Potter’s Wheel of fortune: Everton v Stoke

Stoke City F.C. was formed in 1863 under the name Stoke Ramblers, when pupils of Charterhouse School formed a football club, while apprentices at the North Staffordshire Railway works in Stoke-upon-Trent.
Stoke played their home matches at the Victoria Cricket Ground; however, they switched to a nearby ground at Sweetings Field in 1875 to cope with rising attendances. In 1878, the club merged with Stoke Victoria Cricket Club, and became Stoke Football Club. The club moved from their previous ground, Sweetings Field, to the Athletic Club ground, which soon became known as the Victoria Ground. Stoke adopted their traditional red and white strip and in 1885 they turned professional.

Stoke were one of the twelve founding members of the Football League when it was introduced in 1888 and Everton’s first encounter with Stoke on Merseyside took place at Anfield in January 1889 for a First Division fixture. The sides lined up at Anfield and Stoke started the game with only ten men, however, Lawton joined the fray after the game had commenced with the game still goalless. The Liverpool Courier gave an account of the visit by Stoke:

The return league contest took place at Everton on Saturday, fully 7,000 spectators present. At 2-40 the teams took up their position on the field. Stoke started with 10 men, Ross having won the toss, Wilson kicked off against the wind. From a long return by Farmer the Everton forwards forced Rowley to clear. Again the Everton right worked the leather into the Stoke quarters, Rowley having to fist out a hot shot from Chadwick.

By neat passing Lawton and McSkimming removed the play to midfield. Holt returned, and again Rowley saved from Watson. At this point the Stoke eleventh man joined his team. A grand run by Chadwick and Angus forced the Stoke captain to concede a corner, the place kick was nicely put, Underwood clear. The visiting right forced their way, Ross stooping the rush with some fine tackling.

From a throw in by Farmer, Chadwick struck the upright the ball going outside. Hands against Stoke gave the home team a grand opportunity, from a pass by Holt, Ross shot through; a claim off offside against Milward was sustained and no goal conceded.

A combined run by the Stoke forwards caused the Everton defence some trouble, Ross heading clear. The home right wing put in a splendid run, Davies compelling Rowley to concede another corner, and from a pass by Watson, Milward scored a well-earned goal…

…After the usual interval Milward kicked off, Rowley received a magnificent reception from the spectators on taking his place in the goal-mouth. His display in goal is undoubtedly the finest that has been seen at Anfield enclosure this season. Weir was immediately called upon to stop McSkimming, who had worked his way down the left Ross kicked out and Angus took up the attack, and passing to Davies he headed through….

…Weir now left the field having received an injury. The Stoke forwards played much better, but could not break through the fine defence of the home backs. Edge gave Dobson some trouble, Joliffe clearing from Milarvie.

After a splendid run by Ross, Angus passed to Milward who kicked over the bar. Another visit was paid to the Everton citadel, where Angus gave a foul for ‘'Hands'' After a warm tussle in the goal mouth McSkimming secured the first point for Stoke. Even play followed Chadwick pit in a fine screw, which Rowley saved, and a well tough game ended in favour of Everton by 2 goals to 1.

Everton: - Joliffe (c), Ross (captain), and Dobson backs, Farmer, Holt and Weir half-backs Angus, Chadwick, Watson Davies, and Milward, forwards.
Stoke:- Rowley (w) goal, Clare (t) (captain) and Underwood (a) backs, Ramsley (r) Shutt (g), and Smith (e) half-backs Lawton (g), McSkimmer (r), Hogg (a) Milarvie (r), and Wilson (j) forwards.
Umpire Mr Berry Referee Mr Fitzroy Norris (Bolton).

The following season, despite starting the game with a full complement of players the visitors plans were disrupted as they arrived half-an-hour after the scheduled kick-off time, Stoke were despatched with ease by Everton at Anfield as The Liverpool Courier reported:

…The men from the Black County did not arrive until half an hour after the time appointed for the kick off, the visitors kicked off down- hill, and after exchanges Everton forced the play. Latta made a nice tricky run and passed to Geary, who sent in a beautiful low shot along which missed the mark only by a few inches. Milward almost rushing the ball through, the homesters retained their position, and Latta made as good an attempt as Geary had done previously.

Following this Brady received the ball from the wing companion, and kicked a goal when the game at this point being ten minutes old. The Evertonians attack was very strong, and shots from Geary, Chadwick, and Brady were unfortunately unsuccessful.

Another admirable effort on the right wing terminated in a manner desired, Rowley being unable to prevent Latta shot from going through. Milward next distinguished himself by a speedy run and pretty play, a beautifully pass to Brady just merely failing. Immediately afterwards Geary headed the globe over to Latta who scored the third goal.

The Stoke boys at last forced their way into their opponents' quarters but it was only a transient visit, the home forwards making their way up again. Geary then brilliant placed the ball past Rowley, the point however, not being allowed, owing to offside play. The visiting team looked dangerous on two occasions, through the exertions of the right wing, but Doyle stuck to his post manfully, and removed the play in a creditable manner.

The Evertonians compelled their antagonists to concede a corner and Chadwick, taking the kick put the ball right into the goalmouth, Geary heading the fourth goal.

The combination of the Anfield organization was something out of the usual order of things, and the improvement upon the play of the previous Saturday was remarkable. Shot after shot was put in, and the visiting custodian experienced a warm time.

Milward and Chadwick gave Rowley a near shave, and Brady also offered him a handful. The Staffordshire team now exhibited better movements, but did not succeed in giving Smalley any work to do, his position up to the period having being secure.

The Everton men again relief and two further corners were accepted. Nothing having come of those, Brady got on the ball, and scored a fifth point, the ball striking the crossbar, and rendering it nearly impossible for Rowley to stop it. A few seconds later a slight scrimmage took place in front of the visiting goalkeepers, the result of which was that Milward added another notch, thus making the total to six goals to Stoke nil.

The visitors played up with more dash, Baker and Ramsey being prominent, but a shot from the former was too wide of the upright. Half-time result; Everton 6 goals Stoke 0.

On the resumption of the game Brady rushed away, and passed over to Latta, who exchanged with Milward, this player striking the upright with a fast shot. The play of the home forwards diminished somewhat, and the Stoke left taking the ball well up compelled Doyle to kick behind, the corner kick, however, being fruitless.

Geary kicked a second off-side goal, but the Evertonians made amends for this by obtaining a tangible point almost immediately afterwards, Geary again being the means of doing this by a pass from Brady. Rowley then received hearty applause for a marvellous save, from Milward, and following this McCornick put in a grand run which did not attain the end so much desired.

Notwithstanding the heavy score against the, the Stoke lads played up pluckily and showed much more finish than in the first half. The visitors were now fairly holding their own, and the backs tackling and kicking finely, assisted in keeping the ball well in the Everton territory. Darkness coming on now it was somewhat difficult to see the ball. Final result Everton 8 goals Stoke 0.

