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Summary

  1. Beckford gives Preston 1-0 lead over Chesterfield
  2. Byrne's late winner gives Swindon advantage v Sheff Utd
  3. Freeman netted Sheff Utd opener, Ricketts equalised
  4. Final at Wembley on 24 May

Live Reporting

By Brendon Mitchell and Gary Smee

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. And there's plenty more to come...

    As well as bringing you live text commentary of both of those second legs, we'll also have coverage of Brentford v Middlesbrough in the first Championship play-off semi-final first leg, which kicks off at 19:45 BST tomorrow.

    We'll see you then, goodnight!

  2. Post update

    Nathan Byrne

    The play-offs never fail to live up to the hype, do they? And, don't forget, we're still only at the halfway stage.

    Swindon Town came from behind to beat Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, as Nathan Byrne scored a stoppage-time winner.

    And Preston North End take a narrow advantage back to Deepdale after Jermaine Beckford's sixth-minute strike earned them a 1-0 win at Chesterfield.

    Preston and Chesterfield are back in action first on Sunday, 10 May at 12:15 BST, before Swindon and Sheffield United meet in their second leg on Monday, 11 May at 19:45 BST.

  3. Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    James Perrett: Swindon are a brilliant, young, counter attacking team. A joy to watch. Unlucky to Sheffield United though.

    Stuie Neale: Well in Town! Yes! #stfc

    Hugh: Lawro and Kilbane must be well chuffed!!

    Preston's finest? They'll be more than happy to take a 1-0 lead into Sunday's second leg at Deepdale.

  4. Post update

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Chesterfield boss Paul Cook tells Sky Sports: "There's no disappointment, football's a tough game and you can't always win.

    "We wanted our boys to turn up tonight and do themselves justice and I felt they did that in abundance.

    "We'll turn up again on Sunday. The next goal in this tie is everything. If we can get it we're right back in it."

  5. Post update

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Preston North End manager Simon Grayson tells Sky Sports: "We had to defend well as a team and work extremely hard. We had some opportunities on the counter-attack, which we knew we'd get because of the strikeforce we've got. It's nice to have a goal to take back to Deepdale.

    "It was a feisty encounter - there were a few tackles flying in and both teams were having a right good go, but credit to Chesterfield for making it a good game, as we did.

    "Overall we're satisfied but we've still got a job to do."

  6. Post update

    Sheffield United 1-2 Swindon Town

    Mark Cooper

    Swindon Town manager Mark Cooper tells Sky Sports: "We never really settle for draws - we try to win every game. I felt the game was becoming stretched and felt we could win it.

    "But one goal changes everything. Away goals don't play a part, so there's a long way to go yet."

  7. Post update

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Preston goalscorer Jermaine Beckford tells Sky Sports: "We were up against class opposition so to get a goal as early as we did, it just settled the nerves for us a little bit, especially with what happened at the weekend.

    "I think the boys conducted themselves in a great manner and we got exactly what we deserved from the game."

  8. Post update

    Sheffield United 1-2 Swindon Town

    Swindon Town midfielder Yaser Kasim tells Sky Sports: "I feel if we're in control of the game and it's not too end-to-end we'll get the win, and to a certain extent we were in control of it. But don't get too carried away - there's one more game to go."

  9. Post update

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Preston North End captain Tom Clarke tells Sky Sports: "It's a big game with big players and everyone wants to win. We'll do anything we can to win. We've got the advantage but it's going to be another tough game come Sunday. We're going to be ready for it."

  10. Post update

    Sheffield United 1-2 Swindon Town

    Swindon Town goalscorer Nathan Byrne tells Sky Sports: "They're a good team. If we prepare like we did for this game then we can get to Wembley - but I don't think we're anywhere near there yet."

  11. Post update

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Tom Clarke and Jermaine Beckford

    Preston North End captain Tom Clarke tells Sky Sports: "We were disappointed we couldn't get the result at Colchester.

    "We knew coming here would be a tough game but I think we started brilliantly in the first 20 minutes and got the goal we deserved. But they're a good team and passed it well, so we had to defend well and I think we did that."

  12. Post update

    Sheffield United 1-2 Swindon Town

    Swindon Town goalscorer Nathan Byrne tells Sky Sports: "We wanted to come here and get the win. You thought it was going to be one of those days when we missed the penalty, but the boys have got a lot of fight and I think we deserved it in the end. We showed what we could do in the second half."

  13. Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Ben Wheatland: Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh! #stfc

    I think a few more Swindon supporters will echo your sentiments there, Ben.

  14. FULL-TIME

    Sheffield United 1-2 Swindon Town

    There goes the full-time whistle, and Swindon Town are heading back home with a one-goal advantage thanks to Nathan Byrne's injury-time strike.

