Swansea City's play-off memories | 2011

28th May 2021
First team

Swansea City will play in their fifth play-off final when they take on Brentford at Wembley on Saturday.

It’s an impressive strike rate with the Swans having reached the play-offs eight times since the format was introduced before the start of the 1986-87 season.

In the build-up to Saturday’s game we are taking a look back at Swansea’s four previous finals. Today we recall the 2011 Championship play-off final against Reading at Wembley.

Swansea City 4 Reading 2, May 30 2011, Wembley Stadium

Swansea City secured promotion to the top-flight for just the second time in the club's history as they won a true play-off final classic with the help of a Scott Sinclair hat-trick on a day of drama at Wembley.

The sense of excitement around the city had been impossible to keep a lid on in the build-up to the big day after Brendan Rodgers' side had seen off Nottingham Forest over two legs in the semi-finals.

The Swans had finished the league campaign in third place and hopes were high going into the play-offs.

However, they suffered a setback early on in the first leg against sixth-placed as Neil Taylor was dismissed for a challenge on Lewis McGugan inside two minutes.

But the Swans secured a goalless draw on the banks of the Trent and surged into a two-goal lead at the Liberty thanks to a stunning Leon Britton goal and Stephen Dobbie's finish.

Robert Earnshaw set up a nervy finish when he pulled one back with 10 minutes to go, but Darren Pratley netted from the halfway line to spark delirious celebrations in SA1.

Reading would be the opposition in the final after they beat Cardiff 3-0 on aggregate in their semi-finals, ensuring Rodgers would come up against his old club.

Following a rousing address to the crowd from Kev Johns, the Swans enjoyed a first half that was the stuff of dreams.

After an initially slow start, Zurab Khizanishvili fouled Nathan Dyer in the area and Sinclair stepped up to score from the spot.

The forward would soon double the lead, steering Dobbie's pull-back in at the far post as Adam Federici scrambled to react.

Dobbie would be the scorer of Swansea's third five minutes before the break, sweetly sending the ball into the bottom corner after Dyer had caused carnage down the right flank.

Play-off final Scott Sinclair

At 3-0, the Swans knew a reaction was coming and a Joe Allen own goal four minutes after the restart started the Royals fightback, with Matt Mills scoring from another Jobi McAnuff corner just eight minutes later.

All the momentum was with Reading and an equaliser looked certain when Jem Karacan's shot came back off the post and Noel Hunt prepared to tap-in.

But Swans captain Garry Monk threw himself in the way of the strike and managed to divert it wide. It proved a crucial moment as Sinclair's second penalty - after Andy Griffin had fouled Fabio Borini - completed his hat-trick and put the seal on a 4-2 victory.

Swansea City were going to the Premier League.