AFTER Swindon Town beat Walsall on the final day of the League Two season last weekend, the Robins booked a play-off spot for the ninth time since its inception in 1986.

From the club’s first ever game at home to Wigan Athletic - a 3-2 victory - to the most recent disappointment courtesy of a 4-0 thumping against Preston North End at Wembley Stadium, Town’s play-off campaigns have never been dull.

Adver Sport takes a look at a handful of the highs and lows from the 23 play-off matches over the years.


For those of us under 30, it is impossible to imagine play-off success. However, Town’s first attempt garnered exactly that. After beating Wigan 3-2 in Lancashire and then securing a 0-0 draw at SN1, Swindon took three attempts to nip past Gillingham in the Division Three final - Steve ‘Chalky’ White netting both goals in a 2-0 success at Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park.


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After losing to Palace in the 88-89 Division Two play-offs, Town bounced back and made it two promotions in their first three attempts courtesy of Alan McLoughlin’s goal at Wembley in 1990.

In a game against Sunderland that Town dominated, previous hero White left his shooting boots at home and had to be rescued by a club legend who now has a stand named after him.


Probably the second-most iconic game in Town’s history behind the 1969 League Cup final, a finely-tuned and talented Swindon side blew Leicester City away to go three goals up in the 1992-93 Division One play-off final.

However, a 13-minute horror show saw the Foxes level the contest, and it appeared Swindon’s chance of Premier League football had disappeared.

Glenn Hoddle’s men responded though, and Paul Bodin nailed home a penalty late on to make Town dreams come true.

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For anyone who was unfortunate enough to witness this Division Two play-off semi-final defeat either in the Sussex rain or just on TV, the word ‘Brighton’ remains a difficult one to hear, even almost 20 years later.

After dominating the first leg - only to lose it 1-0 - Town went 2-0 ahead in extra-time of the reverse fixture, only to concede a 121st-minute aggregate equaliser.

Cue defeat on penalties and a five-season spell before the next play-off appearance.

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Fast forward to 2012-13, and it would be yet more spot-kick frustration for the Robins.

Town enjoyed a ding-dong battle with League One Brentford over two legs, Aden Flint equalising deep into extra-time before another penalty shoot-out defeat - this time, in the sun.


Since the current Wembley Stadium opened, Swindon have visited three times and lost all three without scoring.

The first appearance saw a fresh-faced Charlie Austin cursing a pitch that many experienced farmers would be proud of.

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Town lost 1-0 to Millwall in the 2009-10 League One final days after recording the club’s only play-off penalty shoot-out victory courtesy of a 5-4 win at Charlton Athletic. Stephen Darby and Phil Smith were the heroes of the hour.

Then the most recent, and certainly the most painful, trip to Wembley resulted in a 4-0 drubbing by Preston.

Following captain Nathan Thompson’s early injury, Town were quickly beaten out of sight and left to endure lower-league football ever since.


Swindon take on Port Vale over two legs to decide who plays either Northampton Town or Mansfield Town ‘under the arch.’

Should they do it, Town will write a highly memorable chapter into the club’s extremely complicated relationship with this incredible competition.

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