1998 Football League play-offs

Last updated
Football League play-offs
Season1997–98
Champions Charlton Athletic
(First Division)
Grimsby Town
(Second Division)
Colchester United
(Third Division)
Matches played15
Goals scored41 (2.73 per match)
Biggest home win Torquay 4–1 Scarborough
(Third Division)
Biggest away win Scarborough 1–3 Torquay
(Third Division)
Highest scoring Charlton 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.

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.

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

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
3 Sunderland 46261288650+3690
4 Charlton Athletic 462610108049+3188
5 Ipswich Town 46231497743+3483
6 Sheffield United 461917106954+1574

Semi-finals

First leg
Ipswich Town 0–1 Charlton Athletic
Report Clapham Soccerball shade.svg 12' (o.g.)
Portman Road, Ipswich
Attendance: 21,681
Referee: Mick Fletcher

Sheffield United 2–1 Sunderland
Marcelo Soccerball shade.svg 57'
Borbokis Soccerball shade.svg 76'
Report Ball Soccerball shade.svg 17'
Bramall Lane, Sheffield
Attendance: 23,800
Referee: Clive Wilkes
Second leg
Charlton Athletic 1–0 Ipswich Town
Newton Soccerball shade.svg 36'
The Valley, London
Attendance: 15,585
Referee: Eddie Wolstenholme

Charlton Athletic won 2–0 on aggregate.


Sunderland 2–0 Sheffield United
Marker Soccerball shade.svg 21' (o.g.)
Phillips Soccerball shade.svg 38'
Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Attendance: 40,092
Referee: Mick Pierce

Sunderland won 3–2 on aggregate.

Final

Second Division

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
3 Grimsby Town 461915125537+1872
4 Northampton Town 461817115237+1571
5 Bristol Rovers 462010167064+670
6 Fulham 462010166043+1770

Semi-finals

First leg
Fulham 1–1 Grimsby Town
Beardsley Soccerball shade.svg 45' (pen.) Smith Soccerball shade.svg 53'
Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 13,954
Referee: Terry Heilbron

Bristol Rovers 3–1 Northampton Town
Beadle Soccerball shade.svg 30' (pen.)
Bennett Soccerball shade.svg 37'
Hayles Soccerball shade.svg 46'
Gayle Soccerball shade.svg 74'
Memorial Ground, Bristol
Attendance: 9,173
Referee: Rob Harris
Second leg
Grimsby Town 1–0 Fulham
Donovan Soccerball shade.svg 81'
Blundell Park, Cleethorpes
Attendance: 8,689
Referee: Clive Wilkes

Grimsby Town won 2–1 on aggregate.


Northampton Town 3–0 Bristol Rovers
Heggs Soccerball shade.svg 34'
Clarkson Soccerball shade.svg 61'
Warburton Soccerball shade.svg 77'
Sixfields Stadium, Northampton
Attendance: 7,501
Referee: Mick Fletcher

Northampton Town won 4–3 on aggregate.

Final

Grimsby Town 1–0 Northampton Town
Donovan Soccerball shade.svg 19'
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 62,988
Referee: Terry Heilbron

Third Division

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
4 Colchester United 462111147260+1274
5 Torquay United 462111146859+974
6 Scarborough 461915126758+972
7 Barnet 461913146151+1070

Semi-finals

First leg
Barnet 1–0 Colchester United
Heald Soccerball shade.svg 48'
Underhill, London
Attendance: 3,858
Referee: Eddie Wolstenholme

Scarborough 1–3 Torquay United
Rockett Soccerball shade.svg 40' Jack Soccerball shade.svg 22'
Gittens Soccerball shade.svg 50'
McFarlane Soccerball shade.svg 72'
McCain Stadium, Scarborough
Attendance: 5,246
Referee: Mike Pierce
Second leg
Colchester United 3–1 (a.e.t.) Barnet
Gregory Soccerball shade.svg 12' (pen.), 95'
Greene Soccerball shade.svg 65'
Goodhind Soccerball shade.svg 41'
Layer Road, Colchester
Attendance: 5,863
Referee: Terry Heilbron

Colchester United won 3–2 on aggregate.


Torquay United 4–1 Scarborough
Jack Soccerball shade.svg 6', 7'
McCall Soccerball shade.svg 38'
Gibbs Soccerball shade.svg 55'
Rockett Soccerball shade.svg 22'
Plainmoor, Torquay
Attendance: 5,386
Referee: Rob Harris

Torquay United won 7–2 on aggregate.

Final

Colchester United 1–0 Torquay United
Gregory Soccerball shade.svg 22' (pen.)
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 19,486
Referee: Mick Fletcher

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