following a good pass by Adrian Heath. Kevin Richardson then had a ‘goal’ disallowed for offside which Howard Kendall believed to have been a border-line decision which was then compounded when six minutes from time Norwich City equalised through Age Hareide (84’) to give the hosts a share of the spoils. Howard Kendall felt Everton “were the better side, although it was difficult to get the ball down and play on a fairly firm and uneven surface. There was an awkward wind blowing, too”.

Norwich City @ Carrow Road, Score: 1-1 (Gray), Attendance: 13,624
Everton: Southall; Stevens, Bailey, Ratcliffe, Mountfield; Reid, Curran (Sharp), Heath; Gray, Steven, Richardson.

Fourteen days to go to the FA Cup Final and Manchester United visited Goodison for Everton’s penultimate home game of the campaign on Saturday 5 May. United still had ambitions of taking the title as they were only two points adrift of the leaders Liverpool. Rob Wakenshaw (58’) the goalscoring youngster from the Youth Team made his Everton debut and he made it a memorable day for himself and those Evertonians in the stadium, by opening the scoring just short of the hour mark. Also making his debut was Ian Bishop who replaced Wakenshaw late in the match. Manchester United rallied and twelve minutes later Frank Stapleton (72’) got the equaliser for the visitors - a goal which Howard Kendall described as a quality goal. A decent performance by Everton but a missed opportunity for Manchester United as their rivals Liverpool had also drawn at Birmingham City (0-0) and thus retained their two point advantage at the top. Everton remained in eleventh spot in the table.

Manchester United @ Goodison Park, Score: 1-1 (Wakenshaw), Attendance: 28,817
Everton: Southall; Stevens, Bailey, Harper, Mountfield; Reid, Wakenshaw (Bishop), King; Sharp, Steven, Richardson.

The Monday following the Manchester United match Everton re-visited the scene of their League Cup Semi-Final triumph. Villa Park still held fond memories for Everton FC and its supporters as despite losing that second-leg tie on the night, the team had made it through to Wembley on aggregate. Everton welcomed back Kevin Ratcliffe and Adrian Heath to the team and Howard Kendall had been pleased with the performance of his team, he had been a little anxious when despite Everton dominating the game they hadn’t managed to make a breakthrough before the break. In the second period Everton continued to push for an opening and Kevin Richardson and Graeme Sharp provided a goal apiece to give Everton the win that their play had richly deserved. Three more points to add to the tally and hopefully no serious injuries to contend with.

Aston Villa @ Villa Park, Score: 0-2 (Richardson, Sharp), Attendance: 16,792
Everton: Southall; Stevens, Bailey, Ratcliffe, Mountfield; Reid, King, Heath; Sharp, Steven.

Saturday, 12 May 1984 just seven days to go to Wembley, and the final home match of the season saw QPR arrive on Merseyside for a game which if they were successful could propel them into second place in the table. A confident Everton and a buoyant crowd ensured that QPR’s hopes were dashed although they had offered stiff resistance. Just before half-time Adrian Heath opened the scoring to give the Toffees the lead at the interval. But Gary Micklewhite (58’) equalised for Rangers’ but two goals late in the second period by Graeme Sharp ensured that Everton gained maximum points.

The second-leg of the Youth Cup Final had taken place on Tuesday 7 May at Stoke City’s Victoria Ground – due to the nearness of the fixture to the production of the match-day programme no details were given apart from a caption accompanying a couple of photograph’s of the victorious Everton youngsters and Captain Ian Marshall holding aloft the trophy. Everton’s Youth team had beaten Stoke City (2-0) to win the cup on aggregate (4-2). Unsurprisingly Rob Wakenshaw had scored one the two goals in the second-leg and Darren Hughes scored the other. The young players paraded the trophy during the break against QPR at Goodison Park. Everybody at Everton hoped that Kevin Ratcliffe would be emulating his young protégé at Wembley in seven days time.

