April 7 represents a rather mixed bag for Everton; certainly as far as recent history goes, anyway. There’s a cup final defeat, a couple of 2-2 away draws (which should really have been wins), but at least there’s one heart-warming victory to talk about, far more comfortable than the scoreline suggested. Let’s go:
1991 - Blues fall at final hurdle in Zenith Cup heartache
It was 29 years ago today that Everton and Crystal Palace met in the final of the much-derided Zenith Data Systems Cup, essentially a placeholder until the post-Heysel ban on English clubs in European football was lifted.
The sight of a half-full Wembley should tell you everything you need to know about the prestige of this competition, though it was Everton’s only real shot at making a pretty average season more memorable. Sadly, it was not to be.
Palace, who finished third in Division One that year, broke the deadlock just after the hour with captain Geoff Thomas’ header from a corner, but Everton fought back to force extra time when Robert Warzycha fired past future Blues goalkeeper Nigel Martyn three minutes later.
But after the clock struck 100 minutes, Howard Kendall’s side capitulated, Ian Wright netting two goals either side of a John Salako header to seal a dismaying 4-1 defeat for Everton.
2012 - Jelavić at the double as goal glut continues
Proving a bargain buy at £5 million with every game that passed, April 7, 2012 marked the fourth and fifth goals of Nikica Jelavić’s Everton career following his January deadline day move from Rangers.
Typically, they were both trademark first-time finishes, executed perfectly past former Blues goalkeeper John Ruddy in an entertaining 2-2 draw at Norwich City.
Twice Jelavić put Everton ahead, midway through the first half and early in the second half, but twice Norwich fought back through Jonny Howson and the prolific Grant Holt to force a draw.
Though Tony Hibbert - yes, Tony Hibbert - came close to scoring in ways only Tony Hibbert knows how; by seeing his deep cross catch Ruddy out and hit the post.
2013 - Late Sigurðsson strike denies Everton victory at Spurs
#OnThisDay April 7th 2013. Premier League.— HotspurMemories (@HotspurMemories) April 7, 2019
Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 Everton@E_Adebayor (1) Sigurdsson (87). Jagielka (15) Mirallas (53)#COYS #THFC #Spurs #EPL #PremierLeague pic.twitter.com/fpUqKUmISs
A year on from that Norwich stalemate and it was a similar story for Champions League-chasing Everton at top four rivals Spurs - a strong away showing undermined by a late equaliser.
A dreadful start saw Emmanuel Adebayor bundled Tottenham ahead inside the first minute, but Phil Jagielka soon equalised before a stunning Kevin Mirallas solo effort at the start of the second half put the Blues on course for their first win at White Hart Lane in five years.
It was not to be, though, courtesy of an 87th-minute leveller from Gylfi Sigurðsson of all people, who tapped in at the far post to frustrate an Everton side too familiar with drawing games. They’ve yet to win away at Spurs since.
2019 - Jagielka off the bench and onto the score sheet
Jagielka was on target again a year ago today for Everton, and this time it proved enough to win the game, though in truth their home victory over Arsenal should have been far more comprehensive than the 1-0 result.
The centre-back was not even supposed to start the game but deputised for Michael Keane who fell ill during the warm-up. Ten minutes later, he was stabbing home from a Lucas Digne throw to net both the match-winner and his final goal in an Everton shirt.
From then on, Marco Silva's men proceeded to pummel Arsenal, producing the most one-sided 1-0 win you are ever likely to see to make it three straight league wins for just the second time in 2018-19.
Now for the simple task of beating relegated, nine-defeats-in-a-row Fulham to make it four.