2011 Football League One play-off Final

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2011 Football League One play-off Final
Old Trafford inside 20060726 1.jpg
Old Trafford hosted the match
Event2010–11 Football League One
Date29 May 2011
VenueOld Trafford, Manchester
Man of the MatchGrant McCann[1]
RefereeSteve Tanner

The 2011 Football League One play-off Final was a football match contested by Huddersfield Town and Peterborough United on 29 May 2011 at Old Trafford to decide the third team to be promoted from League One to the Championship for the 2011–12 season.

Under League One play-off rules, the final is contested by the two teams which secured an aggregate victory over two-legged semi-finals, with the team that finished sixth in the league table (Bournemouth) having played third (Huddersfield Town), and fifth (Milton Keynes Dons) having played fourth (Peterborough United).

Peterborough United won the match by a scoreline of 3–0, with goals from Tommy Rowe, Craig Mackail-Smith and Grant McCann in the later stages of the second half.

Venue controversy[edit]

Due to the 2011 UEFA Champions League Final being held at Wembley Stadium on 28 May 2011, it appeared that the three Football League play-off finals may have to be played at a different venue for the first time since 2007 due to the double-booking of Wembley.

Manchester United's Old Trafford had been confirmed as a possible alternative, while Arsenal's Emirates Stadium and the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff were also said to be under consideration to host the Championship, League One and League Two play-off finals.[2]

It was later confirmed that Wembley would host the Championship play-off final on 30 May, while Old Trafford would host the League Two and League One finals on 28 and 29 May respectively.[3]

Route to the final[edit]

The two-legged semi-finals determined that the final would be contested by Huddersfield Town and Peterborough United.

First legs[edit]

Bournemouth1–1Huddersfield Town
McDermott Goal 60' Report Kilbane Goal 22'
Attendance: 9,043
Referee: Mick Russell (Hertfordshire)

Milton Keynes Dons3–2Peterborough United
Powell Goal 47'
Baldock Goal 50'
Balanta Goal 56'
Report Mackail-Smith Goal 8'
McCann Goal 81' (pen.)

Second legs[edit]

Huddersfield Town3–3 (a.e.t.)Bournemouth
Peltier Goal 27'
Ward Goal 45+2'
Kay Goal 105+2'
Report Lovell Goal 45' (pen.)63'
Ings Goal 104'
Novak Penalty scored
Ward Penalty scored
Kilbane Penalty scored
Kay Penalty scored
4–2 Penalty scored Symes
Penalty missed Feeney
Penalty missed Robinson
Penalty scored Cooper

Huddersfield Town 4–4 Bournemouth on aggregate. Huddersfield Town won 4–2 on penalties.

Peterborough United2–0Milton Keynes Dons
McCann Goal 11'
Mackail-Smith Goal 54'
Attendance: 11,920
Referee: Colin Webster (Northumberland)

Peterborough United won 4–3 on aggregate.


Huddersfield Town fans at Old Trafford
Huddersfield Town fans at Old Trafford
Peterborough United fans at old Trafford
Peterborough United fans celebrate

A victory would see Huddersfield Town return to the second tier of English football for the first time since the 2000–01 season. The Terriers went into the final unbeaten in twenty-three matches in all competitions, including thirteen wins. Manager Lee Clark saw his team finish ninth and sixth in the two seasons prior to concluding the 2010–11 campaign in third place. This was Huddersfield's sixth venture in the play-offs and their second consecutive; the two years that they reached the final (1995 and 2004) they secured promotion.

For Peterborough United, a final win would mean an immediate return to the Championship, having spent only one of their last seventeen seasons in League One. The London Road club were the top-scoring club in the country this campaign, with 106 goals (their 46 league matches generated a total of 181 goals, or 3.93 per match). Manager Darren Ferguson, who returned in January 2011, two years after leaving them at the end of the first managerial appointment of his career, will oversee his club's third play-off campaign; 1992 and 2000 were both successful attempts at promotion via the play-offs for the eastern England team.[4]



Despite the form of both teams, the match appeared to be heading for extra-time until the 78th minute when Peterborough's Tommy Rowe broke the deadlock when he flicked a header in from a Grant McCann free-kick. Two minutes later, Craig Mackail-Smith's shot deflected in off Antony Kay, and any remaining Huddersfield hopes were dashed when McCann curled in an 85th-minute free-kick to seal Town's first league defeat of 2011 and United's third play-off success in as many attempts.[4] McCann also became the first player to win three play-off finals at three different stadiums, with three different clubs, having already won at the Millennium Stadium with Cheltenham in 2006 and at Wembley with Scunthorpe in 2009.


Huddersfield Town0–3Peterborough United
Report Rowe Goal 78'
Mackail-Smith Goal 80'
McCann Goal 85'
Attendance: 48,410
Huddersfield Town
Peterborough United
GK 13 Ian Bennett
DF 32 Jack Hunt Yellow card 39'
DF 8 Antony Kay Yellow card 76'
DF 5 Peter Clarke (c)
DF 3 Gary Naysmith
MF 20 Kevin Kilbane
MF 10 Danny Ward Substituted off 79'
MF 2 Lee Peltier Yellow card 34'
MF 16 Scott Arfield Substituted off 81'
MF 7 Gary Roberts
FW 24 Benik Afobe Substituted off 81'
GK 25 Nick Colgan
DF 18 Jamie McCombe
MF 4 Joey Guðjónsson
FW 9 Danny Cadamarteri Substituted in 79'
FW 17 Jordan Rhodes Substituted in 81'
FW 19 Alan Lee Substituted in 81'
FW 21 Lee Novak
Lee Clark
GK 28 Paul Jones
DF 2 Mark Little
DF 5 Gabriel Zakuani
DF 16 Ryan Bennett
DF 27 Grant Basey Substituted off 64'
MF 7 James Wesolowski
MF 11 Grant McCann (c)
MF 14 Tommy Rowe Substituted off 84'
MF 10 George Boyd
MF 24 Lee Tomlin Yellow card 29' Substituted off 90+2'
FW 12 Craig Mackail-Smith
GK 30 Barry Richardson
DF 4 Kelvin Langmead
DF 6 Charlie Lee Yellow card 65' Substituted in 64'
MF 18 Chris Whelpdale Substituted in 84'
MF 19 Nathaniel Mendez-Laing
MF 35 Joe Newell
FW 9 David Ball Substituted in 90+2'
Darren Ferguson

Match officials:

  • Assistant referees:
    • Peter Bankes
    • Charles Breakspear
  • Fourth official: Mick Russell

Match rules:

  • 90 minutes.
  • 30 minutes of extra time if necessary.
  • Penalty shoot-out if scores still level.
  • Seven named substitutes.
  • Maximum of three substitutions.


  1. ^ "HUDDERSFIELD 0 – PETERBOROUGH 3: FERGIE'S BOY RESTORES THE FAMILY PRIDE". Daily Express. London. 30 May 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  2. ^ Ogden, Mark (16 April 2010). "Old Trafford considered as venue for 2010–11 Football League play-off finals". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  3. ^ "2011 Football League Play-off Final and Semi-final Dates". London Events 2011.
  4. ^ a b Begley, Emlyn (29 May 2011). "Huddersfield 0–3 Peterborough". BBC News. Archived from the original on 30 May 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  5. ^ "News | npower Play-offs | npower Play-offs news | npower League 1 Play-off final preview". The Football League. Archived from the original on 30 September 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2011.