League 1 Play-Off Final
26 May 2012 - 3:00 PM
Huddersfield Town 0-0 Sheffield United
(Huddersfield win 8-7 after shoot-out)
nPower League One
3pm, Saturday 26 May 2012
Huddersfield Town won the League One Play-Off Final in dramatic fashion after Sheffield United keeper Steve Simonsen missed the crucial penalty to help Simon Grayson make an immediate return to the Championship.
Both sides failed to find a winner during the 90 minutes and although Huddersfield came the closest to breaking the deadlock in extra time, the game went to the dreaded penalty shoot-out.
With six of the opening eight penalties being missed, the Wembley crowd knew they were going to witness a dramatic ending.
The penalty shoot-out went into sudden death and with the scores level at 7-7, it was the turn of the two 'keepers to take the penalties. Huddersfield 'keeper Alex Smithies put his effort away in emphatic fashion.
But his opposite number Simonsen suffered heartache when he fired his spot-kick over the bar and handed Huddersfield a dream return to the Championship.
Huddersfield could have won the game in normal time but were denied by the woodwork just sixty seconds into the second half.
Danny Ward fired a shot from the edge of the box which beat Sheffield United keeper Steve Simonsen but the ball struck the crossbar.
Grayson’s side had another golden chance to take the lead late in the game but Tommy Smith saw shot shot cleared off the line by Michael Doyle. Simonsen then made a superb save to deny a close-range header from Peter Clarke.
The Huddersfield manager must have wondered if it was going to be Huddersfield’s day after they came close again in extra-time when Clarke’s header was also cleared off the line by Nick Montgomery.
But with the game going to penalties, Smithies proved to be the hero for Town as his winning strike helped Huddersfield gain promotion back into the Championship for the first time in 11-years.