Agony for Aldo as Reds lose final

Agony for Aldo as Reds lose final14 May 1988

Twelve years before this FA Cup final, Wimbledon were not even in the football league – now they were the opponents as King Kenny tried to mastermind a second double in three years.

A combination of hard-work and the so-called 'Crazy Gang' team spirit had earned the Londoners a place a Wembley, though few gave Bobby Gould's men a chance against arguably the greatest Liverpool side of all time.

But, after arriving on a mini-bus, the Dons were damned if they were going to go down without a fight.

Goalkeeper Dave Beasant had to be at his mercurial best to thwart Ray Houghton, John Aldridge and Alan Hansen in the first half, and the favourites even had a goal disallowed when Peter Beardsley chipped the ball into the net – only to then realise the referee had failed to play the advantage.

With Liverpool still smarting, Wimbledon rubbed salt in our wounds by opening the scoring. It was Steve Nicol who fouled Terry Phelan near the byline before Lawrie Sanchez stole in to reach Dennis Wise's free-kick.

A possible lifeline presented itself on the hour mark when the Reds were awarded a penalty. John Aldridge, whose pen helped see off semi-final opponents Nottingham Forest, was the man to step up only to be denied by an outstretched Beasant. It was the first spot kick ever missed in a major Wembley final.

The sight of Steve McMahon and John Barnes strewn on the turf afterwards as Beasant became the first goalkeeper to lift the FA Cup gave some Kopites nightmares for many a year.

Afterwards, player/manager Dalglish reflected on what might have been: "Just before the Beardsley incident the referee had let another one go and he did play advantage. Then Wimbledon break away and score, and the Cup is won and lost within a minute."