DIVISION TWO PLAY-OFF WINNERS


Division One Play-off Final - Sunderland vs Swindon Town (HTV)

Swindon returned to Wembley for the first time since 1969 for the Division Two Play-Off final, and were promoted to the top flight of English football for the first time in their history, after a 1-0 win over Sunderland. match stats

After Sunderland created a couple of openings in the first ten minutes, Swindon controlled the game from then on. Steve White had three opportunities to open the scoring - first, he fired a shot over the bar, then he was denied a goal by a flying save by Tony Norman. The worst was to come after 19 minutes, when White intercepted a backpass, rounded the 'keeper, and pushed the ball towards the goal. Chalky looked on in horror as the ball bounced back off the post, and Duncan Shearer just failed to connect with the rebound.

It wasn't long before Town made the breakthrough. On 26 minutes, Alan McLoughlin picked the ball up in midfield, and struck an ambitious shot towards goal from thirty yards. The ball took a wicked deflection off Sunderland defender Gary Bennett, and with Norman stranded, the ball looped over him and into the net.

Three more chances went begging before the half-time interval. After the break, though Sunderland came out with more purpose than they had shown in the first half, they still couldn't break down the Swindon defence. Shearer and White had two opportunities each to put the game beyond doubt, but in each case they were denied by a mixture of good goalkeeping and poor finishing.

After an agonising three minutes of injury-time, the ref blew the final whistle, and Swindon's achievement of being promoted from the Fourth to the First Division in five seasons was complete.

The joy was short-lived however, as just ten days later, the Football League demoted the Town by two divisions for illegal payments to players, which was reduced to one on appeal. The plea to "punish the guilty, not the fans" went unheard, and Swindon would have to wait another three years for their first taste of top flight football.



 

A superb performance, capped by a brilliant strike from Steve Foley, sees the Town take a 2-1 advantage back to the County Ground for the second leg of their play-off semi-final.
Play-Off Semi-Final - Blackburn Rovers vs Swindon Town [full match]

A superb performance, capped by a brilliant strike from Steve Foley, sees the Town take a 2-1 advantage back to the County Ground for the second leg of their play-off semi-final.
Division One Play-off Semi-Final (First Leg) - Blackburn Rovers vs Swindon Town

In tribute to Ossie Ardiles, the Town fans recreate the atmosphere of the 1978 World Cup - and the tickertape reception inspires the Town to clinch their place at Wembley, despite the chaos in the board room.
Division One Play-off Semi-Final (Second Leg) - Swindon Town vs Blackburn Rovers

Though the Town completely control the Play-Off Final against Sunderland, a single deflected goal by Alan McLoughlin is enough to win the game, and promotion to the First Division - ten days later though, the football authorities would snatch the prize away.
Division One Play-off Final - Sunderland vs Swindon Town (Extended Highlights)

BBC report after the Town win at Wembley for the second time in their history, to win promotion to the First Division.
Division One Play-off Final - Sunderland vs Swindon Town (BBC)

HTV report after the win over Sunderland, including coverage of the celebratory parade through the Town.
Division One Play-off Final - Sunderland vs Swindon Town (HTV)

Swindon Cable footage of the ill-fated play-off final.
On the March with Ossie's Army

After the club admit 36 breaches of league regulations, the Football League panel decides to demote the club by two divisions, from the First to the Third. Coverage from HTV news programme The West This Week.
STFC demoted two divisions - Part One

The second part of The West This Week, analysing STFC's demotion to the Third Division.
STFC demoted two divisions - Part Two

HTV report after 23 year old car salesman Robert Ayland calls for the board to resign, so that he can take charge.
Fan calls for the board to resign

BBC report as 20,000 fans take to the streets to demonstrate against the Town's demotion, and the club plan action in the High Court.
STFC plan High Court action as the fans demonstrate (BBC)

HTV report as 20,000 fans take to the streets to demonstrate against the Town's demotion, and the club plan action in the High Court.
STFC plan High Court action as the fans demonstrate (HTV)

After the High Court action is dropped, HTV report on the club's wait for the appeal verdict.
Waiting for the appeal verdict

Breaking news from the BBC, as the FA Appeal Panel reinstates STFC to Division Two.
Town reinstated to Division Two


 


The Evening Advertiser report from the final.


 

The Swindon squad celebrate the confirmation of their play-off place at Stoke.
Team celebrate playoff place

A shot of the Swindon fans at Wembley.
The Town crowd at Wembley

Alan McLoughlin's deflected shot flies over the hapless Sunderland keeper.
McLoughlin scores for Swindon

Shortly after the final whistle, the Swindon team celebrate their promotion to Division One.
The team celebrate at the final whistle

The Town team celebrate promotion to Division One for the first time in the club's history.
The team celebrate promotion

Goalscorer Alan McLoughlin and manager Ossie Ardiles pose with the Play-Off trophy.
Ardiles and McLoughlin with the trophy

Assistant manager Chic Bates shows the trophy to the fans.
Bates celebrates

The celebrations continue on the team coach.
Celebrations continue on the coach

The programme from the Final.
Programme