Everton issued the prices for the 84/85 Season Tickets and they ranged from £39 for Ground Tickets to £78 for the most expensive seats in the house. Those prices only applied if you purchased prior to June 1st 1984 after the deadline prices would be roughly 19% more expensive. QPR @ Goodison Park, Score: 3-1 (Sharp 2, Heath), Attendance: 20,679 Everton: Southall; Stevens, Bailey, Ratcliffe, Mountfield; Reid, King, Heath; Sharp, Steven, It was hardly ideal cup final preparation that Everton had a League fixture to fulfil before playing at Wembley the following Saturday but the Toffees had to travel to London on Monday 14 May to face West Ham United at Upton Park in their final league match of the season.

Kevin Richardson’s (15’) scored the goal that won the match for Everton, as they ended their League campaign on a high note. Everton had remained unbeaten for the final six league matches of the season and the fans all hoped that this unbeaten run would be extended at Wembley by beating Watford in the FA Cup Final. There was a distinct air of confidence and optimism surrounding Everton and if they could produce the performance required they may well end up with the FA Cup residing in the Goodison trophy cabinet, as it stood, following the victory over West Ham, Everton finished in seventh place in Division One just a point behind Arsenal whilst QPR finished in fifth position.

West Ham @ Upton Park, Score: 0-1 (Richardson), Attendance: 25,452
Everton: Southall; Stevens, Harper, Ratcliffe, Mountfield; Reid, Steven, Heath; Sharp, King, Richardson.


Twenty Years Ago — 1993-94

Everton’s Battle for Survival

Everton started their battle for survival in earnest at Upton Park on Saturday 9 April 1994, the former playground of Everton forward Tony Cottee. Indeed it was Tony Cottee (71’) who scored against his former club and it could be regarded as one of the most important goals that he ever struck for Everton Football Club as it was the only goal of the game and sealed three valuable points for the Blues’ following a six game winless streak and Everton’s first three points away from Goodison Park since they had beaten Ipswich Town (0-1) in late October 1993.

West Ham @ Upton Park, Score: 0-1 Attendance: 20,243
Everton: Southall; Jackson, Snodin, Watson, Ablett; Stuart, Horne, Ebbrell, Limpar; Angell (Rideout), Cottee. Unused Sub: Kearton, Unsworth.

Another trip to London saw Everton face QPR at Loftus Road on Saturday 16 April 1994 and following their much needed victory at Upton Park a week earlier the team and supporters would hope to see a repeat performance and similar result to enhance Everton’s battle for survival. Once again it was Tony Cottee (64’) who had scored for the Blues’ for the second time in a week to give Everton the lead, but unfortunately QPR’s Devon White (67’) was to quickly equalise for the Hoops and Everton’s nemesis Les Ferdinand (87’) struck a late winner to deny the blues even a vital point from this Premier League encounter.

QPR @ Loftus Road, Score: 2-1 Attendance: 13,330 Everton: Southall; Jackson, Snodin, Watson, Ablett; Stuart, Horne, Ebbrell, Limpar; Angell, Cottee. Unused Sub: Kearton, Barlow, Unsworth.

St George’s Day 1994 and Everton were set to play Phil Neal’s Coventry City at Goodison Park, the West Ham result had given hope to the fans that their team could escape the clutches of relegation but the QPR result had dented their confidence somewhat. What transpired at Goodison in the goalless Coventry City game saw them lose faith as the shadow of relegation couldn’t be escaped. Although the point that had been gained was a positive one and who could say how important it may be, come the end of the season. The only thing I remember about this match is that I went into town and got blinding drunk to erase the memory of it – which obviously worked. As the next game for Everton was at Elland Road to face Leeds United; the unthinkable was now very much plausible and the next fourteen days would be excruciating for Evertonians everywhere as they poured over the permutations and likely outcomes; but if Everton couldn’t find at least another win it would see the Toffees’ in dire straits.

Coventry City @ Goodison Park, Score: 0-0 Attendance: 23,217
Everton: Southall; Jackson, Watson, Unsworth, Hinchcliffe; Stuart, Horne (Preki), Ebbrell, Limpar; Angell, Cottee. Unused Sub: Kearton, Rowett

Of all the Premier League grounds to have to visit for the final away game of 93/94 on Saturday 30 April, Evertonians would not have chosen Elland Road as the place to attempt to get three points. Everton hadn’t won a top-flight game at the venue since 1939 and Leeds United would be up for the game as they signed off in front of their fervent supporters. As history had suggested Leeds United ran out comfortable winners although they hadn’t made a breakthrough until late in the game as Gary McAllister (72’) gave the home side the lead. Everton’s Dave Watson (82’) inadvertently increased Leeds United’s advantage and David White (90’) rubbed salt into the wound in the closing stages of the game. The defeat was bad enough but it put Everton into the bottom three at the worst possible time of the season and with a home fixture with Wimbledon the last opportunity to escape the clutches of relegation. There were not many Evertonians who could honestly see the current Everton side having enough ability or confidence to overcome a useful Wimbledon side and some were already contemplating trips to unfamiliar grounds when next season’s fixture lists were published.

