Claridge – Leicester vs Crystal Palace – 1996

16 01 2011

In Bed With Maradona favourite, Ryan Hubbard, recalls a Play-Off Final classic from the 90s. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @Ryan_Hubbard

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120 minutes have been played in front of the Twin Towers, and the referee is waiting for the first opportunity to bring the game to an end.

Leicester are about to take a free-kick on the halfway line. Surely as soon as it’s taken, the whistle will be blown. Penalties. Five kicks each to decide who goes to the Premier League. Kevin Poole is a good keeper. But can he save penalties? Garry Parker can take them, but what about the rest of the side?

Something is going on over at the Foxes’ bench. Martin O’Neill must have a good penalty taker on the bench.

Wait a minute. Is that…?!?

Zejlko Kalac?!?

7 seconds of the game left and we are changing our goalkeeper? What on earth is Martin O’ Neill doing? The most important moment of the season and we have just put on the worst keeper I have ever seen in a City shirt. We’ve no chance.

The free kick is punted upfield.

5 seconds left…

The Crystal Palace defender gets a head to it.

4 seconds left…

The ball bounces around the edge of the area.

3 seconds left…

Stevie Claridge is running in.

2 seconds left…

He’s hit it off his shin!

1 second left…

Nigel Martyn hasn’t moved.

It’s in!

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3 responses

17 01 2011
Rob

The best moment of my life, with absolutely no exceptions

17 01 2011
Josh

Steve Claridge has the same birthday as me! (day, not year)

17 01 2011
Ryan

For me it was going from despair to ecstasy in te space of ten seconds. It wasn’t the most technically gifted goal – off his shin it could have gone ten yards wide – but it was special. Steve Howard’s 90th minute winner against Leeds was a close second.

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