March 24 has yielded some of Everton’s better results in the past, with ten wins from the Blues’ 17 games on this date.
Here, we look back at four of the best of them, all secured by a 2-0 scoreline, and how crucial they may have been to each campaign:
1956 - Everton give Bluebirds the blues
A particularly unremarkable 1955-56 campaign for Everton saw a positive start quickly ebb away, leaving them in desperate need of points to stave off any lingering relegation worries.
By the time fellow strugglers Cardiff visited Goodison Park on March 24, Cliff Britton had resigned as manager more than a month ago, with the team picked by a directors’ sub-committee thereafter. The Blues were also on a four-game losing streak, including being dumped out of the FA Cup by Manchester City.
But they struck back here against the Bluebirds thanks to goals from Tony McNamara and Eddie Wainwright. In truth, it proved a crucial victory; Everton finished 15th, just five points above the drop zone, and won just two of their last six games in a real slog of a season.
1978 - Latchford back on target in Good Friday victory
Few men in royal blue have caused nets to ripple as regularly as Bob Latchford, and 1977-78 marked one of the striker’s best campaigns, with a 32-goal haul from 46 outings.
At St. James’ Park on March 24, 1978, Latchford ended a five-game goal drought to net the opener over eventually-relegated Newcastle United. Duncan McKenzie, who netted 11 himself that year, added a second shortly after the break to seal the points for the Blues.
It maintained second-placed Everton’s title challenge and ensured they kept pace with leaders Nottingham Forest, but there was no time to dwell on this victory.
Back then, Good Friday games were followed by another round of fixtures a day later, on Easter Saturday. For Gordon Lee and his team, there was the visit of Leeds United to prepare for immediately.
2010 - Another of Moyes’ late-season surges continues
Rather typically of Everton under David Moyes, 2009-10 began sluggishly and ended like a train.
Among the Blues’ most impressive victories was a smash-and-grab 2-0 win over Champions League-chasing and newly-rich Manchester City. Their old foe Tim Cahill opened the scoring with his fourth against City for Everton, after a well-worked free-kick resulted in the Aussie planting a diving header past the helpless Shay Given.
And five minutes from time, Cahill turned provider, as a sumptuous lay-off set up Mikel Arteta, who sealed the points in front of thousands of delirious travelling Toffees. It spelt the end of City’s unbeaten home run in all competitions that season.
Both Moyes and City boss Roberto Mancini were sent to the stands as tempers spilled over at the end, but that was the only blot on an otherwise perfect away performance from Everton.
2012 - Jelavić and brilliant Baines see off Swans
True to form, 2011-12 played out in virtually the same vein as many previous years. By mid-January, Everton were 14th. After this victory at Swansea two months later, they were ninth, with an outside chance of European qualification.
Leighton Baines put Moyes’ men ahead in South Wales just before the hour mark, firing a trademark free-kick past Michel Vorm to add to his collection (though in his 13 years at Everton, he has never scored a free-kick at Goodison Park).
New signing Nikica Jelavić later netted his first away goal for the club, in what would prove to be the start of an incredible goal glut for the Croatian forward. It marked Everton’s first away win in six games, and was a particularly impressive result given how well Brendan Rodgers’ newly-promoted Swans had began life in the top-flight.