Huddersfield promoted after epic shoot-out win over Sheffield United
Huddersfield have been promoted after Sheffield United keeper Steve Simonsen missed the decisive penalty in an epic League One play-off final shoot-out.
After a goalless draw, Terriers keeper Alex Smithies, who had saved two spot-kicks, scored to make it 8-7 on penalties, before Simonsen blazed over.
Huddersfield had the best chances in open play with Danny Ward hitting the woodwork in the second half.
Simonsen pulled off two fine stops to deny Peter Clarke late in normal time.
For Huddersfield it was redemption after last year's 3-0 defeat by Peterborough at Old Trafford.
And chairman Dean Hoyle will feel his decision to sack manager Lee Clark and replace him with Simon Grayson in February was justified.
Sheffield United now face a second season in the third tier after their relegation in 2010-11 after 22 years in the top two flights.
The turning point of their season was the jailing of top scorer Ched Evans for rape in April. The 23-year-old had scored 35 goals for the Blades, who were four points clear of third-placed city rivals Wednesday with three games left, but dropped into the play-offs after failing to win any of their remaining matches.
The Blades started with Richard Cresswell up front on his own after the striker returned to the starting line-up following an injury-plagued month.
The 34-year-old was isolated but caused Huddersfield problems with his sheer strength and almost scored the opener 10 minutes in.
Clarke failed to deal with a long ball under pressure from Cresswell but recovered to block the striker's shot. Then moments later Cresswell found Stephen Quinn with his cross but the Irishman's header was blocked for a corner.
On a warm day at Wembley, with temperatures reaching 25C, clear-cut chances were few and far between. Both sets of players were taking the opportunity to get drinks at any break in play.
Neither side managed a proper shot on target in the first half but seconds after the break Ward almost scored the opening goal. The ball found the 20-year-old winger just outside the box and he hit the woodwork - just as he did in last season's final at 0-0.
It took the Terriers 82 minutes to test Simonsen in the Blades goal, but when they did, they had three shots on target in 60 seconds.
Clarke forced a brilliant save down low from the United keeper and, from the follow-up, Tommy Miller's shot was blocked on the line by Michael Doyle. And Simonsen again denied Terriers captain Clarke from the following corner.
The Blades brought on striker Chris Porter for Cresswell and he headed wide within seconds of his introduction.
Quinn fired just wide at the near post into the side-netting late on as the game went into extra time.
As in normal time, the extra 30 minutes did not provide a feast of action in the goalmouth, although Smithies was forced to pull off a fine stop from Quinn.
Huddersfield looked the better side going forward and substitute Alan Lee forced another good save from Simonsen in the 110th minute.
And 40-goal top scorer Jordan Rhodes almost had an empty net to tap into right at the end of the game but Nick Montgomery scooped the ball away from him at the last moments.
And so the game went to penalties.
Huddersfield missed their first three kicks, with Miller, Damien Johnson and Lee all failing to convert, while Lee Williamson and Matthew Lowton missed for the Blades either side of Neill Collins's successful kick.
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 Smithies, who only played after first-choice Ian Bennett failed a late fitness test on a hand injury, became the Terriers' hero and Simonsen the villain for the Blades.
VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Huddersfield Town boss Simon Grayson:
"We never expected it to get down to the goalkeepers.
"There was nothing in the game whatsoever.
"What an unbelievable end to the game and I really feel for Sheffield United. Hopefully they can come up next year.
"The best way to get promoted is by winning at Wembley."
Sheffield United manager Danny Wilson told BBC Radio Sheffield:
"What was going to separate (the two sides) was maybe a little bit of magic or like you saw a penalty kick.
"To save the penalties like Steve did, who would have thought it would come down to that?
"He nearly got his hand to two others but that's the way it goes sometimes. I don't know if that's fate but for him to miss the penalty, it's blameless."
