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Fascinating battle for Premier League promotion

The National staff  |  May 27, 2013

Crystal Palace meet Watford on Monday in the Championship play-off final, with promotion to the English Premier League the prize. Here is a look at five memorable play-off games.

1 – May 31, 1993 Leicester City 3 Swindon 4 Inspired by player-manager Glenn Hoddle, right, Swindon had charged to a three-goal lead in the opening 53 minutes, only for Leicester to fight back with three goals of their own. But Hoddle’s men went up as Paul Bodin scored a penalty six minutes from time.
2 – May 29, 1995 Bolton Wanderers 4 Reading 3 It had looked ominous for Bolton after they went two down and conceded a penalty. But Steve Lovell’s penalty was saved by Keith Branagan and Bolton roared back, and Fabian de Freitas’s equaliser, left centre, sent the game to extra-time, where he and Mixu Paatelainen were on target to win the game.

3 – May 25, 1998 Charlton Athletic 4 Sunderland 4 A thriller saw Sunderland lead three times, but they were hauled back by Charlton, who had Clive Mendonca, right, score three times. The game went to penalties, where Charlton prevailed 8-7 as Michael Gray saw his weak effort saved by Sasa Ilic.

4 – May 22, 2010 Blackpool 3 Cardiff City 2 All the goals came in the first half as Cardiff twice led only to be matched by Blackpool, who then scored what proved to be the winner in first-half stoppage time through Brett Ormerod, left. Ian Holloway, who manages Palace today, saw his side survive Cardiff pressure in the second half to win.

5 – May 30, 2011 Reading 2 Swansea City 4 Swansea appeared to be cruising thanks to two goals from Scott Sinclair, right, and another from Stephen Dobbie as they led 3-0 at the break. But Reading pulled two back and it took a Sinclair penalty to calm Swansea’s nerves and secure their promotion.