1998 Football League play-offs

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Football League play-offs
Season 1997–98
Champions Charlton Athletic
(First Division)
Grimsby Town
(Second Division)
Colchester United
(Third Division)
Matches played 15
Goals scored 41 (2.73 per match)
Biggest home win Torquay 4–1 Scarborough
(Third Division)
Biggest away win Scarborough 1–3 Torquay
(Third Division)
Highest scoring Charlton 4–4 Sunderland
(8 goals)
Highest attendance 77,739 – Charlton v Sunderland
(First Division final)
Lowest attendance 3,858 – Barnet v Colchester
(Third Division semi-final)
Average attendance 21,402
1997
1999

The Football League play-offs for the 1997–98 season were held in May 1998, with the finals taking place at the old Wembley Stadium in London. The play-off semi-finals were played over two legs and were contested by the teams who finish in 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th place in the Football League First Division and Football League Second Division and the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th placed teams in the Football League Third Division table. The winners of the semi-finals will go through to the finals, with the winner of the matches gaining promotion for the following season.

Background[edit]

The Football League play-offs have been held every year since 1987. They take place for each division following the conclusion of the regular season and are contested by the four clubs finishing below the automatic promotion places.

In the First Division, Sunderland, who are aiming to return to the top flight after relegation last season, finished 1 point behind second placed Middlesbrough, who in turn finished 3 points behind champions Nottingham Forest, who returned to the top flight after being relegated last season. Charlton Athletic, who are aiming to return to the top flight after 8 years outside the top division, finished in fourth place in the table. Ipswich Town, who are aiming to return to the top flight after 3 seasons outside the top division, finished in fifth place. Sheffield United, who are aiming to return to the top flight after a 4 year absence, finished 9 points behind Ipswich Town in sixth place. This means Sunderland and Sheffield United will play each other with Ipswich and Charlton playing each other just like in the 1987 playoffs only then Charlton were the First Division and Ipswich were in the Second Division.

First Division[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
3 Sunderland 46 26 12 8 86 50 +36 90
4 Charlton Athletic 46 26 10 10 80 49 +31 88
5 Ipswich Town 46 23 14 9 77 43 +34 83
6 Sheffield United 46 19 17 10 69 54 +15 74

Semi-finals[edit]

First leg
10 May 1998
13:00
Ipswich Town 0–1 Charlton Athletic
Report Clapham Goal 12' (o.g.)
Portman Road, Ipswich
Attendance: 21,681
Referee: Mick Fletcher

10 May 1998
13:00
Sheffield United 2–1 Sunderland
Marcelo Goal 57'
Borbokis Goal 76'
Report Ball Goal 17'
Bramall Lane, Sheffield
Attendance: 23,800
Referee: Clive Wilkes
Second leg
13 May 1998
19:45
Charlton Athletic 1–0 Ipswich Town
Newton Goal 36'
The Valley, London
Attendance: 15,585
Referee: Eddie Wolstenholme

Charlton Athletic won 2–0 on aggregate.


13 May 1998
19:45
Sunderland 2–0 Sheffield United
Marker Goal 21' (o.g.)
Phillips Goal 38'
Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Attendance: 40,092
Referee: Mick Pierce

Sunderland won 3–2 on aggregate.

Final[edit]

25 May 1998
15:00
Charlton Athletic 4–4 (a.e.t.) Sunderland
Mendonca Goal 23'71'103'
Rufus Goal 85'
Report Quinn Goal 50'73'
Phillips Goal 58'
Summerbee Goal 99'
  Penalties  
Mendonca Penalty scored
Brown Penalty scored
Jones Penalty scored
Kinsella Penalty scored
Bowen Penalty scored
Robinson Penalty scored
Newton Penalty scored
7–6 Penalty scored Summerbee
Penalty scored Johnston
Penalty scored Ball
Penalty scored Makin
Penalty scored Rae
Penalty scored Quinn
Penalty missed Gray
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 77,739
Referee: Eddie Wolstenholme

Second Division[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
3 Grimsby Town 46 19 15 12 55 37 +18 72
4 Northampton Town 46 18 17 11 52 37 +15 71
5 Bristol Rovers 46 20 10 16 70 64 0+6 70
6 Fulham 46 20 10 16 60 43 +17 70

Semi-finals[edit]

First leg
9 May 1998
15:00
Fulham 1–1 Grimsby Town
Beardsley Goal 45' (pen.) Smith Goal 53'
Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 13,954
Referee: Terry Heilbron

10 May 1998
15:00
Bristol Rovers 3–1 Northampton Town
Beadle Goal 30' (pen.)
Bennett Goal 37'
Hayles Goal 46'
Gayle Goal 74'
Memorial Ground, Bristol
Attendance: 9,173
Referee: Rob Harris
Second leg
13 May 1998
19:45
Grimsby Town 1–0 Fulham
Donovan Goal 81'
Blundell Park, Cleethorpes
Attendance: 8,689
Referee: Clive Wilkes

Grimsby Town won 2–1 on aggregate.


13 May 1998
19:45
Northampton Town 3–0 Bristol Rovers
Heggs Goal 34'
Clarkson Goal 61'
Warburton Goal 77'
Sixfields Stadium, Northampton
Attendance: 7,501
Referee: Mick Fletcher

Northampton Town won 4–3 on aggregate.

Final[edit]

24 May 1998
15:00
Grimsby Town 1–0 Northampton Town
Donovan Goal 19'
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 62,988
Referee: Terry Heilbron

Third Division[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
4 Colchester United 46 21 11 14 72 60 +12 74
5 Torquay United 46 21 11 14 68 59 0+9 74
6 Scarborough 46 19 15 12 67 58 0+9 72
7 Barnet 46 19 13 14 61 51 +10 70

Semi-finals[edit]

First leg
10 May 1998
13:30
Barnet 1–0 Colchester United
Heald Goal 48'
Underhill, London
Attendance: 3,858
Referee: Eddie Wolstenholme

10 May 1998
15:00
Scarborough 1–3 Torquay United
Rockett Goal 40' Jack Goal 22'
Gittens Goal 50'
McFarlane Goal 72'
McCain Stadium, Scarborough
Attendance: 5,246
Referee: Mike Pierce
Second leg
13 May 1998
19:45
Colchester United 3–1 (a.e.t.) Barnet
Gregory Goal 12' (pen.)95'
Greene Goal 65'
Goodhind Goal 41'
Layer Road, Colchester
Attendance: 5,863
Referee: Terry Heilbron

Colchester United won 3–2 on aggregate.


13 May 1998
19:45
Torquay United 4–1 Scarborough
Jack Goal 6'7'
McCall Goal 38'
Gibbs Goal 55'
Rockett Goal 22'
Plainmoor, Torquay
Attendance: 5,386
Referee: Rob Harris

Torquay United won 7–2 on aggregate.

Final[edit]

22 May 1998
19:30
Colchester United 1–0 Torquay United
Gregory Goal 22' (pen.)
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 19,486
Referee: Mick Fletcher

External links[edit]