6 Teams That Escaped Relegation at the Last Second

Wednesday July 19th, 2017

Surviving relegation on the final day of the season is dramatic enough, but sometimes it goes all the way to the last few minutes of an entire campaign. 


For those supporters whose team beat the drop with seconds remaining it is pure ecstasy, for those relegated in similar circumstances, utter despair.


Here are six teams that escaped relegation at the last second of the season.


1. Everton

5 MAY 1994: EVERTON's GARY ABLETT AND GRAHAM STUART, WHO HAD THE WINNING GOAL, CELEBRATE AFTER DEFEATING WIMBLEDON 3-2 AT GOODISON PARK, EVERTON. Mandatory Credit: Clive Brunskill/ALLSPORT
Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

On the final day of the 1993/94 Premier League season, heavyweights Everton were staring relegation straight in the face, knowing that they had to win and Sheffield United lose to stay in the top flight.

The Toffees were 2-0 down at home to Wimbledon, but fought back to all square as both games reached the finale. Graham Stuart scored an injury time winner at Goodison Park for the hosts at almost the same time that the Blades conceded to send them down.


2. Eintracht Frankfurt

FRANKFURT, GERMANY - MAY 29: 1. BUNDESLIGA 98/99 Frankfurt; EINTRACHT FRANKFURT - 1.FC KAISERSLAUTERN 5:1; SCHLUSS JUBEL Frankfurt (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Andreas Rentz/GettyImages

In what was certainly the most exhilarating day in Bundesliga history when it came to teams fighting the drop, Eintracht Frankfurt had the odds and the mathematics piled against them on the final day of the 1998/99 season.

Needing five goals to survive, Frankfurt took the game to reigning champions and Champions League-chasing Kaiserslautern as the clock ran down. 4-1 up, Norwegian striker Jan Age Fjortoft scored in injury time to keep his side in the top flight, sending Nurnberg down.


3. Rayo Vallecano

MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 24: Saul Niguez of Rayo Vallecano de Madrid celebrates after scoring a goal against RCD Espanyol during the La Liga match between Rayo Vallecano de Madrid and RCD Espanyol at Estadio Teresa Rivero on November 24, 2013 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/GettyImages

Four teams: Villarreal, Real Zaragoza, Granada and Rayo Vallecano, were all in danger of going down, and the last two took on each other in Vallecano's Estadio Teresa Rivero in what was pitched as a winner takes all crunch match.

Nine men of Zaragoza won to keep themselves up, while Villarreal's loss meant nothing, as Vallecano remained in the drop zone with the score tied at 0-0. A corner, deep into stoppage time, eventually led to Raul Tamudo's headed goal, sparking a pitch invasion and sending the Yellow Submarine down.


4. Carlisle United

6 Apr 2000: Carlisle United fans celebrate staying in the Nationwide Leagues after the Nationwide Division 3 game against Brighton at Withdean Stadium in Brighton, England. Brighton won 1 - 0. \ Picture by Steve Bardens. \ Mandatory Credit: Allsport UK /Allsport
Getty Images/GettyImages

Jimmy Glass will go down as one of the biggest heroes in Carlisle United history. The on-loan goalkeeper was ready to experience relegation from the Football League, with the Cumbrians sitting bottom of the old Division Four, a point off Scarborough.

Needing a win to stay up, Jimmy Glass went up for a corner as the clock hit the 95th minute and he reacted quickest to a saved header, volleying the ball in the back of the net. The expected pitch invasion soon followed and Glass became an immediate legend.


5. Birmingham City

BOLTON, ENGLAND - MAY 03: Paul Caddis of Birmingham City scores their second goal with a header to equalise during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bolton Wanderers and Birmingham City at Reebok Stadium on May 3, 2014 in Bolton, England. (Photo by Paul Thomas/Getty Images)
Paul Thomas/GettyImages

Starting the final day a point behind Doncaster Rovers, albeit with a better goal difference, Birmingham City were aware that they had to better Donny's result in order to stay in the Championship as the 2013/14 season drew to a close. 

With champions Leicester City beating Doncaster, the Blues were still in the drop zone with Bolton 2-0 up at the Reebok Stadium. A Nikola Zigic header halved the deficit before a Paul Caddis equaliser in the 93rd minute ensured Birmingham's incredible survival. 


6. Newport County

NEWPORT, WALES - JANUARY 18: Mark Byrne of Newport County (C) celebrates his sides first goal during the Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Newport County and Blackburn Rovers at Rodney Parade on January 18, 2016 in Newport, Wales. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)
Harry Trump/GettyImages

The latest entry to this list, Newport County needed just a win to stay in the Football League, but with Hartlepool United 2-1 up as the 2016/17 season entered its final few minutes, the Exiles were on the brink of relegation from League Two.

Enter Newport defender Mark O'Brien, who scored what was just his second ever career goal, chesting and volleying a brilliant effort to send the Rodney Parade faithful into jubilation and keep his side up.


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