Everton: - Smalley goal Hannah (Captain) and Doyle, backs, Parry, Holt, and Cains, half-backs, Latta Brady, Geary, Chadwick, and Milward forwards.
Stoke: - Rowley, goals, Clare and Underwood, backs, Montford, Hendry and Smith, half-backs, McCormick, Gee, Baker, Ramsey, and Cooper forwards.

Stoke had finished bottom of the league in their first three seasons but they failed to be re-elected for the 1889-90 campaign, however, they were elected back to Division One, the following season after they had won the Football Alliance . The third and final encounter between the two teams at Anfield in March 1892 resulted in a victory for Everton as Edgar Chadwick scored the only goal of the game.

The first Goodison encounter between Everton and Stoke took place on 12 November 1892 and The Liverpool Mercury gave an account of the game:

The first of the two league matches between these clubs was played at Goodison Park on Saturday in the presence of about 16,000 spectators.

Everton started against the wind Geary making the first aggressive movement but he was promptly pulled up by Clare. Stoke took play smartly to the other end. When Dickson put over the bar, but Schofield was more dangerous, as he drove in hard from long range and would probably have scored had not Howarth grandly cleared the ball almost out of goal mouth. Geary, in reply, got off in one of his especially runs, and located play for some minutes near Rowley's charge. Here Latta shot outside, Geary went too high, and Latta at a second attempt hit the rope affixed to the net, the scene then changed as Stoke moved down quickly and shot twice. Williams stopped the first aim from taking effect, but not the second, as Schofield screwing Williams did not knock the ball far enough away, and was beaten by Robertson, who rushed in, Stoke thus assumed the lead in seven minutes…

… Keeping up the attack so persistently as they did. It was evident Everton must score, and at length they did, a fast movement being finished off successfully by Geary scoring from a pass by Latta. Each goalkeeper was called upon between now and half-time.

Rowley had a good reception upon taking up his position at the other goal for the brilliant display, he had so far given. Williams was at once called upon by Robinson, on resuming, and cleared easily…

…Geary now made his best run of the day, winding up with a hard, straight shot. Then Rowley played, but Milward rushed in and took the return with effect. Loud cheers signified appreciation of this piece of smart play, and also the fact that

Everton were leading, but their command was quickly taken from them, as Schofield ran in smartly shot Williams and the ball charged through. Soon afterwards Evens kicked Holt, in a manner which looked spiteful, and was ordered off the field. Holt was badly hurt, and had to be carried from the field, when it was found that several ribs were bruised, his injury was so great as to compel his removal to the Hospital, where he will remain, it is feared for few weeks.

Each side very near getting it in the last five minutes, but the defensive held out, and the result was a draw of 2 goals each.

Everton: - Williams goal, Howarth (captain), and Chadwick, backs, Boyle, Holt, and Jamieson half-backs, Latta, Maxwell, Geary, Chadwick and Milward, forward.
Stoke:- Rowley goal, Clare and Underwood, backs, Christie, Proctor, and Brodie half-backs, Naughton Dickson Robinson, Evans, and Schofield, forwards.

Everton’s fine run of form against the team from the Potteries continued for the remainder of the century and into the next, as they won nine and dropped just a single point in their meetings with Stoke at Goodison. The Toffees also overcame Stoke in the FA Cup at Goodison beating the visitors by five goals to one in February 1898. During this unbeaten run of games against Stoke, Everton scored upwards of three goals against the Potters at Goodison on five occasions with the highlight being a victory by 7-2 on 14 December 1895 and the Liverpool Mercury gave their thoughts on the match:

The attendance at Goodison Park on Saturday last, on the occasion of the first League match this season with Stoke, was a long way below the average, this probably being accounted for by the wretched weather that prevailed. The Potters were still without Hyslop, who has an enforced rest on account of insubordination and the same team that defeated Small Heath on the Saturday previous represented the Evertonians…

… Before about 10,000 spectators Cameron put the ball in motion, and within a few minutes most sensational scoring took place. The play had no sooner been started than Milward was in possession, and after sending across to McInnes that player parted to Cameron, who tricked Clare and put the ball into the net within half a minute from commencement of operations.

Before the excitement consequent upon this early success had been subdued the ball was again on the home left, and after a movement had been made towards the Stoke goal Boyle tipped across to Bell, who scored with a most beautiful shot.

Not daunted the visitors broke clean away from the centre, and on Hillman missing his kick Loney had no opposition and put on the first point for Stoke. This also unlooked for success spurred on the Potters and as Goldie missed badly Schofield just found the mark with a lovely shot under the bar at the corner and though Hillman reached the ball he failed to retain it, owing to its greasy nature.

The four goals were recorded in the first five minutes of play, and excitement ran very high as the teams once more got to work at the centre. For some time the Stoke forwards forced the game, and one brilliant curling shot from Schofield caused Hillman to throw himself full length in order to save, and as the right wing also peppered away at the home end, it may easily be imagined that the Everton defenders had a troublesome time…

…Some beautiful passing between Cameron, Bell, and McInnes covered three parts the length of the field, and as a fitting conclusion to it, Milward shot past Clawley, but for no apparent reason the referee disallowed the point. The decision was received with very bad grace by the spectator, and for some four minutes, owing to continued hooting the game was not proceeded with. The play continued on fairly even lines up to the interval, when the score stood Everton 2 goals, Stoke 2 goals.

On resuming, it was at once apparent that the Stoke forwards laboured under the heavily pace of the first half. Cameron got clean away, and after McInnes had supplemented Chadwick banged in a hot shot, which glided off the upright, and almost directly afterwards a fine effort from Cameron met with a similar fate.

Luck appeared to be all against the Evertonians as Chadwick again struck the upright, and following a fine save by the custodian a scrimmage in front of goal was ended by Bell putting the through.

Fine play on the part of Cameron was the most conspicuous item about this period, and the crowd did not fall to appreciate it to the full. Chadwick got in a fine shot, which Crawley was fortunate in meeting, and following a free kick close in goal Goldie sent in a goal which just grazed the crossbar. Milward experienced no better luck in heading, and then, the Stoke right got away, only to find Arridge secure.

From a good kick, Schofield and Sandilands worked prettily down the Stoke left when Cameron put Milward in possession, and screwing across McInnes dashed up and scored, within a minute Lonely headed the ball into Hillman's hands, but the play did not stay long in Everton quarters. Milward put in a fine dropping shot which McInnes only just missed converting, but from a similar movement by the same player, McInnes this time made no mistake.

Within a couple of minutes Bell met a return and scored, and towards the close McInnes scored a seventh, the final result being Everton 7 goals Stoke 2.

