Forty Years Ago — 1973-74
Ron Saunders’s Norwich City arrived at Goodison Park hoping to go one better than the previous season when they were beaten finalists. They had lost the Wembley showpiece game to Tottenham Hotspur by one goal to nil, the goal-scorer for Spurs was Ralph Coates. Norwich City had beaten Wrexham 6-2 at Carrow Road to earn a visit to Goodison.
Norwich City had won the trophy in a two-legged final in 1962 when they defeated Rochdale 4-0 on aggregate and whilst the club were hoping to appear in a third League Cup final, Everton were hoping to taste the final stages of the competition for the first time in the competitions history.
The Canaries hadn’t had the best of starts to that season in the First Division and were hovering dangerously close to the relegation zone. Unfortunately for Norwich, this wasn’t a new experience for them, as the previous season, their first ever in the top flight, they had only managed to escape relegation by the skin of their teeth and finished in a lowly 20th place in the First Division. A repeat of that position this season would see them relegated, due to the three-up, three-down rule.
Norwich City had managed to escape relegation the prvious May largely due to their away victory at West Bromwich Albion and a victory against Crystal Palace in the Canaries' last home match of the season. Ron Saunders thought that Norwich City’s achievement of reaching the League Cup Final had led to some of his players losing focus in the bread and butter of the league, especially as there was a large gap in time, between winning the two-legged semi-final and playing at Wembley: “Thoughts of Wembley affected some players attitudes” he claimed.
In ‘Club Talk’ Billy Bingham said that he was satisfied with the progress being made by the team but, like most managers at most other clubs, he believed that the team was capable of scoring more goals from the numerous chances they were creating. Billy Bingham warned the supporters to “wait until we have won something before starting to bang the drum. Then bang the hell out of it!” – It would prove to be a long and frustrating wait.
Mick Buckley was the featured player and he revealed that he was enjoying first team football that season, partly because the players in general were playing with more confidence than when he first came into the side 18 months earlier and partly due to the encouragement he had received from the new manager, who Mick said gave him greater licence to get forward and express himself with the ball. Mick also had praise for his central midfield partner, Dave Clements, who he said gave him plenty of advice during the match as to what his defensive responsibilities were if an Everton attack broke down.
There is a dearth of information relating to this match; even though the clubs met again at Carrow Road the following month. Unfortunately for the Everton supporters, there would be no marching to Wembley in the League Cup in this campaign as Norwich City beat Everton with a single goal scored by David Cross after just 15 seconds (I ferreted this information from the excellent Everton Results website – thanks guys). One thing to notice from this game was the return of Colin Harvey and Joe Royle to first team duties, but for how long?
1973-74 League Cup Round 3; Tuesday, 30 October 1973
Norwich City @ Goodison Park; Score 0-1; Attendance: 22,046
Lawson; Darracott, Mclaughlin, Clements, Kenyon, Hurst; Bernard, Buckley; Royle, Harper, Husband (Harvey).
Thirty Years Ago — 1983-84
Coventry City had arrived at Goodison Park for this third round tie courtesy of a 2-1 aggregate victory over Grimsby Town in the previous round. The Sky Blues’ recent away form had been impressive as they had won at Arsenal (1-0) and at Stoke City (3-1). This was the third occasion that Everton had been drawn with Coventry City in the League Cup. The first time the clubs met in this competition came in Everton’s march to Wembley and beyond, in season 1976-77, where an Andy King brace and a goal from Mike Lyons had helped to defeat the Sky Blues and set-up a Quarter-Final clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford. The most recent meeting had been a second round two-legged affair in October 1981, where Mick Ferguson had netted in both ties to help Everton progress into the third round.
Howard Kendall in ‘Team Talk’ bemoaned the way in which his team struggled to overcome Chesterfield in the previous round and explained that his remark in response to being drawn at home to Coventry City, “I am pleased with a home draw – believe it or not!” was slightly mischievous. Howard says that he was frustrated with the performance against Chesterfield and found it ridiculous that Chesterfield had been so close to knocking the Blues out of a tie that should have been plain sailing; he recounts how Gordon Milne, the manager of Leicester City, had told Howard that he had left Goodison Park with Everton leading 1-0 saying “Chesterfield are never going to score tonight.”
