On this day - 18 May

West Ham United twice took giant strides towards the Premier League courtesy of Play-Off semi-final victories over Ipswich Town on this day in 2004 and 2005.

Classic match (1)
West Ham United 2-0 Ipswich Town (2-1)
18 May 2004
Division One Play-Off semi-final

Darren Bent's header at Portman Road had earned the Tractor Boys a slender advantage going into this second-leg showdown. It remained that way until five minutes after the interval, when a short-corner routine saw Matthew Etherington arrow an angled left-footed drive into the top corner.

Twenty-one minutes later and it was two, as a headed clearance flew into the midriff of Christian Dailly, who stabbed home, while clearly in considerable discomfort. Ian Westlake rocked the frame of the Hammers goal late on, but Alan Pardew's men held on to seal the first of three eventual trips to Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

Classic match (2) 

Ipswich Town 0-2 West Ham United (2-4)
18 May 2005
Division One Play-Off semi-final

After surrendering a two-goal lead in the first leg at the Boleyn Ground, the Hammers were hardly in prime position upon this return fixture in Suffolk. Much like the year before, a tentative first-half ended goalless, with the prospect of extra-time looming large.

But West Ham soon took complete control of proceedings, as Bobby Zamora struck twice in the space of eleven second-half minutes. Zamora firstly tapped home Marlon Harewood's centre, before settling the tie with an unforgettable second.

Following an Ipswich free-kick, Harewood led the breakout, skipping past Darren Currie, before exchanging passes with Nigel Reo Coker. He then planted a brilliant diagonal onto the left boot of Zamora, whose cushioned volley sailed over Kelvin Davis and nestled in the far corner.

Complete record - 18 May 

1963 West Ham United 6-1 Manchester City (Division One)
1989 Nottingham Forest 1-2 West Ham United (Division One)
2004 West Ham United 2-0 Ipswich Town (Division One Play-Off)
2005 Ipswich Town 0-2 West Ham United (Division One Play-Off)

Played 4, Won 4, Drawn 0, Lost 0, Scored 12, Conceded 2