Everton: - Hillman, goal, Adams, and Arridge backs, Goldie, Boyle (captain), and Stewart halfbacks Bell McInnes Cameron, Chadwick, and Milward forwards.
Stoke: - Clawley, goal, Clare, and Eccles backs Turner, Grewer, and Brodie, halfbacks, Maxwell, Dickson, Loney, Sandilands, and Schofield forwards

That impressive Everton run against Stoke, came to an abrupt end as Stoke left Goodison with all the points in November 1902 following a single goal victory which they repeated the following season, as the tide turned slightly in Stoke’s favour - for the Potters won six of their matches at Goodison Park and lost four with the remaining two fixtures ending all-square.

Everton’s defeat by Stoke in April 1906 could be excused by the Goodison faithful as they had seen their club reach the FA Cup Final by beating local rivals Liverpool at the Semi-final stage. Everton went on to beat Newcastle United in the FA Cup Final and when Stoke arrived at Goodison Park the following season (06/07), Everton had just beaten Crystal Palace at Goodison Park, to reach the Semi-Final of the FA Cup as the holders maintained their grip on the trophy, unlike the previous season Stoke could not take advantage of Everton’s cup distractions and they left Merseyside empty-handed following a three goal defeat.

Stoke suffered relegation at the end of that campaign and in 1908 the club went bankrupt and resigned from the Football League. Following the resumption of the Football League in 1919, Stoke were welcomed back to the fold. Stoke had become owners of the Victoria Ground in 1919 and the club extended the capacity of the stadium to 50,000 when they constructed the Butler Street stand. During the inter-war period Everton had the best of it in relation to matches with Stoke at Goodison Park.

Evertonians were not in the best frame of mind when Stoke made their next visit to Goodison Park in January 1923, as they had seen their club knocked out of the FA Cup by Bradford Park Avenue (1-0) as a last minute goal settled the First Round replay and thus Everton’s dreams of playing at the Empire Stadium Wembley in April had been well and truly shattered and little did they know it would be another decade before Evertonians would have the opportunity of cheering their favourites on at the national stadium. Coincidentally The Empire Stadium was built in exactly 300 days at the cost of £750,000. The Liverpool Daily Post and Mercury gave their verdict on the match with Stoke at Goodison Park:-

Everton gained their biggest win of the season against Stoke at Goodison Park, on Saturday. The game, however, was not a good one, and much of the play was of poor quality. Stoke offered weak resistance, and on Saturday's form their position near the foot of the League table is easily understandable.

Everton's superiority was never seriously disputed. Much interest centred in the appearance of Cock, transferred by Chelsea on Friday, and he signalised his leadership of the line by scoring one of the four goals by which Everton won. Downs after a lengthily absence, returned to the Everton defence, and gave a capital display. He played with all his all-time dash and determination, and was, in fact, quite equal except in the matter of speed to Raitt, who was very sound.

The half-backs held the Stoke forwards with a fair amount of ease, and all played well; Cock without doing anything brilliant was quite satisfactory. He frequently used his head effectively, and his experience in knowing where the place himself for a pass was of considerable help to the inside forwards. He made one splendid solo run in the second half, and instead of doing the obvious, shooting for goal, he placed the ball perfectly in the right wing. The opening, however, was lost through Chedgzoy not having kept his place.

Once an understanding is established between Cock and his colleagues such movements should lead to goals. Chedgzoy was not consistent, as he wasted many chances, and Harrison, too, was variable, but Peacock and Williams were helpful. Harland kept a good goal, but Brookes, the Stoke goalkeeper, was uncertain. The Stoke backs were sound, and of the half-backs Rouse was easily the best. The forwards were very poor. Broad did some good things, but he got little support, for many chances were missed.

Everton set up a strong attack at the outset; and Cock's manoeuvring almost brought an early goal. Right, centred at a nice pace, and the ball went to the goal off a Stoke defender, Brookes being very lucky to fist away. Peacock was strong on the target and Brooks cleared a hard drive. Then followed severe attacks by the Stoke forwards, but there was little sting in the finishing movements. Downs, however, made a fine save when he got in front of the Stoke centre just as he was about to shoot. The Stoke goal a narrow escape when Peacock sent inches wide, and then the sane player opened the scoring with a long range shot at thirty-eight minutes.

Two minutes later Williams added a second, but much of the credit for the goal belonged to Harrison, who sent the ball to goal with tremendous force. William's part consisted of shooting out his foot, and he was fortunate enough to meet the ball, and it cannoned into the net.

In the first minute following the interval Cock scored a third goal, and again Harrison started the movement. The centre was missed by Williams, and the ball travelled on over the foot of one of the Stoke defenders to cock, whose task was easy.

Watkins failed with an open goal when he glided the ball wide and Brookes dropped a long drive by Chedgzoy. Harland's must difficult task was caused through falling to his knees too soon when Nicholas shot, but he managed to scoop the ball away before any damage was done. At sixty-seven minutes Williams scored Everton's fourth goal from close in, and Downs headed out in his most spectacular style a hard drive by Rouse.

Everton: - Harland, goal, Downs, and Raitt, backs Fleetwood, Hart (captain), and Grenyer, half-backs, Chedgzoy Peacock, Cock, Williams, and Harrison, forwards
Stoke: - Brookes goal, McGrory, and Howe, backs, Clarke, Kasher, and Rouse, half-backs, T. broad, Watkins, J. Broad, Nicholas, and Tempest, forwards

Unsurprisingly Stoke were relegated at the end of the (22/23) campaign and they remained outside of the top-flight until 1933. Stoke FC added the suffix City to their name in 1928 as Stoke-on-Trent had been given "city status" in 1925 and the first time that Stoke City FC and Everton met at Goodison Park was for a Second Division encounter in November 1931 which the Liverpool Post and Mercury reported on:-

Everton's sound win over Stoke City by 5 clear goals keeps them in a favourable position at the head of the League and at the moment it is not easy to see how they can be deposed. Stoke may be considered a side of average Second Division class, yet Everton had little difficulty in gathering the points by a decisive margin.

Obviously there is a wide difference between First and Second Division football, and in this game Everton demonstrated they are out of their class. On a ground that was exceptionally heavy and all against clever footwork Everton gave a capital display, and adapted themselves well to the conditions.

In the first half they had matters pretty much their own way, and with a three goals lead at the interval were well on their way to success. It was after the interval, however, that Stoke came more into the picture, and while they never seriously disputed Everton’s superiority they played with greater spirit and were more dangerous. Two further goals however, placed the issue beyond dispute. Dean scored three and Johnson, two, and not for many a day has Dean given such a wholly satisfying display.

The heavy going seemed to suit Dean to a nicety. He judged well the cross passes from the wings, and with relentless forceful work kept the Stoke defenders on the stretch. Dunn was another successful worker who found the conditions much to his liking. His footwork was excellent and the openings he created offered fine opportunities for Dean.

