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"Semi-Final Blues for Everton (1949-50)" by Steve Horton

Liverpool reached their first Wembley cup final with a convincing win over the Blues, but there would later be heartbreak for the hero of Maine Road.  Over 70,000 Merseysiders invaded Manchester for this game and many of the city’s pubs were drunk dry. Reds fans were desperate for success after seeing a league title challenge fizzle out despite going the first 19 games of the season unbeaten.

Liverpool dominated the opening stages, with Jimmy Payne and Billy Liddell tormenting the Everton defence down the wings. We led 1-0 at half time after a speculative lob into the box by Paisley had deceived everyone and dropped into the top corner of the net.  In the second half we continued to take the game to the Blues and deservedly extended the lead when Liddell spotted a gap in the defence to score.
Everton never looked like getting back in and their star man Harry Catterick was superbly marshalled by stand in centre half Bill Jones. However there would be a cup final disappointment for Paisley. With Laurie Hughes returning from injury, the board decided that the versatile Jones should keep his place and Paisley was forced to make way.
We lost the game 2-0, but Paisley’s experience was vital to him later on when he had to make tough decisions in his highly successful management career with the Reds.



Season:  1949-50
Opposition: Everton
Result: 7-4
Scorer(s): Bob Paisley, Billy Liddell
Venue: Maine Road


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