  15. SUBSTITUTION

    Sheffield United 1-2 Swindon Town

    Michael Smith comes off for Jonathan Obika. We're into time added on of time added on. The travelling fans are in fine voice now, what a steal this would be.

  16. FULL-TIME

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Advantage Preston North End as Jermaine Beckford's early goals gives them a narrow lead to take to Deepdale on Sunday.

  17. GOAL

    Sheffield United 1-2 Swindon Town (Byrne, 90+4 mins)

    Nathan Byrne

    And Swindon Town have gone up the other end and nicked it!

    Nathan Byrne bursts forward into the Sheffield United half and fires a low, bouncing shot across Mark Howard and into the far corner via the post.

  18. Post update

    Sheffield United 1-1 Swindon Town

    But, after Swindon take about five goes to get the ball properly clear, the attack fizzles out. Two minutes to play.

  19. Post update

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Chesterfield are throwing everything at Preston here. Sam Morsy's shot is blocked before Daniel Jones fires the follow-up high and wide. It simply won't go in for the Spireites.

  20. Post update

    Sheffield United 1-1 Swindon Town

    Swindon backs are against the wall. Now Matt Done almost steals in at the near post, but again it's behind for a corner.

  21. Post update

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Paul Huntington

    Five minutes of stoppage time for Chesterfield to find an equaliser. Or are Preston heading for a rare win in the play-offs?

  22. Post update

    Sheffield United 1-1 Swindon Town

    There'll be five minutes of time added on - and in the very first of those Yaser Kasim has to be brilliantly head Ryan Flynn's dangerous cross behind for a corner.

  23. SUBSTITUTION

    Sheffield United 1-1 Swindon Town

    That's not a nice moment for Stefan Scougall, who becomes a substituted substitute.

    The 22-year-old midfielder looks to have pulled up with a hamstring problem and, after a bit of treatment, is withdrawn for Michael Doyle. Two minutes left.

  24. SUBSTITUTION

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Chesterfield now making a swap as Armand Gnanduillet replaces Jay O'Shea.

  25. SUBSTITUTION

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Callum Robinson, on loan from Aston Villa, comes on for goalscorer Jermaine Beckford. Will his sixth-minute strike be the difference in this first leg?

  26. Post update

    Sheffield United 1-1 Swindon Town

    Jack Stephens, where did that come from?! The Swindon centre-half strides out from the back, beats three challenges, bursts into the penalty are, holds off a further challenge - but, after all of that, can only poke it wide.

  27. Post update

    Sheffield United 1-1 Swindon Town

    Both of these teams could be forgiven for settling for a draw heading into the final few minutes, but I don't think either are. Michael Smith almost wriggles clear inside the Sheffield United penalty area but is well tackled. Last ditch stuff.

  28. Post update

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Moments after coming on Ollie Banks has a great chance for Chesterfield. Sam Clucas receives the ball on the left and sends over a fine cross which Banks fires over the bar from a tight angle.

    Is there still some late drama to come?

  29. Post update

    Sheffield United 1-1 Swindon Town

    Massimo Luongo

    We're into the final 10 minutes between Sheffield United and Swindon Town too. Is there a late sting in the tail of this first leg?

  30. Post update

    Sheffield United 1-1 Swindon Town

    Ian Woodcock

    BBC Sport at Bramall Lane

    "Swindon had to weather a storm for the first 10 minutes of the match and there's a feeling they might need to do so in the final 10 too. The Blades have been second best for the majority of the second half but they've found their feet again in the last few minutes.

    "Nigel Clough said before the game that the most important thing was to avoid losing, but he will know how big any kind of lead could prove to be."

  31. Post update

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Jay O'Shea

    This is all Chesterfield now. They are launching attack after attack, but just lacking a bit of quality in and around the box. Ten minutes to go.

  32. YELLOW CARD

    Sheffield United 1-1 Swindon Town

    It's all going off at Bramall Lane now, as Yaser Kasim is booked for a foul on Steven Davies. Then, soon after, the former Derby and Bristol City forward first stings the palms of Wes Foderingham from distance, before very almost latching onto Stefan Scougall's cross.

    On second viewing, that second opportunity really should've been taken.

  33. SUBSTITUTION

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    The first substitutions of the game see Ollie Banks replace Dan Gardner for Chesterfield and Calum Woods and Neil Kilkenny replace Scott Laird and Paul Gallagher for Preston.

  34. Post update

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Gary Roberts almost grabs an equaliser for Chesterfield. The ball bounces around the box, Roberts hits a scuffed shot, but Sam Johnstone pushes the ball to safety.

