March 31st, 1906
Villa Park was the venue for the first meeting of Everton and Liverpool in the semi final of the FA Cup. The centre of Birmingham was overtaken by Merseyside and the blue, white and red was everywhere to be seen as thousands of supporters arrived for the biggest game of the year.
The teams themselves had a less stressful start to their day with the Reds staying overnight in Tamworth and the Blues arriving at the Grand Hotel in time for lunch having taken a morning train journey from Lime Street.
50,000 were packed inside Villa Park to witness the game, which everyone wanted to see and the atmosphere was electric. Liverpool kicked off and applied the early pressure to the Everton goal. Scott in the Everton nets had to be on top form to keep them at bay but Everton did have the first good chance through Settle but it came to nothing.
Everton defender, Abbot thwarted an attack by Dunlop and Bradley and then Hewitt rounded Walter Balmer and put in a dangerous cross which the Everton keeper did well to punch away.
Liverpool were well on top now and Parkinson went close for the Anfield men but the Blues defence stood firm to the onslaught. In fact it was Everton who might have taken the lead towards the end of an enthralling first half but Liverpool defender, Parry dug out a last ditch clearance to save their blushes.
As the second half got under way it was Everton who stepped up the pressure on the Merseyside rivals. During a rare Liverpool raid the Everton defender Jack Crelley was momentarily knocked out but he soon recovered and resumed his place in the Everton ranks.
The Reds were coming under increasing pressure and it was only a matter of time before the Blues made their superior ability and composure tell. Abbott was the man who found the back of the net with a rasping drive from just inside the penalty area and Liverpool faced an uphill climb if they were to re-establish themselves in the game.
Forward, Harold Hardman finally killed off any lingering hopes that the inhibitors of the Blues old ground had of coming back as he converted the second goal to send the Reds home empty handed. Te Blues had reached the final and would face the might of Newcastle United.
It was not all bad news for the Reds however as they were crowned League Champions the following month. Everton went to the Crystal Palace for the final and Merseyside was the capital of football once again.