The game lacked the finer points, but it revealed Everton as a side competent to combat the stern forcefulness of a typical Second Division combination and win by a handsome margin under conditions that were against their known style of play. Frequently they swept through the Stoke defences like water through a sieve and although the Potters improved in the second half they were made to look like commoners for most of the game.

The Everton forwards employed direct methods. Both Stein and Wilkinson were smart and speedy raiders, and the inside man responded with good shooting. Of the half-backs Griffiths was a great worker, prominent in attack and defence, while both Britton and Thomson rendered excellent services. The neat and polished work of Cresswell and the more pretty methods of Williams kept the Stoke forwards well in hand, and Coggins gave a sound display. There were few personalities on the Stoke side, but Lewis got through a good day's work in the Stoke goal.

The goals were scored in the following order; - Dean 8 minutes, Johnson 29 minutes, Dean 31 minutes, Dean 67 minutes, Johnson 73 minutes.

Everton: - Coggins, goal; Williams (captain) and Cresswell, backs; Britton Griffiths, and Thomson, half-backs; Wilkinson, Dunn, Dean, Johnson, and Stein, forwards
Stoke City: - Lewis, goal; McGrory and Spencer backs; Robertson, Jackson and Sellars, half-backs; Liddle, Bussey, Wilson, Mawson, and Archibald, forwards.

That match came too early for Evertonians to witness arguably Stoke City’s most celebrated player, Stanley Matthews, as the 17 year old local lad made his debut for Stoke in March 1932.

Stoke City achieved promotion from the Second Division in 1932–33 and in April 1934 they very nearly took all the points from their encounter with Everton at Goodison, but a late lapse led to an equaliser for the Toffees as the game ended all-square. Following that dropped point by Stoke City the following encounter with Everton resulted in a heavy defeat at Goodison Park in March 1935as Stork on behalf of the Liverpool Post and Mercury reported:-

Stoke City were no match for Everton at Goodison Park, and if the score had been lighter than it actually was Stoke could not have complained, for Everton were always the dominating party, and their five clear-goal victory was in no way flattering.

Stoke opened out with some good class football, some of their plans being quite as good as Everton's but when they approached anywhere near goal they had no shot, and if they had the direction was poor so that Sagar was given the opportunity to save when he should have been left helpless.

Fate does not offer these gifts a second time, and with Everton moving smoothly they sauntered on to a comfortable and ready victory. Lewis, the Stoke goalkeeper, should have saved two of their goals, particularly the last one for when Cunliffe headed in all that was necessary was a touch to send the ball over the bar. Lewis attempted to bring the ball down, and having done so, lost possession, and Stevenson nipped in, and tapped it into the net.

Stein's second goal went to hand, put Lewis made a hopeless mess of it with the result that the ball spun out of his hands and curved into the far side of the net. Spencer made a brave effort to keep it out, but was too late.

There was an end-of-season flavour about the game. Everton, finding they could cut through the Stoke defence with ease played in nonchalant fashion yet it was sufficient to get them within striking distance of Lewis.

McRory and Spencer brought the offside trap to their aid and this for a time held up Everton but when Everton retaliated in like manner, and at the same time produced a scheme to overcome this annoying type of defence, they were always riding for a victory. During their most hectic moment –they were few and far between –the Stoke forwards found Cresswell, White, and Williams a very solid guard.

Williams brought into use a cover which was well-nigh impregnable so that Sagar had a fairly comfortable afternoon. Matthews had the opportunity to beat him when for a change, he got through the Everton barrier, but he shot straight at the goalkeeper, and Soo was weak when he had a chance. On the other hand, the Stein-Stevenson wing had a joy day, the little Irishman being in one of his ultra-clever moods.

He dazzled by his dribbles and passes, and Tutin did not know how to check him. Stevenson was responsible for the first goal, for he did a Cinquavail set under the nose of several opponents and got the ball out to Stein. It was a quick pass, and it appeared as though the ball would best Stein that he winger trapped it almost on the goal-line to deliver a low centre which Dean had in the net in a flash. This was in 18 minutes. Six minutes later Stein took up a Geldard cross and shot with power. Lewis shot out a foot in his effort to save, but all he did was send the ball spurning up and into the back of the net.

That was the full extent of the scoring in the first half. Davies opened the second with a great shot which sent over the cross-bar, but that was about all Sagar had to do, for Everton dominated the game to such an extent it lost some of its interest, and the “capers” of Everton brought many a smile from all except the Stoke players, who had nothing to smile about. They were too busy chasing Everton players who revelled in artistry.

Stoke were on the rack; their goal underwent great pressure before finally Cunliffe made a shot which was well out of its bearing. The ball swing away to the left when Stevenson was lying in wait. He dashed forward –I thought he was offside –and swept the ball into the net. Stein nearly scored direct from the corner and then came Stevenson's second goal, which I have told about.

It was a solid victory but one must not go into overboard over it, for it must be admitted that Stoke were poor opponents.

Stein was very sure he received every help from Stevenson, but the right flank has been seen in better advantage. Cunliffe did not back up Geldard quite so well as usual, but this could not be said of Britton, whose football was a joy, Dean made some excellent shots and a number of headers. Stevenson was cute and clever in fact there was little wrong with the Everton team as a whole.

At all events it was much too good for Stoke who had a thankless task chasing the ball. I mentioned earlier on that Stoke at times played some good-class football but one must do more than that; it must be clinched with shots and as it was not they must not complain.

Everton: - Sagar, goal; Williams and Cresswell, backs; Britton, White and Thomson, half-backs; Geldard, Cunliffe, Dean (captain), Stevenson, and Stein, forwards
Stoke City: - Lewis, goal; McGory, and Spencer, backs; Tutin, Turner and Sellar, half-backs; Matthews, Liddlell, Sale, Davies and Soo, forwards.
Referee Mr. H.N. Mee, Mansfield.

Stork reported for the Liverpool Football Echo on November 2, 1935 how once again Everton had despatched Stoke City:-

Two swift goals took the spike out of Stoke, yet for a long time they fought back with a will and some good football, it was Cunliffe's day, for he scored four goals off his own bat. [Dixie Dean scored Everton’s other goal]

There was an impressive two minutes before the match at Goodison Park today. The players lined up and the crowd stood bareheaded as a token of respect to the late Tom McIntosh, the secretary-manager of the Everton club. The Stoke players wore black arm bands.

Everton: - Sagar, goal; Cook and Jones, backs; Britton, White, and Mercer, half-backs; Geldard, Miller, Dean, Cunliffe, and Archer, forwards
Stoke City: - Lewis, goal; Winstanley, and Scrimshaw, backs; Tutin, Turner and Soo, half-backs; Liddle, Steele, Sale, Davies, and Johnson, forwards.
Referee Mr. Captain G. Hamilton-Jones (London).

