Benito Carbone, a David Hirst milestone, finals and a mammoth FA Cup clash - Sheffield Wednesday's long history against Everton
It is a fixture that goes back over 128 years, and for many years was played out in the top-flight, but tomorrow Sheffield Wednesday will lock horns with Everton once again.
To find the first meeting of the two old English clubs you have to go all the way back to November 1892 – it was an eight-goal thriller in League Division One and saw The Wednesday come away with a 5-3 victory thanks to goals from Alec Brady (x2), Robert Brown, Harry Davis and Fred Spiksley.
In total they’ve played 151 times including that meeting, and it’s the Toffees who have the advantage in terms of victories - winning 68 to the Owls’ 41.
This time around will be the 20th time that they’ve been pitted against each other in the FA Cup, although it’s worth noting that four of those meetings came in a Goliath four-game cup tie in 1988. Everton won the fourth game 5-0 after the original match and two replays had been 1-1 draws.
History doesn’t bode well for Wednesday with regards to their FA Cup meetings against their next opponents though, with the Owls’ last win over the in the tournament going back to 1954.
Since then there have been a number of defeats for SWFC, probably most notably the 3-2 FA Cup final defeat in 1966 - despite being 2-0 up with 58 minutes gone.
It’s not all doom and gloom though… If you head back to 1907 you’ll find an FA Cup final win for the men in blue and white, a game in which James Stewart and George Simpson got the goals – Simpson’s coming late in the 86th minute.
And there were a couple of years in the Premier League where Wednesday seemed to have Everton’s number, winning four of five games between the start of January 1997 and mid-April 1999.
Fans will remember Paolo Di Canio jinking his way through the Toffees’ backline in a 3-1 victory in 1998, and a Benito Carbone brace the following year after some horror defending from Marco Materazzi a year later. That win, consequently, proved to be Wednesday’s last over Everton to date.
There was also a milestone to remember for David Hirst against Everton, though his 100th Wednesday goal was bittersweet given the fact that it came in a 5-2 defeat at Hillsborough in 1996.
The two most recent encounters – in the League Cup in 2007 and 2019 – ended 3-0 and 2-0 to the hosts, with this month’s Fourth Round tie set to be the Owls’ first trip to Goodison Park since a 1-1 draw in the Premier League back in March 2000. The goalscorer on that day was Alan Quinn.
Wednesday are set to be able to name a much stronger squad this time around than they were able to against Exeter City after returning to the training ground following a COVID-19 outbreak and the club, and they’ll be looking to set up a Fifth Round tie against either Wycombe Wanderers or Tottenham Hotspur if they're able to get the job done.