Carlisle United 2-1 Plymouth Argyle (partially found footage of Football League Third Division match; 1999)

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Jimmy Glass scores the winning goal to save Carlisle United from relegation.

Status: Partially Found

On 8th May 1999, Carlisle United hosted Plymouth Argyle at Brunton Park for both sides' final Football League Third Division match of the 1998/99 season. In a match where the hosts needed to win in order to avoid relegation, the result ended 2-1 in Carlisle's favour, thanks to a famous late goal from on-loan goalkeeper Jimmy Glass.


Heading into the match, Plymouth Argyle had little to play for, having been guaranteed a mid-table finish.[1] For the home side however, the result of this final match was critical, as they were battling with Scarborough to avoid relegation to the Conference.[2][3][4][5] The Cumbrians were also experiencing financial issues, even being forced to sell one of their goalkeepers on transfer deadline day.[3][5] Three games before the season ended, Carlisle faced a dilemma; with one goalkeeper out due to injury, and with Derby County recalling on-loan goalkeeper Richard Knight, the club suddenly had no goalkeepers available.[3][5] Only intervention from Swindon Town's manager Jimmy Quinn, combined with the Football League allowing a deal to occur post-transfer deadline, did Carlisle receive a backup on-loan goalkeeper called Jimmy Glass.[5][3][2][4]

Carlisle were on 46 points prior to the game, with Scarborough a point ahead and with a superior goal difference.[3][4] Thus, Carlisle needed to win while hoping that Scarborough failed to beat Peterborough United.[3][4] Ultimately, Scarborough drew 1-1 with Peterborough, with kick-off occurring simultaneously with the Carlisle-Plymouth match.[3][4] As the latter game had yet to finish, Carlisle still had time to secure the victory.[3][4] But even before full-time, Scarborough fans were already celebrating on the pitch, assuming their relegation rivals would end up failing in their endeavour.[3][4]

The Match

The match itself occurred on 8th May 1999 at Carlisle's Brunton Park, in front of 7,599 fans.[3] After a tense 25 minutes, it appeared the hosts took the lead thanks to a header from Scott Dobie.[2] However, it was ruled offside.[2] There were additional attempts on-goal by Carlisle prior to the interval, including a shot from Captain David Brightwell being cleared off the line.[2] Despite Carlisle's promising start, it was the visitors who took the lead after Lee Phillips ran through the defence and beat Glass after 49 minutes.[2][3][4] Furious Carlisle fans directed their attention to the club's chairman Michael Knighton, who was deemed by the fans to have financially mismanaged the team, evening profiting as the club suffered.[2][3] An equaliser by Brightwell after 62 minutes provided the home side some hope, but as the game went into four minutes of stoppage time with the score still 1-1, tension among the majority in the attendance worsened.[2][3][5][4]

With one minute to go, United were awarded a corner kick, which would turn out to be the final kick of the game.[4] Glass therefore was instructed by manager Nigel Pearson to run towards the Plymouth box in an attempt to secure a late victory.[4][2][3][5] As the ball entered the area, a header from Scott Dobie was blocked by Plymouth goalkeeper James Dungey, but it was not fully cleared.[3][2][5][4] Suddenly, Glass had the space needed to fire a volley, scoring the winning goal.[3][2][5][4] Immediately, Carlisle fans invaded the pitch in celebration.[2][3][4] It got so out of control that referee Frazer Stretton was taken down by a fan, with Glass also receiving a nose bleed after accidently being hit in the face.[5][4][3] Once the invasion was resolved, a second occurred soon after, as full-time was announced ten seconds later to confirm Carlisle's survival.[2][3][5][4][1]

Glass' late goal contributed towards one of the greatest escapes in football history, as well as becoming one of English football's most famous goals.[2][5][4] Ultimately, this would prove to be Glass' third and final match for Carlisle, as the club were unable to secure a full-time signing.[5][4] Nevertheless, his vital goal has made him a club legend ever since.[5][4] In a recollection with BBC Sport in 2013, Glass noted his fame following the goal, stating "The reality is I could be anywhere and be recognised now. I have been in a theme park in America and someone has tapped me on the shoulder and said 'you are Jimmy Glass'".[4]


A few highlights packages were broadcast on television, including on ITV and Sky News.[6] Thanks primarily to Cumbrian Football highlights, key moments are widely publicly available on YouTube and other video-sharing platforms. However, the full uncut tape of the match has yet to resurface.



Highlights of the match.

Sky News reporting on the result.

Border TV reporting on the match and providing highlights.

Nationwide Football League Extra providing match highlights.

Radio commentary of the match.

Sky Sports' Soccer Saturday announcing Glass scored in the final minute.

Glass' goal listed as the 72nd greatest sporting moment.

Sky Sports documentary on the match.

See Also