Everton met Stoke City in the last quarter of the 1938-39 campaign, hoping to earn both the points from the encounter as they sought their fifth League Championship, however, Stoke aided by their goalkeeper’s heroics held on for a point The Liverpool Football Echo report by Stork follows:-

Prior to the game Mr. Ernest Green, the Everton chairman, presented benefits cheques to Sagar, the goalkeeper-his second benefit and Bentham. Sagar got the full benefit of £650 and Bentham £500.

A surprising match - Everton pressed almost throughout, but they could only beat goalkeeper Westland once. It was a bit of a blow to lose a home point. Everton have only lost three here. This makes the title fight more difficult. One could not have wished for a better day for this attractive game. The visitors were not able to play their full side. Steele for one was an absentee; three goals Sale led the City attack Ormston being brought in at inside left while Westland came into goal in place of Wilkinson.

Everton’s forward play was vastly superior to that of their opponents. At times it was a little too intriguing, but there was nothing more intriguing than Lawton’s angular shot, which struck the face of the crossbar and bounded out of play. However, Lawton got the ball where he did was a miracle, for his angle was an atrocious one….

… Gillick was annoyed about two offside decisions given against him, and Bentham was on the point of striding forward to a goal when the game was held up for a foul. This was a penalty against the innocent party. Soo, the Liverpool lad who now captains Stoke, gave away a free kick through fouling Lawton, but Jone’s free kick was charged down.

Then we saw Matthews at his best. He dazzled Greenhalgh twice by brilliant footwork, and body swerve to finally end with a centre that simply cried out to be taken up. Matthews was not so good a little later when he put a centre behind. Stevenson from away out on the right, tried a long oblique shot which travelled well over the bar.

Barker gave Ormston a chance, but Mercer, despite a fall, beat him almost at the corner flag. Matthews once veered into the centre forward position and his forward pass to Ormston was the cause of some trouble to the Everton defence. Sagar rushed out and just beat Ormston for possession, but could not retain, the ball, and he had to step over his penalty line in an effort to block Ormston’s centre with his body. It was a tense moment…

…When Bentham centred under the Stoke crossbar Westland made a nice catch, but was almost caught by Lawton who charged him while in possession. Westland went back on his heels, and although Everton claimed the ball had gone over the line the referee was so well placed that he made no hesitation in saying “No” to all appeals.

It was all Everton at the start of the second half. They could do everything but get the ball into the net, I have never seen so much pressure put on any side without it showing some signs of collapse, but the Stoke defence never gave any indication that they would falter, particularly Westland, who made catch after catch in the manner of a slip fielder.

For long spells Everton were gathered round the Stoke goal, but for one reason or another sometimes the goalkeeper, sometimes a defender, and sometimes a shot block away, but whatever it was it prevented Everton from taking a substantial lead.

The League leaders tried everything they knew, but it was of no avail. The ball would not run kindly for them today, yet I have seen them take chances much more difficult than they were offered this afternoon. Gillick, whose shot hit the goalkeeper, and the ball was travelling on towards the net. It may not have got that far, for it was only moving slowly and when Stevenson came along to help it on its way Bamber stood in the line of flight.

One of Westland’s best saves was made from Boyes who made a surprise shot. As so often happens, the side which had been on the collar for as long made a sudden breakaway which produced a goal. This happened at the 62nd minute, and I thought there was a trace of offside about Sale’s goal, but there was no appeal so we will take it for granted that all was in order.

The shot was a slow motion, affair, but it was placed away from Sagar who scrambled across in a frantic effort to save but was just too late. To show you just how unlucky Everton were, Gillick went through and grazed the upright, with the goalkeeper beaten.

At 76 minutes, however, it was the Lawton-Gillick combine which did the trick, the Scot centred right to Lawton’s foot, and the ball was in the net as quickly as you could say knife. This goal received a great ovation.

Greenhalgh was playing Matthews extremely well. The secret of his success was his determination to be first to the ball. Gillick from the outside left position, scooped the ball up into the goalmouth, and Lawton and Bentham each went up for it, but Everton had no luck today at witness Gillick shot which flew high over the bar. Everton were fighting desperately for the winning goal, but it just would not come. At the end all the Stoke players went to the goalkeeper to congratulate him on his display and he deserved it. Final; Everton 1, Stoke City 1.

Everton: - Sagar, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones (TG.), and Watson, half-backs; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson and Boyes, forwards
Stoke City: - Westland, goal; Brigtness and Tennant, backs; Soo (captain), Bamber, and Kirton, half-backs; Matthews, Antonio, Sale, Ormston, and Baker, forwards. Referee Mr. B. Nixons (Manchester) Attendance 38,601

On 6 March 1946, Stoke City were involved in the Burden Park disaster, as 33 fans lost their lives and 520 were injured during an FA Cup sixth round tie against Bolton Wanderers. Ironically that season saw all FA Cup ties up to the Semi-Final stage, being played over two legs and the first-leg at Stoke City’s ground had ended in a two-goal victory for the visitors Bolton Wanderers. Bolton went on t to be defeated by Charlton Athletic in the semi-final held at Hillsborough.

Stoke City were one of three clubs vying to take Everton’s League Championship crown as they came very close to becoming English Champions in the 1946-47 campaign and the destiny of the title wasn’t decided until the middle of June, mostly due to the extremely bad winter which had caused many games to be postponed and rearranged. Everton were intent on examining their visitors, title credentials, when Stoke City arrived at Goodison in March 1947. Don Kendall in his Pilot’s Log column previewed the game for the Evening Express:-

Tommy Jones, brilliant Welsh international centre-half, returns to the Everton team tomorrow for the first time since being injured at Fratton Park in January. Jones will be there to face Stoke City and Stanley Matthews at Goodison Park in a game put back until 5.45 pm.

The Daily Post reported upon the match itself:

It is not always the side that does most attacking that gets the goals. This football axiom was forced home to Everton at Goodison Park. For most of the first half they weaved intricate patterns through the Stoke defence, had enough chances, to have built up a commanding lead, and yet were two goals in arrears at the interval. It was an ironic position, yet one could hardly say Stoke were lucky. They had two scoring chances and got goals from both. Everton had a dozen and were goalless. For twenty eight minutes Sagar was a spectator. Then Stoke broke away Steele slipped the ball to Matthews who promptly placed it in the Everton goalmouth. Sagar pushed it out and the ball went to the feet of Baker who slammed it into the net. Two minutes later Stoke were two up Peppitt ran in to take a forward pass and his first-time shot as Jones tackled sped well away from Sagar.

Everton profited from the lesson in finishing and in the second half imparted more punch into their attack. Wainwright and Stevenson switched positions and the change brought results. In sixty-one minutes Eglington scored with a well taken header, and six minutes later Fielding levelled the scores with the best shot of the match. So Everton saved a point where they should have collected two.

A pleasing feature was the sound work of Jones, who, making his first appearance in ten weeks, kept Steele subdued. Wainwright was unhappy. It was left to Stevenson to produce the major threat. Apart from opening the way for Stoke’s first goal little was seen of Matthews, and the visitors main strength was on the other wing Everton must do something about the lack of finish.