  35. SUBSTITUTION

    Sheffield United 1-1 Swindon Town

    And a second substitution for Swindon Town, as top goalscorer Andy Williams replaces Jermaine Hylton for the closing stages. Can the 22-goal striker prise an opening?

  36. DISALLOWED GOAL

    Sheffield United 1-1 Swindon Town

    What an impact that would've been! Steven Davies tries to play new arrival Matt Done in behind Nathan Byrne, but as he looks to race clear he fouls the Swindon man. He falls over the ball and bundles it in, but the whistle had already gone.

  37. Post update

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Tom Clarke

    Preston are sitting back and soaking up the pressure. Who can make the difference for Chesterfield as we enter the final 15 minutes?

  38. SUBSTITUTION

    Sheffield United 1-1 Swindon Town

    Another substitution for Sheffield United, as Matt Done, a January signing from Rochdale, replaces Jason Holt for the final 16 minutes.

  39. Post update

    Sheffield United 1-1 Swindon Town

    That's unlucky from Ryan Flynn, who turns Jordan Turnbull inside out before driving into the penalty area and drilling a shot straight at Wes Foderingham.

    Twenty minutes left in the first leg.

  40. Post update

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Almost a great chance for Chesterfield. Dan Gardner twists and turns in the box before launching a cross in from the left, it's headed on by Sam Clucas and Gary Roberts just can't get on the end of it at the far post.

    Moments later at the other end Jermaine Beckford is played in by Joe Garner but his weak shot is saved by Tommy Lee.

  41. SUBSTITUTION

    Sheffield United 1-1 Swindon Town

    That's probably about as close as Sheffield United have come in this second half, though Steven Davies's snap shot from the edge of the area doesn't trouble Wes Foderingham.

    Meanwhile, John Swift replaces Ben Gladwin, who missed a penalty for Swindon before the break.

  42. Post update

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Daniel Jones will have had his heart in his mouth there. The Spireites defender plays a back pass that is well short, but Tommy Lee just about beats Jermaine Beckford to the ball and clears.

  43. YELLOW CARD

    Sheffield United 1-1 Swindon Town

    Speaking of Sam Ricketts, he's just become the first Swindon Town player to go into the book for a foul on Ryan Flynn. That looked a relatively straightforward one for the referee.

  44. Post update

    Sheffield United 1-1 Swindon Town

    Sam Ricketts

    I'd say these next 10 or 15 minutes could be absolutely crucial to the overall complexion of this tie, as Swindon Town now have a real foothold.

    There's been an awful lot of groaning around Bramall Lane since Sam Ricketts headed the Robins' equaliser five minutes into the second half.

  45. Post update

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Preston fans

    Remember Preston have only won three times in 21 play-off appearances. With just under half an hour to go here, they are on the back foot but the home side still cannot find a way through.

  46. Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Aston Smith: Preston players going down a little too easily tonight. Man up! We complained when Man Utd did the same thing.

    John Threlfall: Preston and play-offs have been a bad combination in the past, praying this time it's different!

    Use #bbcfootball on Twitter to get in touch.

  47. Post update

    Sheffield United 1-1 Swindon Town

    The two Swindon Town wing-backs, having been pegged back before the interval, are now finding a good deal of space down either flank.

    This time Sam Ricketts gets forward down the left, but as he tries to shape a right-footed curler into the far corner it's blocked away.

  48. Post update

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Replays have suggested Spireites midfielder Jimmy Ryan is a very lucky boy to still be on the pitch. It appears he struck Paul Gallagher with an elbow, but the referee may not have seen it from where he was standing.

    He ended up booking both players.

  49. Post update

    Sheffield United 1-1 Swindon Town

    The Blades are struggling to get up the pitch here, and when they at long last do get inside the Swindon half Kieron Freeman has a rush of blood to the head and blazes a shot wide of the near post from long range.

  50. Post update

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Almost a piece of magic from Chesterfield's Gary Roberts. The winger weaves his way into the area but slices his shot just past the left hand post.

    The hosts are pushing for an equaliser here.

  51. Post update

    Sheffield United 1-1 Swindon Town

    Sheffield United have won 13 out of their 16 meetings with Swindon Town at Bramall Lane, but that Sam Ricketts goal has the Robins supporters in full voice behind Mark Howard's goal.

    For the record, there are 20,890 people inside the ground tonight.

  52. Post update

    Sheffield United 1-1 Swindon Town

    Ian Woodcock

    BBC Sport at Bramall Lane

    "It's been a good start to this second half from the visitors and that goal has really given them something to hang on to. Sheffield United simply haven't got going yet and boss Nigel Clough is cutting an agitated figure on the sidelines."

  53. Post update

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Chesterfield v Preston

    Things are in danger of getting out of hand here. Chesterfield's Ian Evatt slides in late on Joe Garner, but for once there are no afters.

