Birmingham win promotion back to Premier League

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.

At the other end of the table, Norwich will be playing in the third tier of English football for the first time since 1960 after they were humiliated 4-2 at Charlton.

The hosts, already relegated, marked their last match in the Championship in style and they were three goals to the good by the half-hour mark thanks to Nick Bailey's opener and a brace from Deon Burton.

Norwich gave themselves a faint lifeline through Alan Lee in first-half stoppage time but things went from bad to worse minutes after the interval when Burton completed his hat-trick.

Sammy Clingan's free-kick reduced the deficit once more but it was too little too late.

The result ensured Barnsley would stay up regardless of their score at Plymouth, but the Tykes triumphed 2-1 to make sure of their Championship status.

Adam Hammill levelled matters after Gary Sawyer's opener and Jamal Campbell-Ryce fired the visitors into the lead shortly after the interval.

Elsewhere, already-relegated Southampton's miserable season continued as they fell to a 3-1 defeat at Nottingham Forest with Luke Chambers, Joe Garner and Robert Earnshaw grabbing the goals for the hosts following Bradley Wright-Phillips' opener.

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.

Roy Keane enjoyed his first home game in charge with his second win in as many games.

Giovani dos Santos and Pablo Counago's first-half goals gave Ipswich a 2-1 win over Coventry, with Clinton Morrison pulling one back late on.

Meanwhile. Blackpool beat Swansea 1-0 thanks to Dudley Campbell's 13th-minute goal and Watford triumphed 3-1 over Derby with a brace from former Rams striker Grzegorz Rasiak and one from Jobi McAnuff in the first-half, before John Eustace's late consolation.

News
In 2006, Pluto was reclassified as a 'dwarf planet'
scienceBut will it be reinstated?
Voices
voicesI like surprises - that's why I'm bringing them back to politics, writes Nigel Farage
Arts and Entertainment
Adam Levine plays a butcher who obsessively stalks a woman in Maroon 5's 'Animals' music video
music'Animals' video 'promotes sexual violence against women'
News
people Biographer says cinema’s enduring sex symbol led a secret troubled life
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
Arts and Entertainment
Anthony Horowitz will write the next 007 novel
booksAnthony Horowitz to write new instalment in spy series for 2015
News
people

Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again

Sport
Kicking on: Nathaniel Clyne is relishing the challenge of the Premier League after moving from Crystal Palace
footballSurprises include a first ever call-up for one Southampton star
Voices
4 May 2013: The sun rises over Tower Bridge in London. Temperatures across the UK could be higher than several European holiday destinations by Monday, including parts of Italy and France (Andy Hepburn/PA)
voices
News
The moon observed in visible light, topography and the GRAIL gravity gradients
science

...and it wasn't caused by an asteroid crash, as first thought

News
Researchers say a diet of fatty foods could impede smell abilities
scienceMeasuring the sense may predict a person's lifespan
Arts and Entertainment
The first batch of coach and ticket packages has sold out for next year's Glastonbury
musicIt looks like you're going to have to be quick to get tickets this year
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Extras
indybest
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?