Championship round-up: Brighton pip Reading to play-offs as Paul Caddis proves Birmingham's hero to keep them afloat and consign Doncaster to League One

A dramatic final day of the Championship season saw the battle for the final play-off spot go down to the wire while Birmingham pulled off the impossible to stay in the second-tier next season

Brighton grabbed a last-minute winner to beat Nottingham Forest 2-1 and snatch the last play-off spot on a dramatic final day in the Sky Bet Championship.

The visitors came from behind in a thrilling contest but it was Leonardo Ulloa's stoppage-time time goal that sealed all three points for Brighton, who climbed above Reading into sixth.

Matt Derbyshire took advantage of a Tomasz Kuszczak error to give Forest the lead in the 22nd minute but Stephen Ward drew Brighton level early in the second half before Ulloa's late heroics.

Brighton, who now face third-placed Derby in the play-off semi-finals, needed to better Reading's result against already promoted Burnley but the Royals were held to an agonising 2-2 draw at home.

It was all going to plan for the hosts when Burnley's Kieran Trippier turned the ball into his own net in the 16th minute but goals from Scott Arfield and Danny Ings turned the scoreline on its head.

Reading made it 2-2 just before the hour-mark when Garath McCleary found the net with a stunning long-range volley but the Royals were unable to find a winner and had their hearts broken when news of Brighton's late win filtered through.

Brighton's play-off opponents Derby were unable to finish the regular season on a high as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Leeds.

The Rams went into the match on the back of five consecutive victories and looked like they might make it six when Simon Dawkins gave the visitors an early lead.

Leeds salvaged a point shortly into the second half however when Matt Smith found the net with a well-placed lob.

Wigan are also through to the play-offs and maintain their place in fifth despite a 4-3 defeat at Blackburn.

Unbeaten in 12, Blackburn have finished the season at a canter and a made an early breakthrough when Tom Cairney broke the deadlock before Ivan Ramis equalised for Wigan.

Two goals from Rudy Gestede gave the home side a 3-1 advantage at the break but James McClean pulled Wigan back into the contest.

Blackburn were not to be denied however and Jordan Rhodes put the result beyond doubt with six minutes to play despite a late goal from Wigan's Nicky Maynard.

Wigan will now face Queens Park Rangers in the play-off semi-finals after Harry Redknapp's side finished fourth with a 3-2 win at Barnsley.

Barnsley, who were already relegated before kick-off, were 2-0 down at half-time after Charlie Austin's opener and a Jean-Yves Mvoto own-goal.

Chris O'Grady pulled a goal back for the home side early in the second half but Suk-young Yun restored Rangers' two-goal advantage before O'Grady added a second late on.

Leicester were crowned champions and condemned Doncaster to relegation on goal difference with a 1-0 win at the King Power Stadium.

Trailing to David Nugent's 75th minute penalty, Rovers were still set to survive until Birmingham scored a 93rd minute equaliser to draw 2-2 at Bolton.

Paul Caddis was Birmingham's hero as the Blues came from two goals down to seal the dramatic point that guaranteed their safety.

Lee Chung-yong and Lukas Jutkiewicz looked to have all but ended Birmingham's hopes when they put Bolton 2-0 up with just 14 minutes to play but Nicola Zigic gave the visitors hope with 12 minutes left before Caddis secured an incredible comeback.

Doncaster's defeat and Birmingham's draw ensured Blackpool also stayed up on the final day despite a 3-0 loss at home to Charlton.

Callum Harriott scored a second-half hat-trick to give the Addicks their third win in four games and ensure the visitors finish 18th in the table.

Millwall also guaranteed their Championship status as they edged past Bournemouth 1-0 thanks to Martyn Woodford's first-half winner.

Bournemouth looked on course for a late play-off bid a month ago but just one win in their last five matches means the Cherries finish 10th.

Yeovil Town ended their disappointing season with a 4-1 defeat at home to Middlesbrough who finish 12th.

Already relegated and bottom of the table, Yeovil fell behind to Danny Graham's close-range finish just after the half-hour mark.

James Hayter drew the hosts level soon after but two goals in three minutes from Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma and Lee Tomlin put Boro in control before half-time.

Ledesma added his second shortly after the interval to seal all three points for the visitors.

Ipswich finished in the top 10 after Paul Green's second-half goal gave the Tractor Boys a 2-1 win at home to Sheffield Wednesday.

Wednesday's Kieran Lee had earlier cancelled out Tommy Smith's opener.

Watford endured a disappointing end to their campaign as the Hornets were thrashed 4-1 at home to Huddersfield.

All five goals came in the second half as Joe Lolley scored on his debut before substitute Danny Ward bagged a hat-trick to put the away side four to the good.

Troy Deeney scored a late consolation from the penalty spot for Watford, who finish the season 13th.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor