E.ON Great Saves No.6: Mark Crossley
FA Cup final, May 18, 1991
Many thought this would be the year that Nottingham Forest boss Brian Clough finally got his hands on the one major trophy that had eluded him so far. As it happened the great man didn't manage to lift the FA Cup - despite the heroics of his goalkeeper Mark Crossley.
Walker (og) (94)
FA Cup final,
May 18, 1991
Wembley, Referee: Roger Milford, Att: 80,000
Stuart Pearce gave Forest the lead after 16 minutes with a thunderous free-kick, just moments after Spurs' star man Paul Gascoigne had sustained a serious knee injury with a horrendous tackle on Gary Charles.
Crossley handed Tottenham a chance to draw level when he brought down Gary Lineker in the box after half an hour.
But the Forest stopper quickly turned himself from villain to hero when he dived to his left to brilliantly turn away Lineker’s spot-kick.
Despite Crossley's heroics, though, Tottenham would eventually go on to win the Cup thanks to Paul Stewart's strike and an own goal from Des Walker.
Crossley became only the second goalkeeper to save a penalty in a Wembley FA Cup final when he kept out Lineker's spot-kick. Many thought Forest's name was on the Cup after the tremendous save but unfortunately for Crossley it would prove a mere consolation as Spurs went on to lift the trophy.
The Spurs striker had tasted defeat in his last FA Cup final appearance, for Everton against Liverpool in 1986. It looked like he would be facing more heartache at Wembley when he was denied by Crossley from the spot but Lineker would eventually get his hands on the trophy - which he later described as the highlight of his playing career.
The Forest boss was desperate to land the FA Cup having tasted victory in all other major competitions. But, despite the best efforts of his goalkeeper, Old Big 'Ead would ultimately be denied.
Did You Know...?
Crossley was the only goalkeeper to save a penalty from Matthew Le Tissier. The Southampton legend scored 48 out of his 49 spot-kicks.
Tottenham's triumph made them the first team to win the FA Cup eight times, a record since surpassed by both Manchester United and Arsenal.
Crossley scored the first ever Premier League own goal, in Forest's 4–1 defeat at Blackburn Rovers on September 5, 1992.
What Happened Next
Crossley remained at the City ground until 2000, having made just under 400 appearances in all competitions for Forest. He enjoyed brief spells with numerous other clubs before joining League Two Chesterfield as player-coach in the summer of 2009.
This season E.ON is celebrating Great Saves - great energy saves at home and great goalkeeping saves on the pitch. To win an exciting range of football prizes, with everything from signed shirts to a set of four family tickets at the FA Cup final go to eongreatsaves
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