All-Yorkshire play-off finals: We’ve been here before haven’t we...

Sheffield United goalkeeper Steve Simonsen is distraught after missing the final penalty in the 2012 League One play-off final.
Sheffield United goalkeeper Steve Simonsen is distraught after missing the final penalty in the 2012 League One play-off final.
2
Have your say

WE have been here before. Back in 2008 and 2012 to be precise - the two previous occasions that Yorkshire clubs have met in a play-off showpiece at Wembley for the right to clinch promotion.

Although the stakes, financially at least, have never been so high as they will be for Hull City and Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday week in the £200m Premier League jackpot match.

Doncaster Rovers' Paul Green (r) and James Hayter celebrate after beating Leeds United in the 2008 League One play-off final.

Doncaster Rovers' Paul Green (r) and James Hayter celebrate after beating Leeds United in the 2008 League One play-off final.

As for what has gone on before, well there was the ultra-tense penalty shoot-out between Huddersfield Town and Sheffield United for the right to go up to the Championship in 2012, while who can forget the League One final between Doncaster Rovers and Leeds United in 2008. Probably Whites supporters....

Let’s rewind the clock to both dates, if you can bare it..

May 26, 2012: Huddersfield Town 0 Sheffield United 0 AET - Huddersfield win 8-7 on penalties.

Let’s face it, an eminently forgettable showpiece in sultry conditions, with the real drama confined to an amazing penalty shoot-out which ended with Town returning to the second tier for the first time in over a decade.

A low-quality spectacle ensued for 120 minutes before the spot-kick drama which turned into an epic.

Huddersfield, incredibly, missed their first three penalties through Tommy Miller, Damien Johnson and Alan Lee and looked down and out.

But Lee Williamson and Matthew Lowton also missed for the Blades either side of Neill Collins’s successful kick.

Peter Clarke then scored for the Terriers and Andy Taylor, brought on specifically for the shoot-out with seconds left, hit the post.

The next six takers for each side all scored their kicks before goalkeeper Alex Smithies, who only played after first-choice Ian Bennett failed a late fitness test on a hand injury, became the Terriers’ hero - before his counterpart Steve Simonsen assumed villain status, blasting the 22nd penalty over the bar.

It prompted Town chief Simon Grayson to state. “I certainly didn’t see that coming when we missed our first three. That was an unbelievable experience.”

Town’s line-up included Jack Hunt, likely to line up for Wednesday on Saturday week.

May 26, 2008, Doncaster Rovers 1 Leeds United 0.

James Hayter wrote his name into Rovers’ folklore as they booked their place in the second-tier of English football for the first time in half a century after a sweet victory over Leeds.

The lad from the Isle of Wight powered in a diving header from Brian Stock’s corner just after the interval to send Rovers into dreamland, as Gary McAllister’s distraught Leeds suffered play-off final grief for the second time in three seasons.

Leeds supporters made up the vast majority of the crowd, with a fair number seated in Doncaster’s end, but it was Rovers’ day and they thoroughly deserved their triumph against the Whites.

Casper Ankergren had made two great saves in the first half to deny James Coppinger and Hayter and Leeds surged forward and dominated possession after going behind soon after the resumption, they had few clear-cut chances as Rovers held on.

Hayter, making only his second start since January after a hernia operation, said: “I’ve been dreaming about scoring the winner at Wembley all week, but when it happened I didn’t know what to do. I made a right idiot of myself.”