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TRANMERE ROVERS 1 V CREWE ALEXANDRA 1
DIVISION 4, 13TH MAY 1989

There can be a few occaionsin football hitory where both sets of fans in a packed ground were able to celebrate promotation together at the final whistle. yet that was the outcome of Rovers final match of the 1988-89 season as both clubs were promoted from division 4 at the expense of Scunthorpe United. But on the day there was little dought Rovers ownd their promotition as runners-up to three players in particular: golkeeper Eric Nixion, captain Jim Harvey and goal scorer Ian Muir. despite the kick off being delayed 10 minutes because or crowd congestion, which added to the tension and sense of drama, the match was played in a superb spirit, with Rovers grabbing an early initiative. Mark McCrrick, who 5 days earlier scored a late winner against Grimsby Town, tried his luck with another venomous cross-cum-shot in the 27th minute. whether it would have gone in is a matter of conjecture as the ace goal poacher Ian Muir popped up on the penelty spot to get his head to the ball and divert it into the opposite corner for his 29th goalof the season. never one to be shy of the cameras, Ian slid towards the photographers on his knees to express his unbounded joy. Dario Gradi's team though were not about to roll over. they too had been a consistant parity but were denied by the massave and reassuring frame of Nixon, who denied Mark Gardiner a certain goal. Then 11 minutes later, Mark Hughes rashly fowled Gardiner to consede a penelty. But as Paul Fishenden stepped up to take the kick captain Jim Harvey sauntered over and told Nixon to dive to his right. His tip was spot on and Nixon dived full length to his right to push Fisherden's fierce shot around the post. Crewe's pressure though eventually paid off when Paul Clayton equalised in the 74th minute. knowing a draw was enough to take them up. Rovers then shut up shop defensively - withdrawing Martindale from the more combative Eddie Bishop - as Crewe toiled in vain seeking a winner. but the atmosphere changed totally when news filtered through to the Crewe bench thatScunthorpe United, whose game had started on time, had lost 4-1 to Layton Orient. That meant that a point would be sufficient for them to be promoted too. Consequently, the final 10 minutes wereplayed out asif it were an end of season testimonial, both sides doing their level best not to score. As the final whistle approached, eager fans in the 15,286 crowd encroached to the edge of the pitch and when the Referee Phillips blew his whistle the Rovers players were swamped, but there was not the slightest hint of malice, not even when Crewe fans in the enclosure of the open Kop were allowed on the pitch by the police in a sporting gesture to join in the celebrations of the players. Players then appeared in the directors box stripped to the waist, swigging champagne, as the fans danced and sang on the pitch. Truly a match to remember.

Tranmere Rovers: Nixon, Higgins, McCarrik, Martindale (Bishop), Hughes, Vickers, Morrissey, Harvey, Steel, Muir, Mungall.

Crew Alexandra: Graygoose, Swain, Edwards, Billing, Callaghan, Waler (Gage), Jasper, Clayton, Sussex, Gardiner, Fishenden.

Referee: David Phillips (Barnsley)

Attendance: 15,286

BOOKMARK AND BACKGROUND

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MOTTO: UBI FIDES IBI LUX ET ROBUR which means "Where there is faith, there is light and strength."

Designed by Ned O'Toole, Paul Harmon and Oisín Ronan.
Special thanks to Tranmere Rovers Football club for the information.