Next up at St. James Park we face Roberto Martinez’ Everton side, potential rivals for a European spot in this topsy-turvy season. We have a fairly good record at home to the Toffees even if they have proved sticky opposition in recent years, in April 1955 we beat them 4-0 at St. James with a double each from Jackie Milburn and Bobby Mitchell; so much for the team slacking off before the upcoming cup final as was believed to be the case at that time!
A few years later in 1959 only three players from those cup final victories had survived in the United line up; Alf McMichael, Jimmy Scoular and the third, Len White scored a hat trick in an 8-2 hammering of the Evertonians, White was a wideman in 1955 but had taken up the mantle of Milburn’s centre forward position when the great man left for Linfield in 1957. Skipping a few years into 1971 when we managed to record a 2-1 success against the Merseysiders with a John Tudor strike supplemented by a rare goal from captain Bobby Moncur; Everton’s goal that day came from future manager Joe Royle in a side that featured World Cup winner Alan Ball and gaffer during their glory days in the 1980’s, Howard Kendall. In 1976 we dished out a real battering in front of 31,000 as Alan Gowling took home the match ball on a day when Supermac played a supporting role in the goalscoring stakes. United gave a debut to Jeff Wrightson in 1986 but it was a day to forget for everybody concerned as an impressive Everton team which included Kevin Sheedy and current United youth team coach Dave Watson turned us over by 4 goals to nil with Trevor Steven scoring twice. In our relegation season of 88/89 we managed a shock victory over the Toffees with goals coming from Liam O’Brien and Mirandinha.
In early 1997, Newcastle put on one of their most emphatic late shows as when trailing to a Gary Speed opener after 3 minutes; they came back to win 4-1 with Les Ferdinand, Rob Lee, Alan Shearer and Robbie Elliott all scoring in the final 15 minutes of the match. We won by the same scoreline two years later this time in an FA Cup quarter final, where the star of the show was undoubtedly Temuri Ketsbaia in his most significant contribution in a black and white shirt alongside that last minute goal in Zagreb and hoofing into the Gallowgate advertising hoardings. The enigmatic Georgian scored twice and also laid one on a plate for Alan Shearer; our other goal incidentally came from a player understandably airbrushed out of United history, George Georgiadis. Finally.
In 2002 United came from behind to score twice in the last 5 minutes after trailing to a Kevin Campbell strike; with the equalising goal a lot more memorable than Craig Bellamys deflected winner; As Laurent Robert hit a hopeful crossfield ball to Shola Ameobi, the Fenham Eusebio nodded it into the path of Alan Shearer, who caught the ball sweeter than any other player to have graced the stadium to send the Geordies into raptures, undoubtedly his finest goal.