There use to be a saying around the City about 50 or so years ago ‘Pompey can’t win much but they can always thrash Everton’.
When I first heard it I thought it because Pompey were a struggling Second Division side and Everton top dogs. It was only when I had a chance to look back through the results I began to understand why it was true.
In League games we have only met in the top flight of English football and as I have written before on this series the rivalry started in 1927/28. In fact the two clubs were in the same division for the next sixteen seasons either side of the war.
Strangely the war plays a part in the story because prior to the 1939 conflict Everton very much had the upper hand winning four times at Fratton Park and being almost invincible at Goodison. However when the competition began again in 1946 Pompey had a home run of wins 1-0; 3-0; 4-0; 7-0; 6-3; 5-0; 1-0; 3-2; 3-2; were the scores. Nine successive wins scoring a massive thirty-three goals.
Yes the saying was right without doubt!!
Some of the great names in Pompey history were among the goals in those games – Duggie Reid with 6, Bert Barlow 5, Peter Harris 4 and Len Phillips and Jack Froggatt with 3 each.
Respite for Everton only arrived in April 1959 with 3-2 win at Fratton, Pompey were relegated ten days later after a dreadful run. They had not won a game since November 22!!
Was it worth the wait?
It was nearly thirty years until Pompey and the Toffees paths crossed again. That was in November 1987 when Everton came to Fratton Park as defending champions and a tempestuous affair it was too. Both Kevin Dillon and Mick Kennedy were sent off by referee David Elleray as the Toffees win 1-0 thanks to a late volley from Graeme Sharp.
A crowd of only 17,700 watches the game and Chairman Deacon orders a reduction in the wage bill of one third because attendances are way below budget. Both Dillon and Kennedy are suggested as possible departures with Dillon attracting interest from Elton John’s Watford.
The next meetings were to be in the Premier League and the first three encounters at the Park were won by Everton but last season partly due to Matty Taylor’s wonder goal Pompey won 2-0.
The overall record, home and away, between the clubs show 23 wins each with nine draws – exactly even but Pompey shade the goal difference due to those big wins in the forties and fifties.
The two clubs have only met one in each Cup competition. Everton putting Pompey out of the FA Cup in 1903 and revenge came 91 years later when Pompey beat the Toffees 3-2 on aggregate thanks to a late Paul Hall goal at the Park. That second leg saw Everton legend Duncan Ferguson make his debut when on loan from Rangers and was Pompey’s first ever victory over a Premier League side.
How will it end up this Saturday? Don’t forget to put your predictions here.
Written by eastneydave.
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