/ / / Before Betfair: Man City V Gillingham 1999

Before Betfair: Man City V Gillingham 1999

Since Betfair was invented in 2001 this means we can only imagine how some of the historic betting events would have played out if they had been in-play. This is a light hearted look at how we feel the markets would have reacted to some of the great sporting events that happened before Betfair was invented. The prices are based on similar matches that have happened since and the article is written as if the event was only yesterday….

Today we look back at the dramatic 1999 Play off final between Gillingham and Man City. 1999 was quite some year for Manchester clubs and amazing come backs…

Gillingham 2-2 Manchester City

Man City were promoted to Division 1 yesterday in the most dramatic fashion possible. It was a gubbing of epic proportions and many of the low price backers must be wondering just what happened!

The match itself was actually quite dull for the most part. Both teams obviously feeling the tension of the big occasion.

Going into the match Manchester City were favourites to win the match outright priced @ 2 with Gillingham outsiders @ 4.2 and the draw trading around 3.75.

It seemed the match was destined to end in stalemate until Carl Asaba gave Gillingham the lead in the 81st minute which looked like it was going to promote Gillingham.

The promotion looked even more certain Robert Taylor made it 2-0 to Gillingham in the 87th minute. Manchester City has been out of sorts all match and with only 2 minutes plus injury time left it was clearly not going to happen. A huge amount of City fans streamed out of the stadium thinking it was all over and the markets were agreeing with them.

As the 90th minute arrived Gillingham were being backed as low as 1.01 for promotion with Man City touching as high as 1000!

Even when Kevin Horlock managed to pull a goal back to make it 2-1 the markets were still pretty certain of a Gillingham victory. They only went out to 1.05 in both Match Odds and the “To Qualify” market as time was really running out for Joe Royle’s Man City.

Four minutes of injury time were indicated and it was on exactly 4 minutes and 9 seconds when Paul Dickov managed to equalise for Manchester City and bring them back from the dead. Paul Dickov’s goal being the latest goal ever scored prior to the final whistle in a match at the old Wembley Stadium.

No one could believe it and those who thought they were buying money by backing Gillingham as low as 1.01 were probably crying into their drinks as the full time whistle immediately went and we were headed into extra time with both sides now trading @ 2 for promotion.

When a team has been pegged back the way Gillingham were in this situation you know there is only going to be one winner and Man City eventually prevailed 3-1 in the penalty shoot-out.

It was a match where plenty of 1.01 prices were beaten. The Under 2.5 and Under 3.5 Goals markets both had vast amounts of cash traded on them @ 1.01 before the first goal of match arrived in the 81st minute.

Matches like this do not come around often and this will be talked about for years to come. Manchester City now begin a long journey back towards the Premier League but you have to feel they will never win something in such dramatic fashion ever again! 😉



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