Leeds United @ Elland Road, Score: 3-0 Attendance: 35,487
Everton: Southall; Snodin, Watson, Unsworth, Ablett; Stuart, Horne, Ebbrell, Limpar (Rowett); Rideout, Cottee. Unused Subs: Kearton, Preki.

Here We Go! Or Oops! Here We Go….? That was the question that was on everybody’s lips as Everton welcomed Wimbledon to Goodison Park on 7 May 1994, for an encounter that would determine the future of Everton FC as a Premier League team, or not, depending on the result at Goodison and those at Stamford Bridge and elsewhere.

Goodison Park seemed to perfectly reflect the current state of the club – with the Park End in the process of being rebuilt and the ability to see the trees in Stanley Park from the Gwladys Street End, somehow it didn’t make Goodison feel as special as it had been in the past, the familiar and the comfortable had morphed into a surreal and almost menacing setting. The idea of Everton playing football outside of the top division also felt wrong both emotionally and intellectually but that was the reality and this was the last chance saloon – but even if the Blues’ managed to win it would need other results going Everton’s way and that was yet another strange and eerie feeling; watching the Toffees and knowing that the Everton team playing on Goodison’s green turf did not have complete control of their own fate.

Mike Walker had decided to choose the same eleven players who had succumbed to Leeds United and his faith was put to the test almost immediately as Everton fell behind to a Dean Holdsworth (4’) penalty in the first five minutes of the game. Within twenty-minutes Gary Ablett (20’) somehow managed to put through his own goal at the Gwladys Street end to put Wimbledon two goals up and the Grand Old Lady fell silent as the nightmare scenario played out in front of the massed ranks of Evertonians. When Anders Limpar careered towards the Park End four minutes after the unfortunate Gary Ablett had scored an own goal, there seemed to be little contact from Wimbledon’s aptly named Peter Fear, but the visiting player stuck out a leg and Anders Limpar fell to the ground; with baited breath the crowd looked to Robbie Hart, the match referee, and he pointed to the spot. Graham Stuart took responsibility and he stepped up to take one of the most important penalty kick in the entire history of Everton Football Club. Barry Horne and Graham Stuart both scored in the second-half to ensure that Everton FC remained part of the Premier League for at least one more season.

On a website recalling famous matches of the past this report probably does as much justice to the events of the day as any other:

After forty years in the top flight, Everton were staring relegation squarely in the face as they went into this final day clash with Wimbledon. With Swindon Town already doomed it was any two from five who would be joining them in Division One the following season and the permutations were endlessly baffling. Everton were the only one of the teams under threat with home advantage and it was likely that a victory would be required to gain safety, although even then they would be reliant on assistance elsewhere. With Goodison Park's capacity reduced due to ongoing re-development demand for tickets massively outweighed supply and there was bedlam around the famous old ground as fans desperately tried to secure entry or some kind of vantage point from outside the ground.

Inside the stadium the mood of anxiety was tangible and in danger of turning an apparent advantage into a burden. Although Warren Barton had admitted to some very un-Crazy Gang like apprehension as to the atmosphere his team would be stepping into Wimbledon were under none of the pressure of their hosts and had the incentive of a trip to Las Vegas promised them if they could improve on their 6th placed standing before kick-off.

After three minutes Everton suffered the worst possible start. Wimbledon won a corner from which Gary Elkins delivered a tame looking centre towards the near post. Anders Limpar betrayed the nerves of all Evertonians by thrusting out a needless arm to block and although Neville Southall got a hand to Dean Holdsworth's low spot kick the ball slipped into the bottom corner and Everton were behind.

