By Dan Johnson
Swindon Town 5-5 Sheffield United – League One play-offs (May 11, 2015)
So many memories to pick from, from many decades – the 2010 play-off semi-finals were fantastic, also the recent League Two title – but I’ll go for the home play-off semi-final from 2015.
After recording a surprising victory at Bramell Lane a few days earlier Town’s slender lead was doubled with one of the best goals seen at the County Ground in recent years; Ben Gladwin’s half volley was a thing of pure beauty and sent the ground wild, a noise that must of been heard all over Swindon.
The euphoria surrounding the Town faithful only grew as Gladwin scored again to give Swindon a three-goal lead on aggregate.
As Michael Smith added a third on the night it felt like the ground around my feet was shaking and our passage into another play-off final appeared to be complete, but the Blades didn’t surrender as they scored two goals before half-time to bring the decibel level from the Town End down slightly. A few nerves crept in.
Thankfully, Smith got a chance to restore the two-goal cushion and nicely tucked away his penalty, but Nigel Clough’s side didn’t throw in the towel and again reduced the aggregate score with their third of the night.
Town again piled on the pressure to kill off the tie and Jonathan Obika’s skillful run and finish in front of the Stratton Bank restored a three-goal lead overall as the County Ground breathed a huge sigh of relief.
With just six minutes left in the tie, incredibly the Blades somehow found the strength to reduce the score as they netted twice to leave the whole of Swindon nervously waiting for the full-time whistle. Thankfully for Town it came and we found ourselves at Wembley for the third time in five years.
A once-in-a-lifetime experience for the fans at SN1 that evening and something I will never forget!
Swindon: Foderingham, Thompson (Obika 57), Stephens, Turnbull, Byrne, Luongo, Kasim, Gladwin (Branco 90), Ricketts, Hylton (Rogders 62), Smith
Subs not used: Barthram, Belford, Randall, Marshall
Sheffield Utd: Howard, Freeman, McEveley, Alcock, Harris, Flynn (Adams 85), Coutts, Basham, Murphy, Done, McNulty (Davies 60)
Subs not used: Doyle, McGahey, Turner, Davies, Holt