MX23RW : Thursday, September 20 03:40:08

Live Commentary: Championship final day - as it happened

Read how a dramatic, breathless final day of the Championship season played out.

Exactly nine months after the season started in August, the 2013-14 Championship came to an end on Saturday lunchtime.

Just two meaningful spots needed to be decided - the final playoff spot and third relegation place - and it was Brighton & Hove Albion who clinched a playoff berth as Doncaster Rovers were relegated because of a last-gasp Birmingham City equaliser.

It was dramatic, it was breathless and you can read how it all unfolded in our minute-by-minute updates below.

11.31amMorning all! Exactly nine months after the season kicked off in sunny August, the final day of the Football League is here and we're all over the Championship. We'll be previewing each of the 12 fixtures and filling you in on what can happen on a nerve-jangling day for some sides. Kickoff in all 12 games is in 45 minutes' time so let's get straight to it...

11.35amBARNSLEY vs. QUEENS PARK RANGERS: We'll be going in alphabetical order and first up is the game at Oakwell, where relegated Barnsley welcome top-four side QPR. If Barnsley lose and Yeovil Town win, the Tykes will finish bottom of the pile. QPR are guaranteed to finish fourth no matter what happens and are likely to face Wigan Athletic in the playoff semi-finals.

Barnsley: Steele, Kennedy, Cranie, M'voto, Ramage, Jennings, O'Brien, Cywka, Dawson, O'Grady, Rose
QPR: Green, Hughes, Onuoha, Donaldson, Yun, Benayoun, Henry, O'Neil, Traore, Doyle, Austin

11.39amBLACKBURN ROVERS vs. WIGAN ATHLETIC: There's plenty to play for at Ewood Park as Blackburn, who have the slimmest of chances to reach the playoffs, welcome Wigan. The Latics start the day in fifth but could drop to sixth if they lose and Reading win their game. Blackburn need to overturn a goal difference of seven and hope that both Reading and Brighton & Hove Albion lose. Highly unlikely, but who knows!

Blackburn: Robinson; Keane, Hanley, Kilgallon, Olsson; King, Evans, Cairney, Conway; Gestede, Rhodes
Wigan: Carson, Crainey, McEachran, Caldwell, McClean, Espinoza, Ramis, Kiernan, Maynard, Collison, Waghorn

11.42amBLACKPOOL vs. CHARLTON ATHLETIC: At Bloomfield Road Blackpool need just a draw to guarantee their safety. Charlton secured theirs by winning their game in-hand in midweek. Blackpool could be fine if they lose as they are three points clear of the drop but need other results to go their way.

Blackpool: Gilks, McMahon, McGahey, Cathcart, Halliday, Perkins, Osbourne, Basham, Bishop, Dobbie, Keogh
Charlton: Hamer; Wilson, Fox, Dervite, Morrison; Cousins, Poyet, Jackson, Harriott, Ajdarevic; Sordell

11.46amBOLTON WANDERERS vs. BIRMINGHAM CITY: One of the biggest games of the day is at the Reebok as Birmingham look to escape relegation. The Blues have lost five in a row and start the day as the team occupying that final spot in the bottom three. Lee Clark's side do have considerably the best goal difference though so a draw might be enough if Doncaster Rovers lose.

Bolton: Lonergan, Mills, Ream, Threlkeld, Wheater, Spearing, Trotter, Hall, Danns, Lee, Beckford
Birmingham: Randolph; Spector, Mullins, Robinson, Reilly; Huws, Adeyemi, Caddis; Burke, Zigic, Novak

11.49amIPSWICH TOWN vs. SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Nothing to play for at Portman Road as Ipswich, whose playoff dreams ended last weekend, welcome Sheffield Wednesday to Suffolk.

11.52amLEEDS UNITED vs. DERBY COUNTY: There's also little to play for at Elland Road, with tailing away from the playoffs drastically in the second half of the season while Derby are guaranteed to finish third and face whichever side grabs that fourth playoff spot in next weekend's playoff semis.

Leeds: Butland, Lees, Pearce, Wootton, Pugh, Tonge, Brown, Austin, Murphy, McCormack, Smith
Derby: Grant; Wisdom, Keogh, Whitbread, Forsyth; Eustace, Hughes, Hendrick; Bamford, Dawkins, Sammon

11.56amLEICESTER CITY vs. DONCASTER ROVERS: Will it be Donny who go down? Rovers are the side nearest to Birmingham and have a daunting trip on their hands as they go to champions Leicester. The Foxes do have something to play for as they start the day on 99 points and would love to get into three figures for the season.

