Football

Phillips fires Blues to promotion

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Birmingham clinched automatic promotion to the Barclays Premier League with a 2-1 win over Reading, condemning their hosts to the play-offs.

Reading goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann gifted the visitors the lead in the 19th minute when Keith Fahey's curled effort from outside the box squirmed through his grasp and over the line.

Kevin Phillips doubled their lead on the hour but seconds later Marek Matejovsky reduced the deficit.

The result ended Sheffield United's hopes of sneaking into the automatic promotion places as their goalless draw at Crystal Palace had little effect on the standings.

Burnley join them in the play-offs following a 4-0 win over Bristol City, thanks to two Graham Alexander penalties either side of Wade Elliott's thunderous volley and a late fourth from Joey Gudjonsson.

Preston beat QPR 2-1 to grab the last play-off spot by virtue of having scored one more goal than promotion-rivals Cardiff.

Sean St Ledger scored the crucial 74th-minute winner after Patrick Agyemang had levelled matters following Jon Parkin's first-half strike.

That ensured final day heartbreak for Cardiff, who lost 1-0 at Sheffield United with Jermaine Johnson's stunning half-volley putting an end to their Premier League dreams.

Champions Wolves wrapped up their campaign with a 1-0 home win over Doncaster, with Richard Stearman's stoppage-time winner ensuring they take the title by seven points.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Doncaster Rovers
Marek Matejovsky
Reading
Jon Parkin
Bristol City
Football
Sean St Ledger
Marcus Hahnemann
Wade Elliott
Championship
Jermaine Johnson
Graham Alexander
Premier League
Cardiff City
Joey Gudjonsson
Keith Fahey
Preston North End
Queens Park Rangers
Sheffield United
Patrick Agyemang
Crystal Palace
Birmingham
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Kevin Phillips
Richard Stearman

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