It was one moment when silence certainly wasn't golden and the fevered attempts of the home side to get back into the game showed little sign of achieving anything positive. Indeed it was Wimbledon who continued to look the more likely scorers as the Everton defence remained in the grip of panic. Even the vastly experienced Southall could offer little re-assurance as he skied an attempted clearance hopelessly and had to charge from his area to clear the danger.

On twenty minutes the visitors increased their lead and again it was disastrous defending which handed them their goal. Dave Watson and David Unsworth collided as they both went to clear a centre and when Andy Clarke poked the resultant chance across the face of goal Gary Ablett sliced a horrible attempted clearance into his own goal. Two goals down and performing abjectly Everton's fate looked sealed. Within minutes, however, they were given a helping hand back into the game when they needed it most badly. Limpar ran at Peter Fear and went down inside the box despite the absence of a discernible challenge. Referee Robbie Hart was convinced, however, and awarded the penalty. How calm Graham Stuart felt, having missed his one previous penalty, was anyone’s guess but he kept his nerve to drill Everton back into contention. Stuart and Limpar were the men doing most to suggest that Everton might continue the recovery but it was still Wimbledon who posed the greater threat. Holdsworth wasted one decent headed chance before putting an absolute sitter over the bar from inside the six yard box and, given the way the game had gone, Everton must have been mightily relieved to get to half time only one goal behind. At least the scores elsewhere offered Everton some encouragement and with the crowd now beginning to rise to the occasion the home side emerged for the second half with renewed vigour and began to test the Wimbledon defence more consistently. The men in blue were clearly winning more of the midfield battles as the famous fighting spirit of the visitors appeared to desert them. There was precious little guile to go with the guts, however, and clear chances continued to prove hard to come by. The industrious Stuart thundered in a shot which looked goalbound only to be deflected away for a corner and the rallying calls from the supporters became increasingly intense with each passing minute. Hearts were in mouths when Marcus Gayle sent a header towards the top corner but John Ebbrell was on hand to head away from under the bar and hope remained.

With just over twenty minutes remaining the game turned irrevocably in the space of one pulsating minute. With Everton defending desperately the referee ignored vehement Wimbledon penalty claims when Stuart appeared to handle on the line before Everton equalised after the ball had been hoofed clear.

Barry Horne got the better of Vinnie Jones in a midfield tussle and broke forward. To the delight of all Evertonians, and their utter astonishment, Horne promptly sent a 30 yard screamer into the net via the angle of post and bar to register his first goal of the season. Although results elsewhere meant a draw would be of no use to Everton this goal brought the first real sense of belief around the ground and the home side pressed forward relentlessly in search of a winner urged on by their baying fans.

With just under ten minutes remaining Wimbledon cracked. Tony Cottee managed to knock a ball back into the path of Stuart on the edge of the area and his less than blistering drive somehow evaded the lethargic dive of Hans Segers and nestled into the back of the net. Although Everton now sought sanctuary in despatching the ball to the most remote parts ofL4 they could find there was little sign of a comeback from Wimbledon. Even so it was ten minutes of agony for the fans. The final whistle brought scenes of wild jubilation and relief as news of Sheffield United's defeat at Chelsea confirmed Everton's safety. Wimbledon left rueing the performance of the referee, boss Joe Kinnear quipping that he "definitely had the old Everton scarf around his neck" (surely that would have been noticed) and reflecting on the missed trip to Las Vegas reckoned his team were "worthy of a night in Southport." Although Mike Walker had seen his side survive by the skin of their teeth his Goodison reign would not last much longer. Within a year he would be gone and his successor, Joe Royle, would be leading the Toffees to an FA Cup triumph over Manchester United at Wembley. Safe! Was the headline in the pink edition of the Liverpool Echo that evening, a four letter word that meant so much to all the Evertonians from all around the world following a dramatic, nerve jangling ninety minutes that few had ever experienced and even fewer would want to experience ever again. But make no mistake it had been the supporters who had somehow found a defiance and an energy which had transmitted itself to the players and they had responded to the call and any Evertonian that experienced that day in May 1994 will never forget the raw emotion and sheer electricity that had poured out from every part of the ground – the roar which greeted Graham Stuart’s winning goal was far more than the reaction of the crowd to Everton scoring an important goal in an important match but more akin to a mass primal scream - which is why no matter what the architecture or structure of the stadium; Goodison Park is one of, if not, the most special of all the football theatres in the world.

