1962: Dunfermline 2 Everton 0
Memorable Match #13
Inter Cities Fairs Cup First Round
Wednesday 31st October 1962
In the 1961-62 season the Pars had finished fourth in the First Division, Dundee were champions, Rangers runners up and Celtic third. The following season Dunfermline were delighted to be invited to participate in the Inter Cities Fairs Cup. In the first round they would play an Everton side that sat top of the English First Division and would go on to win the title that season without losing a match at home.
As the costliest side assembled at the time, Everton had been termed the ‘Bank of England’ side. Their team included England internationalists Brian Harris and Brian Labone. Over £250,000 had been spent gathering talent including four Scots - Alex Parker from Falkirk, Jimmy Gabriel ex Dundee, George Thomson and Alex Young who both left Hearts to go to Goodison. Young had been a prolific scorer at Hearts and he had cost the Liverpool club £42,000. Just to add further threat Everton’s outside right Billy Bingham had just won fifty caps for Northern Ireland and keeper Gordon West would go on to win England caps as well.
Everton travelled north with a 1-0 advantage from their home leg - a hotly disputed goal from a Bingham corner that Stevens headed on to the crossbar. The ball had bounced down and out but the Dublin referee awarded the goal with the Dunfermline players strenuously claiming that the ball had not crossed the line. The Scotsman reported that Dunfermline playing as expected to another Stein plan, certainly lowered the value of this ‘Bank of England’ side that through a defensive screen around keeper Jim Herriot.
The second leg in front of 22,713 fans at East End Park turned out to be the biggest-ever football occasion in Fife. Once again Dunfermline tactics were supreme. Everton never played up to their reputation, they just didn’t get the chance.
Skipper Willie Cunningham was the key man on the night in his, by then, familiar role of lying behind all the other defenders. The term sweeper had not be invented by then. He mopped up attack after attack, never putting a foot wrong and laying on the winning goal three minutes from time.
The start was explosive and the Pars were back on level terms within five minutes. Charlie Dickson raced down the right, passed to George Peebles whose lob was taken first time by the onrushing George Miller and his low 20 yarder beat West all the way. What a shock for Everton and what a tonic for the Fifers. 1-0
Cunningham was mopping up everything that the visitors were throwing at them. Miller and Peebles had further efforts at goal and there was no doubt that the first round of the battle had gone to Dunfermline. They were achieving more with four and sometimes three forwards than this star studded Everton frontline.
Half time: Dunfermline 1 Everton 0
Everton’s half time team talk from manager Harry Catterick made a difference after the break. Herriot made several important saves and Willie Callaghan cleared an effort off the line.
With 15 minutes remaining it was anybody’s tie. The pace was as fast as at any time during the game and Dunfermline were giving it their all.
Five minutes from time there was uproar when a Meagan tackle sent Harry Melrose flying on to the track. He recovered and two minutes later he was to win the tie.
Cunningham was the man to assist the goal, he sent a 50 yard defence splitting pass for MELROSE to run on to. The Pars man took it in his stride, ran in on goal and folly placed the ball past West.
Everton persuaded the referee to consult the linesman, claiming offside but they hadn’t a hope! It was a great goal. The Englishmen has one final chance and Young had the ball in the net only to be quickly chalked off for an infringement.
The Pars were safely through to the second round of the Inter Cities Fairs Cup where they would meet the holders, Valencia in yet another famous East End Park night.
DUNFERMLINE: Jim Herriot: Willie Callaghan, Willie Cunningham, Jim Thomson, Jim Maclean, George Miller, Dan McLindon, Alex Smith, Charlie Dickson, Harry Melrose, George Peebles.
SCORERS: Miller (5), Melrose (87)
EVERTON: Gordon West: Alex Parker, Mick Meagan, Jimmy Gabriel, Brian Labone, Brian Harris, Billy Bingham, Dennis Stevens, Alex Young, Roy Vernon, Johnny Morrissey.
REFEREE: Sam Carswell, Belfast.
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