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On This Day In Everton History: April 23rd

A triple-date with Manchester United in today’s feature

Everton v Manchester United - The Emirates FA Cup Semi Final
Everton and Man Utd met in an FA Cup semi-final on April 23 in both 1966 and 2016
Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Following on from two memorable victories over Manchester United, April 23 brings about the anniversary of three more significant clashes between Everton and the Red Devils; two of which were FA Cup semi-finals.

Let’s look back at how the Blues got on:

1966 - Harvey sees Everton into final

It was 54 years ago today that Harry Catterick’s Blues reached the FA Cup final thanks to a 1-0 win over Matt Busby’s United.

Colin Harvey netted the only goal with one of his two strikes in the 1965-66 season to secure victory at Burnden Park in Bolton, and set up a date with Sheffield Wednesday at Wembley in the final.

1974 - Lyons slays Red Devils at Goodison

While still a major improvement on the previous campaign, which spelt the end for Catterick after 12 years in charge at Goodison Park, the 1973-74 season didn’t offer Evertonians an awful lot to shout about.

Indeed, there were no lengthy cup runs in either domestic competition, with their seventh-placed finish probably their best achievement in Billy Bingham’s first term at the helm.

But one of the Blues’ better days came on this day in 1974, when Mick Lyons netted the only goal in another 1-0 win over United, this time at Goodison.

Though that perhaps wasn’t such a feat as it would be today; United, under Tommy Docherty, were relegated from the First Division that season.

2016 - Martial winner provides last-gasp Wembley heartbreak for Blues

But the tables were turned in 2016 when, fresh from a 4-0 drubbing at Anfield, Everton were given a taste of their own medicine by United in another FA Cup semi-final meeting.

In one of Roberto Martinez’s final games in charge, the Blues deservedly fell behind on 35 minutes through former Toffee Marouane Fellaini, before David de Gea denied Romelu Lukaku from the spot shortly after the interval.

Everton did equalise, though, thanks to a Chris Smalling own-goal, only for Anthony Martial, who had scored the winner in the league fixture at Old Trafford three weeks earlier, to net a last-minute winner and effectively end Martinez’s third and final season to all intents and purposes. He was sacked 19 days later.