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Live Commentary: Championship playoff final - West Ham United promoted

Sports Mole's live text coverage of the most lucrative game in world football between Blackpool and West Ham at Wembley.

Good afternoon and welcome to Sports Mole's live text commentary of the most lucrative football game on the planet - the Championship playoff final.

The Premier League beckons for this afternoon's Wembley winner, will it be Blackpool or West Ham United?

The Hammers finished in third, just missing out on the top-two automatic promotion spots, while Ian Holloway's Blackpool ended the season sixth, 11 points adrift of their opponents today.

(Please refresh this page for the latest updates)

A really good game of football at Wembley and it's West Ham who join Reading and Southampton in being promoted to the top flight. Thanks for joining Sports Mole this afternoon, make sure you stick with us on the site for live commentary of this evening's Champions League final later this evening.

Allardyce tells Sky Sports News that this is the first game of the season where West Ham have stolen a late victory. He adds that it was difficult to turn the club around at the start of his Hammers' reign but he's now done it. He's mobbed mid-interview by skipper Nolan and finishes by saying they've got what they want and are "going up".


The Hammers have done it. Blackpool played a good game and will feel hard done by. However, it's their own fault for not putting away more of the clear-cut opportunities they had. Vaz Te scores the winner and hasn't he been a good signing since joining in January?

90+3 min: Just a minute left for Blackpool to find something and they can't get hold of the ball.

90 min: Four minutes have been added on and it looks like West Ham, who have been second best, truth be told, today are on their way back to the top flight.

87 min: GOAL! Vaz Te scores for West Ham! 2-1!

Is that the goal worth millions and millions of pounds to West Ham? Carlton Cole bundles through in the area and is then denied with the ball falling to Vaz Te. The Portuguese forward has a pretty empty goal to aim at from five yards and only just finds it by hammering the roof of the net.

85 min: First real injury break of the match as Evatt denies Vaz Te in the area with both men coming out of the challenge limping. They'll be fine to carry on though.

83 min: Dobbie gets brought down by Reid about 27 yards out. Decent position for a free kick. Dobbie strikes low and Green deals with it.

80 min: West Ham hit the bar! What an effort from Nolan. McCartney crosses from the left to the Liverpudlian who crashes a side-foot volley against the upright. Gilks seems to have got a finger to it, not sure if it would have gone in anyway.

75 min: Green makes a smart save from Dobbie by diving low to his right and palming away for a corner. 15 left here with Blackpool still look the more ominous side. In Scotland, Hearts are now 5-1 up on Hibs in the Edinburgh derby.

70 min: Blackpool have a corner after Dobbie's shot is deflected behind. Ince sends in the set piece. The ball falls to Evatt, with the centre-back's effort taking a deflection before being cleared off the line. Baptiste fires the loose ball over. Holloway's men really on top here.

67 min: They've had chances these sides, especially Blackpool. Eardley finds space down the right and cuts back to playoff-specialist Dobbie, whose sidefoot effort from 12 yards is awfully miscued and bounces wide.

66 min: Matt Phillips sees a speculative effort from 30 yards fly high and wide as we approach the mid-point of this second period.

63 min: Top save from Gilks in the Blackpool goal as Faubert feeds to Cole, whose first touch is exquisite and his shot on-the-turn is also clever but is palmed wide by the fingertips of the Tangerines' keeper.

61 min: Chance for West Ham as Vaz Te lays off to Noble, but his effort is skewed and Blackpool clear.

60 min: Taylor swings over another dangerous cross from the left that finds Collison who can only divert high into the sky. Half an hour of normal time remaining.

57 min: Another change for the Hammers as Julien Faubert comes on in place of Guy Demel at right-back. That's two substitutions already for the London side, we could have extra time remember.

52 min: Blackpool have pushed on from that goal and are in the ascendency here. Baptiste tries to lob Green and his effort is cleared off the line before Dobbie has the chance to shoot but is stopped trying to cut back on his right. Allardyce decides to change things and brings off midfielder Gary O'Neill for left-back George McCartney. Defensive?

51 min: So we're back level at Wembley, while at Hampden Hearts have scored twice in the opening moments of the second half and now lead 4-1! Hibs have also had a man sent off, look like it's Hearts trophy.

48 min: GOAL! Ince equalises for Blackpool!

The Seasiders are back on level terms as the impressive Ince scores a similar effort to Cole, taking a touch before guiding across Green into the far corner. Another class finish from the youngster on his weaker right side.

