Sky Sports Vault
This season, we're unlocking the Sky Sports Vault and picking out some classic football moments from yesteryear for you to watch and enjoy once again. This week, we return to May 1995 when Everton and Chelsea played out a 3-3 draw at Goodison Park.
By Jon Holmes - @jonboy79
Last Updated: 14/09/13 12:36pm
Before the international break, the Sky Sports Vault reflected on Liverpool's 3-3 draw with Manchester United in January 1994, as Neil Ruddock's header capped an epic fightback from the Anfield hosts.
This week, the Saturday Night Football clash between Everton and Chelsea is in the spotlight. With that in mind, we've got another 3-3 draw for you to enjoy - this one from Goodison Park in May 1995.
As always, we'd love to hear your suggestions so let us know what you'd like us to search for in the Vault by leaving a comment below, or you can tweet us on @SkyFootball using the hashtag #skysportsvault.
Everton may have been top-eight regulars for the past seven seasons, but they have experienced several close flirtations with Premier League relegation in the past.
Even under David Moyes, the Toffees were usually slow starters - something that new manager Roberto Martinez appears to be experiencing now, with successive draws in his first three games in charge.
However, there were serious jitters around Goodison Park in November 1994, when a measly haul of just eight points from 14 games left the Toffees firmly rooted to the foot of the table.
With the Merseysiders having barely escaped the drop the previous season, it was clear decisive action needed to be taken to ensure survival and a top-flight status stretching back to the mid 50s.
Everton had shelled out substantial compensation to Norwich at the start of the year in order to make Mike Walker the successor to Howard Kendall, but the 'Silver Fox' found himself out of a job 10 months later.
Oldham had been one of the clubs that went down in May 1994, but their manager Joe Royle was still highly regarded at the time and was the logical choice to take the reins back at his hometown club, where he enjoyed a prolific spell as a young striker in the late 60s and early 70s.
"We still had that relegation feeling hanging over us, like we were a team on the slide. We needed to shake that," recalls former Everton star Andy Hinchcliffe, now a Sky Sports co-commentator and pundit.
"When Joe came in, he was fantastic for virtually everyone. He knew what Everton was all about. Willie Donachie, his coach, was way ahead of his time - the best coach I ever worked with.
"Joe and Willie really enjoyed coming to Everton, and the atmosphere changed overnight - you could feel it in the air. Positivity came in, and we turned the corner. It's just incredible what personalities coming in can do."
Royle's appointment had an immediate impact, with Everton winning the Merseyside derby 2-0 against Liverpool, edging out Chelsea 1-0 at Stamford Bridge and then seeing off Leeds United 2-0.
A lack of consistency meant they remained in danger right up until early May, but the sensational FA Cup run under Royle ensured a positive atmosphere around the club.
"It didn't really worry us whether we were playing league or cup games," added Hinchcliffe. "We felt we were on a roll, with the team spirit we had. We started to think a lot more about our own responsibilities, and working as a team."
When the reverse league fixture against Chelsea rolled around on a Wednesday night in early May, Everton were just over two weeks away from their FA Cup final appointment with Manchester United at Wembley - but still not safe in the league.
Defensively, the Toffees had been relatively miserly - they had kept three clean sheets on the bounce coming into this game - but a dodgy offside decision led to Paul Furlong opening the scoring for the visitors just before the half-hour mark, precipitating a rush of goals.
Hinchcliffe's well-executed free-kick brought the teams level soon afterwards (he puts his left-foot accuracy down to the hard work he put in with Donachie on the training ground) and five minutes after the interval, Everton went in front when another Hinchcliffe set-piece was headed back across goal by Paul Rideout to Gary Ablett, who nodded home from close range.
David Hopkin quickly levelled matters but on 70 minutes, Nigeria striker Daniel Amokachi restored the home advantage with a superb solo effort.
Hinchcliffe has fond memories of Amokachi, who was snapped up by Walker for £3million after starring for the Super Eagles at USA '94.
"He had a natural enthusiasm, not just for football but for life. People just liked him," added Hinchcliffe.
"He had a big smile, and everyone wanted him to do well. Coming to England and Everton, he could have gone into his shell, what with the weather. He made me laugh, and I just loved being around him - it was infectious.
"He threw himself into it completely, and very quickly became part of what we were trying to do. He was a bit of a loose cannon at times, but that was part of his charm as well. The goal he scored in that Chelsea game was a beauty. He had the abilty, at the drop of a hat, to just turn things on."
Although Furlong scored again to make the final score 3-3, Everton found themselves three points above the drop zone with three games to go - and sealed survival the following Tuesday night as Paul Rideout scored the only goal of the game at Ipswich. They finished the campaign in 15th position - and then another solitary Rideout strike proved enough to land the FA Cup.
"We trained twice a day, three days a week," recalls Hinchcliffe. "We worked very hard, and became a band of brothers - that's really where the 'dogs of war' tag came from. We were very close. I've never been at a club where everybody pulled together in such a dramatic way.
"For Joe, winning the FA Cup for Everton meant an awful lot, but also for Willie - because of what he did for those players, and me in particular. It was one of those periods that I'll always look back on fondly. It was the most amazing two years of my career. You were basically playing with your mates, and there's nothing better than that."
Watch Everton v Chelsea on Sky Sports 1 HD on Saturday, from 5pm.