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On This Day In Everton History: April 14th

Two momentous semifinals

Soccer - FA Cup - Semi Final - Southampton v Everton - Highbury Stadium

April 14th has brought some memorable moments for Evertonians, so let’s take a look at how this date shaped Everton history as we know it!

1984: Everton reach FA Cup Final

Coming into the 1983-84 season, Everton hoped to build on their 7th place finish from the year before. The team was about to dive into one of the most spectacular times in club history and 1983-84 had a chance to be their breakout campaign. Unfortunately, that season, the Toffees were unable to beat their mark from the year before, finishing 7th once again, but at the end of the season, that would matter to no one. It was in the FA Cup that Everton made their noise that year. The Toffees started the competition with a clean sheet victory over Stoke City before taking on Gillingham in the next round. Despite failing to score in the first two matches of the fixture, the Toffees held their opponents scoreless as well and finally broke the ice in the second replay where they defeated Gillingham 3-0 to advance to the quarterfinals. There they would take on Notts County with a trip to the semis on the line. It was a hard fought battle, but goals by Andy Gray and Kevin Richardson would be enough as the Toffees would advance to the FA Cup semifinals, winning 2-1. That brings us to April 14th, 1984.

With four teams remaining, the Toffees would take on Southampton at Highbury. The Toffees had won the first fixture between the two sides just a couple weeks prior and were hoping to make it 2-for-2 and advance to the FA Cup Finals. Like their first meeting, this was a tight match with both sides failing to score in regular time, forcing extra time. The defenses would continue to hold up and things looked like they were headed for a replay until the 117th minute. Off of a Peter Reid free kick, Derek Mountfield flicked the ball goalwards where Adrian Heath was there to head it home, sending the Toffees to the FA Cup Final for the first time in 16 years. Just about a month later, the Toffees would bring home their first trophy in 14 years and their first FA Cup title in 18 years as Everton beat Watford FC 2-0 in the Final.

2012: Everton appear in record-tying 27th FA Cup Semifinal

In 2011-12, Everton were once again hoping to break into the top 6 and, once again, they would finish 7th, but much like 1983-84, there was a deep run in the FA Cup to lift the supporters’ spirits. The Toffees first FA Cup match that year came in early January where they took care of business against Tamworth before squeaking out a close victory over Fulham at home to advance to the next round. After a clean sheet victory over Blackpool, the Toffees were on to the quarterfinals where they would take on Sunderland. With the first match finishing in a 1-1 draw, the fixture would go to a replay at the Stadium of Light. At this time, Everton were in pretty good form losing just 2 of their last 13 matches and they would build on that in this one. A Nikica Jelavic goal in the first half and a Sunderland own goal in the second would be enough as the Toffees won, 2-0, which brings us to April 14th, 2012.

It was on this day that Everton appeared in their 27th FA Cup Semifinal, tying a record set by Manchester United. With a chance to reach their 2nd final in 4 years, the Toffees took on Liverpool at Wembley. Their success in the competition would continue in the first half as Everton took a 1-0 lead into the break, but things changed after that. A goal from Luis Suarez and a late, heartbreaking finish from Andy Carroll in the 87th minute was enough for Liverpool to advance to the final, winning 2-1. It would be another 4 years before the Toffees saw the semifinals of the FA Cup again, losing to Manchester United by the same scoreline.

And THAT is today in Everton history!