12pmMILLWALL vs. BOURNEMOUTH: Millwall are the last of the four sides who could be relegated to League One today. Ian Holloway's men start the day in 20th place, two points clear of the drop zone. Win and they're safe. A draw might not be enough. A win or draw for Bournemouth could see them finish the season eighth, which would cap a wonderful first year back in the Championship for the Cherries.

Millwall: Forde; Edwards, Dunne, Beevers, Malone; Bailey, Williams; Morison, Garvan, Woolford; Maierhofer
Bournemouth: Camp, Smith, Elphick, Cook, Daniels, Ritchie, O'Kane, Surman, Fraser, Kermorgant, Rantie

12.03pmNOTTINGHAM FOREST vs. BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION: What a massive game this is for Brighton. They could be in the playoffs for the second straight year if they better Reading's result against Burnley. Forest aren't far behind, but not close enough for a late dash to the playoffs.

Forest: De Vries, Peltier, Collins(C), Harding, Vaughan, Osborn, Majewski, McLaughlin, Mackie, Derbyshire, Tudgay
Brighton: Kuszczak; Calderon, Upson, Greer, Ward; Andrews, Orlandi, Forster-Caskey; Lingard, Buckley, Ulloa

12.06pmREADING vs. BURNLEY: Reading's fans will definitely be constantly checking their phones to see what the score is at the City Ground. A win for the Royals and they're guaranteed a spot in the playoffs and could even finish fifth depending on how Wigan do. Fifth and you play QPR in the semis, sixth and it's Derby. Burnley will be no pushovers as they are second and definitely up in the Premier League next term.

Reading: McCarthy, Gunter, Obita, Pearce, Morrison, Leigertwood, Akpan, McAnuff, McCleary, Le Fondre, Pogrebnyak
Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Kightly, Marney, Jones, Arfield, Barnes, Ings

12.09pmWATFORD vs. HUDDERSFIELD TOWN: A Watford win is expected at Vicarage Road as the Hornets eye a top-half finish while Huddersfield have little to play for in the bottom half.

Watford: Bond; Angella, Cassetti, Hoban; Anya, Murray, Tozser, Battocchio, Pudil; Deeney, Jakubiak
Huddersfield: Smithies; Dixon, Lynch, Gerrard, Smith; Lolley, Hogg, Norwood, Clayton, Hammill; Wells

12.12pmYEOVIL TOWN vs. MIDDLESBROUGH: Finally, at Huish Park it's the Glovers against Boro. Yeovil will want to win to avoid finishing bottom while a Boro triumph will see them secure a top-half finish.

Yeovil: Stech; Ayling, Webster, Duffy, McAllister; Dawson, Edwards, Ralls, Foley; Hoskins, Hayter
Boro: Steele; Varga, Ayala, Hines, Gibson; Whitehead, Chalobah; Adomah, Ledesma, Tomlin; Graham

12.14pmRight, that's all 12 games summed up just in time for kickoff!

0 minKICKOFF! All 12 games are now underway. Here are my predictions:

Barnsley-QPR draw, Blackburn-Wigan draw, Blackpool win, Birmingham win, Ipswich win, Leeds win, Leicester win, Millwall-Bournemouth draw, Brighton win, Reading win, Watford win, Middlesbrough win.

2 minReading know three point guarantees them a spot in the playoffs and they almost get off to a great start. A long-range shot from Pavel Pogrebnyak appears to strike a hand in the box but no penalty is given.

5 minStill no goals in the early stages. The teams that need a goal, especially at the bottom, will be getting more and more nervous the longer they remain scoreless.

7 minChance for Millwall at the Den as Martyn Woolford has his shot saved by Lee Camp. The Lions will stay up with a win.

7 minBrighton are the next side to spurn a great chance as top scorer Leonardo Ulloa misfires from a one-on-one opportunity.

7 minGOAL! Leeds 0-1 Derby (Simon Dawkins)

7 minThe first goal of the day comes at Elland Road as visitors Derby go in front through Dawkins, who scrambles home after Jeff Hendrick's initial shot was kept out.