Wimbledon @ Goodison Park, Score: 3-2 (Horne, Stuart 2 (1 pen)) Attendance: 31,297
Everton: Southall; Snodin, Watson, Unsworth, Ablett; Stuart, Horne, Ebbrell (Barlow), Limpar; Rideout, Cottee. Unused Sub: Kearton, Angell.


Ten Years Ago 2003-04

Rooney goes out with a Whimper!

David Moyes’s Everton side travelled to Maine Road as they attempted to add to their solitary away win of the campaign and try and gain three points outside of Goodison Park for the first time in 2004. Everton were safe and had nothing but pride to play for whilst City were below them in the Premier League table.

The Match: Everton saw out a miserable campaign at Maine Road as the BBC report confirms:

Manchester City finished a poor season on a high note with only their fifth Premiership win at home. Paulo Wanchope dispatched a Nicolas Anelka flick from six yards before sliding home a Claudio Reyna cross. Anelka effectively ended the game as a contest when he added a third on 41 minutes, but Kevin Campbell pulled one back for Everton after the break.

Antoine Sibierski and Shaun Wright-Phillips netted late on to complete the rout and leapfrog Everton in the table. Tomasz Radzinski, one of three players recalled by manager David Moyes, appealed for an early penalty but Richard Dunne's tackle was perfectly timed and just outside the area.

Dunne then sent a header wide from Paul Bosvelt's free-kick at the other end before City opened the scoring in the 16th minute. Wanchope, retained up front alongside Anelka with Robbie Fowler left on the bench, justified Kevin Keegan's faith by dispatching Anelka's deflected flick from six yards. Wright-Phillips then had a 20-yarder saved by Nigel Martyn before Wanchope grabbed his second on the half-hour.

Reyna was allowed to canter down the left and when Anelka could only get a toe to his cross, Wanchope swept home his fourth goal in three games. The Costa Rican striker returned the favour five minutes before the interval when he released Anelka on the right side of the area and the Frenchman beat Martyn with a left-foot shot from 18 yards.

Everton, without eight regulars, were a muted force in attack, James McFadden volleying their best chance of the first half into the turf and straight at David James. But Campbell, on as a half-time substitute, gave the visitors hope when he headed home Wayne Rooney's corner on the hour. That was Rooney's only positive contribution to a disappointing afternoon which saw the England striker booked after 67 minutes and drag a shot wide late on.

Wanchope was twice denied his hat-trick by Martyn as City went looking for further goals to justify their blatant superiority. They arrived in the closing two minutes as Sibierski and Wright-Phillips added the finishing gloss to a convincing victory.

At least Evertonians had the 2004 Euro’s to look forward to and they could cheer on their very own Wayne Rooney in an England shirt. Unfortunately what the fans hadn’t realised was that they had just witnessed Wayne’s last appearance for Everton in this game at Maine Road and the following season he would be plying his trade on the other side of Manchester in the red-shirt of United.

2003-04 — Premier League Saturday 15 May, 2004
Manchester City @ Eastlands, 5-1 (Campbell), Att: 47,284
Everton: Martyn; Hibbert, Yobo, Stubbs, Weir; Watson (Chadwick), Osman, Carsley, McFadden (Campbell); Rooney, Radzinski (Linderoth). Unused Subs: Wright, Clarke.

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Reader Comments (3)

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Karl Masters
1 Posted 11/05/2014 at 00:22:57
I want to thank Patrick for these superb articles and the sheer hard work and no mean talent that has gone into them.

I have been thoroughly entertained all season long. Great stuff, mate. Time to put your feet up and plan your next project!

Kunal Desai
2 Posted 11/05/2014 at 09:14:21
Went to both the QPR and Westham games in 1994 and boy were they grim. I remember the hammers battering us and we got the wimner with 20 mins left. Tony Cottee scored us a few crucial goals that season.
Patrick Murphy
3 Posted 11/05/2014 at 18:19:04
Cheers Karl thanks for your kind words throughout the season - I hope plenty of TW's have enjoyed them - but there is one more article to come looking back on the 1984 FA Cup Final which hopefully will be submitted next week.

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