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Ten of the biggest EFL moments at Wembley!

Today marks a century at both the old and new Wembley Stadium.

28 April 2023

To mark 100 years of Wembley Stadium, we took a look back at some of the best EFL moments at the iconic ground, from the Play-Offs to the League Cup to the EFL Trophy.

Wembley wondergoal

"Revell... ambitious, but brilliant! I don’t believe it; I swear, I do not believe it!" Those were the words echoing around Wembley Stadium on 25 May 2014.

Rotherham United striker Alex Revell had just taken aim from 30 yards before his dipping volley arched over Leyton Orient keeper Jamie Jones to level the score at 2-2, causing Steve Evans to race down the touchline to celebrate. After falling behind in the first period in the 2013/14 League One Play-Off Final, the South Yorkshire side faced what seemed like the impossible.

Millers stopper Adam Collin pulled off two penalty shoot-out saves to secure promoton back to the Championship.

Fans flock to the arch

Wembley was awash with a sea of blue and red as over 85,000 Portsmouth and Sunderland fans descended on the capital in 2019, breaking a three-decade old record set in 1988. The showpiece attracted the largest-ever attendance for an EFL Trophy Final as Pompey battled it out with the Black Cats for the chance to get their hands on some silverware.


Portsmouth prevailed on spot-kicks following a dramatic finish in extra time. Nathan Thompson grabbed a late leveller for Kenny Jackett's side in the final 10 minutes and Pompey thought they'd won it when Jamal Lowe struck in the 114th minute, only for Sunderland to equalise.

Craig MacGillivray denied Lee Cattermole from 12 yards in a tense penalty shoot-out before Oli Hawkins slotted home the decisisve kick to win it for Pompey.

League Cup-set

In what is still considered one of the biggest cup shocks ever, Swindon Town shook off their underdog status to beat an Arsenal side in the 1969 League Cup Final.

The Gunners, who had also lost the previous year’s Final to Leeds United, were expected to come out on top against Third Division outfit Swindon.

Like QPR in 1967, Swindon were two leagues below their opponents, but they took the lead in the first half and looked set to record an upset until Bobby Gould equalised for the Gunners in the 86th minute, sending the Final into extra-time for the first time. Two goals from Don Rogers in extra-time saw Swindon secure their fairytale victory.

A force to be reckoned with

The most successful team in the history of the EFL Trophy, Bristol City lifted the silverware for a record-breaking third time in 2015 when they overcame Walsall 2-0 under the famous arch in the 2015 Final, following on from triumphs back in 1986 and again in 2003.

Aden Flint and Mark Little both made the score-sheet for the Robins who rippled the net either side of the break in front of over 40,000 travelling City supporters. And those fans were in good spirits, with their team 10 points clear at the top of the League One standings.

Bristol City went on to do the double that season, securing the title later down the line to ascend to the Championship.


A worthy winner

At 39, Hull City cult hero Dean Windass proved that age is just a number when he notched the match winner for his hometown team in the 2008 Championship Play-Off Final. The East Yorkshire native volleyed in the only goal of the game as the Tigers edged out Bristol City in a slender 1-0 victory.

For the first time in the Club's 104-year history, Hull would be a top-flight team courtesy of Windass' strike from range - one of the most famous in the Tigers' existence - to steer Phil Brown's team into the Premier League with a moment of individual brilliance.

And the now 54-year-old went on to take the title of the Club's oldest goalscorer the following term.

Cruising to victory

Swansea City beat Bradford City - the first fourth tier side to reach the League Cup Final since 1962 - by the largest-ever margin in the competition's history a decade ago this year. The result bettered Manchester United's 4-0 victory over Wigan Athletic in 2006.

It marked a first Wembley scalp for the South Wales side, who were 2-0 up and in the driving seat by the interval with goals from Nathan Dyer and Michu, and in the second period, the Swans had the Bantams at their mercy. Dyer added his second while Jonathan de Guzman bagged a brace to complete the rout.


Hat-trick hero

An eight-goal thriller was on the cards when Charlton Athletic locked horns with Sunderland in the 1998 First Division Play-Off Final. The Twin Towers awaited in what was set to be a thrilling conclusion to the Addicks' campaign and it was a game is regarded in strong contention for one of the competition's greatest showpieces.

Most notably, Charlton's Clive Mendonca netted a hat-trick against his boyhood team the Black Cats, becoming the first player to score a treble in a Play-Off Final and the last to do so at the old National Stadium.

After 120 minutes, it came down to a shoot-out which, in turn, went to sudden death, with Charlton eventually winning 7-6 on penalties, and the two teams came face to face at Wembley once again in the 2019 League One Play-Off Final.

Spot on

York City clinched the fourth and final promotion spot in the 1993 Third Division Play-Off Final and, once again, it would be penalties to determine who would take the glory on the day between the Minstermen and Crewe Alexandra.

As the tie went to extra time, Gary Swann might have thought he'd won it for York to spare them the nerves of a shoot-out, but when referee Allan Gunn pointed to the spot with 119 minutes on the watch, Crewe's Dave McKearney kept his composure to make it 1-1.

York keeper Dean Kiely guessed correctly to deny Gareth Whalley in the shoot-out and that miss was enough to see Alan Little's men secure promotion.

Asserting dominance

Liverpool won the League Cup three times on the bounce, wrapping up the trio in 1983 with a 2-1 win over Manchester United at Wembley in the Final in front of 100,000 spectators.

Ronnie Whelan's curling effort in extra time was a goal fit to win the game for the Reds over their fierce rivals after Alan Kennedy restored parity late on for Liverpool. It was a major Final which marked three-time European Cup winner Bob Paisley's last in charge of Liverpool


Late resurgence

Two late goals from Kevin Horlock and Paul Dickov salvaged Manchester City's promotion hopes in the 1999 Second Division Play-Off Final as the Cityzens bounced back from a two-goal deficit to ascend to the top-tier of English football.

It looked as though Tony Pulis' Gillingham side were on their way up, with the Gills leading 2-0 heading into the dying moments of the game, but Horlock grabbed a goal back in the 90th minute, before Dickov levelled five minutes later with a last gasp equaliser.

Sky Blues stopper Nicky Weaver saved Guy Butters' penalty kick in the shootout as City completed their comeback in style.

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