Playoffs - The Good, the Bad and the fecking heartbreaking

King Kev

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Okay, so whilst the season draws to a close for many of us there are still those teams who have to face the roulette of the playoffs.
For some clubs the playoffs can offer nothing but heartbreak especially after missing out on automatic promotion. For other clubs huge highs and immense joy. There is also the added element in that the faint hope of making the playoffs can leave those teams and fans bubbling around mid table something to play for and can lead to an enjoyable end to the season even if they are not quite reached.

Anyway most of us will have a mixed bag of memories from the playoffs so let us hear your memories good and bad.
 
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Camborne Gills

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I think I am right in saying that we have never lost a play off semi, 50% record in finals
 

King Kev

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Does 1999 count considering City cheated via a corrupt referee?
 

SF_

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  • The season I was born we lost to Port Vale in the semi finals. DEFEAT
  • My one and only visit to the old Wembley but I was too young to remember, losing 4-2 to Wycombe in 1994 after going 2-0 up. DEFEAT
  • Two years later we were knocked out by Bury, losing 2-0 on aggregate in the semis. DEFEAT
  • 98-99 we lost to Gillingham in the play-off semis, who were a bit of a bogey side for us for a while. DEFEAT
  • My first trip to the Milennium Stadium to watch us lose 3-0 to Bolton. DEFEAT
  • Four years later was my second trip to the Milennium, losing 1-0 to West Ham thanks to a Claude Davis slip. DEFEAT
  • The following year we lost to Leeds in the semi finals when Billy Davies lost the plot. DEFEAT
  • 08-09 we miraculously scraped 6th spot and put in a pathetic performance against Sheff Utd in the semis. DEFEAT
  • After relegation to League One we had a chance to bounce back against Rotherham but bottled it once again in the semis. DEFEAT
  • A 4-0 win aggregate win over Chesterfield, then recording the largest ever play-off final win, thanks to a Jermaine Beckford hat trick. WON

...and people wondered why our numbers were on the low side for our trip to Wembley in May.
 

DippyDon

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I HATE the play offs, we can never win the semi final let alone the final
2006/07 - League 2, finished 4th, Shrewsbury finished 7th, drew the away leg 0-0 and lost the home leg 2-1
2008/09 - League 1, finished 3rd, Scunthorpe finished 6th, drew both games, lost 7-6 on penalties
2010/11 - League 1, Peterborough won the semi through cheating and dodgy refereeing
2011/12 - League 1, Huddersfield beat us, pretty fair result after the first leg but the second leg we came so close to getting an equaliser to send it to ET
I'm so glad George Moncur scored against Preston last May, otherwise we would have lost again to Chesterfield in the semi finals and our run would be even worse
 

Fedora Dale

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Bad things happen to teams we meet in the playoffs...

Rushden and Diamonds beat us in the semi-finals, and have subsequently disappeared in a blaze of Doc Martins.

Darlington were ripped off by a spiv owner, and had to get a tardis back to 1883 to re-form.

Stockport couldn't pay their bills, and relocated to Conference North (and must of their Wembley team have subsequently had spells at Dale, just to rub it in :))

Gillingham's chairman lost a valuable and much-loved tortoise...

Should we somehow scrape in this year, look out for any of the following:
Bradford's economy being blighted by a worldwide samosa shortage
Rupert Murdoch buying the entire UK brewing industry, forcing the production of fizzy piss on Burton
Cannock Chase suddenly erupts after several billion years, with molten lava forcing the abandonment of Walsall
Millwall's entire fanbase turn into coffee-drinking, vegan hipsters.

You have been warned. Mwa-ha-ha...:)
 

PUSBCCFC

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We haven't been in the play offs.
 

GFCSludge

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I love the playoffs, the City final was heartbreaking, but the boot was firmly on the other foot the following season against Wigan. Last minute against Shrewsbury was a nice way to go up too, although being sat in Wembley's top tier meant I felt a little disconnected.

Even the semi-finals against Stoke and Preston were real occasions. Went to both legs of our semi against Rochdale a few years ago, they were less entertaining.

Only missed the away leg at Stoke due to lack of funds, seen all the other playoff matches.
 

King Kev

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The Good Bury vs Preston (1995) won 2-0 on AGG. Finished 13 points ahead of Preston but as they were the big boys of the division everyone expected them to just brush us aside. As posted in another thread recently the home game is probably my all time favourite game watching Bury.

