We used to have a very poor showing in the playoffs. Well, right up until 2022, anyway. We made them four times without a trip to the Wembley Final including some horrible defeats.
We've had some very high scoring aggregate games, and our worst defeat was easily the 2007 loss to Yeovil. We won 2-0 in the away leg and then, at home, proceeded to lose 5-2 on the night and 5-4 on aggregate.

Playoff Trophy
2002-03 - Sheffield United
Our first appearance in the playoffs was in 2002-03 after we finished 6th in the Nationwide League Division One (as the second tier was called then). We started with a home game against Sheffield United and even scored first, in the 55th minute. And then United scored in the 56th minute before Michael Dawson was sent off with 7 minutes to go and would miss the return leg which was the start of the crazy playoff roller coaster.
We took a 2-0 this time, but again it only lasted a minute before Sheffield pulled one back and then they equalised 8 minutes later. So into extra time we went and, after Paul Peschisolido gave United the lead, Des Walker scored an own goal with just three minutes to go to leave us needing two goals. Sure, we got one through another own goal but it was too late and we went out 5-4 on aggregate.

2006-07 - Yeovil
Our next showing was four years later by which time we'd dropped down into the tird tier. We faced Yeovil Town who we'd already beaten 1-0 twice during the regular season so no real surprise when we took a 2-0 first-leg lead back to the City Ground. In the return leg, Yeovil took a first half lead but Scott Dobie scored his last goal for to us make it level and leave us leading 3-1 on aggregate. And then it happened - Yeovil piled on the pressure and scored twice in the last 8 minutes to take us to another extra time. They then took the lead for the first time before Gary Holt made it 4-4 on aggregate with his last goal for us, but then the unbelievable happened when Yeovil scored to make it 4-5 on aggregate and they hung on for the last 10 minutes to get to Wembley ahead of us.

2009-10 - Blackpool
After automatic promotion bought us back into the second tier, a 3rd-place finish meant we met Blackpool in the playoffs. This time we'd lost both league games to them so a 2-1 first-leg loss at Bloomfield Road meant we'd have to beat them in the return leg for the first time that season. We took a 7th minute lead at The City Ground before we were pegged back 10 minutes into the second half. Another lead shortly afterwards was then wiped out with three Blackpool goals in 7 minutes! We scored a consolation with a minute to go but, after losing 5-4 in both the previous playoffs, we lost 6-4 on aggregate this year.

2010-11 - Swansea
We didn't have to wait too long to get back on the playoff trail though. The very next season we finished 6th to give us a match against Swansea. We'd already beat them 3-1 at home and lost 3-2 away during the regular season, so expected to see some goals! Nope...a 0-0 draw at home in the first leg (the only time we've failed to score in the playoffs so far) meant we had an ominous trip to Wales on Monday. We were 2-0 down at half-time and then Robert Earnshaw scored his last goal for us to mean we had another chance to get to the big game, but Swansea put it out of reach in injury time. So that was it. Again.

2021-22 - Sheffield United
And then came Steve Cooper...After starting the season with only 1 point from the first 7 games, we were rock-bottom of the league until Steve Cooper came along. He took us up the league to finish in 4th place and got us another shot at Sheffield United in the playoffs. The first leg was away and we had a great start, being 2-0 up before they got a late consolation. That proved to be vital as the home leg saw us take another lead (through Brennan Johnson...watched by his dad again) and at half-time we looked good for the win. However Sheff United pulled one back immediately after the break and then they took the lead with 15 minutes to go which tied it up 3-3 on aggregate. We went through an agonizing extra time before the tie went to penalties and to Brice Samba. He saved the first two kicks by United and then also the last one to give us a 3-2 win on penalties and put us into our first Wembley appearance for 30 years. Once there we beat Huddersfield Town 1-0 in the final to reach the Premier League for the first time since 1999.


Nationwide League Division One (Tier 2)

Date Opponent Round Leg H/A Score Result Ground Notes
Sat May 10, 2003Sheffield UnitedSemi1H1-1DrawCity Ground
Thu May 15, 2003Sheffield UnitedSemi2A3-4LossBramall LaneLost 5-4 on aggregate
Sheffield United lost 3-0 to Wolves in the playoff final


Coca Cola League One (Tier 3)

Date Opponent Round Leg H/A Score Result Ground Notes
Fri May 11, 2007Yeovil TownSemi1A2-0WinHuish Park
Fri May 18, 2007Yeovil TownSemi2H2-5LossCity GroundLost 5-4 on aggregate
Yeovil lost 2-0 to Blackpool in the playoff final


Coca-Cola Championship (Tier 2)

Date Opponent Round Leg H/A Score Result Ground Notes
Sat May 08, 2010BlackpoolSemi1A1-2LossBloomfield Road
Tue May 11, 2010BlackpoolSemi2H3-4LossCity GroundLost 6-4 on aggregate
Blackpool beat Cardiff 3-2 in the final


npower Championship (Tier 2)

Date Opponent Round Leg H/A Score Result Ground Notes
Thu May 12, 2011Swansea CitySemi1H0-0DrawCity Ground
Mon May 16, 2011Swansea CitySemi2A1-3LossLiberty StadiumLost 3-1 on aggregate. Billy Davies' last game as manager (first spell)
Swansea beat Reading 4-2 in the final


EFL Championship (Tier 2)

Date Opponent Round Leg H/A Score Result Ground Notes
Sat May 14, 2022Sheffield UnitedSemi1A2-1WinBramall Lane
Tue May 17, 2022Sheffield UnitedSemi2H1-2LossCity GroundWon 3-2 on penalties
Sun May 29, 2022Huddersfield TownFinalN1-0WinWembley (New)Played at the New Wembley Stadium