To Everton fans of a certain age, tomorrows FA Cup opponents Carlisle Utd. conjure up memories from the distant past when winning a football match meant two points for the victory, the sliding tackle was a skill and the FA Cup was a hugely prestigious competition. More than three clubs had a chance of being champions and it wasn’t unthinkable to see Chelsea and Man. Utd. relegated. (Not unthinkable and very satisfying.)
To Everton fans of a certain age, season 1974-75 in the old First Division was the year Everton finished fourth, three points behind champions Derby- or two more wins and we would have been champions. That is two more wins against say, relegation fodder Carlisle Utd., playing their one and only season in the top flight and destined for the drop (along with Chelsea- back then a yo-yo side, up and down like a whore’s knickers).
To Everton fans of a certain age it’s something of an article of faith that defeat at Goodison at Christmas ’74 and a 3-0 defeat on the Scottish border in March sunk Everton’s hopes of a Championship. It’s a neat theory- in reality Everton’s inordinate amount of drawn games (18 is that a record?) probably did for us- but it remains etched in the memory that a club in it’s only season in the top flight beat the club that has occupied that division for more seasons than any other, not once but twice.
Everton have only played Carlisle once since, a routine League Cup victory the very next year. So while I wouldn’t want to “big up” an already important FA Cup tie, for Everton fan’s of a certain age it really would be nice to see the present Everton team take this lot out to the woodshed, bend them over the woodpile and administer a good old fashioned arse-whippin’. I’m sure the current crop of Everton players have no idea about any of this, but then it’s Everton fans that are the keepers of the club history.
So for Everton fans of a certain age, here’s the Blues from that season, beating eventual champs Derby County at the ploughed field known as the Baseball Ground, a scant week before the first loss to Carlisle. Almost inevitably the goal is scored by the great Bob Latchford. (Is that George Telfer with the final cross?) Maybe Everton thought they had done the hard part and took Utd. lightly. Let’s not make the same mistake tomorrow. Seasons can spiral away.