2006 Football League Championship play-off Final

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2006 Football League Championship play-off Final
Date21 May 2006
VenueMillennium Stadium, Cardiff
RefereeMike Dean (Cheshire)

The 2006 Football League Championship play-off Final was an association football match played at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff on 21 May 2006. It determined the third and final team in the 2005–06 football season to be promoted to the Premier League, the highest division in the English football league system, it was the last play-off final to be held at the Millennium Stadium, as the new Wembley Stadium was completed in time for the 2007 final.[1]

The final featured Watford, who had finished third in the Championship, and Leeds United, who finished fifth. In the semi-finals, Leeds and Watford defeated Preston North End and Crystal Palace respectively. Watford won the match 3–0, with opening goalscorer Jay DeMerit named man of the match.[2] Leeds goalkeeper Neil Sullivan scored an own goal to make the score 2–0 to Watford after 60 minutes, and the final goal was a penalty kick scored by Darius Henderson which assured Watford promotion to the Premier League.

Route to the final[edit]

Ashley Young
Ashley Young was among Watford's scorers in the semi-final first leg.

Watford finished the 2005–06 Football League Championship in third place with 81 points, two places and 3 points above Leeds. In the play-off semi-finals, Watford faced Crystal Palace, who had finished in sixth position; the first leg was held at Crystal Palace's ground, Selhurst Park, on 6 May 2006. Goals from Watford players Marlon King, Ashley Young and Matthew Spring gave them a 3–0 win;[3] the second leg at Watford's Vicarage Road stadium finished 0–0, thus giving Watford a 3–0 aggregate victory and a place in the final.[4]

Leeds' semi-final opponents were Preston, who had finished the Championship season in fourth position. Leeds hosted the first leg, but it was Preston who took the lead with a goal from David Nugent in the 48th minute. Eddie Lewis equalised for Leeds in the 74th minute to salvage a 1–1 draw.[5] In the second leg, at Preston's home Deepdale, Rob Hulse and Frazer Richardson scored for Leeds, handing them a 2–0 win on the day and a 3–1 aggregate victory.[6]

Watford Round Leeds
Opponent Result Legs Semi-finals Opponent Result Legs
Crystal Palace 3–0 3–0 away; 0–0 home Preston North End 3–1
1–1 home; 2–0 away



Leeds United0–3Watford
Report DeMerit Goal 25'
Sullivan Goal 57' (o.g.)
Henderson Goal 84' (pen.)
Attendance: 64,736
Referee: Mike Dean (Cheshire)
Leeds United
GK 1 Neil Sullivan
RB 2 Gary Kelly
CB 6 Paul Butler (c)
CB 8 Sean Gregan Yellow card Substituted off 84'
LB 26 Matthew Kilgallon
RM 15 Frazer Richardson Substituted off 45'
CM 20 Jonathan Douglas
CM 21 Shaun Derry Yellow card
CM 17 Liam Miller Yellow card Substituted off 62'
LM 11 Eddie Lewis
CF 10 Rob Hulse
GK 13 Ian Bennett
MF 14 Steve Stone
MF 19 Eirik Bakke Substituted in 84'
FW 28 Robbie Blake Substituted in 45'
FW 9 David Healy Substituted in 62'
Kevin Blackwell
GK 26 Ben Foster
RB 12 Lloyd Doyley Yellow card
CB 4 Malky Mackay
CB 6 Jay DeMerit
LB 3 Jordan Stewart
RM 2 James Chambers Substituted off 72'
CM 25 Matthew Spring Yellow card
CM 8 Gavin Mahon (c) Yellow card
LM 15 Ashley Young
CF 9 Marlon King
CF 29 Darius Henderson
GK 1 Alec Chamberlain
DF 23 Adrian Mariappa
MF 7 Chris Eagles
MF 20 Al Bangura Substituted in 72'
FW 18 Hameur Bouazza
Aidy Boothroyd

Match rules:

  • 90 minutes.
  • 30 minutes of extra time if necessary.
  • Penalty shoot-out if scores still level.
  • Five named substitutes.
  • Maximum of three substitutions.


Leeds United Watford
Goals scored 0 3
Shots on target 6 7
Shots off target 6 4
Ball possession 44% 56%
Corner kicks 8 9
Fouls committed 18 14
Offsides 2 3
Yellow cards 3 3
Red cards 0 0


  1. ^ "Wembley will host play-off games". BBC Sport. 30 March 2007. Retrieved 8 November 2009.
  2. ^ Oxley, Simon. "Watford FC – Cardiff 2006". BBC Sport. Retrieved 19 October 2009.
  3. ^ "Crystal Palace 0–3 Watford". BBC Sport. 6 May 2006. Retrieved 8 November 2009.
  4. ^ "Watford 0–0 C Palace (agg 3–0)". BBC Sport. 9 May 2009. Retrieved 8 November 2009.
  5. ^ "Leeds 1–1 Preston". BBC Sport. 5 May 2006. Retrieved 8 November 2009.
  6. ^ "Preston 0–2 Leeds (agg 1–3)". BBC Sport. 8 May 2006. Retrieved 8 November 2009.