2002 Football League Second Division play-off Final

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2002 Football League Second Division play-off Final
Date 11 May 2002
Venue Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Referee Graham Laws
Attendance 42,523

The 2002 Football League Second Division play-off Final was a football match played at Millennium Stadium on 11 May 2002, at the end of the 2001–02 season. It was the 16th play-off final in all at the third level of English football. The match determined the third and final team to gain promotion from the Second Division to the First Division, and was contested by Brentford, who had finished third during the league season, and Stoke City, who had finished fifth. Stoke won the encounter 2–0 and thus gained promotion thanks to goals from Deon Burton and an own goal from Ben Burgess.[1][2]

Route to the final[edit]

Brentford under the guidance of Steve Coppell finished 3rd in the Second Division just one point away from 2nd place Reading whom they played on the final day of the season.[2] The "Bees" took the lead through Martin Rowlands just after half time and it looked as if it would be enough to see them promoted by a late strike from Jamie Cureton ended a dramatic promotion race.[2] Stoke City went into the 2001–02 season looking to again automatic promotion after two failed attempts to win the play-offs losing to Gillingham and Walsall. Stoke had a poor run of form at the turn of the year and in the end had to settle for 5th position.[2]

Brentford were paired against Huddersfield Town and after a 0–0 draw away Brentford won 2–1 at Griffin Park. Stoke played Cardiff City and lost the first leg 2–1 at home which did not bode well travelling to the notoriously hostile Ninian Park. After 90 minutes the match was 0–0 and with Cardiff preparing their celebrations James O'Connor scored in the last minute to send the match into extra time. Stoke completed a dramatic victory with O'Connor's shot deflecting in off Souleymane Oulare who was making his 2nd and final appearance for Stoke.[3]

Match review[edit]

After Stoke had failed to gain promotion via the play-offs for two seasons running they were clear favourites to make it third time lucky. Stoke controlled the match from the start and took a 16th-minute lead via on loan striker Deon Burton.[2] Stoke then scored again just before half time a Bjarni Guðjónsson free-kick was sliced into his own net by Ben Burgess to give Stoke a 2–0 lead. In the second half Brentford failed to mount a comeback and Stoke eased to victory and a return to the second tier for the first time since 1998.[2] The victory was not enough however to earn manager Gudjon Thordarson a new contract.[2]

Match details[edit]

11 May 2002
Brentford 0 – 2 Stoke City
Report Burton Goal 16'
Burgess Goal 45' (o.g.)
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Attendance: 42,523
Referee: Graham Laws
Stoke City
GK 13 England Paul Smith
DF 3 England Ijah Anderson
DF 4 Iceland Ívar Ingimarsson
DF 5 England Darren Powell
DF 12 England Michael Dobson
MF 7 Wales Paul Evans
MF 11 Republic of Ireland Martin Rowlands Substituted off 78'
MF 32 England Steve Sidwell
MF 28 Republic of Ireland Stephen Hunt
FW 30 Republic of Ireland Ben Burgess Substituted off 70'
FW 9 England Lloyd Owusu
GK 1 Iceland Ólafur Gottskálksson
DF 2 England Danny Boxall
MF 20 England Kevin O'Connor Substituted in 78'
MF 23 England David Theobald
FW 17 England Mark McCammon Substituted in 70'
England Steve Coppell
Stoke City:
GK 14 England Neil Cutler
DF 3 Republic of Ireland Clive Clarke
DF 4 Scotland Peter Handyside
DF 5 Belarus Sergei Shtanyuk
DF 12 England Wayne Thomas
MF 7 Iceland Bjarni Guðjónsson
MF 17 Republic of Ireland James O'Connor
MF 29 England Tony Dinning Substituted off 85'
MF 22 Iceland Arnar Gunnlaugsson Substituted off 74'
FW 15 Scotland Chris Iwelumo Substituted off 57'
FW 35 Jamaica Deon Burton
GK 33 Finland Jani Viander
DF 36 England Ian Brightwell Substituted in 85'
MF 27 Belgium Jurgen Vandeurzen Substituted in 74'
FW 8 England Andy Cooke Substituted in 57'
FW 9 Guinea Souleymane Oulare
Iceland Gudjon Thordarson


  • 90 minutes.
  • 30 minutes of extra-time if necessary.
  • Penalty shootout if scores still level.
  • 5 named substitutes.
  • Maximum of 3 substitutions.


  1. ^ "Stoke seal promotion". BBC Sport. 12 March 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Cursed no more... Potters win play-offs". The Sentinel. 5 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "Stoke City season review 2001-02 third time lucky for Stoke". The Sentinel. 31 May 2002. 

External links[edit]