City go up after epic

 

Nicky Weaver saved two penalties in the nightmare tension of a Wembley shoot-out to send Manchester City back to the First Division.

City looked dead and buried when second-half goals from Carl Asaba and Robert Taylor left Gillingham on course to reach Division One for the first time. But somehow City got themselves together. First Kevin Horlock pulled a goal back in the last minute of normal time.

Then, in the fourth minute of injury-time, Paul Dickov rifled an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net. Extra time failed to separate the sides, so it was down to the dreaded penalties. With the City hordes behind Weaver, the England Under-21 squad member made the difference. He saved Paul Smith's spotkick and, when he kept out Guy Butters' effort, City were up.

Gillingham: Bartram, Southall, Ashby, Smith, Butters, Pennock, Patterson (Hodge 105), Hessenthaler, Asaba (Carr 87), Galloway (Saunders 56), Taylor. Booked: Taylor, Carr. Goals: Asaba 81, Taylor 86.

Manchester City: Weaver, Crooks (Taylor 85), Edghill, Wiekens, Morrison (Vaughan 61), Horlock, Brown (Bishop 61), Whitley, Dickov, Goater, Cooke. Booked: Taylor, Wiekens. Goals: Horlock 90, Dickov 90.

Referee: M Halsey (Welwyn Garden City).