    Referee Mark Haywood is going to have a job to keep things in control. Plenty of niggle out there.

  54. GOAL

    Sheffield United 1-1 Swindon Town (Ricketts, 51 mins)

    Sam Ricketts

    A superb, superb set-piece goal from Swindon Town.

    Nathan Byrne's outswinging corner is met by the head of Sam Ricketts, and the big defender on loan from Wolves guides a fantastic header across goal and into the corner of the net.

  55. Post update

    Sheffield United 1-0 Swindon Town

    Swindon have started this second half exactly as Sheffield United started the first - on top. However, for all their possession play they've not quite shown a cutting edge just yet.

  56. YELLOW CARD

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Less than two minutes into the second half and there is another confrontation between both sets of players. It was sparked after Chesterfield's Jimmy Ryan appeared to throw an arm at Paul Gallagher.

    Both players are booked, but that could have easily been red for Ryan.

  57. Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Ross Whitehead: Chesterfield been by far the better team in that half. We just need to create a few more chances and take them.

    Keep your thoughts on tonight's play-off games coming in using #bbcfootball on Twitter.

  58. Post update

    Sheffield United 1-0 Swindon Town

    The first chance of the second period goes the way of the visitors, but Michael Smith can't direct his header on target. The big man was at full stretch, so he's certainly not to blame.

  59. KICK-OFF

    And we're under way in both of our play-off semi-final first legs once again.

  60. SUBSTITUTION

    Sheffield United 1-0 Swindon Town

    We've got a half-time substitution at Bramall Lane, which sees Stefan Scougall replace John Brayford for Sheffield United.

  61. Next up...

    The play-offs continue

    Tomorrow, the Championship play-offs commence with Brentford v Middlesbrough.

    The Bees were promoted automatically from League One last term and they, along with Wolves who finished seventh, have proved that teams can make a successful step up to the second tier, while Rotherham completed the set by ensuring Championship survival in the last week of the season.

    We'll have live text and radio commentary from Griffin Park tomorrow evening. Kick-off is at 19:45 BST.

    But there are still matters to attend to in League One first...

  62. Post update

    HT: Sheffield United 1-0 Swindon Town

    Kieron Freeman

    An excellent half of football at Bramall Lane sees Sheffield United edge ahead in this two-legged tie.

    Kieron Freeman's 19th-minute strike gave the Blades a deserved lead, before Ben Gladwin had his penalty at the other end saved by Mark Howard as Swindon looked to build a recovery.

    We asked earlier whether you loved or hated the play-offs. Well, I think those two sets of 45 leave both of us firmly in the "love them" camp.

  63. Post update

    HT: Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Jermaine Beckford

    Well we may have been short of clear-cut chances but there was certainly no shortage of action in the first half.

    Jermaine Beckford's early goal put Preston ahead and the Lilywhites were the stronger of the two sides in the opening 20 minutes.

    But Chesterfield fans will feel buoyed by their team's spirit in the closing stages of the half as they ended on top.

    It seems as if there's a bit of an ugly undercurrent to the game though and things boiled over on the pitch as well as in the tunnel at half-time.

    Let's hope both sets of players and staff calm down at the break - but remember - this is the play-offs and there's a lot at stake.

  64. Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Paul Cook

    Plenty for Chesterfield manager Paul Cook to ponder as he sips on his half-time cuppa - his side trail Preston 1-0.

    Swindon are also a goal down at Sheffield United, but have missed a great chance to equalise, with Mark Howard saving Ben Gladwin's penalty.

    How will the first legs end up? Use #bbcfootball on Twitter.

  65. Post update

    HT: Sheffield United 1-0 Swindon Town

    Ian Woodcock

    BBC Sport at Bramall Lane

    "The first legs of play-off ties can often be cagey affairs but it's been anything but that here.

    "The Blades will feel they should maybe have more than just the one goal to show for their endeavour in this first 45 minutes, but Mark Howard's save from Ben Gladwin's penalty could prove to be pivotal.

    "The visitors look sharp on the counter-attack and winger Nathan Byrne is having a lot of joy."

  66. HALF-TIME

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Jay O'Shea launches a free-kick from all of 35 yards high over the bar for the hosts. And that's the final action of an action packed first-half.

    It appears there's also some confrontation in the tunnel as the players come off.....we may hear more about that.

  67. HALF-TIME

    Sheffield United 1-0 Swindon Town

    The half-time whistle signals that we're exactly a quarter of the way through this League One play-off semi-final.

  68. Post update

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Chesterfield are now laying siege to the Preston goal. Jay O'Shea jinks his way into the box, his shot is blocked, and follow up efforts from Dan Gardner and Gary Roberts also see bodies flying in the way.

