The Run In
It didn’t look good then with the final run-in to the end of the season round the corner. Everton had just five fixtures left to save themselves.
With Docoure back and Calvert-Lewin finally fit again, the Blues travelled to Leicester for a cruch clash against another team in serious relegation trouble, the proverbial ‘six-pointer’.
It was a tight, tense game understandably, and despite scoring, the Toffees were behind before Jordan Pickford produced a fine stop from a penalty to prevent Leicester going 3-1 up. Another potentially season-defining moment.
The Blues managed to equalise and had another 2-2 draw. At full-time it felt like a point gained of course, and the home side were deflated by the draw.
Next, Everton were again away from home going all the way down to the South Coast to face a Brighton team enjoying a superb season.
The Seagulls had thumped the Toffees 4-1 earlier in the campaign and nobody expected anything but a comfortable home win.
I thought it was a sort of free hit and that it was just possible we might see another of those occasional and unlikely wins we have from time to time seen from this team.
Remarkably and totally unexpectedly, the Blues produced a barnstorming performance as they turned the tables on their opponents, even going one better with a resounding 5-1 win at the Amex Stadium.
The pace, movement and clinical nature of their attacking play and finishing (with Docucoure adding another goal, a brilliantly taken volley) was a joy to watch and matched almost anything seen in the Premier League all season long.
Afterwards, the question everyone was asking is, where had this team been hiding all these months and years?!
Not only was the three points priceless but Everton improved the goal-difference on their rivals, especially Leeds.
Now, there were three games to go, starting with champions Mancester City.
After the high of the Brighton win, the home team came back to earth with a bump as they were comfortably beaten 3-0.
The next fixture was a trip to Molinuex, which if they won it would virtually guarantee safety.
Wolves though were leading in a poor game and the Blues looked destined for a disasterous defeat when Yerry Mina, who had taken Keane’s place in the side, poked the ball home in the 99th minute. Yet another massive point gained away from home.
So, it would all come down to the final day against Bournemouth. We all know what happened, of course. Somehow, by the skin of their teeth, Everton were safe again.
It has all been said before, but that must be the last time Evertonians have to go through a campaign of such dreadful failure and frustration, which so nearly ended in catastrophy.