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Home   /   Liverpool vs Wimbledon – 1987/88 FA Cup final – as it happened.

Hello I am Scott Kelly and I will be taking you through action from the 1987/88 season showpiece and the season concluding FA Cup final with champions Liverpool taking on Wimbledon, who finished the season in 7th.

Gary Gillespie returns at central defence alongside Alan Hansen. John Aldridge and Peter Beardsley lead the line for the Reds, both of which are playing in their first FA Cup final.

For Wimbledon, Clive Goodyear is back in the starting eleven at right back, having recovered quicker than expected from a broken leg. John Fashanu and Terry Gibson will lead the line for them.

Here are the full line ups for both teams:


Bruce Grobbelaar, Steve Nicol, Gary Gillespie, Alan Hansen (C), Gary Ablett, Ray Houghton, Nigel Spackman, Steve McMahon, John Barnes, John Aldridge, Peter Beardsley.

Subs: Jan Mølby, Craig Johnston.


Dave Beasant (C), Clive Goodyear, Eric Young, Andy Thorn, Terry Phelan, Lawrie Sanchez, Vinnie Jones, Alan Cork, Dennis Wise, Terry Gibson, John Fashanu.

Subs: John Scales, Laurie Cunningham.

Referee: Brian Hill (Kettering)

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1′ – Liverpool with the kick off and the game is underway.

3′ – The first opportunity of the game falls to Wimbledon as Ablett gives the ball away at left back and Fashanu hits a tame shot which is routine for Grobbelaar.

6′ – Liverpool with their first opportunity as hard work from Barnes on the left is rewarded with a cross for Aldridge, who is under extreme pressure and heads over.

7′ – The underdogs seemed to have settled into the game very well as they win a set piece around 30 yards out, taken on by Wise who fires just over.

11′– Wimbledon win two corners in succession. Wise puts the ball in and Liverpool frantically clear and it falls to Vinnie Jones just outside the box and he fires over.

18′– Liverpool are struggling to break down Wimbledon here without a real effort on goal just as Beardsley fires over from 25-30 yards out. They win their first corner though shortly after which is well claimed by Beasant.

23′– We are midway through the first half with both sides not having a real meaningful attempt at goal.

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26′– A huge opportunity falls to Liverpool as Beardsley does fantastic on the right, getting past Thorn and Phelan. He then feeds Houghton who puts a low ball into the area and Aldridge is there but his close range effort is denied brilliantly by Beasant, Barnes tries to pounce but Vinnie Jones then comes to the rescue to clear for a corner.

34′– Fashanu with a chance for Wimbledon as Wise feeds the ball to him from the right and his right footed effort goes about a yard wide.

35′GOAL DISALLOWED – Peter Beardsley puts the ball in the net for Liverpool with a cute dink over Beasant, but the play is pulled back for an earlier from Andy Thorn on the Liverpool man and the favourites have a dangerous free kick around 25 yards from goal. The free kick from John Barnes goes well wide of goal.

37′ – GOAL – LIVERPOOL 0-1 WIMBLEDON – Phelan wins a free kick after good work down the left. The free kick is taken by Wise and his cross meets the head of Lawrie Sanchez who nods past Grobbelaar to put the Dons in front.

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41′ – Liverpool seem to be getting continually frustrated. Shortly after McMahon concedes a silly foul, Grobbelaar lumps the ball up field and Nicol puts the ball into the area and Aldridge brings the ball down and appears to be impeded by Young but referee Brian Hill waves play on.

43′– End to end stuff at the moment. Gibson has a great opportunity for Wimbledon after Grobbelaar drops the ball. Shortly after Gillespie plays a neat through ball to Houghton who plays a wicked ball across the Dons penalty area only for Young to get an important interception on it and deflect it into the path of Beasant who claims it.

45′– Hansen plays a great one two with Nicol, he fires towards goal but is denied brilliantly by the legs of Beasant.


46′– Wimbledon kick off the second half.

52′– Wimbledon defending brilliantly as Aldridge’s run into the box is stopped by Young. A resulting throw in is launched into the box but it is again easily cleared.

56‘- Liverpool are really struggling to break down Wimbledon. You could say Andy Thorn really has been a thorn in Liverpool’s side as he again intercepts a Liverpool passage of play. Aldridge picks up the ball on the right and puts in a low cross but again, it is easily claimed by Beasant.

57′– SUBSTITUTION – Wimbledon make a change, with Laurie Cunningham coming on to replace Alan Cork.

61′– PENALTY FOR LIVERPOOL – Aldridge is felled in the box by Goodyear, despite it looking like he won the ball and Liverpool have a great opportunity to get themselves back onto level terms.

PENALTY SAVED – Quite astonishing as Beasant denies Aldridge brilliantly as he dives to his left to keep the ball out. This is the first time since the 1912/13 FA Cup Final between Aston Villa and Sunderland that a penalty has been saved in an FA Cup final. Charlie Wallace the unlucky man for Aston Villa on that day.

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64‘- SUBSTITUTION – John Aldridge is replaced by Craig Johnston for Liverpool. A change for Wimbledon too and its a defensive one as John Scales replaces Terry Gibson.

72′– A half shot for Liverpool as John Barnes fires a shot wide but he inadvertently nearly sets up Johnston who cant quite get there and the ball goes for a goal kick.

74′– SUBSTITUTION – Jan Mølby is on for Liverpool to replace Nigel Spackman.

75′– Wimbledon with a great opportunity as a cross from Wise meets the head of Fashanu but he cant direct it on target and it goes over the bar.

80′– An Ablett cross for Liverpool is put on the head of John Barnes but he fires over. Wimbledon have defended magnificently and they are doing brilliantly to frustrate the league champions.

83′ – John Fashanu does well to win the ball from his own half after a Liverpool throw in and an attempted cross into the area comes to nothing. Fashanu wins a Dons throw in which was met with applause from his manager Bobby Gould.

84′ – Sanchez is lucky not to receive a caution after he leaves a mark on Jan Mølby. Liverpool win a free kick and begin to work out from the back.

85′– ‘You’ll never walk alone’ is belted out around Wembley as Liverpool continue to work the ball forward in search of an equaliser. To no avail again though as a tackle from Phelan results in the ball being returned to Beasant.

87‘- A long ball from Mølby sends Johnston clear but Phelan beats him to it with yet another fantastic challenge which goes back to Beasant. Liverpool were huge favourites going into this but you cannot fault Wimbledon’s passion to see out this game. They are defending superbly whilst at the same time trying to get the ball up to Fashanu and Scales, who seems to be playing centre-forward for the final few minutes.

89′– Wimbledon almost there as a late challenge from Vinnie Jones on McMahon is met with anger from the Reds midfielder. They take a quick free kick as Houghton plays the ball out left to Barnes who cannot beat the first man as there are huge cheers as Eric Young manages to hoof the ball clear for Wimbledon.

89′- Big chance for Liverpool as the clearance from Young resulted in a Liverpool throw in deep in the Dons half. Its launched in by Mølby as his ball meets the head of Steve Nicol, which Beasant comfortably sees go over his crossbar. Time is now their enemy as we approach stoppage time.


Against all the odds, Wimbledon have won the FA Cup courtesy of a Lawrie Sanchez header in the first half. They deserve every bit of this success as they’ve defended brilliantly to keep the Reds at bay. Red manager Kenny Dalglish looks inconsolable as he himself attempts to pick up his players who are lay down across the turf.

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