    Preston desperate to hold onto this lead.

  69. Post update

    Sheffield United 1-0 Swindon Town

    Australia international Massimo Luongo is often considered Swindon Town's star man. Not there, he wasn't, as his shot from distance goes high into the Kop.

  70. Post update

    Sheffield United 1-0 Swindon Town

    Ryan Flynn

    There's just a sense both sets of players are meandering their way through to the break. The same can be said for the crowd too, as a bit of a hush descends across Bramall Lane.

  71. Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Stuie Neale: Town have struggled. Poor pen from Gladwin unfortunately.

    Joe: Are there any other teams who have missed 5 penalties this season? I doubt it.

    Swindon have had 13 penalties in League One this season, and scored just eight. Will Ben Gladwin's failure from 12 yards prove pivotal in their semi-final tie?

  72. Post update

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Now a fine save from Sam Johnstone in the Preston goal as the game continues to flow from end to end.

    Dan Gardner powers a shot from outside the box but Johnstone dives low to his left to palm the ball away with a strong hand.

  73. Post update

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Good chance for Preston. Jermaine Beckford knocks the ball to an on-rushing Paul Gallagher who looks like he's clean through but Jimmy Ryan races back to put the pressure on and Gallagher scuffs the shot wide.

  74. Post update

    Sheffield United 1-0 Swindon Town

    Another big chance for the Robins! Jermaine Hylton bursts into the penalty area and closes in on Mark Howard's goal, only to lose his footing. The ball rebounds to Nathan Byrne, however, but Howard makes a smart save with his legs.

    Into the last five minutes or so of this first half.

  75. YELLOW CARD

    Sheffield United 1-0 Swindon Town

    A soft one. Steven Davies kicks the ball away after the referee penalises him for bumping into Nathan Thompson, and the Sheffield United forward gets a yellow card for his troubles.

  76. Post update

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Daniel Johnson

    The game has finally settled down after a frantic opening half-hour. Jermaine Beckford's goal remains the only clear-cut chance of the game, but there have been plenty of last-ditch tackles and hefty challenges flying in.

    We will do well to end the first half without a booking.

  77. Post update

    Sheffield United 1-0 Swindon Town

    This has been a really good watch, it must be said. It's now Swindon's turn to pile forward, giving Jermaine Hylton half a sight at goal, but his shot is high and not particularly handsome.

  78. Post update

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    It's end to end at the moment. Firstly Jermaine Beckford's weak overhead kick is saved easily by Tommy Lee and then Jimmy Ryan fires a shot over the bar for Chesterfield.

  79. PENALTY APPEAL

    Sheffield United 1-0 Swindon Town

    This is becoming an evening of penalties - given, not given and saved.

    This time Jamie Murphy goes over inside the Swindon penalty area, but again the referee waves away the appeals.

  80. YELLOW CARD

    Sheffield United 1-0 Swindon Town

    That's not the tidiest of challenges from Blades defender Bob Harris, who trips Nathan Byrne inside the Robins' half. First yellow card of the evening.

  81. Post update

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Gary Roberts is fouled by John Welsh and the game suddenly boils over with both sets of players getting involved in an angry confrontation.

    There's plenty of pushing and shoving and Roberts even appears to have his hand around Paul Gallagher's neck.

    Referee speaks to both involved parties and takes no further action. There's now a bit of an edge to this game.

  82. Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Sheffield United fans

    A lively start in both of our League One play-off semi-final first legs this evening. Sheffield United and Preston have the upper hand in their respective games at present - will it finish up that way? Or can either Swindon or Chesterfield respond?

    Give us your views by using #bbcfootball on Twitter.

  83. MISSED PENALTY

    Sheffield United 1-0 Swindon Town

    Ben Gladwin

    Ben Gladwin's in for a sleepless night.

    Nathan Byrne weaves his way into the home side's penalty area and is tripped, prompting the referee to immediately puff his whistle and point to the spot.

    Gladwin then fires his penalty low to the goalkeeper's right, but Mark Howard gets down well to parry it away and then fumble the rebound clear. Huge, huge let off for Sheffield United.

  84. PENALTY

    Sheffield United 1-0 Swindon Town

    Swindon Town have a penalty!

  85. Post update

    Sheffield United 1-0 Swindon Town

    Ian Woodcock

    BBC Sport at Bramall Lane

    Nigel Clough

    "Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough will be relieved that they've got the goal their start deserved. The hosts are getting through a lot of work and Swindon's midfield have hardly had the ball."

  86. Post update

    Sheffield United 1-0 Swindon Town

    Swindon Town have picked up more points on their travels this season than Sheffield United have at home, which suggests to me this first leg is anything but over.

