Taking a look at the 2018 play-offs

Its been another emotional rollercoaster of a season again, with the dramas of relegation, getting promoted automatically and then the ecstasy and heartbreak of the playoffs which brings me perfectly to this blog. First of congratulations to Fulham, Rotherham United and Coventry City.

Let’s start off with Aston Villa v Fulham where the two sides were looking to return to the peak of English football.

Fulham started the brightest and ultimately it paid off by doing all the hard work and scoring the only goal of the game. Soon after Fulham went 1-0 up Jack Grealish got stamped on by Fredericks and if only the Ref had seen it then maybe there might off been a different outcome to the match as Fulham would of been down to ten men. But I’m not going to dwell on what could have been. Just before half time Aston Villa actually woke up and came into the match, couldn’t get a shot on target just before half time but it was a signal of intent from Aston Villa. Second half came and Fulham looked just how Villa were at the start of the first half but just not as bad as Fulham were still coming forward. Fulham held off the pressure from Villa.

Then Odoi got sent off for a second bookable offence which I thought would change the tie, but somehow Villa just couldn’t score and Fulham defended well. It will be good to see Fulham back in the Premier League, but will they be able to stay there? I actually have no idea but I do know one thing, they do have some quality players and play some good football so let’s hope they stay there for at least two seasons.

There was a few feisty challenges going in from both sets of players so I was quite shocked that there wasn’t a sending off earlier in the match than there was. The other crucial point of the match was when Grealish went in late on a Fulham player and should of been sent off but only got shown a yellow and Fredericks had the audacity to start on Grealish for that foul.

Full time Aston Villa 0 Fulham 1

The second match of the weekend Shrewsbury Town v Rotherham United. Rotherham started the brightest and you could tell that they’re players really wanted it. But after a bright start from Rotherham I thought after they missed the penalty, that was very weak and a poor taken penalty, that it would kick start Shrewsbury’s game but did it? No. Then a few minutes after Rotherham’s penalty miss Rotherham went and scored.

The second half started and Rotherham still looked the brightest team but Shrewsbury was slowly coming into the game and then about midway through the second half Shrewsbury equalised and the Rotherham fans were very quiet after that. But after that Shrewsbury were the brighter team but they faded again and as time went on if there was going to be a winner it was going to be a Rotherham winner. It stayed 1-1 at 90 minutes, extra time beckoned.

Rotherham still looked the brightest team and about midway through the first half of extra time Rotherham scored and proved to be the winner. Second half of extra time came and it was still all Rotherham but towards the end it was end to end and now that’s what I call a football match, end to end.

Full time Shrewsbury Town 1 Rotherham United 2 (AET)

Now for the third and final match of this bank holiday weekend it’s Coventry City v Exeter City. This was Exeter’s second playoff final in consecutive years at Wembley Stadium. This wasn’t the best first half of football of the playoffs especially the finals and there wasn’t really much to talk about on the first half. But you could tell the difference from the Championship playoff final to the League 2 playoff final.

Come the second half I have no idea what Mark Robbins said to his Coventry City players but they came out all guns blazing and they scored 2 goals within a couple of minutes of each other and it shocked Exeter I think but Coventry were still pressing forward and looking for that third goal and it did finally come then every pass Coventry did they’re fans were cheering like you do on when your 3 or 4 nil up and I don’t blame them enjoying they’re day out at the home of football. But Exeter finally did wake up but it was far too late for them to make a come back but it was only a consolation goal for Exeter.

Now the mystery surrounds whether Paul Tisdale will stay on as Exeter manager or whether he will jump ship with recently relegated MK Dons rumoured to be the 45-year-old’s destination.

Full time Coventry City 3 Exeter City 1