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ENGLISH CHAMPIONSHIP: Blackpool to meet West Ham in play-off final

Blackpool and West Ham United will get the opportunity to gain promotion straight back into the Premier League following tonight's Championship play-off semi-final second leg.

West Ham had already forced their way through to the play-off final courtesy of a 5-0 aggregate win over Cardiff City after Monday's second leg at Upton Park and now they will meet the Seasiders who drew 2-2 with Birmingham City at St Andrew's tonight to win 3-2 on aggregate.

Ian Holloway's side took a one-goal lead into their away leg and managed to go a further goal ahead on the stroke of half-time when Stephen Dobbie sent a low shot which found its way under Colin Doyle at his near post.

Three minutes into the second half, things got worse for Birmingham when Matt Phillips ran onto Stephen Crainey's long ball and finished off Doyle's far post to make it 3-0 on aggregate.

However, Birmingham were prepared to give everything to get back into proceedings and managed to do so in the 64th minute when Nikola Zigic finished neatly from Chris Burke's through ball before Curtis Davies set up a grandstand ending when he headed home Jordon Mutch's 73rd minute corner.

However, Chris Hughton's charges could not find another late goal as the Seasiders progressed through to a second play-off final in three years but they will have to step at Wembley on May 19 up after losing 4-0 and 4-1 to the Hammers in the regular season.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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