Division Three Play-Off Final (Replay) - Gillingham vs Swindon Town (HTV)

Swindon clinched their second successive promotion with a 2-0 win over Gillingham in a Play-Off Final replay, played at Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace. match stats

Swindon scuppered their own chances of automatic promotion - although they didn't lose any of their last ten matches, they drew six of their last eight, forcing them down the newly-introduced route of the play-offs. They met Wigan Athletic in the semi-finals, winning 3-2 in the first leg at Wigan, then drawing the home match 0-0. Gillingham knocked out Sunderland in the other semi, condemning them to relegation.

In the first leg of the final, a single goal from David Smith nine minutes from time gave Gillingham victory, in a game in which Swindon were generally on top. The second leg was played at the County Ground, and Swindon controlled throughout. Despite this, Gillingham took the lead in the 17th minute with a 20 yard volley from Karl Elsey, with their only attack of the first half - giving them a 2-0 aggregate lead.

Peter Coyne gave the fans hope with a goal with half an hour to go, then, with just 12 minutes left, Charlie Henry put the Town 2-1 up on the night, and level on aggregate. Despite the away goals rule being in force in the semi-finals, in wasn't in place for the final, so the game went to a replay.

Ten thousand Town fans travelled to Selhurst Park for the game. They weren't disappointed. Steve White gave Swindon the lead after just two minutes, after a long ball from Phil King was flicked on by Charlie Henry. Swindon remained on top for the rest of the first half, but despite creating many chances, they failed to add to their lead.

After the break, it was Gillingham's turn to take the initiative, forcing Fraser Digby to make some great saves. Then, in the 66th minute and against the run of play, Steve White grabbed his second goal of the night - running the ball into the penalty area, and beating the 'keeper with a low drive.

Still Gillingham pressed on, forcing Charlie Henry to revert to a defensive role, but they failed to breach the Town's defence. The Town fans, who had out sang their Gillingham counterparts all evening, stayed to celebrate after the match.


2-0 down at half-time, Macari's men storm back in the second half to take a 3-2 lead back to the County Ground.
Division Three Play-Off Semi-Final (First Leg) - Wigan Athletic vs Swindon Town

A 0-0 draw in the second leg is enough to secure a place in the Play-Off Final.
Division Three Play-Off Semi-Final (Second Leg) - Swindon Town vs Wigan Athletic (BBC)

HTV coverage of the Semi-Final, including after-match conga!
Division Three Play-Off Semi-Final (Second Leg) - Swindon Town vs Wigan Athletic (HTV)

The 1987 play-off final matches from a Gillingham point of view - includes build up and coverage of all three games.
Division Three Play-Off Final - Gillingham vs Swindon Town

History repeats itself in the final - after going down 2-0 in the semi-finals, a Karl Elsey goal gives the Gills a two goal advantage in the final - but, laying siege to the Gillingham goal, the Town come back once more, goals from Coyne and Henry taking the tie to a replay.
Division Three Play-Off Final (Second Leg) - Swindon Town vs Gillingham

Full coverage of the Town's 2-0 victory over Gillingham at Selhurst Park in the Third Division Play-Off Final replay.
Play-Off Final - Gillingham vs Swindon Town [full match]

Bobbin' Roger Malone reports on the final, and speculates as to whether Lou Macari will stay at the County Ground. Watch out for David Shearer's miss for Gillingham!!
Division Three Play-Off Final (Replay) - Gillingham vs Swindon Town (HTV)

BBC coverage of the Play-Off Final Replay, which the Town dominate and win 2-0 to secure a second successive promotion.
Division Three Play-Off Final (Replay) - Gillingham vs Swindon Town (BBC)

A review of the 1986/87 promotion season, including commentary and highlights from GWR.
GWR Radio presents: The Rise and Rise of Swindon Town 1986/87


The Evening Advertiser report from the play-off final replay.


Dave Bamber scores in the Play-Off semi-final first leg at Wigan Athletic.
Bamber scores at Wigan

Steve White opens the scoring in the Play-Off Final replay.
White opens the scoring

White celebrates the goal

Steve White's shot makes it 2-0, and seals the Town's promotion to Division Two.
Chalky doubles the lead

The Town team celebrate their second successive promotion.
The team celebrate promotion

Manager Lou Macari salutes the travelling Town support.
Macari salutes the fans

Phil King cracks open the champagne at Selhurst Park.
King opens the champagne (1)

Phil King cracks open the champagne at Selhurst Park.
King opens the champagne (2)

David Hockaday is stripped to his pants by souvenir-hunting Town fans.
Hockaday is stripped

The hero of the hour, Steve White, is carried from the pitch.
White carried from the pitch

The programme from the Final replay, played at Selhurst Park.