CONTACT
SITEMAP

Return to Greatest Games

TRANMERE ROVERS 6 V NEWCASTLE UNITED 6
(TRANMERE WON 3-2 ON PENELTIES)
ZENITH DATA SYSTEMS CUP 1ST ROUND
1ST OCTOBER 1991

The phrase ‘a classic’ is often misused to describe a match that rises above the ordinary and provides spectators with the above average quota of trill. But when a game produces 12 goals, equally shared including 2 hat-tricks and a dramatic penalty shoot-out, is it any wonder sky tv regard it as 1 of the most exciting matches they have ever televised and still show it 3 decades on in their classic sporting moments series? Perhaps the great shame was that only around 4,000 fans actually witnessed the match on the night. True, the Zeneth Data Cup – a sponsor’s name for the full member’s cup (or few members as the press dubbed it) – was not top of most fans agendas with many clearly deciding to avoid the gale force winds that night and turn into Sky at home or in the pub. What they witnessed left most speechless as Newcastle and Rovers traded goals as boxers would punches. Scouser Micky Quinn landed the 1st punch after just 3 minutes cleverly deflecting a Lee Clark drive past Nixon but just 4 minutes later Rovers were back on level terms after Malkin and Aldridge had combined to set up and easy chance foe Neil McNab. John Aldridge then pounced upon Elliotts poor back pass to make it 2:1 on 18 minutes only for Quinn to grab his 2nd of the night on 24 minutes after Nixon had made a brilliant save to deny Andy Hunt. Right from the restart Newcastle took control and when Liam O’Brien – later signed for Rovers – burst forward 60 yards his pass found Gavin Peacock who deservedly made it 2:3 to the visitors. Rovers were not dead and buried just yet, though, and on 75 minutes Jim Steel levelled the contest following great work down the right by Dave Martindale. With Steve Mungall joining the action for his 500th Rovers appearance along with Graham Branch, Rovers held out to force a further 30 minutes action. When Aldridge, who latched on to another poor back pass, and a rare goal from Dave Martindale gave Rovers a 5:3 advantage in the 94th and 95th minutes, most fans assumed Newcastle had capitulated. Nothing could have been further form the truth. O’Brien robbed Kenny Irons and set up Clark and he reduced the arrears on 108 minutes before Newcastle’s best player on the night Gavin Peacock grabbed the equaliser 60 seconds later. While fans and television people found this rollercoaster of a game hugely entertaining John king was hating every minute of it and at a loss to explain how a team who had conceded just 1 goal in the previous 2 matches should ship 5 in 1. The referee John Kay intervened to award both sides controversial penalties. First the official deemed mark Hughes had clattered into Alan Neilson allowing Quinn to complete his hat-trick from the spot and then in injury time gifted Rovers a soft equaliser converted by Aldridge who has made the most a push inside box to complete his hat-trick. Unbelievably, the tie was locked at 6:6 forcing drama in the shape of a penalty shoot-out. Eric Nixon proved the hero, saving spot-kicks from Clark and O’Brien, while Quin missed. For Rovers, Irons, Mungall and Hughes scored to give Tranmere a 3:2 victory.

Tranmere Rovers: Nixon, Higgins, Brannan (Mungall) ,Irons, Hughes, Vickers (Branch), Malkin, Aldridge, Steel, Martindale, McNab.

.Newcastle United: Smicek, Neilson, Elliott, O'Brien, Scott, Bradshaw, Clark, Peacock, Quinn, Hunt.

Referee: John Key (Sheffield)

Attendance: 4,056

v Newcastle

BOOKMARK AND BACKGROUND

CLICK THE BOOKMARK IMAGEOR THE BACKGROUND SIZE TO OPEN.


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.
Also to Keith Taberer, Des Ferguson, Joanne Duggan for supplying some of the photos.