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Countdown to kick-off: Eight memorable moments from the 2014/15 Football League season

30 July 2015

Eight sleeps are all that remain until a new Football League season sparks into life, with Brighton & Hove Albion hosting Nottingham Forest in the opening game a week on Friday.

To mark that figure, we've picked out eight of the most memorable moments from across the divisions last season that are sure to whet your appetite for the start of a new term.

11th May 2015 - Swindon Town prevail in highest-scoring Play-Off in Football League history

The back-end of last season brought us one of the most remarkable games the Football League has ever seen, let alone the Play-Offs.

At the County Ground in May, Swindon Town and Sheffield United contested the second leg of their semi-final, with the match ending in a staggering 5-5 draw.

It was enough to see the Robins through to the Final and Wembley with a 7-6 aggregate victory, and it was a scoreline not likely to be topped any time soon.

25th May 2015 - Norwich City bounce back at the first time of asking

The Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final resulted in Norwich achieving promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt.

Having beaten local rivals Ipswich Town over two legs in the semi-final, the Canaries swept Middlesbrough aside in the capital courtesy of goals from Cameron Jerome and Nathan Redmond.

It was manager Alex Neil's second promotion in as many seasons, after he led Hamilton Academical to the Scottish Premiership in 2014.

25th April 2015 - Ronnie Moore leads Hartlepool United to the Great Escape

When Moore took the reins at Hartlepool in December, the club were in grave danger of losing their Football League status, sitting six points adrift at the bottom of Sky Bet League 2.

The 62-year-old soon got his side picking up points, though, leading Pools through a memorable March where they rattled off four successive victories.

A 2-1 win over Exeter City on the penultimate weekend of the season, combined with defeats for Cheltenham Town and Tranmere Rovers, secured the turnaround, and ensured Hartlepool’s survival.

24th May 2015 - Preston North End beat Swindon Town to earn promotion

It took 10 Play-Off campaigns for Preston North End to finally feel the jubilation of winning the Football League’s promotion-deciding event, and their 4-0 win at Wembley over Swindon is sure to live long in the memory. 

Preston’s Play-Off hoodoo was well documented prior to kick-off, but they showed no signs of nerves when they dispatched of the Robins, with a Jermaine Beckford hat-trick and a Paul Huntingdon volley securing their route into the Sky Bet Championship.

3rd May 2015 - Form book goes out the window as Colchester United survive

In a tightly-contested battle towards the foot of the Sky Bet League 1 table, the odds were stacked against Colchester going into the final day of the season.

The U's sat 22nd in the standings, and were at home to a Preston North End side who had gone 18 games without defeat and were looking to seal promotion to the Championship.

The hosts wasted a perfect opportunity to go in front when Chris Porter missed a second-half penalty, but the striker made up for it in the 82nd minute when he brilliantly teed up for the winning goal, sending the Weston Homes Community Stadium into raptures.

25th October 2014 - Bournemouth strike eight past struggling Birmingham

Bournemouth claimed the biggest Football League victory of the season, as they smashed eight past Birmingham City at St Andrew’s.

The Cherries made a bright start to the campaign, but this result confirmed their status as promotion contenders and highlighted how much quality manager Eddie Howe had at his disposal.

A Marc Pugh hat-trick, a brace from Tokelo Rantie and solitary strikes from Brett Pitman, Callum Wilson and Matt Ritchie saw the eventual Sky Bet Championship winners to a hugely impressive victory, and one of their best in a memorable season.

23rd May 2015 - Daniel Bentley’s heroics send Southend United to Sky Bet League 1

After a record-breaking season, Shrimpers goalkeeper Daniel Bentley was the hero as Southend defeated Wycombe Wanderers in the Sky Bet League 2 Play-Off Final at Wembley.

For a while, it seemed the 22-year-old may have contributed to a loss, after unfortunately deflecting Joe Jacobson's free-kick into his own net in the first period of extra-time.

However, a last gasp Joe Pigott strike took the game to a penalty shoot-out, where Bentley pulled off two saves to secure Southend’s promotion.

24th January 2015 - Watford hit Blackpool for seven

When Watford went into the half-time break 2-0 down to bottom-of-the-league Blackpool at Vicarage Road, Hornets supporters could have been forgiven for thinking the match was beyond them.

However, Watford proved that they were not a team to be messed with on numerous occasions last term, and their 7-2 thrashing of Blackpool was one of the eye-catching victories of their season.

Odion Ighalo’s four-goal haul, combined with strikes from Troy Deeney, Matej Vydra, and Gabriele Angella saw them hammer the Tangerines, and announce their attacking prowess to the rest of the Championship.

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