Over the years Everton have enjoyed several dramatic encounters with Sheffield Wednesday, but none can be as extraordinary as one that was endured in November 1904.
Wednesday were the reigning First Division Champions, and had begun the season with seven straight wins, but went into this game having suffered three defeats.
Everton, in the table were directly behind the Owls in fourth position and had just hit five goals past Nottingham Forest (5-1) the previous week.
Adding to the Owls problem was the injury to keeper Jack Lydall (foot) and had to rely on reserve keeper Jarvis who was making only his second outing for the Owlerton club.
With Harry Chapman once again injured, Vivian S. Simpson, the former Sheffield FC amateur came in to deputise upfront.
With only two minutes gone Sandy Young shot Everton ahead, but eight minutes later little Harry Davis equalised for Wednesday; and soon afterwards Vivian Simpson claimed that the ball had spun over the line – with the referee ruling otherwise.
Recovering from the temporary absence of Sam Ashworth, Everton turned up the style that lead them into half time 5-1 up with two goals from Jimmy Settle, Hardman and Abbott.
In the second half the Owls attempted to recover from the four-goal margin, they did so but didn’t start the comeback until the 63rd minute.
Balmer tripped George Simpson in the box who was tearing down on goal. Scott saved Stewart’s penalty but he recovered to slam the rebound into the goal with Scott left stranded.
The turning point in the game came soon after when, Scott, who had taken a heavy knock early on, retired from the game and with no substitutes was forced to play with ten men.
However this wasn’t until, on the 68th minute when George Simpson pulled back another goal for the home side.
Wednesday was now in command of the game; Stewart rattled the post with one shot as the Owls urged for a point. And, as the home team’s pressure soared Vivian S. Simpson pounced in a goalmouth scrabble to make it 4-5 with ten minutes remaining.
As the crowd’s enthusiasm and tension sensed a historic comeback the game turned sour, in a moment of madness, Davis punched Hardman and the referee was given no option but to produce a red card.
With the teams set at ten men each it looked as though the men from Merseyside would hang on, but with barely 30 seconds left Bob Ferrier hammered the ball into the goal following a lofted free kick. What a finish to an exciting game!
Owls: Jarvis. Leyton. Burton. Ferrier (1). Crawshaw. Ruddlesdin. Davis (1). Stewart (1). Wilson. V S Simpson (1). G Simpson (1).
Toffees: Scott. Balmer. Crelley. Ashworth. Taylor. Abbott (1). Sharp. McDermott. Young (1). Settle (2). Hardman (1).
Referee: F. Heath (Birmingham)
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