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Playoff heroes: Scott Sinclair

Playoff heroes: Scott Sinclair
© Reuters
Scott Sinclair became only the second player, behind Clive Mendonca, to bag a playoff final treble at Wembley.

Scott Sinclair ended Swansea's 28-year absence from the promised land with a Wembley hat-trick that has gone down in play-off history.

Brendan Rodgers' side thrilled fans during a memorable 2010-11 campaign, but the Welsh outfit fell just short of automatic promotion from the Championship.

QPR and Norwich went straight up to the Premier League as third-placed Swansea went about joining them the hard, if more gratifying, way.

After sealing a shot at promotion by overcoming Nottingham Forest in the play-off semi-finals, one of the Football League's most talked about players did the damage against Reading under the Wembley arch.

Sinclair had been farmed out by Chelsea on loan to six different clubs before making his £1million switch to the Liberty Stadium in 2010.

The forward flourished in Wales and repaid the club in spades, with his match-winning treble against Reading earning Swansea an estimated £90million windfall.

Scott Sinclair holds the Championship play-off trophy aloft
Scott Sinclair holds the Championship play-off trophy aloft (Nick Potts/PA)

Sinclair struck twice in a devastating two-minute spell midway through the first half to set the Swans on their way – the opener coming from the penalty spot – before Stephen Dobbie added a third.

Reading displayed plenty of never-say-die spirit and hauled themselves right back into it through a Joe Allen own goal and Matthew Mills' strike in a gripping clash befitting the Wembley showpiece, only for Sinclair to smash home his second penalty in the 80th minute.

Victory completed an astonishing eight-year turnaround for the south Wales club after they narrowly avoided relegation from the Football League, with Sinclair becoming only the second player, behind Clive Mendonca, to bag a play-off final treble at Wembley.

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Leeds UnitedLeeds37218856302671
2West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom371913564372770
3Fulham371810952381464
4Brentford371791164333160
5Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest371612948381060
6Preston North EndPreston37168135045556
7Bristol City371510125153-255
8Millwall37131594440454
9Cardiff CityCardiff37131595250254
10Blackburn RoversBlackburn371411125245753
11Swansea CitySwansea371314104645153
12Derby CountyDerby371312124949051
13Queens Park RangersQPR37148155862-450
14Reading37139154642448
15Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds37139154649-348
16Birmingham CityBirmingham371211144857-947
17Stoke CityStoke37126194955-642
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield37119174558-1342
19Middlesbrough37914143747-1041
20Wigan AthleticWigan371011163850-1241
21Hull City37118184963-1441
22Charlton AthleticCharlton37109184454-1039
23Luton TownLuton37105224371-2835
24Barnsley37810194262-2034

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