1988 Football League Cup Final

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1988 Football League Cup Final
Event 1987–88 Football League Cup
Date 24 April 1988
Venue Wembley Stadium, London
Referee Joe Worrall (Cheshire)
Attendance 95,732

The 1988 Football League Cup Final took place at Wembley Stadium on 24 April 1988, and was contested between Luton Town and Arsenal. Luton won the match, thanks to goals from Danny Wilson and Brian Stein (2). Goals from Alan Smith and Martin Hayes had seen Arsenal lead 2–1 before a late comeback from Luton. This was the first major trophy that Luton Town won in their history.

Match summary[edit]

Andy Dibble, Luton's goalkeeper for the match, seen in 2010

Luton had stunned defending champions and competition favourites Arsenal by taking an early lead thanks to a goal scored by Brian Stein. However, Arsenal overhauled them with goals by Alan Smith and Martin Hayes within three-second half minutes. The turning point of the match came with ten minutes left. After a period of fluent attacking football by the Arsenal forwards which saw Smith hit the woodwork and Hayes, Michael Thomas and David Rocastle all had shots saved by Luton goalkeeper Andy Dibble, Arsenal were awarded a penalty after Rocastle was fouled in the box. Andy Dibble saved Nigel Winterburn's spot-kick by turning the ball round the post. A newly inspired Luton equalised with seven minutes remaining when Arsenal defender Gus Caesar mis-kicked a clearance on the edge of his penalty area, enabling Luton's Danny Wilson to head the ball into the Arsenal goal from a Mark Stein cross. With less than a minute to go, Tony Adams fouled Mark Stein, and from the resulting free kick, Brian Stein scored his second goal of the match to put the game beyond the reach of the defending champions.

Match details[edit]

24 April 1988
Luton Town 3–2 Arsenal
Stein Goal 13'90'
Wilson Goal 82'
Hayes Goal 71'
Smith Goal 74'
Wembley, London
Attendance: 95,732
Referee: Joe Worrall (Cheshire)
Luton Town
GK 1 Andy Dibble
RB 2 Tim Breacker
LB 3 Rob Johnson
CM 4 Ricky Hill
CB 5 Steve Foster
CB 6 Mal Donaghy
RM 7 Danny Wilson
CM 8 Brian Stein
CF 9 Mick Harford Substituted off
CM 10 David Preece Substituted off
LM 11 Kingsley Black
DF Ashley Grimes Substituted in
FW Mark Stein Substituted in
Ray Harford
GK 1 John Lukic
RB 2 Nigel Winterburn
LB 3 Kenny Sansom
CM 4 Michael Thomas
CB 5 Gus Caesar
CB 6 Tony Adams
RM 7 David Rocastle
CM 8 Paul Davis
CF 9 Alan Smith
CF 10 Perry Groves Substituted off
LM 11 Kevin Richardson
MF Martin Hayes Substituted in
George Graham

Road to Wembley[edit]


Wigan 0–1 Luton 2nd Round 1st Leg.

Luton 4–2 Wigan 2nd Round 2nd Leg.

Luton 3–1 Coventry 3rd Round (played at Filbert Street, Leicester, due to ban on away fans).

Ipswich 0–1 Luton 4th Round.

Luton 2–0 Bradford 5th Round.

Oxford 1–1 Luton semi-final 1st Leg.

Luton 2–0 Oxford 2nd Leg.