Wednesday’s Capital One Cup semi-final second leg evokes fond memories for Ronnie Goodlass.
The former Everton winger was part of the Blues side that reached the League Cup final in 1977, as they defeated Bolton Wanderers to book their place at Wembley.
Unfortunately, following a 0-0 draw at the national stadium, then a replay at Hillsborough ending 1-1, the Toffees would be edged 3-2 by winners Aston Villa at Old Trafford.
Now, with the current Everton squad 90 minutes away from reaching their own final, Goodlass recalls his emotions in the run-up to the second leg against the Trotters.
“We had had a full house at Goodison Park for the first leg,” he remembered. “I got a corner, Duncan McKenzie scored the header and we went 1-0 up. But Bolton scored late on and a 1-1 draw isn’t the best result when you are at home.
“The second leg is always nervy. It was another full house at Bolton – 50,000 people.
“We liked to attack teams and we wanted to try and silence the home crowd because we had enough Evertonians there, we could make it like a home game. It was a case of ‘don’t give an early goal away’. In the back of your mind, you don’t want to make a mistake or give the crowd a lift within the first 15 minutes.
“We knew it was going to be close, and with us winning 1-0 that proves it was. The end of the game was fantastic with the celebrations.”
Even today, Goodlass feels something special in cup games both home and away – and hopes the magic can continue this season.
“There is something different about them,” he admits. “Obviously it’s sudden death, anyone can beat anybody and we like that. On the day, it can be tough to hold your nerve and play with your head and not your heart because you want to do the best you can for yourself, your teammates and the supporters.
“There’s a lot on your shoulders but if you come together collectively on that day, it comes good and you are through. All of it - the adrenaline, the sudden death - it all adds up and I think that’s what supporters like.
“For me, it was a great occasion getting to Wembley and Evertonians seem to like good cup runs. I’ll obviously know what the lads will be going through when we play City.
“You want to get there, that’s the main thing. It’s hard enough to get to any semi-final and you don’t want to be losing a game away from Wembley. Hopefully the lads can do it.”