When March 25th pops up on the calendar for Everton, it isn’t exactly a date to remember. On this day in history, the Toffees have won just 4 of their 19 matches.
Included in those nineteen are the following three Cup games, all either semi-finals or Finals, so today let’s take a look at how some of those shaped Everton history as we know it.
1893 - Everton compete in their first ever Cup Final
The Toffees had title contender written all over them in 1892-1893, but before the season started, they faced some tough obstacles. They were forced out of their home at Anfield Road and into their current residence, Goodison Park. Along with that, they lost their first choice left back, Duncan McLean, and had trouble finding a first choice goalkeeper. Fortunately, they would overcome these issues to finish third in the table and find themselves in their first ever FA Cup Final on March 25, 1893.
It was a Saturday at The Athletic Grounds at Fallowfield in Manchester where about 45,000 fans filed in to see the Toffees take part in the Final against Wolverhampton Wanderers, a team the Toffees had beaten in both of their previous meetings that year. Unfortunately, the crowd quickly became a problem as fans filed onto the pitch, crowding the field and taking away any sort of wing-play from both sides. The lone goal in this one came from Wolves’ Harry Allen who punted the ball downfield and into the net as Everton goalie Dick Williams lost the ball in the sun and Wolves took the title, 1-0.
1905 - Toffees eye 3rd Trip to FA Cup Final
Everton were once again a title contender in the 1904-1905 season. After losing 3 of their first 6 matches, they bounced back, going unbeaten in 24 of their next 27. That included a run of 7 straight wins in all competitions leading into the first leg of their two-legged FA Cup semifinal with Aston Villa on March 25, 1905.
With the Toffees looking to reach their third ever FA Cup Final, the teams took the field in Stoke at Victoria Ground. In front of a crowd of about 35,000 fans, Everton and Villa played to a 1-1 draw with the goals coming from John Sharp and Albert Hall, sending this one to the second leg all square. Unfortunately, the Toffees would lose the second leg to Villa, 2-1, which then led to a downfall in the league where they lost two of their final three matches and lost the league to Newcastle by 1 point.
Fortunately for Everton fans, they didn’t have to wait long for another chance at the title as the team won their first ever FA Cup the following year.
1984 - Everton and Liverpool face off in the first-ever all-Merseyside Cup Final
Heading into the 1983-1984 season, Liverpool was searching for their third straight title and 5th in 6 years, while the Toffees were hoping to finish higher than 7th which they had not done since the 1978-1979 campaign. Unfortunately, in League Play, things didn’t change as Liverpool won the title again and Everton finished 7th. But the Toffees would have a chance to get back at their crosstown rivals in the League Cup Final as the two Merseyside Clubs faced off at Wembley on March 25, 1984.
This one wasn’t much to write home about as the match ended in a scoreless draw. Liverpool had more of the chances, but it was Everton who felt victimized in this one as the Toffees were denied what seemed like a clear penalty when Liverpool’s central defender, Alan Hansen, turned away Adrian Heath’s goal-bound shot with his hand, keeping the score level at nil. Liverpool would go on to win the replay 1-0 for their 4th consecutive League Cup Title, but the season wasn’t all lost for Everton as they would win the FA Cup that year, a kick-start for one of their best campaigns in club history the following season.
And THAT is today in Everton history!