That performance and recent results had caused Mr Kendall to question his own performance as manager and whether or not he had been correct to chop and change the team so much in recent weeks but, as some players have shown below-par form, he could not do what he would most like to do and say to the team "same again next week". Speaking about the possibility of buying a new striker, Howard said that Lincoln City’s £200k valuation of Glenn Cockerill scuppered any chance of him coming to Goodison Park, although Howard said the club would like to have the player at a more realistic price.
England's and Wales’s chances of making the European Championships in France the following year came under scrutiny in the ‘Comment’ section. With one game remaining, group leaders, Denmark were set to travel to Athens to face Greece and, if the Danes failed to take maximum points, England would have an opportunity to qualify for France by beating Luxembourg; however, should the Danes be successful in Greece then England would be eliminated. Wales’s chances were less clear-cut. Sitting at the head of their group with two fixtures to play, the first of which came with a visit to Sofia to play Bulgaria and a final game against Yugoslavia in Wales that December, gave them a decent chance to progress and make the dreams of all Welshman – including Everton’s Kevin Ratcliffe and Neville Southall.
In a full page advertisement, Radio City’s ‘Sports Broadcaster of the Year’ for 1983, Clive Tyldesley, and former Liverpool player, Ian St John were pictured as the station highlighted its sports programming and claimed to be ‘first for sport 24 hours a day’. British Rail asked the fans to follow Everton by using the ‘Special’ which would leave Lime Street at 10:22 on Saturday 19 November and return from Highbury at 17:35 – all for the bargain price of £8.50 or a pound less if you hold a Young Person's Railcard; after all ‘This is the age of the train’ the advert reminded us.
A visit from Coventry City in the early rounds of the League Cup would on the face of it, seem pretty ordinary fare and it would be hard to imagine that such a game could be seen as a pivotal moment in the history of Everton Football Club, but I agree with Kevin Ratcliffe that this match more than any other during that season was the real turning point for the Manager Howard Kendall and Everton FC.
So, when Dave Bamber put Coventry City into the lead early in the second-half, it looked like the small crowd of a little over 9,000 would be witness to the death throes of Howard Kendall’s tenure at Goodison Park and that a significant proportion of the 20,000 fans who were not in attendance would get their wish and have a new man in charge sooner than many of them had thought.
But, with 11 minutes remaining, up popped Adrian Heath to score his second goal of the season – the first coming against Chesterfield in the previous round – to equalize. In the final minute, Graeme Sharp grabbed the winner and Everton marched on into the fourth round of the competition; more importantly, Howard Kendall gained important breathing space and a little more time to fulfill his ambitions.
As Kevin recounted in the Liverpool Echo
Ratcliffe said: “If we had lost that night, I’m sure Howard would have gone. There was pressure then from the board and there was pressure from the fans. Some obscenities had been daubed on the training ground walls.
"Feelings were running high. If we had not won that game, the success of the 80s would not have happened.
"The next day, Howard appointed Colin Harvey as his coach and assistant and I think the day after, we signed Andy Gray. A lot of important things happened in the space of a few days that week.”
1983-84 Leaague Cup Round 3; Wednesday, 9 November 1983
Coventry City @ Goodison Park: Score 2-1 (Heath, Sharp); Attendance: 9,080
Southall; Harper, Bailey, Ratcliffe, Higgins; Steven (P Reid), Irvine; Heath, Sharp, King, Sheedy
Twenty Years Ago — 1993-94
First Division pace-setters Crystal Palace were Everton’s opponents for this third round tie. Having agonisingly lost their top-tier place in the last week of the previous season on goal difference, mainly due to Joe Royle’s Oldham Athletic taking maximum points in their final three Premier League fixtures, Palace were hoping to bounce straight back into the top-flight at the first opportunity. With players in their squad such as Chris Armstrong, Darren Southgate and John Salako, and with a no- nonsense coach in Alan Smith at the helm – who had taken over from Steve Coppell during the summer – Palace would surely have a better than even chance of doing so.
Despite being relegated, the ‘Eagles’ had reached the Semi-Final of the League Cup, where they had beaten Southampton, Liverpool and Chelsea along the way, but lost out to Arsenal (5-1) in the two-legged semi-final. The previous meeting between the two clubs in a cup competition had come at Wembley just over two years earlier when Palace beat Everton 4-1 after extra-time, Robert Warzycha scored Everton’s consolation goal in the Zenith Data Systems Cup competition, which in all probability put a final full-stop to the last chapter of Everton’s golden era.
