2006 Football League Championship play-off Final

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2006 Football League Championship play-off Final
Date 21 May 2006
Venue Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Referee Mike Dean (Cheshire)
Attendance 64,736

The 2006 Football League Championship play-off Final was an association football match played at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff on 21 May 2006. It determined the third and final team in the 2005–06 football season to be promoted to the Premier League, the highest division in the English football league system. It was the last play-off final to be held at the Millennium Stadium, as the new Wembley Stadium was completed in time for the 2007 final.[1]

The final featured Watford, who had finished third in the Football League Championship, and Leeds United, who finished fifth. In the semi finals, Leeds and Watford defeated Preston North End and Crystal Palace respectively. Watford won the match 3–0, with opening goalscorer Jay DeMerit named man of the match.[2] Leeds goalkeeper Neil Sullivan scored an own goal to make the score 2–0 to Watford after 60 minutes, and the final goal was a penalty kick scored by Darius Henderson which assured Watford promotion to the Premier League.

Route to the final[edit]

Ashley Young
Ashley Young was among Watford's scorers in the semi-final first leg.

Watford finished the 2005–06 Football League Championship in third place with 81 points, two places and 3 points above Leeds. In the play-off semi finals, Watford faced London side Crystal Palace, who had finished in sixth position. The first leg was held at Crystal Palace's ground, Selhurst Park, on 6 May 2006. Goals from Watford players Marlon King, Ashley Young and Matthew Spring gave them a 3–0 win.[3] The second leg at Watford's Vicarage Road stadium finished 0–0, thus giving Watford a 3–0 aggregate victory and a place in the final.[4]

Leeds' semi final opponents were Preston, who had finished the Championship season in fourth position. Leeds hosted the first leg, but it was Preston who took the lead with a goal from David Nugent in the 48th minute. Eddie Lewis equalised for Leeds in the 74th minute to salvage a 1–1 draw.[5] In the second leg, at Preston's home Deepdale, Rob Hulse and Frazer Richardson scored for Leeds, handing them a 2–0 win on the day and a 3–1 aggregate victory.[6]

Watford Round Leeds
Opponent Result Legs Semi-finals Opponent Result Legs
Crystal Palace 3–0 3–0 away; 0–0 home Preston 3–1
1–1 home; 2–0 away



21 May 2006
15:00 BST
Leeds United 0 – 3 Watford
Report DeMerit Goal 25'
Sullivan Goal 57' (o.g.)
Henderson Goal 84' (pen.)
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Attendance: 64,736
Referee: Mike Dean (Cheshire)
Leeds United
GK 1 Scotland Neil Sullivan
RB 2 Republic of Ireland Gary Kelly
CB 6 Republic of Ireland Paul Butler (c)
CB 8 England Sean Gregan YC Substituted off 84'
LB 26 England Matthew Kilgallon
RM 15 England Frazer Richardson Substituted off 45'
CM 20 Republic of Ireland Jonathan Douglas
CM 21 England Shaun Derry YC
CM 17 Republic of Ireland Liam Miller YC Substituted off 62'
LM 11 United States Eddie Lewis
CF 10 England Rob Hulse
GK 13 England Ian Bennett
MF 14 England Steve Stone
MF 19 Norway Eirik Bakke Substituted in 84'
FW 28 England Robbie Blake Substituted in 45'
FW 9 Northern Ireland David Healy Substituted in 62'
England Kevin Blackwell
GK 26 England Ben Foster
RB 12 England Lloyd Doyley YC
CB 4 Scotland Malky Mackay
CB 6 United States Jay Demerit
LB 3 England Jordan Stewart
RM 2 England James Chambers Substituted off 72'
CM 25 England Matthew Spring YC
CM 8 England Gavin Mahon (c) YC
LM 15 England Ashley Young
CF 9 Jamaica Marlon King
CF 29 England Darius Henderson
GK 1 England Alec Chamberlain
DF 23 England Adrian Mariappa
MF 7 England Chris Eagles
MF 20 Sierra Leone Al Bangura Substituted in 72'
FW 18 Algeria Hameur Bouazza
England Adrian Boothroyd


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


Leeds Watford
Goals scored 0 3
Shots on target 6 7
Shots off target 6 4
Ball possession 44% 56%
Corner kicks 8 9
Fouls committed 18 14
Offsides 2 3
Yellow cards 3 3
Red cards 0 0

Source: Watford F.C.


  1. ^ "Wembley will host play-off games". BBC Sport. 30 March 2007. Retrieved 8 November 2009. 
  2. ^ Simon Oxley. "Watford FC - Cardiff 2006". BBC Sport. Retrieved 19 October 2009. 
  3. ^ "Crystal Palace 0-3 Watford". BBC Sport. 6 May 2006. Retrieved 8 November 2009. 
  4. ^ "Watford 0-0 C Palace (agg 3-0)". BBC Sport. 9 May 2009. Retrieved 8 November 2009. 
  5. ^ "Leeds 1-1 Preston". BBC Sport. 5 May 2006. Retrieved 8 November 2009. 
  6. ^ "Preston 0-2 Leeds (agg 1-3)". BBC Sport. 8 May 2006. Retrieved 8 November 2009.