Rochdale 2 Darlington 1 (3-3 aet; Roch. win 5-4 on pens): Spot-on Dale set up Stockport showdown

The Rochdale manager, Keith Hill, has urged his side to create history in the League Two play-off final at Wembley a week tomorrow. The Lancashire side have not won a promotion since 1969 and have been in thebottom tier of English football since 1974, the longest unbroken run in the Football League's basement division.

Hill is sick of hearing about the club's inglorious past and has urged his talented young side to seize the moment when they go to Wembley. Hill, who turned 39 yesterday, headed straight to Edgeley Park to watch Stockport beat Wycombe 1-0 last night to join his side in the final.

"We're here to make history – I'm sick of hearing about the history of the football club and what we haven't done," said an emotionally drained Hill. "We talk about making our own history and creating history for other people to talk about.

"We are nurturing a very good young squad here and we want to be successful. That's how ambitious the players and the coaching staff are. We want to get into League One. That's our aim now."

Clarke Keltie's 28th-minute penalty put Darlington 3-1 ahead on aggregate but Rochdale showed tremendous spirit. They scored shortly before half-time through Chris Dagnall and a deflected strike from David Perkins, who was sent off in extra-time, put them 2-1 ahead to level the tie at 3-3 with 12 minutes left.

That ensured extra time which could not separate the sides, so the tie was decided by penalties. The teams converted their first four spot-kicks and after the Rochdale goalkeeper Tommy Lee saved Jason Kennedy'seffort, Ben Muirhead stepped up to claim the winning penalty.

Rochdale's long-suffering fans were ecstatic and invaded the pitch in their thousands. Hill, who will appeal against Perkins' red card, added: "I will be celebrating quietly tonight – I'm 39 not 29. If I was 29 I'd be out on the lash like everybody else."

A philosophical Darlington manager, Dave Penney, said: "That's life. It's a fine line and they were better than us just because they scored more penalties than us. We've had a good season and we just couldn't finish it off."

Liam Dickinson scored a fine individual goal to send Stockport to Wembley to face Rochdale in the final. In a tense battle with Wycombe at Edgeley Park, Dickinson scored the only goal of the match after seven minutes, which won the tie 2-1 on aggregate. The striker broke from the halfway line, powered his way into the penalty area and slipped the ball past the visitors' goalkeeper Frank Fielding for his 20th goal of the season.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back