Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Sport: Football
Front Page 
UK Politics 
Rugby Union 
Rugby League 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Goal hero Matt Elliot
"Tranmere put us under some pressure"
 real 28k

Tranmere's David Kelly
"They say it's no place for losers - I understand now"
 real 28k

Former Leicester player Frank Worthington
"It was a superb performance from Matt Elliot"
 real 28k

Tim Flowers
"It's been a long time coming"
 real 28k

Sunday, 27 February, 2000, 18:59 GMT
Leicester triumph at Wembley

Leicester, last year's beaten finalists, win a place in Europe
Leicester City 2-1 Tranmere Rovers

Leicester City skipper Matt Elliott earnt his side their second Worthington Cup trophy in four seasons with two goals against a battling Tranmere Rovers.

Match facts
30 mins: Elliott heads the opening goal
63 mins: Clint Hill dismissed for deliberate trip
78 mins: Kelly equalises for ten-man Tranmere
81 mins: Elliott heads the winner
Rovers - reduced to ten-men for the last half an hour - put up a brave fight but victory always looked beyond them.

Elliot headed his side into a first-half lead and though Rovers skipper Dave Kelly pulled one back with twelve minutes to go, the centre-half hit back almost immediately to seal victory.

Rovers' supporters had spent the build up to the match proclaiming there was more to their side than the long throw of specialist Dave Challinor.

Leicester's fans have been to Wembley three times in four years
In fact even that weapon proved less effective than Rovers manager John Aldridge would have hoped.

For while the scoreline showed only a one-goal difference between the two sides, the match was never going to end in anything but defeat for gallant Tranmere.

Rovers were even left to wonder what might have been had defender Clint Hill's dismissal not left them a man short for the last half an hour.

Hill's fourth dismissal of the season sparked Rovers' most determined spell and even produced a goal for 34-year-old skipper Kelly.

But Leicester always had the impression of playing within themselves.

Elliott: Now has eight goals this season
It might have been different had Tranmere been able to make more of the opening 20 minutes when Leicester's back three looked unsettled.

Twice Alan Mahon put striker Scott Taylor through on goal.

Taylor sprung the Leicester offside trap to put himself in the clear on 18 minutes his poorly directed shot was tipped round the post by keeper Tim Flowers.

Aside from scooping up Challinor's looping throw-ins, it was one of the few times Flowers needed to exert himself.

Taylor had put the ball in the net five minutes earlier but the assistant linesperson - Wembley debutante Wendy Toms - correctly ruled he was marginally offside.

Kelly: Took his chance well
Leicester's unease was chiefly caused by the nerves of Frank Sinclair, who conceded several needless throw-ins and corners, but once he was switched to the opposite flank, the Premiership side seemed entirely in command.

In fact they appeared almost too relaxed with their lead and wasted several chances to impose themselves fully which they were almost forced to regret.

Ten minutes into the second half Muzzy Izzet had a chance to wrap them game up when Emile Heskey's slipped pass left him with just keeper Joe Murphy to beat.

But he miscontrolled the ball and Tranmere's beckpedalling defence somehow recovered in time to close the shot down.

Hill's dismissal ten minutes later should have made life even easier for Leicester but instead it provoked a furious Tranmere fightback.

Alan Wilkie is carried off with a calf injury
Fourth official Phil Richards - who replaced the injured referee Alan Wilkie - showed Hill the red card for a deliberate trip on Heskey.

It was a just decision but it proved the spur that the Merseyside underdogs had perhaps been lacking for much of the game.

All of a sudden Leicester went from composed command to shaky panic and when Andy Parkinson headed on a high ball into the box, Kelly was on hand to rifle a left-foot drive past Flowers.

Rovers, appearing in their first major final in 116 years, showed terrific spirit in a rousing finale, winning corner after corner as Leicester retreated in fear.

But when Taylor's last-minute header bounced off the wrong side of the bar, Rovers brave challenge was over.


Leicester: Flowers, Sinclair, Elliott, Taggart, Savage, Guppy, Izzet, Lennon, Oakes, Heskey, Cottee. Subs: Arphexad, Marshall, Zagorakis, Gilchrist, Impey.

Tranmere: Murphy, Hazell, Challinor, Hill, Roberts, Parkinson, G. Jones, Henry, Mahon, Kelly, S. Taylor. Subs: Thompson, Morgan, Black, Yates, Achterberg.
Referee: A Wilkie (Chester Le Street)
Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
Football Contents

See also:

27 Feb 00 |  Football
First Wembley, now for Europe
25 Feb 00 |  Football
League throw out the towel
25 Feb 00 |  Football
Minnows versus Premiership paupers
02 Feb 00 |  Football
Leicester book Wembley date
26 Jan 00 |  Football
Tranmere book Wembley place
22 Mar 99 |  Football
Nielsen nicks it for Spurs