Huddersfield Town finally returned to second tier football this afternoon, after an eleven year absence. Relegated at the end of the 2000-01 season, they have been League One's nearly men on many occasions in recent years, but this afternoon they secured promotion via a penalty shoot-out after their game against Sheffield United ended up goalless after extra time.
In front of 52,100 spectators, there were very few good chances across the 120 minutes. The Terriers has the better of them, with Jamie Ward hitting the crossbar two minutes into the second half, whilst Blades players Michael Doyle and Nick Montgomery cleared off the line following Huddersfield attacks.
At the end, it came down to spot kicks, with all 22 players being involved in a shoot-out that threatened to turn into farce, as six of the first eight penalties failed to find the net. Then came thirteen increasingly impressive penalties, with the goalkeepers eventually having to face each other as the final kickers. Huddersfield keeper Alex Smithies powered his home, but then Blades stopper Steve Simonsen skied his, to leave Danny Wilson's side stuck in League One for another season.
As a footnote, the attendance today was over 7,000 spectators short of the crowd that saw Yeovil Town's League One play-off final match against Blackpool that took place five years ago.
There is just one more place to be decided for the 2012-13 League One line-up, with the League Two play-off final between Cheltenham Town and Crewe Alexandra to be settled tomorrow afternoon.
LEAGUE ONE MOVEMENTS FOR NEXT SEASON:
Relegated From Championship: Doncaster Rovers, Portsmouth, Coventry City.
Promotion From League One: Charlton Athletic (Champions), Sheffield Wednesday, Huddersfield Town (via play-offs).
Relegated From League One: Wycombe Wanderers, Chesterfield, Exeter City, Rochdale.
Automatic Promotion From League Two: Swindon Town, Shrewsbury Town, Crawley Town.
League Two Play-Offs: Cheltenham Town or Crewe Alexandra (playing tomorrow).
Link: 2011-12 Final League One Table.
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