    Ben Gladwin almost squirms clear in the penalty area for the Robins as the away side continue their recovery. We've got a game on.

  87. Post update

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    It's certainly an open game so far. Just lacking a little bit of quality in the final third since Jermaine Beckford's sixth-minute goal.

  88. Post update

    Sheffield United 1-0 Swindon Town

    So what can Mark Cooper's team do from here? They've actually responded quite well, to their credit, with Michael Smith absolutely smashing a shot from distance into Jay McEveley. He'll feel that one in the morning.

  89. Post update

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Chesterfield finally launch a meaningful attack. Tendayi Darikwa bursts down the right and launches in a fine cross which finds Gary Roberts, but his low shot is blocked by Tom Clarke.

  90. GOAL

    Sheffield United 1-0 Swindon Town (Freeman, 19 mins)

    Kieron Freeman

    You can't say it's not been coming.

    Ryan Flynn turns this way and that down the right, before eventually teeing up Kieron Freeman to drill a low shot pass Wes Foderingham, who gets a hand to it but can't keep it out. Sheffield United lead.

  91. Post update

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Preston continue to look threatening. Daniel Johnson chips a ball into the box which is acrobatically squared by Scott Laird to Joe Garner but his shot is blocked.

  92. Post update

    Sheffield United 0-0 Swindon Town

    Ian Woodcock

    BBC Sport at Bramall Lane

    Mark Cooper

    "The Blades are well on top here and Swindon are having to weather the storm. Robins manager Mark Cooper is looking pensive on the touchline, he'll want his side to do more to cut off the supply to Sheffield United's wide players."

  93. Post update

    Sheffield United 0-0 Swindon Town

    My goodness, Sheffield United have bossed this opening 15 minutes and that was by far their best chance yet.

    A cross-come-shot from the left is drifting well wide, but striker Steven Davies does excellently to get his right foot to it at the far post - only to scuff the connection.

    A penny for Mark Cooper's thoughts? His side are under the cosh.

  94. Post update

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Paul Cook

    Paul Cook's Chesterfield look a bit shell-shocked from that early Jermaine Beckford opener for Preston. The Proact Stadium has gone quiet and the Spireites are struggling to get into the game.

  95. PENALTY APPEAL

    Sheffield United 0-0 Swindon Town

    Now then, what have we got here? Jamie Murphy is the dangerman for Sheffield United again, getting to the byline down the left and pulling a cross back, only for it to strike the arm of Swindon's Ben Gladwin.

    The referee waves away the appeals, suggesting his arm was down by his side. I'm not so sure - I reckon we can file that one under the 'seen them given' section.

  96. Post update

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End

    Great link up play between Jermaine Beckford and Joe Garner. The goalscorer flicks the ball onto Garner who shoots straight at Tommy Lee from a tight angle. It's all Preston at the moment.

  97. Post update

    Sheffield United 0-0 Swindon Town

    Paul Coutts has now won himself a slightly soft free-kick on the far side after a nudge from Ben Gladwin. What can they make of this?

    Not much, is the answer. Chris Basham's attempt trickles into the arms of goalkeeper Wes Foderingham.

  98. Post update

    Sheffield United 0-0 Swindon Town

    The Blades have certainly started on the front foot, as Jamie Murphy cuts inside onto his weaker left foot before shooting wide of the near post from inside the penalty area.

    Plenty of empty seats inside Bramall Lane tonight, by the way. The famous Kop behind the goal is packed, as you'd expect, but other areas of the ground are looking pretty sparse.

  99. GOAL

    Chesterfield 0-1 Preston North End (Beckford, 6 mins)

    Jermaine Beckford

    Jermaine Beckford puts Preston in front after some slack defending from the hosts. Chris Humphrey plays a through ball and Beckford is left all alone. The striker races onto it and slots a calm finish past Tommy Lee for his 10th goal in his last 16 appearances.

  100. Post update

    Sheffield United 0-0 Swindon Town

    Sheffield United are in their familiar red-and-white stripes tonight, while the Robins are sporting a rather dashing purple, white and black kit. The home side have the first shot in anger, but it's blocked away.

  101. Post update

    Chesterfield 0-0 Preston North End

    Bright start from Preston as they launch an attack inside the first minute. Joe Garner takes an air swing from the edge of the area before the ball is fizzed back into the Chesterfield box and cleared.

  102. KICK-OFF

    We are now under way at both the Proact Stadium and Bramall Lane. Let battle commence.

  103. Here come the boys

    At both grounds, the teams are just emerging from the tunnels to rousing receptions. It looks like the sun is shining in both Chesterfield and Sheffield too - what I like to call 'play-off weather'.

    Kick-off is moments away.

