Pool draw and make play-offs
Ormerod header cancels out Maynard opener
Last Updated: May 2, 2010 4:15pm
Ormerod: Headed equaliser
Blackpool secured the last play-off spot despite only a 1-1 draw with Bristol City at Bloomfield Road.
The Seasiders went a goal behind when Nicky Maynard volleyed home a great strike on 16 minutes.
But Ian Holloway's side sealed a draw when Brett Ormerod headed home a Charlie Adam free-kick from close range on 54 minutes.
Rivals Swansea needed to beat Doncaster to secure the last play-off spot but could only draw 0-0 so Holloway's side finished a point ahead of the Swans.
The Seasiders are now just three games away from securing promotion to the top flight for the first time in 40 years.
They will take on Nottingham Forest over two legs, with the winner meeting Cardiff or Leicester at Wembley on 22nd May.
With DJ Campbell overcoming a bug, Holloway had the luxury of naming an unchanged starting XI.
City caretaker boss Keith Millen made just one change for his final game in charge, with Ivan Sproule starting in place of the injured Danny Haynes.
In his programme notes, Holloway called on his team to "go out and give it their all" - and they almost made the perfect start as Adam drilled a shot narrowly wide of Dean Gerken's right-hand post in the third minute.
City offered little as an attacking force early on, but they took the lead in the 16th minute courtesy of a moment of magic from top scorer Maynard.
A long ball was flicked on by Marvin Elliott to the former Crewe striker and he spotted Blackpool goalkeeper Matt Gilks off his line before finding the net with a dipping half-volley from 30 yards.
Ormerod forced Gerken into action at his near post as the Seasiders looked for an immediate response.
And they almost levelled in the 23rd minute as Vaughan's inswinging corner was clawed off the line by Gerken.
Campbell twice shot wide from promising positions and Seamus Coleman also failed to hit the target following a powerful run from right-back.
Yet City, who lost Cole Skuse to injury on the half hour, held on to their lead with relative comfort going into the interval.
Campbell was withdrawn four minutes into the second half, with Stephen Dobbie coming on in his place.
And the hosts drew level five minutes later as Ormerod powered home a header from Adam's curling free-kick.
Gerken made a fine stop to deny Ormerod a second goal in the 59th minute after the striker had beaten the offside trap.
At the other end, the dangerous Maynard prodded over the bar after shrugging off the attentions of two Blackpool defenders.
Although City were a threat on the counter-attack, Blackpool remained in the ascendancy and went agonisingly close to taking the lead with 18 minutes to go as Dobbie's thunderous 25-yarder was tipped over by Gerken.
Despite some frantic late pressure, the hosts were unable to find a breakthrough and they needed Gilks to be alert to keep out a late strike from Jamal Campbell-Ryce.
But it mattered not as news of Swansea's draw filtered through from south Wales, sparking wild celebrations among the home faithful.
Sky Bet Championship
Sun 2nd May
West Brom1 - 1Barnsley
Swansea0 - 0Doncaster
Plymouth1 - 2Peterboro
Scunthorpe2 - 2N Forest
Derby2 - 0Cardiff
Sheff Wed2 - 2C Palace
Leicester2 - 0Middlesbro'
Ipswich0 - 3Sheff Utd
Blackpool1 - 1Bristol C
Reading4 - 1Preston
Coventry0 - 4Watford
QPR0 - 1Newcastle
Sky Bet Championship
|2||Queens Park Rangers||18||38|
|11||Brighton and Hove Albion||18||25|