Howard Kendall agreed that although Crystal Palace may have been a First Division outfit, he believed that they still had Premier League pedigree and his team would do well to treat them with the same respect that they would have for any other top-flight opponents.
The last time Crystal Palace had visited Goodison in a cup competition was Tuesday 18 January 1972, where goals from Peter Scott, Roger Kenyon and John Hurst helped overcome Crystal Palace. Their goal-scorer was Bobby Tambling, who got both of their goals in front of over 45,000 for a Third Round FA Cup replay. The first game at Selhurst Park had ended in a 2-2 draw where Colin Harvey and Alan Whittle had been on target for the Toffees.
Mo Johnson, the recently released Everton player, had signed for Hearts; the Edinburgh club would be the fourth Scottish club that Mo would play for, the others being the Glasgow giants Rangers and Celtic and the not quite Glasgow giants, Partick Thistle. Dave Watson said that Chris Armstrong would be a player to watch out for in that night’s encounter as Dave remembered Chris playing at Goodison for Wrexham three years earlier and he looked more than useful despite turning out for a team that lost 11-0 on aggregate. The previous season, Armstrong had scored twice for Palace in a 2-0 victory over Everton at Goodison shortly after his £1m move from Millwall to Selhurst Park.
Andy Thorn (48’) and Darren Southgate (55’) helped Crystal Palace into a two-goal lead early in the second-half; fortunately for Everton, their Man of the Match performer Peter Beagrie (56’) got a goal almost immediately after Southgate had put Palace two goals in front to give the Blues a lifeline. An injury time equaliser from Captain Dave Watson (92’) earned the Toffee’s a second-bite of the cherry and a replay at Selhurst Park to take place two weeks later.
1993-94 League Cup Round 3: Tuesday, 26 October 1993
Crystal Palace @ Goodison Park, Score 2-2 (Beagrie & Watson), Attendance: 11,547
Southall; Holmes, Watson, Ablett, Hinchcliffe; Stuart (Snodin), Horne, Ebbrell; Beagrie, Barlow (Preki), Cottee. Unused Sub: Kearton.
Gareth Southgate (20’) struck yet again to give Crystal Palace the lead the 3rd round replay at Selhurst Park but once again Everton Captain Dave Watson (32’) came to the rescue to send the teams in level at half-time. Early in the second-half Dave Watson (53’) put Everton in the lead for the first time in the contest and two goals in the latter stages of the game from a Mark Ward (82’) penalty and an own goal from Palace’s unfortunate Eric Young ensured that the Blues progressed to the fourth round and a mouth-watering tie with Manchester United at Goodison Park.
1993-94 League Cup Round 3 Replay; Wednesday, 10 November 1993
Crystal Palace @ Selhurst Park; Score 4-1 (Watson 2, Ward (pen), Young (og)); Attendance: 14,662
Southall; Holmes, Watson, Jackson, Ablett; Ward, Horne, Ebbrell; Preki, Rideout (Barlow), Cottee. Unused Subs: Kearton, Stuart.
Ten Years Ago — 2003-04
Another home draw in the Carling Cup saw Charlton Athletic paired with Everton for a midweek fixture at Goodison Park. The two sides had drawn 2-2 earlier in the season at the Valley and that night’s game had all the ingredients for a good all-Premier League cup-tie which would see one of the teams move a step closer to the Final in Cardiff early in the New Year.
Charlton Athletic had reached this stage by beating Luton Town in the previous round. Luton Town, managed by former Everton striker Mike Newell, had taken a two goal lead and then led 3-2 with the game entering injury time but, thanks to a Paulo Di Canio equaliser, the game went into extra-time which resulted in another goal for each of the teams and the game ended 4-4 and thus penalties were required to decide which team would progress. With penalties, tied at seven each, Luton Town’s Australian captain Danny Coyne took his penalty but, to the delight of Alan Curbishley and his team, Addicks goalkeeper Dean Kiely made the all-important match-winning save and helped to send Charlton Athletic through 8-7 on penalties.
In his programme notes, David Moyes said the game would give Everton or Charlton a good chance of progressing in the competition and that there was no reason that his team could not follow in the footsteps of Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Blackburn Rovers by reaching the final. However, the main objective for either club was to get to that all important 40 points target, which would ensure their Premier League status.