  104. There are no favourites

    Sheffield United v Swindon Town (19:45 BST)

    While Mark Cooper has been busy trying to pile all the pressure on Sheffield United, their forward Jamie Murphy has suggested it's rather more difficult to pick a winner.

    "I don't think there is a favourite," the 23-year-old told BBC Radio Sheffield. "I think any of the four teams can get through to the final and go up."

    You can't beat some good, old-fashioned mind games.

  105. Under pressure

    Sheffield United v Swindon Town (19:45 BST)

    Mark Cooper

    Although Swindon have made a greater impression on League One than Sheffield United this season, finishing one place and nine points above them, Robins manager Mark Cooper still insists the Blades are "expected" to get promoted.

    "The pressure on them is the expectancy," Cooper told BBC Wiltshire.

    "Because it's such a big club they're expected to get promotion, whereas we're not. They've shown before they can deal with that, but let's hope they don't."

  106. Post update

    Sheffield United v Swindon Town (19:45 BST)

    Mark Cooper

    While the Blades have been busy enjoying themselves in the cups, Swindon Town were embroiled in a four-way tussle for the automatic promotion places from early in the season.

    Their campaign included excellent wins over eventual champions Bristol City and play-off rivals Preston North End, as well as a handful of brief flirtations with top spot.

    However, a surprise home defeat at home by Yeovil Town last month finally ended any hopes of finishing in the top two, and sparked a fortnight of experimenting for manager Mark Cooper.

    The Robins have used a whopping 27 players since that loss to the Glovers, though you'd imagine the rotating will stop here.

  107. Post update

    Sheffield United v Swindon Town (19:45 BST)

    Sheffield United

    It's been a busy old nine months for Sheffield United.

    The Blades have been fighting firmly on three fronts this season, reaching the semi-finals of the League Cup, which they lost 3-2 on aggregate to Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur, and winning 3-0 at Queens Park Rangers on their way to making the fourth round of the FA Cup.

    As a result, Nigel Clough's side could probably be forgiven for starting a little slowly in the league.

    They have, at least, looked a pretty safe bet for the play-offs since before Christmas, though they never managed to climb higher than their finishing position of fifth.

  108. Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Swindon Town defender Harry Toffolo: Gutted to miss the game through injury! I'm sure the boys will do the job! Come on Swindon!

    How are we feeling about Harry's absence tonight, Robins fans? Will he be a big miss? Let us know by using #bbcfootball on Twitter.

  109. Chesterfield 'not underdogs'

    Chesterfield v Preston (19:45 BST)

    Paul Cook

    Chesterfield boss Paul Cook has said he does not see his side as underdogs for this evening's play-off semi-final first leg with Preston.

    Cook, who guided Chesterfield to the League Two title last term and then a sixth-place finish in League One, told BBC Radio Sheffield: "We'll be considered by most to be the underdogs but we don't think of it that way.

    "You have to have belief in what you do and we deserved to finish where we did in the table.

    "You can over-complicate what you are trying to do, but if we win two games then we will be at Wembley."

  110. Spireites on the up

    Chesterfield v Preston (19:45 BST)

    Chesterfield

    What a story it has been for Chesterfield this season. After winning League Two in 2013-14, their return to the second tier has had its ups and downs.

    After hovering around the play-off places for much of the campaign, a slump in form saw Paul Cook's men fall to mid-table in March.

    However, four wins on the bounce either side of Easter pushed the Spireites into sixth and that's where they stayed.

    After bouncing between the third and fourth divisions in recent decades, can Chesterfield finally reach the second tier for the first time since 1950-51?

  111. Play-off time for Preston - again

    Chesterfield v Preston (19:45 BST)

    Preston North End

    As a result of that loss, Preston North End will face Chesterfield in the play-off semi-finals tonight. And so now may be a good time for their fans to look away, as this next stat does not make pretty reading.

    In the Lilywhites' 21 play-off games since 1989, they have won only three of those and gone out at the semi-final stage six times.

    However, despite Sunday's defeat at Colchester which saw MK Dons pip them to an automatic spot, North End enjoyed a fine season in League One.

    From mid-October onwards they never dropped any lower than fourth in the table, only lost seven games all season and went on that 18-game unbeaten run before the final-day loss in Essex.

  112. Preston 'devastated' by final-day loss

    Chesterfield v Preston (19:45 BST)

    Simon Grayson

    Preston North End will need to pick themselves up tonight after Sunday's 1-0 loss at Colchester, which denied them automatic promotion.

    Manager Simon Grayson admitted his side were "devastated" as their 18-game unbeaten run came to an end at the worst possible time, allowing MK Dons to snatch second place on the final day of the campaign.

