Classic Match: Reading 0-2 Burnley (Agg 0-3)

Martin Paterson opened the scoring in the 51st minute before Steven Thompson ended all hopes of a Reading comeback in the 58th minute.

This meant that Burnley were one match away from ending a 33-year wait to the top-flight of English football.

  • The Build-Up

Leading 1-0 from the first leg, Burnley were looking to book a place in the Championship play-off final against Reading at the Madejski Stadium.

This was the Clarets' 60th game of a long and adventurous season in 2008/09 in a campaign that saw them come within inches of a Carling Cup final at Wembley Stadium, losing 4-1 to Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-final.

Burnley finished 5th in the Championship table under Owen Coyle and were one of the underdogs coming into the play-offs. The Clarets were unbeaten in three league games coming into the semi-finals.

Reading were one place above Burnley in 4th and were coming into this play-offs with a 2-1 defeat to Birmingham City in their final league game.

  • The Match

Graham Alexander scored a  late penalty gave Burnley a 1-0 advantage in the second leg of this play-off semi-final.

Coyle made two changes from the first leg as Chris Eagles and Joey Gudjonsson were replaced by Wade Elliott and Thompson.

The line-up consisted of Brian Jensen, Michael Duff, Clarke Carlisle, Steven Caldwell, Christian Kalvenes, Elliott, Alexander, Chris McCann, Paterson, Thompson and Robbie Blake.

Reading dominated the game in the first-half and could have gone in front through Shane Long. Long had the first clear chance of the game but he failed to beat Jensen.

After the Royals' domination in the first-half, a different Burnley side came out in the second half and Reading simply could not handle the pressure that came after the interval.

Just six minutes after the restart, the Clarets took the lead through Paterson. Paterson gathered the ball in midfield and ran towards the Reading defence before curling the ball from about 30 yards into the corner past a helpless Marcus Hahnemann.

The Clarets only had to wait a further seven minutes to put the game beyond doubt and secure a play-off final spot. Jensen lumped the ball forward to Thompson who won the aerial duel and hit a dipping effort off the underside of the crossbar to send the away end crazy.

Reading failed to mount a comeback and Burnley secured the spot in the final against Sheffield United.

  • What happened next?

Eliott hit a sensational strike against Sheffield United that ended Burnley's 33-year wait for a return to England's best division.

Elliott's goal was worthy of winning any Championship play-off final and their victory was fully deserved as their 61st game of the 2008/09 season ended with promotion to the Premier League.

Unfortunately, Burnley went straight back to the Championship the following season and Coyle was sacked halfway through the campaign with Brian Laws also failing to change Burnley's misfortunes.

Burnley waited four years until they came back to the top-flight but they suffered the same fate as 2009/10 but returned the following season and have remained in the Premier League ever since.

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