1998 Football League play-offs

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Football League play-offs
Season1997–98
ChampionsCharlton Athletic
(First Division)
Grimsby Town
(Second Division)
Colchester United
(Third Division)
Matches played15
Goals scored41 (2.73 per match)
Biggest home winTorquay 4–1 Scarborough
(Third Division)
Biggest away winScarborough 1–3 Torquay
(Third Division)
Highest scoringCharlton 4–4 Sunderland
(8 goals)
Highest attendance77,739 – Charlton v Sunderland
(First Division final)
Lowest attendance3,858 – Barnet v Colchester
(Third Division semi-final)
Average attendance21,402
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
Ipswich Town0–1Charlton Athletic
Report Clapham Goal 12' (o.g.)
Attendance: 21,681
Referee: Mick Fletcher

Sheffield United2–1Sunderland
Marcelo Goal 57'
Borbokis Goal 76'
Report Ball Goal 17'
Attendance: 23,800
Referee: Clive Wilkes
Second leg
Charlton Athletic1–0Ipswich Town
Newton Goal 36'
Attendance: 15,585

Charlton Athletic won 2–0 on aggregate.


Sunderland2–0Sheffield United
Marker Goal 21' (o.g.)
Phillips Goal 38'
Attendance: 40,092
Referee: Mick Pierce

Sunderland won 3–2 on aggregate.

Final[edit]

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
Fulham1–1Grimsby Town
Beardsley Goal 45' (pen.) Smith Goal 53'
Attendance: 13,954

Bristol Rovers3–1Northampton Town
Beadle Goal 30' (pen.)
Bennett Goal 37'
Hayles Goal 46'
Gayle Goal 74'
Attendance: 9,173
Referee: Rob Harris
Second leg
Grimsby Town1–0Fulham
Donovan Goal 81'
Attendance: 8,689
Referee: Clive Wilkes

Grimsby Town won 2–1 on aggregate.


Northampton Town3–0Bristol Rovers
Heggs Goal 34'
Clarkson Goal 61'
Warburton Goal 77'
Attendance: 7,501
Referee: Mick Fletcher

Northampton Town won 4–3 on aggregate.

Final[edit]

Grimsby Town1–0Northampton Town
Donovan Goal 19'
Attendance: 62,988

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
Barnet1–0Colchester United
Heald Goal 48'
Attendance: 3,858

Scarborough1–3Torquay United
Rockett Goal 40' Jack Goal 22'
Gittens Goal 50'
McFarlane Goal 72'
Attendance: 5,246
Referee: Mike Pierce
Second leg
Colchester United3–1 (a.e.t.)Barnet
Gregory Goal 12' (pen.)95'
Greene Goal 65'
Goodhind Goal 41'
Attendance: 5,863

Colchester United won 3–2 on aggregate.


Torquay United4–1Scarborough
Jack Goal 6'7'
McCall Goal 38'
Gibbs Goal 55'
Rockett Goal 22'
Attendance: 5,386
Referee: Rob Harris

Torquay United won 7–2 on aggregate.

Final[edit]

Colchester United1–0Torquay United
Gregory Goal 22' (pen.)
Attendance: 19,486
Referee: Mick Fletcher

External links[edit]