9 minSNAP: Reading's early penalty shout:

13 minGOAL! Blackburn 1-0 Wigan (Tom Cairney)

13 minBlackburn need results to go their way and score loads against Wigan. They're off to a good start as Cairney shimmies into the box before shooting low off the post into the net.

12 minBIG chance for Birmingham at the Reebok as Paul Caddis fizzes a low centre into the middle where Lee Novak can only touch wide. The Blues remain in the bottom three as things stand.

12 minShould Millwall be down to 10 men? They perhaps get away with one as Mark Beevers brings down Ryan Fraser, who looked to be breaking through on goal.

16 minGOAL! Reading 1-0 Burnley (Kieran Trippier OG)

17 minGOAL! Blackburn 1-1 Wigan (Ivan Ramis)

19 minGOAL! Blackburn 2-1 Wigan (Rudy Gestede)

12.33pmThree quick goals! First Burnley right-back Trippier slides the ball into his own net after a swift Reading counter-attack. Then, at Ewood Park, there's two goals in two minutes as Ramis levels it up for Wigan before April's Championship Player of the Month Gestede restores Blackburn's lead.

20 minGOAL! Reading 1-1 Burnley (Scott Arfield)

20 minThe Clarets level it up at the Madejski as they work a quick free kick that ends up at Arfield's feet and the winger smashes it home. Brighton fans will be delighted with that.

22 minGOAL! Forest 1-0 Brighton (Matt Derbyshire)

22 minDisaster for Brighton as Seagulls keeper Kuszczak fumbles Derbyshire's header to give Forest the lead. Reading breathe a sigh of relief.

24 minHow has there not been a goal at The Den?! It's end-to-end stuff in South London. Millwall will want to make their pressure pay.

25 min

27 minDisallowed goals at both Ewood Park and the City Ground as Blackburn and Brighton are denied!

28 minGOAL! Reading 1-2 Burnley (Danny Ings)

28 minBurnley's star striker completes the Claret turnaround at the Madejski! A lovely goal from the England Under-21 international as he spins on the edge of the box before firing into the corner. Reading fans will now be watching the Brighton game very closely. As it stands, the Royals are still in the top six.

29 minGOAL! Millwall 1-0 Bournemouth (Martyn Woolford)

29 minFirst BIG goal at the bottom as Millwall's pressure finally tells as Woolford gets up to meet Owen Garvan's cross and head home. Millwall don't necessarily have to win, but it will guarantee their safety.

30 minArry!

31 minGOAL! Yeovil 0-1 Boro (Danny Graham)

35 minGOAL! Blackburn 3-1 Wigan (Gestede)

35 minSurely Blackburn can't! They can't! As things stand, another four goals will send them into the playoffs as Reading and Brighton are both losing. I wonder what the odds would have been on Gary Bowyer's side creeping into the top six at the start of the day?! It's Gestede at it again as he gets up well to head in Craig Conway's cross. In the South-West, Graham puts Boro ahead on rockbottom Yeovil.

37 minGOAL! Ipswich 1-0 Wednesday (Tommy Smith)

37 minOpener in Suffolk as New Zealand centre-back Smith taps home from close range after Daryl Murphy's shot was kept out.

38 minGOAL! Yeovil 1-1 Boro (James Hayter)

12.56pmAS THINGS STAND! Birmingham are down and Reading are in the playoffs.

40 minGOAL! Yeovil 1-2 Boro (Emmanuel Ledesma)

40 minBoro back in front at Huish Park as Graham tees up Ledesma to smash home.

42 minChris Burke fires across the face of goal as Birmingham go in search of that crucial goal that will put Doncaster into the bottom three. Rovers are currently under the cosh at Leicester!

43 minGOAL! Barnsley 0-2 QPR (Jean-Yves M'Voto OG)

GOAL! Barnsley 0-1 QPR (Charlie Austin)

43 minGOAL! Yeovil 1-3 Boro (Lee Tomlin)

43 minTwo quicks goals for QPR as they go in front against Barnsley. The other relegated side, Yeovil, are also two goals down after Tomlin's strike. Austin's goal was his 100th professional goal:

45 minBig chance for Burnley to go 3-1 up at Reading but Ings can't beat Alex McCarthy in a one-on-one situation.

