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1988 Football League Cup Final
Old Wembley Stadium (external view).jpg
Event1987–88 Football League Cup
Date24 April 1988
VenueWembley Stadium, London
RefereeJoe Worrall (Cheshire)
Attendance95,732
1987
1989

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

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

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

Road to Wembley

Luton

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.

EFL Cup
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Template:1987–88 in English football

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