Everton; Sagar, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Jones (TG), and Farrell, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Stevenson, Wainwright, Fielding, and Eglington, forwards
Stoke City; Herod, goal; Mould and McClue, backs; Sellars, Franklin and Kirton, half-backs; Matthews, Peppitt, Steele, Baker, and Ormston, forwards
Referee: Mr. W.H. Moore (York).

For the record the 1947 Grand National was won by 100/1 Irish outsider Caughoo. The eight-year-old was ridden by 35-year-old jockey Eddie Dempsey and trained by Herbert McDowell, for owner John McDowell who had bought Caughoo for £50. The Irish Lough Conn finished in second place, Kami, from France, was third, and Prince Regent, also from Ireland, fourth. Apparently all of the 57 starters got home safely.

Wolves, Manchester United, Liverpool and Stoke all had opportunities to become the Champions, indeed Wolves could have clinched the League by beating Liverpool on home soil on the last day of May, however, Liverpool beat the West Midlands team and that result opened the door for Stoke to claim the title if they could beat Sheffield United on 14 June 1947, alas, for Stoke City they lost by the odd goal in three and the red half of Merseyside celebrated the arrival of the title in the first post-war competition. Stoke ended the season in fourth position behind the Champions, Wolves and Manchester United. To add to the disappointment of the Stoke supporters their favourite son Stanley Mathews left to join Blackpool - who ended the season in fifth position five points behind Stoke - before the season had reached its conclusion. Everton were some way off the pace and ended the season in tenth.

Stoke City’s ambitions when they arrived at Goodison Park in March 1948, were of a very different hue to the previous campaign as they struggled to retain their place in the First Division, but they managed to secure a rare victory on Merseyside, as with three minutes to go the Stoke left wing put in a high powered attack which the ball being sent right across the field, too high for two Everton defenders too high for Makin but just right for George Mountford who was left with a glorious opening which he took with clarity. Stoke City managed to finish ahead of Everton in the league as that victory at Goodison set them up for a good run of form and the threat of relegation became a distant memory.

Everton’s start to the 1948/49 campaign couldn’t have been much worse as injuries bedevilled their ambitions and their results culminating in consecutive five-nil defeats at Goodison by Portsmouth and Birmingham City respectively suggested that this would be a terrible season, however, as Don Kendall reported for the Evening Express, Everton gained a crucial first victory of the season.

Victory at last came Everton’s way after a desperately hard fight against Stoke City at Goodison, but the hopes that success produced were tempered by the fact that three more names have to be added to the list of 18 players already on the injured list.

Higgins had to be escorted from the field five minutes before the end with a cut near the eye. Powell injured a leg and score the victory goal from the outside right position ten minutes from the end and Norman Greenhalgh was also damaged is not certain to be fit for Saturday’s visit to Chelsea.

The outstanding points against them this game were the easy in which Tommy Jones commanded the centre of the field –his was an impeccable display –and the terrific second half display of Jackie Grant. Steele was always an alert Stoke leader but could never escape from Jones’s glance and when the Potteries side were throwing everything into an effort to force an equaliser in the closing minutes it was Jones who confined them time after time.

Incidentally former Evertonian Tommy Lawton accompanied by Notts County directors watched the game and I understand the County interested in Jones has intensified (writes Radar).

One cannot say that the Everton attack was a methodical force, however but factor that stood out was the apparent willingness of the Everton men compared with Stoke, not by any means an outstanding force, although Bowyer’s header in the 39th minute to equaliser Juliussen’s opening goal (25 minutes) was a brilliant effort.

Twice in succession games Everton have missed penalties –it might have made all the difference in this game – for Stevenson drove wide from the spot-kick when Higgins was uprooted in the second half. Still this was indeed a victory and one which will undoubtedly give Everton some confidence for the future.

Everton (2-3-5); Sagar (t); Hedley (j), Greenhalgh (n); Farrell (p) (captain), Jones (tg), Grant (j); Higgins (w) (retired 85), Powell (a), Juliussen (a), Stevenson (a), McCormick (h), Secretary Manager Theo Kelly
Stoke City (2-3-5); Herod; Mould, McCue; Mountford (f), Franklin, Sellars; Hallia, Bowyer, Steele, Baker, Ormston
Referee; Mr. E.W. Baker

Despite beating Stoke good news and bad news followed as Oldham Athletics’ bid for Jock Dodds was not being taken any further. Oldham had agreed to pay Everton £6,500 and had interviewed Dodds at Blackpool, but a snag developed which could not be surmounted and after a later interview with Mr. Theo Kelly at Preston where Everton Reserves were playing the Oldham officials decided to call the deal off. After the game it was reported in the Liverpool Echo that:-

Trouble never comes singly. On top of their big crop of injuries, Everton have now suffered a mishap to their secretary manager, Mr. Theo Kelly, who was in a motoring accident on his way home after last night’s reserve game. His car was involved in a collision with another vehicle at the junction at Northway and Hall Lane Mughull. Mr. Kelly’s car was fairly badly damaged but fortunately he himself, though sustaining minor cuts and bruises was not seriously hurt.

Perhaps Mr. Kelly’s accident caused the Everton board to act, or perhaps it was the heavy defeat in their next game at Chelsea (6-0), described by various pundits as one of the worst displays by a First Division side for many a year, but whatever the reason Everton decided to join the majority of leading clubs by appointing a full-time manager, after a brief interlude Cliff Britton became that appointee.

Everton put a mini home run together in the next few games, including a spirited display in front of over 78,000 fans at Goodison against Liverpool in a one-all draw, but their away form, continued to disappoint as they failed to score in eight consecutive league matches, Cliff Briton was in charge when Everton recorded their first goal away from Goodison Park which resulted in Everton winning their first away points as they beat Aston Villa at Villa Park thanks to a goal from Harry Catterick. Everton managed to survive for another season in the First Division, but that first win over Stoke City should not be underestimated.

Everton lost by three goals without reply in their relegation season of 1950-51 and Stoke were relegated from the First Division in 1952–53; during the season Bob McGrory resigned as the club's manager after 17 years in the role. Former Wolverhampton Wanderers defender Frank Taylor took over at the club looking to gain promotion back to the First Division. However after seven seasons in the Second Division without promotion, Taylor was sacked. In 1960 Tony Waddington was appointed Stoke City boss and he led them to promotion in 1963 and in 1964 the League Cup final but they lost to Leicester City in a two-legged final.

Everton’s next First Division encounter with Stoke City at Goodison Park took place on 23 November 1963. A minute's silence was held before the game in memory of United States of America President John F. Kennedy who had been assassinated the previous day. Andy Rankin made his home debut for Everton and Stanley Mathews returned to the Stoke City team after a ten week absence through injury.