- 01 Smithies
- 02 Woods
- 05 P Clarke
- 15 Morrison
- 32 Hunt
- 11 Ward (Lee - 98' )
- 14 Johnson Booked
- 18 Miller
- 17 Rhodes
- 21 Novak (Arfield - 116' )
- 27 Higginbotham Booked (Roberts - 79' )
- 25 Colgan
- 12 T Clarke
- 07 Roberts
- 16 Arfield
- 19 Lee
- 01 Simonsen
- 02 Lowton
- 15 Collins
- 19 Maguire Booked
- 32 Hill
- 04 Montgomery (Taylor - 120' )
- 08 Doyle
- 11 Flynn (O'Halloran - 108' )
- 14 Williamson
- 28 Quinn
- 17 Cresswell (Porter - 85' )
- 13 Howard
- 16 Taylor
- 20 McAllister
- 21 Porter
- 29 O'Halloran
Live Text Commentary
Spot kick missed by Steve Simonsen.130:00 +1:56 Penalty
Penalty scored by Alex Smithies. Huddersfield 8-7 Sheff Utd on penalties.130:00 +1:29 Penalty
Penalty scored by Matthew Hill. Huddersfield 7-7 Sheff Utd on penalties.130:00 +0:54 Penalty
Sean Morrison scores a penalty. Huddersfield 7-6 Sheff Utd on penalties.130:00 +0:29 Penalty
Penalty scored by Michael O'Halloran. Huddersfield 6-6 Sheff Utd on penalties.129:57 Penalty
Jack Hunt scores a penalty. Huddersfield 6-5 Sheff Utd on penalties.129:24 Penalty
Penalty scored by Michael Doyle. Huddersfield 5-5 Sheff Utd on penalties.128:48 Penalty
Penalty scored by Calum Woods. Huddersfield 5-4 Sheff Utd on penalties.128:13 Penalty
Harry Maguire scores a penalty. Huddersfield 4-4 Sheff Utd on penalties.127:45 Penalty
Penalty scored by Gary Roberts. Huddersfield 4-3 Sheff Utd on penalties.127:06 Penalty
Penalty scored by Stephen Quinn. Huddersfield 3-3 Sheff Utd on penalties.126:29 Penalty
Jordan Rhodes scores a penalty. Huddersfield 3-2 Sheff Utd on penalties.126:02 Penalty
Chris Porter scores a penalty. Huddersfield 2-2 Sheff Utd on penalties.125:11 Penalty
Penalty scored by Scott Arfield. Huddersfield 2-1 Sheff Utd on penalties.124:25
Penalty missed by Andy Taylor.123:52 Penalty
Peter Clarke scores a penalty. Huddersfield 1-1 Sheff Utd on penalties.123:11
Penalty taken by Matthew Lowton saved by Alex Smithies.122:39
A save by Steve Simonsen from penalty by Alan Lee.122:02 Penalty
Neill Collins scores a penalty. Huddersfield 0-1 Sheff Utd on penalties.121:31
Penalty missed by Damien Johnson.
A save by Alex Smithies from penalty by Lee Williamson.120:13
Penalty taken by Tommy Miller is saved by Steve Simonsen.120:01
The first player steps forward to start the penalty shoot-out.120:00 +3:04
The match goes to a penalty shoot-out.120:00 +2:07
Free kick awarded for a foul by Jordan Rhodes on Neill Collins. Free kick taken by Steve Simonsen.120:00 +0:44
Michael Doyle takes the direct free kick.120:00 +0:44 Substitution
Substitution Andy Taylor on for Nick Montgomery.120:00 +0:44
Chris Porter fouled by Sean Morrison, the ref awards a free kick.118:19
Peter Clarke challenges Michael O'Halloran unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Matthew Lowton.115:03 Substitution
Substitution Scott Arfield replaces Lee Novak.114:14
Lee Williamson takes a outswinging corner.113:57
Chris Porter takes a shot. Blocked by Peter Clarke.112:25
Lee Williamson has a direct shot on goal from the free kick, Alex Smithies makes a save.112:25 Booking
Booking Caution for Damien Johnson.112:17
Chris Porter fouled by Damien Johnson, the ref awards a free kick.110:55
Foul by Nick Montgomery on Jordan Rhodes, free kick awarded. Centre by Gary Roberts, Peter Clarke takes a shot. Clearance by Matthew Lowton.109:30
Jack Hunt fouled by Michael O'Halloran, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Damien Johnson.109:13
The ball is crossed by Calum Woods, Nick Montgomery manages to make a clearance.108:50
Alan Lee takes a shot. Save by Steve Simonsen.107:07
Steve Simonsen takes the direct free kick.107:07 Substitution
Substitution Ryan Flynn leaves the field to be replaced by Michael O'Halloran.107:07
Free kick awarded for a foul by Alan Lee on Michael Doyle.106:21
Damien Johnson delivers the ball, Nick Montgomery manages to make a clearance.105:53
Corner from the right by-line taken by Gary Roberts, clearance by Harry Maguire.105:49
The ball is swung over by Jack Hunt, blocked by Ryan Flynn.105:01
The match restarts for the second half of extra time.105:00 +0:54
Calum Woods takes the direct free kick.105:00 +0:54 Booking
Booking Harry Maguire is booked.105:00 +0:49
Free kick awarded for a foul by Harry Maguire on Jordan Rhodes.105:00 +0:31
Stephen Quinn takes a shot. Save by Alex Smithies.101:58
Matthew Hill gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Alan Lee. Gary Roberts crosses the ball in from the free kick.100:23
Free kick awarded for a foul by Lee Williamson on Gary Roberts. Alex Smithies takes the direct free kick.99:57
