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Cup tickets target for EFC thieves; Bungled burglary as club sold out.

Byline: BEN ROSSINGTON

THIEVES seemingly desperate for a ticket for Everton's FA Cup semi-final tried to break into the Goodison Park ticket office.

Three men, dressed all in black, smashed their way through a door and then a customer service hatch.

But they were left stumped after discovering all the tickets for this weekend's Wembley trip had been sent out.

Everton take on Manchester United in the second FA Cup semi-final, kicking off at 4pm on Sunday.

For Everton's first outing to Wembley in 14 years, their full allocation of around 31,000 tickets has been sold and those left without have been looking to the black market to ensure they don't miss the occasion.

The club sold the allocation on a sliding scale, dependant on the number of matches attended, and then put the last chunk to a ballot, leaving thousands disappointed as they missed out.

Police were called to Goodison Park at around 11.30pm on Wednesday.

The thieves had smashed glass in the ticket office, on Goodison Road, and tried to squeeze their hand through a slot to get at a stack of white envelopes, which they thought contained tickets for the game.

But, with no tickets around, they were forced to flee empty-handed.

Ian Ross, Everton's director of communications, said: "These people must be contenders for Britain's dumbest criminals.

"All the tickets have sold out and have been sent out.

"They are not the brightest when they wait until all the tickets have gone and then try to break in.

We think it is either kids or someone very desperate for a semi-final ticket." A Merseyside police spokesman said CCTV from around the ground was now being looked at and officers were carrying out house-tohouse enquiries in the area.

Hundreds of coaches will leave Liverpool early on Sunday morning carrying those with tickets to London.

Everton will be looking to repeat their last Wembley showdown with the Champions League semifinalists when, in the 1995 cup final, Paul Rideout scored the only goal in a one-nil win.

Victory over United will see them face either Arsenal or Chelsea back in the final in late May.

* ANYONE with information about the break-in should contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

SPORT: PAGES 34-36

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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 17, 2009
Words:377
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