A Second Wembley Win


It is more than 16 years since Stoke lifted the Football League Trophy for the second time.

A 2-1 victory over Bristol City gave Gudjon Thordarson silverware in his first season in charge, thanks to goals from Graham Kavanagh and Peter Thorne.

On the day of Stoke’s trip to Morecambe in the revamped Checkatrade Trophy, it seems fitting to take a step back in time to that victorious 1999-2000 campaign.

The first two matches were tight affairs, with Stoke coming out on top thanks to golden goals against Darlington and Oldham- Kyle Lightbourne the man to score Stoke’s first ever golden goal against the now defunct Darlington in front of 3,341 at the Britannia Stadium.

Those results handed Stoke a trip to Blackpool in the quarter-finals. Record signing Brynjar Gunnarsson and Kavanagh scored the goals in a 2-1 victory, and Stoke’s journey to Wembley was really beginning to gather momentum by now.

In all, 21 players were used through the Auto Windscreens Shield campaign, with Gavin Ward the only player to start all seven ties.

His next match was a trip to Saltergate, and Ward’s clean-sheet allowed James O’Connor to score a late winner against Chesterfield, sending Stoke into the Area Final against Rochdale.

A magnificent away performance in the first leg of that Area Final effectively wrapped up the tie. Mikael Hansson and a brace from Thorne put Stoke 3-0 up, before a second half goal gave Rochdale a small glimmer of hope ahead of their trip to Staffordshire.

Stoke’s second biggest attendance of the season- 16,876- turned up for the second leg, but they had to wait until the 86th minute to confirm a trip to Wembley. That man Thorne heading home to give Stoke a 4-1 aggregate victory.

So, that set up a date with Bristol City under the famous twin towers- Stoke’s last trip to the old Wembley.

A huge crowd of 75,057 were there to cheer on their respective teams and it was Stoke who drew first blood- Kavanagh rifling home superbly at the near post.

Paul Holland’s equaliser quarter of an hour from time seemed to have pushed the game to an additional half hour. But Stoke had other ideas.

Kavanagh- who was named man of the match- clipped the ball across the area and Thorne slid in to seal glory for The Potters.

The result meant Stoke had ‘won it two times’ and also secure a 100% record at the old Wembley Stadium.

Stoke’s victorious team on 16 March 2000 was: Ward, Hansson, Mohan, Gunnarsson, Clarke, Gudjonsson, O’Connor, Kavanagh, Gunnlaugsson (Dryden 62), Thorne, Lightbourne (Iwelumo 89). Unused subs: Muggleton, Jacobsen, Melton.

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