1989 Football League Second Division play-off Final

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1989 Football League Second Division play-off Final
1989 FLSD play-off final programmes.png
The match programme covers for each leg
Event1988–89 Football League
Second Division
First leg
Date31 May 1989 (1989-05-31)
VenueEwood Park, Blackburn
RefereeJoe Worrall
Second leg
After extra time
Date3 June 1989 (1989-06-03)
VenueSelhurst Park, London
RefereeGeorge Courtney

The 1989 Football League Second Division play-off Final was a football match contested by Blackburn Rovers and Crystal Palace over two legs; the first at Ewood Park in Blackburn and the second at Selhurst Park in London.[1] The matches were played to decide the third and final team to be promoted from the Football League Second Division to the Football League First Division for the 1989–90 season.

Blackburn Rovers won the first leg 3–1.[2] After 90 minutes of the return leg Crystal Palace were winning 2–0, this forced the game to go to extra time where a further goal from Palace meant they won 4–3 on aggregate and were promoted to the top division of the English football league system after an eight-year absence.[3][4] Blackburn remained in the Second Division for a tenth consecutive season.[5]

Route to the final[edit]

The teams who finished first and second in the 1988–89 Football League Second Division were promoted automatically and the teams from third to sixth entered the play-offs to determine the third promoted team.

Blackburn Rovers finished fifth in the league and were drawn to play fourth-placed Watford. The first leg was at Ewood Park and ended in a scoreless draw.[6] In the return leg at Vicarage Road Neil Redfearn scored for the hosts and Simon Garner for the visitors. A 1–1 draw was enough for Blackburn to progress to the final on the away goals rule.

Crystal Palace finished the season in third-place, one point off automatic promotion, and were drawn to play sixth-placed Swindon Town. The first leg at Swindon's County Ground saw the hosts take a 1–0 lead into the second leg thanks to an own goal from Palace defender Jeff Hopkins. The return leg at Selhurst Park saw Crystal Palace overcome the deficit with a 2–0 win with Mark Bright and Ian Wright scoring.

Match details[edit]

The first leg took place at Blackburn's Ewood Park on 31 May 1989; Howard Gayle put the host's 2–0 up within 27 minutes. In the 86th minute Eddie McGoldrick scored for Crystal Palace reducing the deficit to half, before a 90th-minute goal from Simon Garner restored Blackburn's two-goal lead and Blackburn went into the second leg 3–1 up. At Selhurst Park a first half goal from Ian Wright and a David Madden penalty two minutes into the second half meant the match went to extra time; in the twenty-seventh minute of extra time a second goal from Ian Wright gave Crystal Palace a 4–3 aggregate win and promotion to the Football League First Division.

First leg[edit]

Blackburn Rovers3–1Crystal Palace
Attendance: 16,421

Second leg[edit]

Crystal Palace3–0 (a.e.t.)Blackburn Rovers
Attendance: 30,000


  1. ^ "Play-Off Final History & Stats". sportinglife.com. 25 May 2015. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  2. ^ "Blackburn Rovers v Crystal Palace, 31 May 1989". 11v11.com. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  3. ^ "English Division Two (old) Play-Offs Final 2nd Leg". Statto Organisation. Archived from the original on 14 September 2016. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  4. ^ "Crystal Palace". www.fchd.info. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  5. ^ "Blackburn Rovers". www.fchd.info. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  6. ^ "Blackburn Rovers v Watford, 21 May 1989". 11v11.com. Retrieved 3 September 2016.