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Mike Walker's baptism of FA Cup fire
Everton chairman Dr David Marsh unveiled Mike Walker as new Blues boss on a Friday night, January 7 1994.
Barely 18 hours later he stepped out at a bubbling Burnden Park for an FA Cup tie which pitted top flight Everton against second tier Trotters. Not that you’d have guessed an entire division separated the sides. After Barry Horne had been sent off for “raising his arms” to Jason McAteer, the Blues scraped a 1-1 draw. Monday’s Echo reported:
“No-one could have really blamed Mike Walker if he had followed Barry Horne down the players’ tunnel and headed back to Norwich.
“The last time Walker had seen Everton in the flesh was when his Norwich side had thrashed them 5-1 at Goodison.
“If he had hoped for at least a little improvement, he must have been sorely disappointed.”
Paul Rideout’s 44th minute goal was levelled after Paul Holmes slice a shot against his own crossbar and Mark Patterson scored. Four days later Walker told the Echo:
“When we sign someone it will be a quality player. I prefer players who can pass and move.”
Two days later he unveiled Brett Angell. The centre-forward was cup-tied for the replay, but Stuart Barlow responded by scoring twice as the Toffees led 2-0. The fragile make-up of that Blues squad was underlined, however, in a torrid second half. John McGinlay pulled a goal back, then boyhood Blue and future Evertonian Alan Stubbs equalised six minutes from time, before Owen Coyle grabbed an extra-time winner. A Bolt from the Blue indeed.
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