Everton Off To The Races At Cheltenham

Image courtesy of skysports.com
Everton has never lost to a fourth tier side in any competition. Image courtesy of skysports.com
In the past 100 years, Everton has lost just once to a team in the fourth tier of English football. That was in January 4, 2003, when Everton legend Kevin Ratcliffe masterminded Shrewbury’s shock 2-1 victory over the Toffees. Almost ten years to the day, David Moyes’s team faces another League Two club in the FA Cup third round, but this time it is tiny Cheltenham Town .

These teams have never met before, and it’s safe to say they won’t be meeting in the Premier League any time soon. Cheltenham sits third in League Two, and if the Robins remain there, they’ll make the jump to League One next season, but they’ve never placed higher than 61st overall in the Football League, which happened back in 2006-07.

You only have to go back to Arsenal’s loss with a near full strength team at Bradford in the League Cup in December to realise major upsets still happen. The Bantams sit three spots behind Cheltenham on the table. In saying that, the Robins struggled to overcome non-league Hereford 2-1 in extra time in an FA Cup second round replay, so hosting a massive Merseyside club will be a huge step up. Their last start finished with a 1-0 loss to Oxford United on New Year’s Day.

Cheltenham has beaten Everton once before, but it was in a friendly in 1990. The Robins won 1-0, but they had the advantage of the Toffees’ goalkeeping great Neville Southall standing between the sticks against his teammates. Australian ‘keeper Jason Kearton was in goal for the visitors that night.

Everton comes in to the match with four wins in its past six matches.

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