Three budding sports journalists won a day out at Wembley thanks to a partnership between The Football League and the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).

This season the NCTJ has held a competition to recognise the best performing sports journalism students. The three winning students were rewarded for their outstanding exam performance with the unique opportunity of writing a Play-Off Final match report from the Wembley press box.

Read Tom Crocker's report from the Championship Final below:

Crystal Palace 1-0 Watford AET
npower Championship Play-Off Final
Wembley Stadium
27th May 2013
Attendance 82,025

By Tom Crocker

Veteran striker Kevin Phillips netted an extra time penalty to send Crystal Palace back to the Premier League for the first time since 2005 with a gritty 1-0 Play-off Final win over Watford.

Palace will feel they should have won the match in normal time but the vociferous Eagles fans will not care one jot after eventually finding a way through.

The key moment arrived in the 105th minute when Italian defender Marco Cassetti brought down Wilfried Zaha in the box and the evergreen Phillips made no mistake, brilliantly dispatching the ball into the top corner past the outstretched hand of Manuel Almunia.

Try as they might, Watford could not find an equaliser with Fernando Forestieri's effort headed off the line by Joel Ward as Phillips wrote another chapter in his fairytale career.

With a new Premier League television deal kicking in next season, this match was reportedly worth £120 million to the winners making it known as the 'richest game in world football' and the nerves were clear to see for the majority of the first half.

Watford were becoming sloppy in possession after the restart and, with the introduction of perennial poacher Phillips, the Hornets defence came under threat as the Eagles threw everything at them.

But Palace were clearly missing their top scorer Glenn Murray who was ruled out of this match after injuring his cruciate ligament in the semi-final against Brighton and Hove Albion, leaving Wilbraham to lead the line having scored just once all season.

Ian Holloway's men were guilty of wasting some golden chances. First Stuart O'Keefe found space but his effort was turned behind by the legs of Almunia before two gilt-edge Wilbraham opportunities were also saved.

Zola's men started extra time brightly with Julian Speroni finally called into action by clawing the ball away from the feet of Troy Deeney after the striker had ghosted in behind Ward.

But normal order was resumed in the shape of an opening goal when Zaha, who was playing for the last time in a blue and red shirt before his summer move to Manchester United, drew a clumsy tackle from the experienced Marco Cassetti. Up stepped 39-year-old Phillips who found enough pace and power on the shot despite Almunia guessing correctly.

Forestieri thought he had forced a penalty shootout with his outside of the foot effort but Ward was on hand to head clear in stoppage time.

The two sides were the top scorers in the npower Championship this season, but it only took the one goal to send one up to the Premier League; and that was Crystal Palace.

Crystal Palace (4-1-4-1): Speroni; Ward, Gabbidon, Delaney, Moxey; Jedinak; Zaha, Dikgacoi (O'Keefe 18), Garvan (Moritz 84), Williams (Phillips 66); Wilbraham.

Substitutes not used: Price, Richards, Bolasie, Ramage.

Watford (4-4-2): Almunia; Doyley, Ekstrand, Cassetti, Pudil; Anya (Forestieri 86), Abdi, Chalobah (Battocchio 74), Hogg; Deeney, Vydra (Geijo HT).

Substitutes not used: Bond, Hall, Yeates, Briggs.

Referee: Mr N Atkinson