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 Wales Andy Dibble
RB 2 England Tim Breacker
LB 3 England Rob Johnson
CM 4 England Ricky Hill
CB 5 England Steve Foster
CB 6 Northern Ireland Mal Donaghy
RM 7 Northern Ireland Danny Wilson
CM 8 England Brian Stein
CF 9 England Mick Harford Substituted off
CM 10 England David Preece Substituted off
LM 11 Northern Ireland Kingsley Black
DF Republic of Ireland Ashley Grimes Substituted in
FW England Mark Stein Substituted in
England Ray Harford
GK 1 England John Lukic
RB 2 England Nigel Winterburn
LB 3 England Kenny Sansom
CM 4 England Michael Thomas
CB 5 England Gus Caesar
CB 6 England Tony Adams
RM 7 England David Rocastle
CM 8 England Paul Davis
CF 9 England Alan Smith
CF 10 England Perry Groves Substituted off
LM 11 England Kevin Richardson
MF England Martin Hayes Substituted in
CF Republic of Ireland Niall Quinn
Scotland 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.