    "The dressing room is devastated, we're all devastated as staff and the supporters will be," the 45-year-old told BBC Radio Lancashire.

    "We knew fate was still in our hands, we knew what we had to do and unfortunately we didn't play as well as we could do."

  113. Post update

    Sheffield United v Swindon Town (19:45 BST)

    Ian Woodcock

    BBC Sport at Bramall Lane

    Charlie Austin

    "They say Wembley is no place for losers and the two teams at Bramall Lane tonight can certainly vouch for that.

    "Sheffield United's play-off record reads seven attempts, seven failures. They tasted defeat under the arch in 2012 when Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield recovered from missing their first three penalties to beat the Blades to promotion to the Championship.

    "They qualified for the play-offs again the following season, but lost to Yeovil in the semi-final. No wonder boss Nigel Clough has said 'history means nothing' in his programme notes.

    "If they're looking for sympathy from Swindon, they're unlikely to get it. The Robins lost 1-0 to Millwall in the League One play-off final in 2010.

    "Charlie Austin, in his first season as a professional player, missed a great chance to level for the Wiltshire side when he was played clean through on goal with 20 minutes to go. The ball bobbled, the chance went begging and, just to rub salt in the wound, they were relegated the following season."

  114. 30 minutes to go

    So, there's around half an hour to go until the first of this year's Football League play-off matches get under way. Do stick with us, as we'll be hearing from all four camps involved tonight between now and then.

  115. Team line-ups

    Chesterfield v Preston (19:45 BST)

    Chesterfield: Lee, Jones, Evatt, Hird, Darikwa, Morsy (capt), Ryan, Roberts, O'Shea, Gardner, Clucas.

    Substitutes: Talbot, Raglan, Banks, Ariyibi, Humphreys, Harrison, Gnanduillet.

    Preston North End: Johnstone, Clarke (capt), Wright, Huntington, Laird, Humphrey, Welsh, Gallagher, Johnson, Beckford, Garner.

    Substitutes: Stuckmann, Woods, Wiseman, Kilkenny, Robinson, Hugill, K. Davies.

  116. Team news

    Chesterfield v Preston (19:45 BST)

    Proact Stadium

    Both teams are unchanged from their final games of the regular season which saw Chesterfield draw 1-1 at Sheffield United and Preston lose 1-0 at Colchester.

    There's plenty of experience on both sides. The Spireites have Ian Evatt, who has been in this situation before, winning promotion with Blackpool.

    Preston have no shortage of firepower, with Joe Garner and Jermaine Beckford up front and the evergreen Kevin Davies waiting on the bench.

  117. Team line-ups

    Sheffield United v Swindon Town (19:45 BST)

    Sheffield United: Howard, Harris, Brayford (capt), Basham, Flynn, Murphy, Coutts, McEveley, Freeman, Davies, Holt.

    Substitutes: Alcock, Doyle, Scougall, McNulty, Done, Turner, Adams.

    Swindon Town: Foderingham, Stephens, N. Thompson (capt), Turnbull, Byrne, Kasim, Luongo, Gladwin, Ricketts, Smith, Hylton.

    Substitutes: C. Belford, Barthram, Marshall, Rodgers, Swift, Williams, Obika.

  118. Team news

    Sheffield United v Swindon Town (19:45 BST)

    Bramall Lane

    We already knew Sheffield United would be without Louis Reed because of a heel injury, but a surprise absentee for the Blades is forward Jose Baxter, who is out through illness.

    The big news emerging from the Swindon Town camp, meanwhile, is that defender Harry Toffolo has not been passed fit to play, so he misses out.

    In all, Sheffield United have made six changes, while Swindon Town have made nine. More on the rotating Robins a bit later...

  119. Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Tonight we'll be focusing firmly on League One, as Preston North End face a trip to Chesterfield and Sheffield United host Swindon Town at Bramall Lane.

    Who do you think will follow Bristol City and MK Dons up to the Championship? And, the all-important question, do you love the play-offs or hate them?

    You can tell us all that and more by using #bbcfootball on Twitter.

  120. We've got it covered!

    BBC Sport

    Queens Park Rangers

    Between now and Monday, 25 May, 12 teams across the Football League will see their campaigns extended by two, possibly three, more matches as they gun for promotion.

    And, I'm pleased to tell you, we'll be bringing you live text commentary on every one of those games right here on the BBC Sport website.

  121. Post update

    Marmite

    The marmite* of the domestic football season.

    For those involved it can be hide-behind-the-sofa stuff. For the rest of us, you daren't take your eyes off it. And, one way or another, in a fortnight or so's time three lucky sets of supporters will be treated to a day at Wembley they'll never forget.

    Welcome to our coverage of this season's Football League play-offs.

    *And yes, other forms of vegetable spread are available.