Millwall v Scunthorpe

22 May 2009 07:52
League One play-off final Venue: Wembley Stadium Date: Sunday, 24 May Kick-off: 1300 BST Coverage: Commentary on BBC London 94.9FM and BBC Radio Humberside 95.9FM; Coverage on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Sport website (UK only); live text commentary on BBC Sport website & mobiles. Also live on Sky Sports Millwall team news to follow. Top scorer Gary Hooper is fit for Scunthorpe United ahead of their play-off game against Millwall. Hooper has recovered from a groin problem but former Millwall player Ben May has a thigh injury. Scunthorpe make their second Wembley appearance in seven weeks, having lost 3-2 to Luton Town in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final, eager for an immediate return to the second tier. Scunthorpe boss Nigel Adkins told BBC Look North: "We can go down there having experienced it before and we don't need to play the occasion we just need to play the game now. "We loved every minute of the Championship last year, got 46 points and so nearly managed to stay up. "We wanted to give ourselves an opportunity to get back there and we've got it now with one game to go, our 60th of the season." "Gary Hooper and Paul Hayes have a had great partnership this year. Gary's scored 30 goals, Paul has scored 20, so that's 50 between them." BIG-MATCH FACTS Millwall contest their first play-off final, trying to return to the Championship after three seasons at the third level. The Lions had to overcome the considerable hurdle of Leeds in the semi-finals. Neil Harris gave Millwall a 1-0 lead from the home leg, and Nadjim Abdou equalised at Elland Road to secure a 2-1 aggregate victory. The Iron won a tight semi-final with Milton Keynes Dons. Scunthorpe midfielder Martin Woolford scored in the home leg, which ended 1-1. There were no further goals after 120 minutes in the second leg, the North Lincolnshire club winning 7-6 on penalties after former Chelsea striker Tore Andre Flo missed for the Dons. Gary Hooper, Scunthorpe's 30-goal leading scorer, has put three goals past Millwall this season; Gary Alexander, the Lions' 13-goal top marksman, has netted just once against the Iron this term. The Referee Michael Oliver (Northumberland) This game takes place 24 hours after Michael's father Clive takes charge of the League Two final. This is the first time in the history of the play-offs that a father and son have officiated in this way. MILLWALL The Table Finished in fifth place, seven points short of automatic promotion. Current form Gained their play-off place with two games remaining, despite alternating between victory and defeat in their last eight games of the regular season. Not won in four games away from the New Den, since beating Crewe at Gresty Road on 28 March. Play-Off history This is their fifth experience of the play-offs; their interest in all the previous four ended at the semi-final stage. The eventual prize for the winners in three of the previous unsuccessful four was a place in the top flight (1991, 1994 and 2002). The other play-off was at the same level as this one, in the year 2000. The Manager Kenny Jackett is taking a club to the play-off finals for the second time, having guided Swansea to the League One final at the Millennium Stadium on 27 May 2006. But that game against Barnsley was lost on penalties after a 2-2 draw. Now the former Wales international midfielder is heading to Wembley, 19 months after taking charge of Millwall. Jackett picked up an FA Cup losers medal at Wembley in 1984, as part of the Watford side that lost 2-0 to Everton. Play-Off fact In the 13 years since clubs finishing in positions third to sixth at third league level have qualified for the play-offs, the ones finishing in fifth have gone on to gain promotion three times. Wembley appearances Paying their first visit to Wembley since being thrashed 3-0 to Manchester United in the FA Cup final five years ago. Their previous trip was also unsuccessful, losing 1-0 to Wigan in the final of the Auto Windscreens Shield on 18 April 1999. SCUNTHORPE UNITED The Table Finished sixth, only gaining the final play-off spot thanks to a last-minute equaliser at home to Tranmere. A 1-1 draw saw them finish one place and two points above Rovers. Current form Drawn the last three league and play-off matches, and unbeaten in six (one win, five draws). Lost only one of the last eight, and have not been beaten away from Glanford Park since defeat by the odd goal in three at Peterborough on 10 March. Play-Off history Appearing in their seventh play-off campaign, and in the final for the third time. They lost on penalties to Blackpool in the Division Four final in 1992, but gained promotion to the third tier in 1999, beating Leyton Orient 1-0 at Wembley. The Manager Nigel Adkins was appointed manager in November 2006 and guided Scunthorpe to the League One title in his first season. But their first taste of life at the second level in 43 years was only a one-season stay. Play-Off fact In the 13 years since clubs finishing in positions third to sixth at third league level have qualified for the play-offs, the ones finishing sixth have gone on to gain promotion three times. Indeed in the whole history of the play-offs the side sitting in the last place has only been promoted to the second tier four times. Wembley appearances Made their first visit to the new Wembley last month, when they lost the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final to Luton, going down 3-2 after extra time. Both of their two previous appearances in a play-off final were under the twin towers, in 1992 and 1999. HEAD to HEAD All competitions Scunthorpe have done the league double over Millwall in the last two seasons they have been in the same division together (2006-07 and 2008-09). They are meeting for the 17th time. The Iron have won half of the 16 previous clashes, Millwall have won four, and four have been drawn. They have only met outside the league in the FA Cup. Scunthorpe knocked out Millwall in 1951-52 (first round), 1969-70 (third round) and 1973-74 (third round). Millwall returned the favour in 2001-02 (third round).

Source: BBC_Sport