Date: 29th November 2007 at 1:54pm
Written by:

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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17 Replies to “The Old Wives Tale?”

  • I think I remember writing a ‘strongly worded letter’ to the football league about referee Mr Elleray after those 2 sendings off. And getting some kind of fob off back.

  • Great stuff again Dave. I remember watching the League cup tie on telly when I was a student up in Liverpool. We had that Prekki chap playing for us I recall. Can’t remember much else (but can’t remember much about being a student full stop 🙂 The other game was at Fratton when Rooney was already on a yellow and then elbowed Matty Taylor. As soon as the Ref went over Rooney started walking off till the ref called him back and only gave him a talking to. Then Rooney went on to take us apart and score a great goal to get their win.

  • I will never forget Matty’s long range screamer from last sesason for as long as I live. The more I think about, the more of an injustice it is that he didn’t even get a mention for goal of the season.

  • what? matty scored an amazing goal from 40ds out, when the keeper was barely off his line? you know, with the amount of coverage the bbc gave it, i really would not have realisd…

  • precki, thats a blast from the past, i liked the fella too… didnt he go onto to play in the major league in america and then for the us national side? we signed him from everton didnt we – his ‘proper’ surname is probably one of the longest around isnt it, imagine having to pay for that on your shirt… i think i would be waiting for a ‘free shirt printing time’ 🙂

  • ive never seen us play everton before – apart from a 0-0 draw that was on the box a few years ago – so im looking forward to going to this game even more… dave your piece here has just ‘wetted the appetite’ even more!

  • I am glad you all enjoyed it. The idea of this article is to stir memories and try and give a slant to it. I just remember when I was a kid old ladies on the bus saying Pompey can only beat Everton and when records were available checked and they were right!! No-one has picked up on the fact that the heading should be ‘Old wives tale’

  • Preki’s real name was Predrag Radosavljević. Yeh shirts not big enough or what would the cost with all those letters?

  • so it should – you thought i would have picked up on this wouldnt it before i added it? well, ive now changed it… it would depend on how big your shirt was really wouldnt it 😉

  • I’m sitting here flicking between the post three up from this one and the title thinking.. It does say old wives tale.. what is Dave on about.. then I read on and see that Rug has changed it .. I thought I was going nutty . The only problem now is that I don’t know what it actually did say.. oh well !

  • …Back to the point another crackin’ article Dave and stirred some great memories too – I was reading about the 7-0 victoory only the other day. Let’s hope we can inflict a defeat on them tomorrow although 7-0 might be pushing it – I’d settle for 1-0

  • it was my plan to get someone keep flicking between trying to work it out… and it worked 🙂 it just said ‘The Old Wives Tail?’ at first, when it should have read – as it now does – The Old Wives Tale?’

  • wouldnt it be amazing seeing another 7-0 win – not that ive ever seen a 7-0, just your run of the mill 7-4 🙂 recent histroy hasnt been great against the toffees but the years gone by have been very kind to us, lets hope we can do what we used to do then and what we did last season – win!

  • If I recall in 1987 Dillon stayed and Kennedy left for Bradford? I think we played them in the cup not long after and put them out

  • I have only ever watched Pompey Live in a 7-0 game once. Unfortunately it was at Stamford Bridge in 1963 and we were on the receiving end of the scoreline. That game in late May gave Chelsea promotion to Div 1.

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