46 min: We're back underway at the national stadium, can Blackpool stage a fightback or will West Ham runaway?

HALF-TIME: Blackpool 0-1 West Ham

So the Hammers take a one-goal lead into the break thanks to Carlton Cole's coolness from eight yards. It's been an open game with both sides culpable of missing guilt-edge opportunities. Join us in 15 for the resumption.

42 min: Approaching half time at Wembley with West Ham still ahead. In Scotland, Hibs have got one back minutes before the break through James McPake.

38 min: Don't despair Blackpool fans, your team has come from behind on more occasions than any other side in the Championship this season, and you did it in the playoff final two years ago. Things almost get worse though, as Vaz Te passes his effort wide after being left unmarked at the back post.

35 min: GOAL! Cole puts West Ham in front!

The Hammers are ahead and Carlton Cole shows Matt Phillips how to finish. Taylor fizzes an inch-perfect pass over to the striker, who takes one touch before half-volleying past Gilks high into the net. Top finish.

34 min: The stats show that, possession-wise, this has been a very even encounter.

30 min: Dangerous low cross from Taylor for West Ham is cut out well by Ian Evatt. The Hammers have the first corner of the game and Matt Gilks flaps at the delivery. Another corner that Tomkins head high into the stand.

27 min: Collison cuts in onto his left but drifts his curling effort wide. At Hampden, Hearts are taking control and are now two up courtesy of Rudi Skacel. Looks like bragging rights are going to the claret half of Edinburgh.

22 min: Noble whips over a dangerous centre that Cole meets but can only glance harmlessly over the bar.

20 min: First goal has proven to be crucial in previous playoff finals with eight of the last nine finals being won by the side that has scored the opener. Vaz Te hits the side-netting as West Ham go in search of that first goal.

18 min: At Hampden Park, Darren Barr has put Hearts ahead against Hibernian in the all-Edinburgh Scottish Cup final.

15 min: Will Blackpool regret these chances?! Matt Phillips again goes clear after Demel makes a mistake for the Hammers. Phillips cuts inside the last man and this time fires just wide of Green's far post. Two real misses in two minutes from the Blackpool wide-man.

14 min: Big, big chance for Blackpool. The Seasiders cut apart the West Ham defence and it's Matt Phillips who is one-on-one with Green. His first touch isn't great but the finish is worse, dribbling his effort straight at Green. Waste.

10 min: Vaz Te goes past his man with a stepover but is off-balance at the by-line and slices wide.

7 min: We've settled down after that frantic start where Blackpool almost took the lead through Ince.

3 min: Paul Ince's son Thomas looks threatening down the right as Blackpool respond. A mistake from West Ham allows Ince an opportunity from the angle and Green pushes his shot onto the post! Almost for the Tangerines.

1 min: Webb gets us underway and West Ham start well with Nolan almost finding cole with a through ball. Vaz Te is then caught offside looking to break clear.

14.59: Holloway enters the West Ham dugout to wish Allardyce the best of luck. The Premier League has missed both these managers so will be nice to see either back in the big time.

14.57: England's best, Howard Webb will officiate today. We're being treated to the national anthem, moments away from the off.

14.55: Both teams are led out by their managers, Allardyce with West Ham and Holloway with Blackpool. It's a tough one to call but I fancy Blackpool for some reason. Kevin Phillips to deliver on the big stage.

14.45: Sir Trevor Brooking is hoping West Ham will be able to deal with anything Ian Holloway's Seasiders can "conjure" up. Just 15 minutes to kickoff.

14.40: Allardyce says both him and his players are nervous but he tried to calm those tensions by showing a comical video of the season to the players. Allardyce adds: "Stick to the basics and don't get overawed by the occasion."

14.34: I'll also bring you any incident updates from the Scottish Cup final between Edinburgh rivals Hibernian and Hearts. That game also kicks off at 3pm.

14.24: Holloway tells Sky Sports that it's nice to be back at Wembley and relive the memories of two years ago, when Blackpool reached the Premier League by beating Cardiff 3-2. 'Olly' adds that Taylor-Fletcher is missing because of a "freak" injury sustained in training on Thursday.

14.20: The team news is in. Biggest news for the Tangerines is that Gary Taylor-Fletcher misses out through injury and so veteran forward Kevin Phillips starts up front. He's 38! For the Hammers, Carlton Cole and the in-form Ricardo Vaz Te lead the line.

Read the full lineups here.

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