A cross is delivered by Neill Collins, Jack Hunt gets a block in.98:52
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stephen Quinn by Damien Johnson. Stephen Quinn takes the direct free kick.97:47
Free kick taken by Steve Simonsen.97:47 Substitution
Substitution Alan Lee comes on in place of Daniel Ward.97:47
Harry Maguire fouled by Daniel Ward, the ref awards a free kick.97:01
Stephen Quinn produces a volleyed left-footed shot from 12 yards. Peter Clarke gets a block in. A cross is delivered by Matthew Lowton.96:20
Stephen Quinn fouled by Jack Hunt, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Matthew Hill.94:01
Corner taken right-footed by Lee Williamson, Unfair challenge on Alex Smithies by Neill Collins results in a free kick. Alex Smithies restarts play with the free kick.93:36
Stephen Quinn produces a cross, Chris Porter takes a shot. Blocked by Calum Woods.90:58
Jack Hunt sends in a cross, clearance by Harry Maguire.90:00 +2:45
The referee blows for the end of normal time.90:00 +1:15
The ball is crossed by Lee Novak.90:00 +0:18
Sean Morrison crosses the ball, clearance made by Harry Maguire.88:37
Stephen Quinn produces a left-footed shot from just outside the area that goes wide left of the goal.87:42
Daniel Ward sends in a cross, Harry Maguire makes a clearance.86:17
Shot by Lee Novak. Save by Steve Simonsen.85:34
Header from close range by Chris Porter misses to the right of the goal.84:01 Substitution
Substitution Chris Porter joins the action as a substitute, replacing Richard Cresswell.83:34
Daniel Ward crosses the ball, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Jordan Rhodes misses to the right of the target.83:04
Corner taken by Daniel Ward, Sean Morrison takes a shot. Save made by Steve Simonsen.82:01
Corner taken by Daniel Ward from the right by-line, Sean Morrison takes a shot. Steve Simonsen makes a save. Peter Clarke takes a shot. Steve Simonsen makes a save.78:37 Substitution
Substitution Gary Roberts on for Kallum Higginbotham.78:23
Matthew Lowton produces a cross.77:09
Handball decision goes against Richard Cresswell. Sean Morrison takes the free kick.76:16
Effort from the edge of the penalty box by Stephen Quinn goes wide of the right-hand upright.74:54
Damien Johnson concedes a free kick for a foul on Stephen Quinn. Free kick crossed right-footed by Ryan Flynn from left wing, Peter Clarke manages to make a clearance.70:29
Stephen Quinn crosses the ball.69:45
The ball is delivered by Nick Montgomery, clearance by Peter Clarke.68:34
Kallum Higginbotham has shot on goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.68:18
Lee Williamson sends in a cross, clearance by Lee Novak.67:36
Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Lee Williamson.65:38
Inswinging corner taken by Kallum Higginbotham, free kick awarded for a foul by Jordan Rhodes on Richard Cresswell. Steve Simonsen restarts play with the free kick.65:34
The ball is swung over by Jack Hunt, Matthew Lowton makes a clearance.65:12
The ball is swung over by Calum Woods, clearance made by Lee Williamson.63:34
Damien Johnson concedes a free kick for a foul on Nick Montgomery. Matthew Hill restarts play with the free kick.63:24
The ball is delivered by Jack Hunt, clearance by Matthew Hill.63:15
Lee Novak produces a cross, blocked by Matthew Hill.61:52
Matthew Lowton produces a cross, save made by Alex Smithies.61:18
The free kick is swung in right-footed by Matthew Lowton, Jordan Rhodes manages to make a clearance.61:18 Booking
Booking Kallum Higginbotham is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.61:08
Matthew Lowton fouled by Kallum Higginbotham, the ref awards a free kick.59:54
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Kallum Higginbotham, Header from close range by Peter Clarke misses to the right of the goal.59:44
Kallum Higginbotham sends in a cross, Matthew Lowton manages to make a clearance.59:11
Lee Novak fouled by Michael Doyle, the ref awards a free kick. Damien Johnson takes the direct free kick.58:37
Corner taken left-footed by Stephen Quinn from the right by-line, Sean Morrison makes a clearance.56:43
Kallum Higginbotham fouled by Matthew Hill, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed by Daniel Ward.54:58
Free kick awarded for a foul by Daniel Ward on Lee Williamson. Steve Simonsen takes the free kick.53:42
Corner taken by Stephen Quinn, Close range headed effort by Harry Maguire goes wide of the left-hand post.53:37
Matthew Lowton produces a cross, Daniel Ward gets a block in.53:22
