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Football
Swansea are going to Wembley
Swansea moved closer to ending their 28-year top-flight exile after beating Forest for a place in the play-off final
Last Modified: 16 May 2011 22:23
 Stephen Dobbie scores Swansea's second to help slide the game out of Forest's reach [GALLO/GETTY]

Swansea booked their place in the Championship play-off final - the so-called 'richest game in football' - with a semi-final win over Nottingham Forest on Monday.

The Swans, who could face Welsh rivals Cardiff in the showpiece fixture at Wembley, won 3-1 in the second leg at their Liberty Stadium ground after a goalless draw in the first leg.

Swansea had been praised for keeping their away leg on Thursday goalless as the Swans went down to 10 men in the first minute following Neil Taylor’s dismissal.

The big money match  

Stephen Dobbie was Swansea's hero scoring one goal and setting up another to help see Swansea into the play-off final, worth an estimated $145 million to the winners as they get a place in the lucrative English Premier League.

Leon Britton's stunning 25-yard curling effort gave Swansea the lead before Dobbie's low drive doubled their advantage.

An unlucky Forest hit the woodwork three times before Robert Earnshaw, on as a substitute, gave the visitors hope with a goal nine minutes from time.

But Darren Pratley's injury-time effort from the halfway line sealed Swansea's victory and left them just one win away from ending their 28-year stay outside of English football's top flight.

Former European champions Forest were aiming for a return to the top flight for the first time since 1999.

Cardiff and Reading, whose first leg also ended in a goalless stalemate, conclude their semi-final in the Welsh capital on Tuesday.

Forest fight back

In a lively atmosphere both teams came out playing attacking football. Fabio Borini and Nathan Dyer had early sights of goal for Swansea before Forest started to fight back into the match.

However, Forest allowed Leon Britton far too much space outside the area, letting him twist and turn before firing a 25-yard stunner into the corner to the delight of the home crowd.

Davies' shell-shocked Forest conceded a second a few minutes later as Dobbie, whose goal helped Blackpool beat Forest in last season's play-off semi-final, fired in to put Brendan Rodgers team firmly in the driving seat.

From two goals down Forest fought back into the match but were unlucky to see several chances squandered including a McGugan free-kick that rattled the crossbar. Earnshaw split the Swansea defence later on to only see his crisp strike hit the post.

Forest's tenacity eventually paid off when Earnshaw ensured a tense final 12 minutes after getting on the end of a superb Radoslaw Majewski pass.

But it was too little too late. With all eleven Forest players forward, Pratley raced clear to shoot into an empty goal to ensure it would be Swansea that meet either Cardiff or Reading at Wembley on May 30.

Source:
Agencies
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