When Brian Clough came between Bristol City and the League Cup final

When Brian Clough came between Bristol City and the League Cup final

23-Jan-2018 10:26:55 | The Guardian

Bristol City will have to overcome Pep Guardiola to reach the final this season. In 1989 they nearly humbled Brian Clough

By Steven Pye for That 1980s Sports Blog of the Sport Network

After a few years of turmoil in the early 1980s – three relegations, bankruptcy and the Ashton Gate Eight – Bristol City managed to climb back on to their feet. Terry Cooper led the them out of the Fourth Division at the end of the 1983-84 season and his replacement, Joe Jordan, took over as player-manager in March 1988 and almost secured the club another promotion in his first few weeks in charge.

Bristol City finished fifth in the Third Division in the 1987-88 season, earning a place in the play-offs, where they beat Sheffield United in the semi-finals to set up a topsy-turvy final with Walsall. Walsall won 3-1 in Bristol and Bristol City won 2-0 away in Walsall to leave the scores tied on aggregate. With no away-goals rule in place, the teams played a penalty shootout for the right to host the decisive replay. Walsall won the shootout and went on to win the replay 4-0. Jordan was denied and immediate success and City would have to remain in the Third Division for at least one more season.

Related: Bristol City won’t play the brave losers, Lee Johnson warns Pep Guardiola

Related: Nessun Dorma: the podcast that celebrates 1980s and 1990s football

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