The Bad - Bury vs Bournemouth (2003) lost 3-1 on AGG. Despite barely surviving going bust the previous summer and tipped for relegation to the conference we managed to scrape ourselves into 7th place. Had Andy Preece not fielded a second string team on the final day of the season we could have drawn with Wrexham and would have faced a much more winnable tie with Lincoln or Scunny. Bournemouth just seemed far more formidable however and couple that with the fact we had to travel down south for leg 2 on a Tuesday night it was always going to be tough.
Leg one was tight until the stroke of half time when Jamie Stuart was elbowed in the face by Wade Elliot and stupidly retaliated by elbowing him back. Jeff Winter in all his 'prem class' stupidity sent Stuart off (right decision) for the elbow but then only gave Elliot a yellow card for elbowing as well. Thick twat.
So with ten men we had little choice but to try and battle on and hope to nick a goal. Sadly no goal came it, we did manage to keep Bournemouth and their relentless attack out however and saw out a 0-0 draw. Personally I thought we could go down to Dean Court and get something as we had maintained a very strong away record that season. I was in the middle of my GCSE's and hatched a plot to wag school and get a coach down to Bournemouth, however I concluded the plan was fool hardy. Instead I listened to the match live on Radio Manchester and Bournemouth tore us apart.
One goal down heading towards half time was not the worst scoreline and I was still confident if we kept it at 1-0 going into the interval. However Bournemouth struck either side of half time to put the tie to bed. A late goal gave us some hope and salvaged some pride but we exited the competition with a real whimper. The appalling decision of Winter in the first leg left a sour taste though, had it been 10 vs 10 for the second half of the first leg as it should have been we may have taken a lead into the second leg.
Ah well.

The Downright Heartbreaking - Bury 1-1 Shrewsbury (2009) lost 4-2 on pens.
In typical Bury fashion we went to the meadow and won without having a shot on goal, we weathered some insane pressure, kept Grant Holt out and won along with keeping a clean sheet at the ground of a team who had lost, correct me if I am wrong, just once at home all season. We had done the hard work, Shrewsbury's away form was as poor as our home form was strong, we had recently beaten them at home in the league surely we could see this out. They were managed by village idiot Paul Simpson for Christ's sake.
Well we did not, we screwed up big time, everything that was bad about this kind of defeat happened. Phil Jevons had scored a penalty in the league meeting and openly stated he would never change his awful penalty technique, (side footing to the left of the goal and hoping the keeper goes the opposite way.) So a pen on the stroke of half time would put us 2-0 up on AGG and in a really strong position. Jevons faces the same keeper he faced in the league game who no doubt had studied Jevons's penalties. Jevons stepped up and pathetically tapped the ball and the Shrews keeper fell down and saved the ball quite easily. This gave Shrews some real impetuous and, knowing they had nowt to lose really went for it in the second half. As the clock ticked past the 89th minute it looked like we had done enough, when, a throw in fell at left back David Buchanan's feet, all he had to do was clear it into touch, he half volleyed it half screwed it and it landed at the feet of a Shrewsbury player and he smashed it into the net to send the away fans wild. The rest of the ground was silent in sheer despair. Extra time and Shrews had a man sent off and now, surely we would take advantage, we chucked everything at Shrewsbury missing sitter, after sitter, after sitter and could not score, their keeper had the game of his life. Game finished and penalties. Ref oddly ordered the penalties to be taken in front of the away fans (doubt it had any effect but I can clutch at straws). Their keeper continued to have the game of his life and we missed two to go out.
Their meat head contingent rubbed it in our faces as we left and I stupidly read Paul Simpson's interview after where he talked himself up to the heavens.
As you can guess I laughed and had a cheer when Gillingham scored their winner at wembley with a goal from a corner that should not have been given.
Nowt personal against Shrewsbury, I actually quite like them as a club but the manor of that defeat left a really bitter taste, as you can probably see I am still not over it. :sad:
 
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Etienne Vermeer

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I can't stand the playoffs, which is part of why I'm non-plussed whether we make them or not. We've made them so many times and only gotten through them once (it was the last time, mind you).