This was Stoke City's first visit to Goodison Park in ten years - and they were soon in familiar territory A goal by Tony Kay ten minutes before the interval put Everton on the victory trail, and the home team's advantage was emphasised by Derek Temple just under ten minutes from time when he put Everton two goals in front.

Everton: Rankin; Brown, Meagan; Harris, Heslop, Kay; Scott, Stevens, Young, Vernon, Temple
Stoke City: Leslie; Skeels, Allen; Kinnell, Stuart, Palmer; Mathews, Bridgwood, Ritchie, Viollet, Bebbington

The following season Stoke City took a point from Goodison as during the match, Andy Rankin suffered an injury and had to take up a place on the left wing as Sandy Brown took over his goalkeeping duties. Palmer scored for the visitors whilst Fred Pickering scored for Everton. Harry Catterick’s Everton only lost once at Goodison Park to Stoke City and that came in 1966 when Peter Dobing scored two minutes from time to defeat the Toffees.

Arguably Everton’s best win over Stoke City during Catterick’s tenure arrived in October 1969 when Johnny Morrissey gave Everton the lead after just eleven minutes of the game, six minutes later Joe Royle converted a penalty to double Everton’s lead. Stoke suffered a further blow two minutes later when their goalkeeper John Farmer was injured and Dennis Smith had to take over in goal, whilst Willie Stevenson came on as substitute. Harry Burrows pulled a goal back for Stoke City just after the half-hour to give the visitors hope. Johnny Morrissey scored his second goal of the game and Everton’s third but four minutes later Peter Dobing reduced the deficit to a single goal, however, it was in vain as Jimmy Husband, Joe Royle and Alan Ball all got on the scoresheet to give Everton a valuable two points in their quest to become Champions, much to the delight of the Evertonians among the 48,663 in attendance.

Everton: West; Wright, Brown; Kendall, Labone, Harvey; Husband, Ball, Royle, Hurst, Morrissey
Stoke: Farmer (Stevenson); Marsh, Pejic; Greenhoff J, Smith, Bloor; Conroy, Dobing, Ritchie; Eastham, Burrows
Everton and Stoke reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup in 1971, but both lost out to Liverpool and Arsenal respectively as a result, the two sides were forced to play a meaningless third/fourth play-off match which was staged at Selhurst Park. Stoke City won the match in front of only 5000 supporters. The following season Stoke City won their first major trophy as they lifted the League cup at Wembley where they defeated Chelsea (2-1), but their dreams of playing in the FA Cup final were once again dashed by Arsenal.

In August 1974, Stoke travelled to Goodison for an early season midweek encounter with Everton and Joe Royle was hoping to score his one hundredth League goal for the Toffees. Geoff Salmon gave the visitors the lead after eighteen minutes, however, Joe Royle fittingly marked the occasion by scoring twice, once from the penalty-spot just after the half-hour mark to set his personal landmark and he passed a century of League goals for Everton when he scored the winning goal seventeen minutes from time, as most of the crowd of circa 35,000 saluted their goal-scoring hero.

Everton: Lawson; Darracott, Seargent; Clements, Kenyon, Hurst; Buckley, Harvey (Lyons), Royle, Latchford, Connolly
Stoke: Farmer; Marsh, Pejic; Maloney, Smith, Dodd, Haslegrave; Greenhoff (Conroy), Hurst, Hudson, Salmons

Everton’s dominance over Stoke City at Goodison continued throughout the seventies and it wasn’t until Adrian Heath scored the winner in April 1981 that Stoke left Goodison with maximum points. Stoke City’s fortunes declined rapidly and when they took on Everton at Goodison in November 1984 they faced an Everton side in full-cry. Adrian Heath struck twice whilst Trevor Steven and Peter Reid added to the tally to earn the Toffees another three points in their ultimately successful quest to become champions, whilst Stoke were left to lick their wounds and the club only won three First Division matches during that season and they were relegated at the end of that unhappy campaign.

Everton: Southall; Stevens, Van Den Hauwe; Ratcliffe, Mountfield, Reid; Steven, Heath, Sharp, Bracewell, Sheedy
Stoke: Corrigan; Maskery, Spearing; McIlroy, Dyson, Bould, Painter, Bertshin, Heath, Hudson (Parkin), Chamberlain

After an absence of some fifteen years Stoke City returned to the top-flight in 2008 and they travelled to Goodison Park in March 2009 to face Everton Sam Lyon reported the game for the BBC:

Everton survived a brave fightback from Stoke to record a hard-fought win on the eve of David Moyes's seventh anniversary as boss at Goodison Park. With the hosts utterly dominant early on, Jo's turn-and-finish was followed by a tap-in from Joleon Lescott to give them a comfortable lead at the break. Ryan Shawcross headed in from a corner for Stoke and Glenn Whelan was inches from levelling for the visitors. however, Marouane Fellaini's deflected injury-time goal sealed Everton's win.

It was a deserved victory in the end for the Toffees, but Stoke boss Tony Pulis will at least take comfort from a second-half performance that almost earned his side what would have been an important point in their battle against relegation. As it was Everton were forced to rely on a measure of good fortune in repelling the visitors' fightback before Fellaini's last-gasp strike put a seal on their sixth win in seven games and ensured Stoke drop back down into the bottom three.

It was almost the archetypal game of two halves at Goodison Park, kicked off in impressive fashion by an Everton side clearly buoyed by their recent run of six matches without a defeat. Steven Pienaar and Leighton Baines were at the heart of most of their good early play, terrorising Stoke down their right-hand side.

And it was that combination that created the first real chance of note, only for Leon Osman to blaze wide from 12 yards. With Stoke happy to sit off the hosts in an attempt to keep things tight in and around their own box, Everton were able to play with plenty of verve.

And the opening goal was a fine example, the impressive Jo exchanging passes with Fellaini, turning past Shawcross into the box and firing under Thomas Sorensen and into the corner. Six minutes later and it was 2-0 as Sorensen could only palm Tim Cahill's header tamely into the path of Lescott, who tapped in.

It might have been even more before half time had Osman kept his shot on target when he was 12 yards out, but the Toffees could hardly have been more comfortable as the half time whistle blew. Stoke, though, have proved tough opposition in recent weeks and they upped their game after the break.

Everton did not help themselves by conceding a simple goal from a set-piece on 52 minutes, Shawcross heading home unmarked from Liam Lawrence's corner, but thereafter the hosts were forced totally onto the back foot by a resurgent Potters.

First Ricardo Fuller got behind the defence only to be denied by Lescott's saving tackle, and then Shawcross was inches away from turning Danny Higginbotham's header into an empty net. Salif Diao and Whelan came even closer to equalisers with long-range efforts and Everton were hanging on grimly with 20 minutes to go.

But Everton rode the storm and finally began to reassert themselves in the closing stages, Jo almost putting the game beyond Stoke when only a smart, brave save at his feet from Sorensen denied him his second of the game.

