’Pool out to nail Hammers

Blackpool sealed a showdown with West Ham in the npower Championship play-off final after an absorbing semi-final second leg with Birmingham at St Andrew’s last night.

And the Seasiders’ Matt Phillips feels his side have something to prove as they face the Hammers .

“We’ve got a point to prove after they beat us convincingly in the two games in the league,” Phillips said.

Blackpool boss Holloway added: “I’m so proud. We got ourselves in a brilliant situation and what a fantastic fightback that was. If they had got the equaliser I could not see us coming back. But we’re going to Wembley again, it’s just magnificent.”

Leading 1-0 from Friday night’s first leg, the Seasiders took firm control of the tie with two goals minutes either side of half-time from Stephen Dobbie and Matt Phillips.

Nikola Zigic gave Blues a glimmer of hope before skipper Curtis Davies headed the equaliser on the night — but the hosts could not find a crucial winner which would have levelled the tie on aggregate and taken the contest into extra-time, so their 62nd match of a long season proved the last.

Blackpool meet the Hammers at Wembley on May 19, with the most lucrative match in the world — worth an estimated £90m for the club which reaches the Premier League — guaranteeing the winners an immediate return to the top flight.

BIRMINGHAM: Doyle, Ramage, Davies, Ibanez, Murphy, Burke, Spector (N’Daw 44), Mutch, Townsend (Redmond 62), King, Zigic.

BLACKPOOL: Gilks, Eardley, Baptiste, Evatt, Crainey, M Phillips (K Phillips 85), Ferguson, Angel, Ince (Southern 69), Dobbie (Dicko 76), Taylor-Fletcher.

Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside).


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