Date: 19th June 2008 at 10:11am
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So, the play-offs. Wycombe over two legs. County would have to travel to Wycombe on a Sunday night, probably the worst of all fixtures, before hosting Wycombe on a Saturday night after the FA Cup final.

County gave a surprise start to Paul Turnbull, who had been on loan at Altrincham, but he came straight back into the team in the first serious game since he had returned. County played well but Wycombe took the lead after a mistake by John Ruddy. A bad kick found its way to Delroy Facey, who danced through the County defence and slotted home to make it 1-0 to Wycombe.

However a Stephen Gleeson wonder goal ten minutes from time meant that County had secured an advantage going into the home leg at Edgeley Park.

What followed was a week of bitter and twisted Wycombe comments, and you could tell they were running scared. Paul Lambert came out saying “that goal changed nothing” and “I`ve trained infront of more people than County get in their ground”.

Obviously he is too big for League Two then isn`t he? Of course the goal changes everything, if County won 1-0 County would now go through; if they hadn`t scored at Adams Park it would go to extra time. Silly.

And County did just that at Edgeley Park. After a Portsmouth victory in the FA Cup, and a Rochdale win on penalties in the earlier tie, a win for County would see them at Wembley against Rochdale the following weekend.

Liam Dickinson broke free after five minutes, ran the length of the half and slotted past Frank Fielding. 1-0 to County, and that`s how the whole game would be. A mass pitch invasion followed at the end of the game, and it meant County would travel to new Wembley to take on Rochdale in the League Two Play-off Final on Monday 26th May.

Tickets were being sold, coaches were booked, and County were taking loads. About 17,000 County fans would make the trip, and on the day it was probably about even when you add in the Club Wembley seats and all the officials and business men.

Wembley was huge, it was impressive and the day was just amazing.

County fell behind however when Rory McArdle headed home from a corner to give Rochdale a lead infront of the County fans.

County hit back though, ten minutes later. A short corner between Tommy Rowe and Stephen Gleeson, Rowe continued his run and crossed from a better angle, the ball ended up going in off Nathan Stanton`s hand and it made it 1-1.

After half time County improved, Rochdale couldn`t get near the ball, and almost immediately County had the lead to the delight of the County fans. A short throw in from Rose was knocked back to Rose by Rowe, Rose swung in a cross, it bounced and skidded on to Anthony Pilkington, who guided his header into the goal, via the bar and it was 2-1 to County!! Absolute madness in the County end followed.

Less than 20 minutes later it was 3-1, some more great build up play saw Paul Turnbull play the ball over the top to Anthony Pilkington, he cut the ball inside to Liam Dickinson and Dickinson powered home past Tommy Lee. 3-1 to County, surely game over? All the promotion songs came out, County were going up!

But when Rochdale scored ten minutes later, it proved to be a nervy last ten minute. A brilliant volley from Adam Rundle made it 3-2, but County somehow held on. The final whistle was blown and emotional scenes followed in the County end. The players came charging towards the County end.

Celebrations followed a civic reception at the town hall the following night. And then that was it. All that fuss and it was over.

The fixtures are out, the pre-season beings shortly, County are going to League One!


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