Blackpool sealed a showdown with West Ham in the Championship play-off final after a thrilling semi-final second leg with Birmingham at St Andrew’s. Buy Blackpool v West Ham Tickets
Leading 1-0 from Friday night’s first leg, Blackpool seemed to have the tie sewn up when they scored two goals minutes either side of half-time from Stephen Dobbie and Matt Phillips.
Dobbie’s goal came out of nowhere. Ince’s corner was only half headed out by Davies, who managed to block Alex Baptiste’s subsequent overhead but the ball broke for Dobbie and his low shot agonisingly squirmed under Doyle at his near post.
Three minutes into the second half and Blackpool were two up. Phillips timed his burst to perfection to run off the shoulder of Murphy and bring down Stephen Crainey’s long ball, with a trickling neat finish beating Doyle and crossing the line off the far post.
With Blackpool fans dreaming of another trip down Wembley way, Nikola Zigic gave Birmingham City fans a glimmer of hope ith a well-taken finish having been put through by Burke.
King wasted a great chance to level things on the night having directed substitute Nathan Redmond’s cross straight at Gilks. But Birmingham Captain Curtis Davies succeeded where King failed soon after, heading home from Jordon Mutch’s corner.
City threw everything at Blackpool in search of a third goal which would have levelled the tie on aggregate and taken the contest into extra-time. B
But Ian Holloway’s side. who were the better side over the two legs, stood tall and will now meet West Ham at Wembley on May 19, with the most lucrative match in world football guaranteeing the winners an immediate return to the Barclays Premier League.
West Ham beat Blackpool 4-0 and 4-1 during the regular league season and have to be heavy favorites to return to the Premier League. But Blackpool will not mind being the underdogs, they seem to thrive in those circumstances and the Seasiders will be looking to win their second Premier League Play-In game in three seasons on the 19th of May.