Centre by Ryan Flynn, clearance made by Sean Morrison.53:11
The ball is sent over by Stephen Quinn, clearance by Peter Clarke.52:17
Matthew Hill fouled by Lee Novak, the ref awards a free kick. Steve Simonsen takes the free kick.50:04
Corner taken by Lee Williamson. The ball is crossed by Stephen Quinn, clearance by Sean Morrison.49:56
The ball is swung over by Ryan Flynn, blocked by Jack Hunt.47:29
Stephen Quinn challenges Sean Morrison unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Peter Clarke.46:53
The assistant referee flags for offside against Jordan Rhodes. Free kick taken by Steve Simonsen.46:13
A cross is delivered by Calum Woods, Daniel Ward takes a shot.45:01
The referee gets the second half underway.45:00 +1:38 Half time
Half Time The whistle is blown to end the first half.45:00 +0:15
Inswinging corner taken by Lee Williamson, Sean Morrison manages to make a clearance.43:39
The ball is sent over by Jack Hunt.43:07
Richard Cresswell is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Alex Smithies takes the free kick.41:34
Jack Hunt challenges Ryan Flynn unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ryan Flynn takes the free kick.39:48
The ball is delivered by Stephen Quinn, Calum Woods manages to make a clearance.38:56
Jack Hunt produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the goal.38:14
A cross is delivered by Daniel Ward, clearance made by Matthew Hill.36:46
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jack Hunt by Ryan Flynn. Free kick taken by Alex Smithies.36:36
Centre by Matthew Lowton, Peter Clarke makes a clearance.36:18
Matthew Hill takes a shot. Blocked by Sean Morrison.36:07
The ball is sent over by Matthew Lowton.34:45
The referee blows for offside against Richard Cresswell. Alex Smithies takes the free kick.34:32
The ball is swung over by Ryan Flynn, Calum Woods makes a clearance.31:33
Jack Hunt gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ryan Flynn. Stephen Quinn crosses the ball in from the free kick, save by Alex Smithies.29:21
Centre by Daniel Ward, Neill Collins manages to make a clearance.28:50
The ball is swung over by Stephen Quinn.28:14
The ball is sent over by Matthew Lowton, clearance by Sean Morrison.27:59
Matthew Lowton delivers the ball, clearance made by Sean Morrison.26:14
The ball is swung over by Tommy Miller, Kallum Higginbotham takes a shot. Clearance by Neill Collins.23:57
Foul by Michael Doyle on Jordan Rhodes, free kick awarded. Sean Morrison takes the direct free kick.23:07
Peter Clarke fouled by Stephen Quinn, the ref awards a free kick. Alex Smithies restarts play with the free kick.22:38
Foul by Sean Morrison on Stephen Quinn, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Neill Collins.20:34
Richard Cresswell is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Peter Clarke.19:17
Tommy Miller challenges Nick Montgomery unfairly and gives away a free kick. Matthew Lowton crosses the ball in from the free kick, Alex Smithies makes a save.16:55
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Lee Williamson from the right by-line, clearance made by Jordan Rhodes.16:44
The ball is crossed by Lee Williamson, clearance made by Calum Woods.13:10
Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Daniel Ward, Harry Maguire manages to make a clearance.11:21
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Stephen Quinn from the right by-line, clearance by Tommy Miller.11:12
The ball is delivered by Richard Cresswell, clearance made by Peter Clarke.10:06
Richard Cresswell takes a shot. Peter Clarke gets a block in. Ryan Flynn crosses the ball.8:36
Damien Johnson has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.8:22
The ball is swung over by Jack Hunt, Matthew Hill manages to make a clearance.8:01
Unfair challenge on Calum Woods by Stephen Quinn results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Kallum Higginbotham.7:33
Inswinging corner taken by Damien Johnson, save by Steve Simonsen.6:48
Inswinging corner taken by Damien Johnson, Matthew Hill manages to make a clearance.6:39
The ball is swung over by Calum Woods, Lee Williamson manages to make a clearance.5:10
Richard Cresswell challenges Calum Woods unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Calum Woods.4:26
Free kick awarded for a foul by Stephen Quinn on Peter Clarke. Alex Smithies takes the direct free kick.2:53
Lee Novak challenges Michael Doyle unfairly and gives away a free kick. Steve Simonsen takes the free kick.0:00
The referee gets the game underway.
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