2020 National League play-off Final
Report
Event2019–20 National League
Date2 August 2020 (2020-08-02)
VenueWembley Stadium, London
RefereeJames Bell
Attendance0
2019

The 2020 National League play-off Final was a football match contested between Harrogate Town and Notts County to determine the second and final team to gain promotion from the National League to EFL League Two. It was played on 2 August 2020 at Wembley Stadium in London. The first-placed team of the 2019–20 National League season (Barrow) gained automatic promotion to the League Two, while the teams placed from fourth to seventh in the table took part in play-off quarter-finals and teams placed second and third received byes to the semi-finals. The winners of the quarter-finals advanced to play the teams in the semi-finals and the winners of these semi-finals competed for the final place in League Two. The match was refereed by James Bell and played behind closed doors to comply with restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Harrogate Town took the lead in the fifth-minute with a goal from George Thomson and 23 minutes later Connor Hall doubled the lead. The first half ended with Harrogate leading 2–0. In a minute of the second half Notts County halved the deficit with a free-kick from Callum Roberts, but a goal on 70 minutes from Jack Diamond restored Harrogate's two-goal advantage which they maintained to the final whistle, winning 3–1 to earn promotion to League Two and the English Football League for the first time in their history.

Route to the final

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National League season was temporarily suspended on 13 March. Two weeks later this suspension was extended indefinitely. On 22 April, clubs in National League, the fifth tier of the English football league system, voted to curtail the season, meaning the final table would be calculated by a points-per-game method. The play-offs would then be played between the clubs finishing second to seventh as normal.

Harrogate Town finished the season in second place in the revised League One table, one place ahead of Notts County. Both therefore missed out on the one automatic place for promotion to EFL League Two, which went to Barrow. This meant Harrogate Town, Notts County, Yeovil Town (who finished fourth), Boreham Wood (fifth), Halifax Town (sixth) and Barnet (seventh) took part in the play-offs to determine the second promoted team. Harrogate Town and Notts County received byes to the semi-finals to face the winners of the quarter-finals. The winners of the quarter-finals were Boreham Wood, who beat Halifax Town 2–1, and Barnet, who beat Yeovil Town 2–0.

Harrogate Town's opponents in their play-off semi-final were Boreham Wood, the match being played on 25 July 2020 at Wetherby Road, Harrogate. Jack Muldoon scored the only goal of the game with a header on the 64th-minute and Harrogate progressed to the final. Notts County faced Barnet in the other play-off semi-final, the match taking place on the same day as the other on 25 July 2020 at Meadow Lane, Nottingham. A goal either side of half time, first a header from Kristian Dennis in the 37th-minute and one from Callum Roberts in the 59th, meant Notts County won 2–0 and they qualified for the final.

Match

Details

2 August 2020 (2020-08-02)
15:00
Harrogate Town 3–1 Notts County Wembley Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: James Bell
Thomson Goal 5'
Hall Goal 28'
Diamond Goal 70'
Report Roberts Goal 46'
Harrowgate Town
Notts County
GK 1 Flag of England James Belshaw
DF 2 Flag of England Ryan Fallowfield
DF 6 Flag of England Warren Burrell
DF 4 Flag of England Josh Falkingham
DF 22 Flag of England Will Smith
DF 20 Flag of England Connor Hall Booked in the 59th minute 59'
MF 7 Flag of England George Thomson0
MF 17 Flag of England Lloyd Kerry Booked in the 83rd minute 83'
FW 25 Flag of England Aaron Martin Substituted off in the 61st minute 61'
FW 18 Flag of England Jack Muldoon Substituted off in the 86th minute 86'
FW 23 Flag of England Jack Diamond
Substitutes:
GK 13 Flag of England Joe Cracknell
MF 8 Flag of England Jack Emmett
MF 11 Flag of England Joe Leesley
FW 9 Flag of Scotland Mark Beck Substituted on in the 86th minute 86'
FW 16 Flag of England Jon Stead Substituted on in the 61st minute 61'
FW 28 Flag of England Kian Harratt
Manager:
Flag of England Simon Weaver
GK 1 Flag of England Sam Slocombe
DF 5 Flag of England Ben Turner
DF 20 Flag of England Richard Brindley Substituted off in the 87th minute 87'
DF 31 Flag of England Alex Lacey
DF 33 Flag of England Joel Bagan Booked in the 27th minute 27'
MF 4 Flag of England Mitch Rose
MF 6 Flag of Republic of Ireland Jim O'Brien Substituted off in the 46th minute 46'
MF 8 Flag of Republic of Ireland Michael Doyle
FW 9 Flag of England Kristian Dennis Substituted off in the 46th minute 46'
FW 14 Flag of England Kyle Wootton
FW 37 Flag of England Callum Roberts Booked in the 53rd minute 53'
Substitutes:
GK 40 Flag of England McDonnell
DF 13 Flag of Wales Connell Rawlinson
DF 16 Flag of England Dion Kelly-Evans Substituted on in the 87th minute 87'
MF 22 Flag of England Tom Crawford
FW 7 Flag of England Wes Thomas Substituted on in the 46th minute 46'
FW 11 Flag of Netherlands Enzio Boldewijn Substituted on in the 46th minute 46'
Manager:
Flag of England Neal Ardley
National League play-offs
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