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