1991, lost to Brighton in the semis.
1994, lost to Derby in the semis.
2000, lost to Wigan in the semis.
2002, lost to Birmingham in the semis.
2009, lost to Scunthorpe in the final (won our first playoff game in nine attempts though, knocked out Leeds in the semis)
2010, beat Swindon in the final.
 

mozzavale

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As SF mentions above we beat them in the play off semi's in the late 80's after finishing 3rd behind Wolves and Sheff Utd. Great game v Preston at Vale, remember it well (there are highlights on you tube). Ended up beating Bristol Rovers 2-1 over 2 legs in the final Robbie Earle getting the only goal to win it at Vale in the 2nd leg. We then lost 3-0 against West Brom in the final in 93. Did the double over them in the league, finished 3rd behind Bolton and Stoke with 89 points (the next season we went up automatic on 88 points). Stoke were already Champs when they faced Bolton in the midweek before the final match. They rolled over and let Bolton win, with Stoke fans celebrating when Bolton scored. Bolton then relegated Preston in the last game of the season whilst we battered Blackpool 4-2 at their place. In the play offs we saw off Stockport and then faced Roger Milford and West Brom at Wembley. Milford sent off Peter Swan in the 2nd half, which killed us, and we ended up capitulating in the final part of the game. Horrible feeling, watching 40,000 West Brom fans singing boing boing baggies baggies. Despised that song ever since.
 

Krazy8

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Long term gains.
  • The season I was born we lost to Port Vale in the semi finals. DEFEAT
  • My one and only visit to the old Wembley but I was too young to remember, losing 4-2 to Wycombe in 1994 after going 2-0 up. DEFEAT
  • Two years later we were knocked out by Bury, losing 2-0 on aggregate in the semis. DEFEAT
  • 98-99 we lost to Gillingham in the play-off semis, who were a bit of a bogey side for us for a while. DEFEAT
  • My first trip to the Milennium Stadium to watch us lose 3-0 to Bolton. DEFEAT
  • Four years later was my second trip to the Milennium, losing 1-0 to West Ham thanks to a Claude Davis slip. DEFEAT
  • The following year we lost to Leeds in the semi finals when Billy Davies lost the plot. DEFEAT
  • 08-09 we miraculously scraped 6th spot and put in a pathetic performance against Sheff Utd in the semis. DEFEAT
  • After relegation to League One we had a chance to bounce back against Rotherham but bottled it once again in the semis. DEFEAT
  • A 4-0 win aggregate win over Chesterfield, then recording the largest ever play-off final win, thanks to a Jermaine Beckford hat trick. WON
...and people wondered why our numbers were on the low side for our trip to Wembley in May.

I can't stand the playoffs, which is part of why I'm non-plussed whether we make them or not. We've made them so many times and only gotten through them once (it was the last time, mind you).

1991, lost to Brighton in the semis.
1994, lost to Derby in the semis.
2000, lost to Wigan in the semis.
2002, lost to Birmingham in the semis.
2009, lost to Scunthorpe in the final (won our first playoff game in nine attempts though, knocked out Leeds in the semis)
2010, beat Swindon in the final.
image.jpeg
 

Krazy8

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.
Come on, you were bloody fortunate to have even been playing that game. I have never seen a more one-sided period of extra time than the one that night.

Nicky Bailey's penalty still gives me nightmares.
Haha yeah that was a shocker! Only reason you even got to extra time was because Simon Ferry casually hooked the ball into his own net...

Worst playoff memory would probably be the 03-04 semi against Brighton though. I'd been sick as a parrot all day and could resist the land of nod no longer, fell asleep with 120mins played and Swindon 2-1 up on aggregate. Woke up the next morning and checked on ceefax (fuck yeah) to see that Adam fucking Virgo had equalised in injury time and Brighton had won on penalties.

They did redeem themselves however by beating Bristol City in the final, so swings and roundabouts I guess.
 

King Kev

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  • The season I was born we lost to Port Vale in the semi finals. DEFEAT
  • My one and only visit to the old Wembley but I was too young to remember, losing 4-2 to Wycombe in 1994 after going 2-0 up. DEFEAT
  • Two years later we were knocked out by Bury, losing 2-0 on aggregate in the semis. DEFEAT
  • 98-99 we lost to Gillingham in the play-off semis, who were a bit of a bogey side for us for a while. DEFEAT
  • My first trip to the Milennium Stadium to watch us lose 3-0 to Bolton. DEFEAT
  • Four years later was my second trip to the Milennium, losing 1-0 to West Ham thanks to a Claude Davis slip. DEFEAT
  • The following year we lost to Leeds in the semi finals when Billy Davies lost the plot. DEFEAT
  • 08-09 we miraculously scraped 6th spot and put in a pathetic performance against Sheff Utd in the semis. DEFEAT
  • After relegation to League One we had a chance to bounce back against Rotherham but bottled it once again in the semis. DEFEAT
  • A 4-0 win aggregate win over Chesterfield, then recording the largest ever play-off final win, thanks to a Jermaine Beckford hat trick. WON
...and people wondered why our numbers were on the low side for our trip to Wembley in May.