With Stoke piling numbers forward in an attempt to repeat their feat of a fortnight ago when they came from 2-0 down to draw at Aston Villa, Everton always looked a danger on the break. And so it proved two minutes into stoppage time when Fellaini pulled a long ball down in the box and his shot took a wicked deflection off Shawcross and into the net.

Everton manager David Moyes: "It was a hard fought game, but we got the points just like we did in my first match here seven years ago against Fulham - that was a big day for me and I'm immensely proud to still be here seven years later."Steven Pienaar and Jo, in particular, were impressive and other parts of our game were very good too, so there were things to be pleased about other than the victory. "We expected Stoke to come at us and after their goal they got some momentum, but we hung in, stuck at it and got the third late on to seal it."This is certainly the best squad of players I've had here in terms of attitude and application and I'll enjoy a celebratory drink this evening for sure."

Stoke boss Tony Pulis: "We were very poor in the first half and it's happened too many times away from home this season that we've been slow out of the blocks and given ourselves a mountain to climb."But we were the better side in the second half and caused them all sorts of problems, which was encouraging.

"This league will ebb and flow as we go along but the important thing is we keep believing. We knew it'd be difficult today, Everton are a real forceful team, but we have to keep going and next week against Boro is now massive."

Everton: Howard, Jagielka, Yobo, Lescott, Baines, Osman, Neville, Cahill (Saha 46), Pienaar, Fellaini, Jo (Rodwell 85).
Subs Not Used: Nash, Castillo, Jacobsen, Gosling, Wallace.

Stoke: Sorensen, Wilkinson, Abdoulaye Faye, Shawcross, Higginbotham, Lawrence (Camara 80), Whelan, Diao, Delap (Etherington 68), Beattie, Sidibe (Fuller 53).
Subs Not Used: Simonsen, Pugh, Amdy Faye, Sonko.

Att: 36,396 Ref: Andre Marriner (W Midlands).

Robert Huth gave Stoke City the lead at Goodison Park in October 2009, but Leon Osman struck a stunning equaliser to rescue a point for the Blues. A year later Yakubu scored the only goal of the game to earn Everton all three points but Stoke City went on to reach the FA Cup final for the first time in their history, but were beaten by a strong Manchester City side at Wembley. In December 2011 Robert Huth scored the only goal to give Stoke their first win at Goodison Park in the Premier League era. Another single goal win occurred the following season, however, it was Everton who triumphed thanks to Kevin Mirallas’s strike midway through the first-half of the game.

Last Time: as reported on the BBC website:

Everton moved into the Premier League top four after Gerard Deulofeu masterminded a thumping victory over Stoke on his first league start. The Spanish teenager had already threatened before firing in at the near post following a neat interchange. Deulofeu then crossed for Seamus Coleman to make it 2-0 after the break. Bryan Oviedo added a third from 20 yards after a corner, and Stoke's Peter Crouch drew a save from Tim Howard, before Romelu Lukaku made it four.

It was the Belgian striker's eighth Premier League goal in nine games but Deulofeu was the game's driving force. The 19-year-old, on loan from Barcelona, earned his chance ahead of Kevin Mirallas on the right side of Everton's midfield and Stoke - who were without the injured defender Robert Huth - could not cope with his strong dribbling and accomplished passing.

The result maintained Everton's unbeaten home record in 2013 and sets them up perfectly for a week including trips to Manchester United and Arsenal. With the injured Leighton Baines replaced by Oviedo at left-back and Everton boss Roberto Martinez selecting Leon Osman and Deulofeu instead of Ross Barkley and Mirallas, the performance also underlined the growing depth to the Spaniard's squad.
Martinez's liberating effect?

The hosts were a threat from the start, especially Deulofeu, who showed himself worthy of his first Premier League start after a number of strong showings from the bench. He tested Asmir Begovic with an early free-kick and twice went close before his goal on the stroke of half-time.

Osman, who worked behind lone striker Lukaku, had a busy first half too, drawing a decent stop from the Stoke goalkeeper with Jonathan Walters's shot the visitors' only reply of note. Deulofeu's well-taken first goal saw him collect the ball on the left, play a neat one-two with Steven Pienaar, and fire into the top corner at the near post after the ball had bounced off Gareth Barry.

After the break, the hosts broke down the left and Deulofeu checked back, crossing with his right foot. Barry, who was quietly influential for the Toffees in midfield, mis-controlled but the ball fell to Coleman, who swept in. Deulofeu could have added another before Oviedo's first goal for Everton extended the hosts' lead.

It was a strike worth waiting for, as Deulofeu took a short corner to the Costa Rican full-back on the edge of the area. He took one touch before slamming in right-footed from 20 yards. Oviedo then supplied the centre for Lukaku's close-range finish, to send the Everton fans home in confident mood for the challenges of the week ahead.

For the Potters, defeat sees them slip to 16th and boss Mark Hughes may have to reconsider his attacking options after a performance in which his team offered barely any threat until they went two goals behind.

Stoke boss Mark Hughes: "If we are honest with ourselves Everton were better, they had more options, were more dynamic and had more pace but we have to pick ourselves up for Wednesday [against Cardiff]. We have to do better then. "We were disappointed with what we produced. With a minute to go to half-time we should see the half out and to concede either side of half-time knocked the stuffing out of us. The last two Everton goals were a case of us chasing the game."

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (5)

Everton 24 Howard 23 Coleman 08 Oviedo 18 Barry 06 Jagielka 15 Distin
10 Deulofeu 16 McCarthy (Stones - 74’) 17 Lukaku (Jelavic - 80’)
21 Osman 22 Pienaar (Mirallas - 83’)
Subs: 01 Robles 02 Hibbert 05 Heitinga 07 Jelavic 11 Mirallas 20 Barkley 26 Stones

Stoke City 01 Begovic 20 Cameron Booked 03 Pieters Booked 06 Whelan Booked
17 Shawcross 05 Muniesa 19 Walters (Shea - 59’) 15 N'Zonzi 25 Crouch 16 Adam (Jones - 59’) 24 Assaidi
Subs: 08 Palacios 09 Jones 11 Shea 12 Wilson 28 Wilkinson 29 Sørensen 32 Ireland
Ref: Michael Jones Att: 35,513

Everton versus Stoke Top Flight games only

PL	W	D	L	GF	GA
60 40 12 8 137 45

Well folks, due to a change of circumstance this will be the last of my Memory Lane features and I thank everyone who has taken time out to read them and to pass comment on them. I wish all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year – let’s hope that Everton can turn this season around and put some silverware in the cabinet this coming May. COYB

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Dave Abrahams
1 Posted 26/12/2014 at 09:37:44
Sorry to see you finish these articles, maybe you can return with a shorter version from just the premiership era, if not I hope you will still contribute to these threads.

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