1988 Football League play-offs

Last updated
Football League play-offs
Season1987–88
Champions Middlesbrough
(Second Division)
Walsall
(Third Division)
Swansea City
(Fourth Division)
Matches played19
Goals scored50 (2.63 per match)
Biggest home win Walsall 4–0 Bristol City
(Third Division)
Biggest away win Notts County 1–3 Walsall
(Third Division)
Bristol City 1–3 Walsall
(Third Division)
Highest scoring Torquay 3–3 Swansea
(6 goals)
Highest attendance40,550 – Chelsea v Middlesbrough
(Second Division final)
Lowest attendance4,602 – Torquay v Scunthorpe
(Fourth Division semi-final)
Average attendance16,094
1987
1989

The Football League play-offs for the 1987–88 season were held in May 1988, with the two-legged finals taking place at the finalists home stadiums. The play-off semi-finals were also played over two legs and were contested by the teams who finished in 3rd, 4th and 5th place in the Football League Second Division and Football League Third Division and the 4th, 5th, 6th placed teams in the Football League Fourth Division table, along with a team from the league above. The winners of the semi-finals progressed through to the finals, with the winner of these matches either gaining promotion or avoiding relegation for the following season.

Contents

Background

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. For the first three seasons the final was played over two legs but this was changed to a single match at Wembley Stadium from 1990. Additionally, for the 1986-87 and 1987-88 play-offs the semi-finals included a team from the next league who had finished above the relegation positions up, e.g. one team from the first tier and three teams from the second tier. The team from the higher division would be relegated if they failed to win the play-offs, with the play-off winner being promoted in their place.

Second Division

First Division relegation places
PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPts
18 Chelsea 40915165068–1842
19 Portsmouth 40714193666–3035
20 Watford 40711222751–2432
21 Oxford United 40613214480–3631
Second Division play-off places
PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPts
3 Middlesbrough 442212106336+2778
4 Bradford City 442211117454+2077
5 Blackburn Rovers 44211496852+1677

Semi-finals

First leg
Bradford City 2–1 Middlesbrough
Goddard Soccerball shade.svg 67'
McCall Soccerball shade.svg
Senior Soccerball shade.svg 68'
Valley Parade, Bradford
Attendance: 16,017
Referee: David Scott

Blackburn Rovers 0–2 Chelsea
Durie Soccerball shade.svg 46'
Nevin Soccerball shade.svg 68'
Ewood Park, Blackburn
Attendance: 16,568
Referee: John Key
Second leg
Chelsea 4–1 Blackburn Rovers
Wilson Soccerball shade.svg 26', 77'
Dixon Soccerball shade.svg 55'
Durie Soccerball shade.svg 83'
Sellars Soccerball shade.svg 61'
Stamford Bridge, London
Attendance: 22,757
Referee: Allan Gunn

Chelsea won 6–1 on aggregate.


Middlesbrough 2–0 (a.e.t.) Bradford City
Slaven Soccerball shade.svg 35'
Hamilton Soccerball shade.svg 91'
Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough
Attendance: 25,868
Referee: Joe Worrall

Middlesbrough won 3–2 on aggregate.

Final

First leg
Middlesbrough 2–0 Chelsea
Slaven Soccerball shade.svg 30'
Senior Soccerball shade.svg 81'
Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough
Attendance: 25,531
Referee: Keith Hackett
Second leg
Chelsea 1–0 Middlesbrough
Durie Soccerball shade.svg 18'
Stamford Bridge, London
Attendance: 40,550
Referee: Brian Hill

Middlesbrough won 2–1 on aggregate. Chelsea relegated as result.

Third Division

Second Division relegation places
PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPts
21 Sheffield United 44137244574–2946
22 Reading 441012224470–2642
23 Huddersfield Town 446102841100–5928
Third Division play-off places
PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPts
3 Walsall 462313106850+1882
4 Notts County 462312118249+3381
5 Bristol City 462112137762+1575

Semi-finals

First leg
Notts County 1–3 Walsall
Yates Soccerball shade.svg Kelly Soccerball shade.svgSoccerball shade.svg
Shakespeare Soccerball shade.svg
Meadow Lane, Nottingham
Attendance: 11,522

Bristol City 1–0 Sheffield United
Walsh Soccerball shade.svg
Ashton Gate, Bristol
Attendance: 25,335
Second leg
Sheffield United 1–1 Bristol City
Morris Soccerball shade.svg 49' Shutt Soccerball shade.svg 17'
Bramall Lane, Sheffield
Attendance: 19,056
Referee: George Courtney

Bristol City won 2–1 on aggregate.


Walsall 1–1 Notts County
Christie Soccerball shade.svg 60' Yates Soccerball shade.svg 12'
Fellows Park, Walsall
Attendance: 8,901

Walsall won 4–2 on aggregate.

Final

First leg
Bristol City 1–3 Walsall
Walsh Soccerball shade.svg 40' Christie Soccerball shade.svg 60'
Kelly Soccerball shade.svg 78', 90'
Ashton Gate, Bristol
Attendance: 25,128
Referee: Joe Worrall
Second leg
Walsall 0–2 Bristol City
Newman Soccerball shade.svg 31'
Shutt Soccerball shade.svg 64'
Fellows Park, Walsall
Attendance: 13,941
Referee: George Tyson

Walsall 3–3 Bristol City on aggregate - Walsall won 4-2 on pens to decide who would host the replay.

Replay
Walsall 4–0 Bristol City
Kelly Soccerball shade.svg 12', 17', 63'
Hawker Soccerball shade.svg 19'
Fellows Park, Walsall
Attendance: 13,007
Referee: George Courtney

Fourth Division

Third Division relegation places
PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPts
21 Rotherham United 461216185066–1652
22 Grimsby Town 461214204858–1050
23 York City 4689294891–4333
24 Doncaster Rovers 4689294084–4433
Fourth Division play-off places
PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPts
4 Scunthorpe United 46201797651+2577
5 Torquay United 462114116641+2577
6 Swansea City 462010166256+670

Semi-finals

First leg
Torquay United 2–1 Scunthorpe United
Dobson Soccerball shade.svg
Caldwell Soccerball shade.svg
Flounders Soccerball shade.svg 71'
Plainmoor, Torquay
Attendance: 4,602

Swansea City 1–0 Rotherham United
McCarthy Soccerball shade.svg 85'
Vetch Field, Swansea
Attendance: 9,148
Second leg
Rotherham United 1–1 Swansea City
Johnson Soccerball shade.svg 46' McCarthy Soccerball shade.svg 19'
Millmoor, Rotherham
Attendance: 5,558

Swansea City won 2–1 on aggregate.


Scunthorpe United 1–1 Torquay United
Lister Soccerball shade.svg 81' (pen.) Loram Soccerball shade.svg
Old Showground, Scunthorpe
Attendance: 6,483

Torquay United won 3–2 on aggregate.

Final

First leg
Swansea City 2–1 Torquay United
McCarthy Soccerball shade.svg
Love Soccerball shade.svg 25'
McNichol Soccerball shade.svg 90'
Vetch Field, Swansea
Attendance: 10,825
Referee: Roger Milford
Second leg
Torquay United 3–3 Swansea City
McNichol Soccerball shade.svgSoccerball shade.svg
Caldwell Soccerball shade.svg
Raynor Soccerball shade.svg
McCarthy Soccerball shade.svg .' (pen.)
Davies Soccerball shade.svg
Plainmoor, Torquay
Attendance: 5,000

Swansea City won 5–4 on aggregate.

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