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On This Day In Everton History: April 28th

A day of scoring records for Dixie Dean & Nikica Jelavic

Dixie Dean Photo by H. F. Davis/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

April 28th brought us some of the records that still stand at the club today, so let’s take a look at how this date shaped Everton history as we know it!

1928: Dean scores 4 and continues pursuit of goals record

1927-28 is not only one of the most memorable campaigns in Everton’s history, it is also one of the most memorable in the history of football. The Toffees would have a fantastic season as a club, but by the end of the campaign, that would be the last thing everyone was talking about thanks to Dixie Dean. Dean is easily one of the best strikers England has ever seen, but even for him, the 1927-28 campaign was almost unbelievable. With Everton coming off a 20th place finish in the league the year before, just narrowly avoiding relegation, there wasn’t much hope for tremendous success the following season, but Dixie Dean would make sure that changed very quickly.

After scoring 21 goals in 27 games the season prior, Dean broke that just 14 games into the 1927-28 campaign, scoring 25 while helping Everton go unbeaten in 13 of their first 14 matches. Obviously, today, strikers struggle to score 25 goals in a season due to the talent and level of play, but even back then, that was a ton. It wasn’t until February, though, that he set his eyes on the scoring record. After grabbing a hat-trick at Anfield in a 3-3 draw with Liverpool, Dean had reached 43 goals, which set the record for most goals in a first division campaign...in February. But it was a different record he was aiming for. The season prior, George Camsell of Middlesborough scored 59 goals in the second division of English football and with 13 games left, it was certainly possible for Dean to smash that record too. Unfortunately, the goals would stop coming almost immediately for the striker and the club. Everton failed to score in the next four games, meaning Dean needed 16 goals in 9 games to break the record and Everton needed to start winning to secure the league title. Thankfully, Dean and the Toffees did not collapse under the pressure as they went on an unbeaten streak that lasted through the end of the season. As for Dean’s goal record? With 2 games remaining the scoring machine needed 6 goals to break it, which bring us to April 28th, 1928.

Now, 6 goals in 2 games is a lot for anyone, so surely there was a lot of doubt surrounding Dean’s chances, but you don’t score 50+ goals without a little bit of luck. In a match against Burnley that was imperative to Everton’s title chances, the Toffees allowed three goals, but Dixie Dean made up for the defensive lapses in impressive fashion. Dean scored 4 goals that day, leading Everton to a 5-3 victory that helped the Toffees secure their 3rd league title in club history, but the striker limped off with an injury, putting his availability for their final match and his final shot at breaking the record in serious doubt. But, as we all know, Dean played that fateful day in May and he scored a brace, which put him at 60 goals, the most goals scored in an English Football season, a record that still stands today and is one that will, likely, never be broken.

Soccer - FA Cup - Third Round - Everton v Queens Park Rangers - Goodison Park Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images

2012: Nikica Jelavic and Everton continue scoring frenzy

The first half of the 2011-12 campaign wasn’t terribly memorable. The Toffees lost 9 of their first 17 matches and found themselves struggling to score more than a goal a game. So, when January rolled around and the transfer window opened, David Moyes went searching for a striker. Enter Nikica Jelavic. The Croatian striker made his way to Everton from Scottish side Rangers on the final day of the transfer window. Now, this wasn’t an immediate fix as Everton’s scoring struggles continued, but soon that would change. By the end of April, the Toffees had scored 2 or more goals in 6 of their last 7 matches, including 4 in each of their last 2 league matches. That brings us to April 28th, 2012.

That Saturday afternoon, Everton welcomed Fulham to Goodison Park as they hoped to continue their impressive scoring run. Things got off to a great start in this match as the Toffees earned a penalty in the 7th minute, giving them a chance to take the lead. Jelavic stepped up for the spot kick and buried it. 1-0 Everton. It would only get better from there as Maruoane Fellaini netted the second fo the day just 9 minutes later to double the lead followed by another Jelavic goal just before the half. The Toffees led 3-0 at the break, but they weren’t done just yet. Tim Cahill would add the finishing touches on a 4-0 victory in the 60th minute as Everton continued to score at will. In fact, that 4th goal was a pretty important one as Everton became the first team in the history of the Premier League to score 4 goals in three consecutive league games. On top of that, Nikica Jelavic’s two goals increased his total for Everton to 10, a feat he accomplished in just 910 minutes played, making him the fastest to that mark since Tommy Browell did it for the club in 1912.

And THAT is today in Everton History!