You lost to us a year after Wycombe
 

King Kev

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Meh, I was 7.
Pathetic excuse and pathetic that you are deflecting praise for me by saying Davies 'lost the plot' at Deepdale in 2006, it was my King Kev masterclass that ensured the momentous Leeds victory that night.
 

Sheffsteel

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Think we have one of the worse record in playoff finals.

4 finals and 4 defeats.
Lost to Crystal Palace, last minute in extra time.
Lost to Wolves 3-0, hit woodwork and missed a penalty when it was 2-0
Lost to Burnley
Lost to Huddersfield we were 2-0 up on penalties about to take another to go 3-0 up
We missed and ended up losing about 10-8 on penalties.

We also must have the worse semi final cup record since the war

7 cup semi finals and 7 defeats
Lost to Leicester, Sheff Wed, Newcastle, Arsenal, Hull in the FA Cup semi's.
Lost to Liverpool and Spurs in the League Cup semi's.

Come to think of it we also have an amazingly bad record in final matches of the season when we've needed a win or a draw to gain promotion or stay up. Some of it has been real bad luck or other freaky score lines conspiring against us.

I can only remember winning away at Leicester in 89 which gauranteed promotion but it's Sod's law
That we didn't need to win anyway because Newcastle failed to win. So it didn't even matter.
Since the 70's all I can remember is late goals conceded stopping us from getting promotion etc.
In 81 we only needed a draw at home to relation threatened Walsall.
They scored a penalty in the 1st half and scored. We got a controversial injury time penalty but MISSED
Meaning we were related to the 4th division for the first time ever.

Hence why Blades are a very pessimistic bunch.
We expect to have good cup runs but fail at the final hurdle.
We expect to win the semi final playoff but fail in the final.
We seem to always fail at the final hurdle and many Blades think there's a curse on the club.
Which other decent sized club hasn't won anything since 1925 and not been in a final since 1936?
 

TomPNE94

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Despite all our shitness in the play offs, I still love them. Best part of the whole season whether we are involved or not.
 

Vale on Trent

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Never seen us in the play offs. Not much has really happened in my life time regarding Port Vale
 

King Kev

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This is the second time I have seen a Preston fan complain about the team that finished 6th on 08/09. What was so awful about it? You must have done something right.
 

dedwardp

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The first game I ever went to was the 1998 Division Three Play-Off Final when we beat Torquay 1-0 at Wembley on a Friday night. It was a Friday because England were playing Saudi Arabia or someone like that in a friendly on the Saturday I think. I wasn't old enough to remember much about the game, but I can remember my dad trying to point me towards where we were receiving the trophy at the end, I can remember walking around outside Wembley beforehand to get a programme and I remember falling asleep on the way home... therefore thinking Wembley was only about 10 minutes away from Layer Road.

It's the only play-off campaign I've ever seen us in. Coincidentally, that game is also the last time we ever played in the fourth tier before next season. 18 years outside of it for a club of our general size is quite remarkable really.
 

dedwardp

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The Downright Heartbreaking - Bury 1-1 Shrewsbury (2009) lost 4-2 on pens.
In typical Bury fashion we went to the meadow and won without having a shot on goal, we weathered some insane pressure, kept Grant Holt out and won along with keeping a clean sheet at the ground of a team who had lost, correct me if I am wrong, just once at home all season. We had done the hard work, Shrewsbury's away form was as poor as our home form was strong, we had recently beaten them at home in the league surely we could see this out. They were managed by village idiot Paul Simpson for Christ's sake.
Well we did not, we screwed up big time, everything that was bad about this kind of defeat happened. Phil Jevons had scored a penalty in the league meeting and openly stated he would never change his awful penalty technique, (side footing to the left of the goal and hoping the keeper goes the opposite way.) So a pen on the stroke of half time would put us 2-0 up on AGG and in a really strong position. Jevons faces the same keeper he faced in the league game who no doubt had studied Jevons's penalties. Jevons stepped up and pathetically tapped the ball and the Shrews keeper fell down and saved the ball quite easily. This gave Shrews some real impetuous and, knowing they had nowt to lose really went for it in the second half. As the clock ticked past the 89th minute it looked like we had done enough, when, a throw in fell at left back David Buchanan's feet, all he had to do was clear it into touch, he half volleyed it half screwed it and it landed at the feet of a Shrewsbury player and he smashed it into the net to send the away fans wild. The rest of the ground was silent in sheer despair. Extra time and Shrews had a man sent off and now, surely we would take advantage, we chucked everything at Shrewsbury missing sitter, after sitter, after sitter and could not score, their keeper had the game of his life. Game finished and penalties. Ref oddly ordered the penalties to be taken in front of the away fans (doubt it had any effect but I can clutch at straws). Their keeper continued to have the game of his life and we missed two to go out.
Their meat head contingent rubbed it in our faces as we left and I stupidly read Paul Simpson's interview after where he talked himself up to the heavens.
As you can guess I laughed and had a cheer when Gillingham scored their winner at wembley with a goal from a corner that should not have been given.
Nowt personal against Shrewsbury, I actually quite like them as a club but the manor of that defeat left a really bitter taste, as you can probably see I am still not over it. :sad:

I went to that game. I was born in Salford and my dad went to watch Bury quite often when he lived up there and we had home games, so I've had spells of following Bury's results a bit more closely. I remember the extra time being one of the most dominant, one-sided half an hours of football I think I've ever seen, no idea at all how Bury didn't score a few, let alone none.

I can also remember a couple of Shrewsbury fans jumping around in the home end after the equaliser before being shepherded out of the ground by a mass of home fans just slowly walking across in their direction :lol:
 

SF_

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This is the second time I have seen a Preston fan complain about the team that finished 6th on 08/09. What was so awful about it? You must have done something right.

Alan Irvine was the manager...

We did brilliantly to finish 6th, cancelling out Cardiff's +6 goal difference by actually beating them 6-0 but our performance and tactics in the semis was fucking gutless, the Sheff Utd side that beat us was pretty shit but they didn't break a sweat.
 

Shrew_fan

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The Downright Heartbreaking - Bury 1-1 Shrewsbury (2009) lost 4-2 on pens.
In typical Bury fashion we went to the meadow and won without having a shot on goal, we weathered some insane pressure, kept Grant Holt out and won along with keeping a clean sheet at the ground of a team who had lost, correct me if I am wrong, just once at home all season. We had done the hard work, Shrewsbury's away form was as poor as our home form was strong, we had recently beaten them at home in the league surely we could see this out. They were managed by village idiot Paul Simpson for Christ's sake.
Well we did not, we screwed up big time, everything that was bad about this kind of defeat happened. Phil Jevons had scored a penalty in the league meeting and openly stated he would never change his awful penalty technique, (side footing to the left of the goal and hoping the keeper goes the opposite way.) So a pen on the stroke of half time would put us 2-0 up on AGG and in a really strong position. Jevons faces the same keeper he faced in the league game who no doubt had studied Jevons's penalties. Jevons stepped up and pathetically tapped the ball and the Shrews keeper fell down and saved the ball quite easily. This gave Shrews some real impetuous and, knowing they had nowt to lose really went for it in the second half. As the clock ticked past the 89th minute it looked like we had done enough, when, a throw in fell at left back David Buchanan's feet, all he had to do was clear it into touch, he half volleyed it half screwed it and it landed at the feet of a Shrewsbury player and he smashed it into the net to send the away fans wild. The rest of the ground was silent in sheer despair. Extra time and Shrews had a man sent off and now, surely we would take advantage, we chucked everything at Shrewsbury missing sitter, after sitter, after sitter and could not score, their keeper had the game of his life. Game finished and penalties. Ref oddly ordered the penalties to be taken in front of the away fans (doubt it had any effect but I can clutch at straws). Their keeper continued to have the game of his life and we missed two to go out.
Their meat head contingent rubbed it in our faces as we left and I stupidly read Paul Simpson's interview after where he talked himself up to the heavens.
As you can guess I laughed and had a cheer when Gillingham scored their winner at wembley with a goal from a corner that should not have been given.
Nowt personal against Shrewsbury, I actually quite like them as a club but the manor of that defeat left a really bitter taste, as you can probably see I am still not over it. :sad:

That must indeed have been heartbreaking for Bury fans but it remains as one of my top 3 moments following Salop. We had a decent following there that day (~2,000?) and the celebrations when Kev McIntyre smashed in the equaliser were mental. Quite how we got through extra time and pens I'll never know.

Equal to that was MK Dons semi-final playoff at the hockey stadium. Absolute scenes in the away end when Andy Cook scored the winner to take us to Wembley, 2 minutes after they had equalised. :bg:

Play-off semis have been good to us - finals not so much (with exception to conference playoff v Aldershot at Stoke where we also rode our luck and made it up via penalties)
 

Saddlerrad

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In 12 years, I have never seen Walsall play or reach the play-offs.

This year will be the very 1st time. Be ironic if we didn't go to Wembley for 100 odd years, then did it twice in a row wouldn't it?

That kind of stuff ALWAYS happens.
 

The Reverend Skyblue

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God how I would have loved the skyblues getting anywhere near the playoffs since they came in.
 

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