Some previous League Cup ties were featured in ‘Cup History’ including Everton’s very first game in the competition against Accrington Stanley at Goodison Park in 1960. Johnny Carey’s Everton beat Fourth Division Accrington 3-1 thanks to goals from Frank Wignall (2) and Brian Harris; Accrington’s consolation goal was scored by Sturrock.
Neville Southall recalled how he had scored a penalty in a cup-tie with Charlton Athletic in March 1987. It happened at the end of the Full Members Cup match at Goodison Park witnessed by only 7,914 supporters, “Nobody else would take one and I fancied my chances. So, I stepped up and blasted it past Bob Boulder. There was no finesse, no thinking about it, I just smashed it!” Neville's heroics were in vain as Charlton won the penalty shoot-out.
Southall also lambasted those players and clubs who treated the League Cup with disdain: in his opinion, every opportunity to reach a cup final should be treated seriously as that’s what players are in the game for, to win medals and pick up trophies.
A feature on the ‘other’ Everton, or the Ruleteros as they are better known in Chile, celebrates their return to the top division after a few years in the wilderness. The feature also notes that the Ruleteros home ground, the Sausalito Stadium in Vina Del Mar, hosted the Brazil v England World Cup quarter-final tie in 1962. That means that both Everton’s have hosted a quarter-final match in the World Cup.
A single goal from Tobias Linderoth in the 42nd minute – his first goal for the club – was enough to help Everton into the Fourth Round of the Carling Cup, where a trip to Middlesbrough awaited them. David Moyes was pleased with the crowd's reaction to Alex Nyarko on his return to first team duties and said that it was important that the fans support each and every player in an Everton shirt, no matter what had gone on before. David was also pleased that a midfielder had popped up with a goal and was happy to see his side work hard and keep a clean sheet.
2003-04 League Cup Round 3: Wednesday, 29 October 2003
Charlton Athletic @ Goodison Park, Score 1-0 (Linderoth), Attendance: 24,863
Martyn; Hibbert. Naysmith, Yobo, Weir; Linderoth, Gravesen (Li Tie), Rooney; Ferguson, Nyarko (Stubbs), McFadden (Radzinski). Unused Subs: Simonsen, Jeffers.
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870 Posted 23/09/2013 at 18:18:14
Getting to tomorrow's fixture, again it will be interesting to see who actually starts, Roberto has openly stated, that there will be some changes, however, I hope there are not too many, to disrupt the 'running engine' ! While we have not exactly fine tuned, and got the ideal model, nevertheless it is a winning one. (or drawing one)
I am more confident recently, of switching players, as we have arguably the best squad for a long,long time, if not ever. At least we are playing another Prem. side, so they are more of a known quantity, as opposed to those from the the lower divisions, who always seem to raise their game, for such an occasion, and play it like a Cup Final. More often than not claiming a Prem scalp in the process.
As to Fulham, from what I have seen so far, they are not pulling up any trees, however should be taken seriously, I think Berbatov is back in the running, and we know what he can do when he feels in the mood.
I am not making any predictions, as so often they come back to haunt you, but hopefully we will be in the hat for the next round. I just hope this could be our year in this elusive Cup, thus far.
956 Posted 23/09/2013 at 23:14:19
I think he must have had a 'Lukaku' moment, and didn't realise until he read the Echo, the following night!
Another of DM's masterstrokes in the transfer market!
967 Posted 24/09/2013 at 00:10:26
I remember when we signed him someone saying how boss he was over in Sweden, next big thing etc... In the end he turned out to be the definition of an unexciting midfield player. Every pass went sideways. Somehow Jack Rodwell kept turning into him too before he left. I think we must be jinxed. Still Ross is showing how it should be done now. Fingers crossed he appears against Fulham.
314 Posted 25/09/2013 at 01:04:03
Love these articles, Patrick, although I am just a bit intrigued as to why Gareth Southgate changed his name to Darren for the tie at Goodison twenty years ago. :)
442 Posted 25/09/2013 at 12:56:04
562 Posted 25/09/2013 at 22:30:39
919 Posted 28/09/2013 at 00:39:35
945 Posted 28/09/2013 at 14:53:44
Don't worry about it mate; it afflicts everyone as they get older. I can remember incredible detail about books I read when I was seventeen. Read a work of fiction nowadays and I've forgotten plot and characters' names within a fortnight....!
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