45+1 minHalf-time scores coming in thick and fast now. We'll have HT reports on all 12 games that I'll give you the link to shortly.

1.06pmHALF-TIME SCORES! Barnsley 0-2 QPR, Blackburn 3-1 Wigan, Blackpool 0-0 Charlton, Bolton 0-0 Birmingham, Ipswich 1-0 Sheff Weds, Leeds 0-1 Derby, Leicester 0-0 Doncaster, Millwall 1-0 Bournemouth, Notts Forest 1-0 Brighton, Reading 1-2 Burnley, Watford 0-0 Huddersfield, Yeovil 1-3 Middlesbrough

1.09pmClick here to check out our half-time reports if there's a certain game you want to catch up on.

1.12pmSo, as things stand, nothing has changed in terms of who is going down/getting in the playoffs. With Birmingham and Doncaster both drawing, the former are still in the bottom three. With both Reading and Brighton losing, it's still the Royals who occupy the final top-six place. Blackburn still have an outside chance of stealing it but need things to stay the same and score four unanswered second-half goals. Not happening!

1.15pmCan the division's top scorer, Ross McCormack of Leeds, get to 30 goals for the season? He's on 28 and has 45 minutes to grab a brace:

1.17pmThere's also an early Premier League game at Upton Park where there's been a goal and a red card between London clubs West Ham and Spurs. Open this link in a new tab if you want to follow that game too.

1.18pmThe second halves are just about to get underway. Check out how the table looks right now here.

46 minGOAL! Watford 0-1 Huddersfield (Joe Lolley)

46 minA goal on his first start for Terriers youngster Lolley. The Yorkshire side break the deadlock at Vicarage Road after a glum first half.


47 minGOAL! Yeovil 1-4 Middlesbrough (Ledesma)

47 minSurely game over at Huish Park and Yeovil are going to finish bottom of the pile (sad face).

1.26pmGreat picture from the big game at the Reebok:

50 minGOAL! Leeds 1-1 Derby (Matt Smith)

53 minGOAL! Forest 1-1 Brighton (Stephen Ward)

53 minHUGE goal at the City Ground as Ward squeezes a low shot into the corner after a goalmouth scramble. With Reading losing, Brighton are into the top six! Brighton, Reading and Blackburn now have 70 points but it's Brighton with the superior goal difference. At Elland Road, big Matt Smith equalises for Leeds.

55 minGOAL! Watford 0-2 Huddersfield (Danny Ward)

GOAL! Ipswich 1-1 Wednesday (Kieran Lee)

54 minGOAL! Barnsley 1-2 QPR (Chris O'Grady)

57 minGOAL! Bolton 1-0 Birmingham (Lee Chung-Yong)

57 minOh dear Birmingham! The Blues concede at the Reebok and are now well adrift in the bottom three!

58 minGOAL! Reading 2-2 Burnley (Garath McCleary)

61 minGOAL! Blackpool 0-1 Charlton (Callum Harriott)

GOAL! Blackburn 3-2 Wigan (James McClean)

58 minStunning, stunning goal from McClealy as he wallops a first-time volley high into the net to put Reading back in the top six. Blackpool go behind but they're still fine. Blackburn's tiny hopes of scraping into the playoffs now surely over.

60 min

62 minBirmingham bring on the attacking substitutes and must now be praying that Leicester break through against Donny!

65 minGOAL! Watford 0-3 Huddersfield (Ward)

65 minThe whole of the King Power Stadium is up on their feet to clap off veteran striker Kevin Phillips, 40, as he is substituted off in his final professional appearance. What a career he's had.

67 minGOAL! Ipswich 2-1 Sheff Weds (Paul Green)

70 minGOAL! Barnsley 1-3 QPR (Yun Suk-Young)


1.46pmSo right now it's Brighton and Birmingham who are in desperate need of a goal.

1.48pmLeicester are camped in the Doncaster half while Birmingham are doing the same at the Reebok. If pressure tells in both games then Birmingham will survive.


75 minGOAL! Leicester 1-0 Doncaster (David Nugent pen.)

75 minNugent smashes the spot kick down the middle after Riyad Mahrez tumbled softly in the area. A Birmingham goal now would put Donny in the bottom three!

75 minGOAL! BOLTON 2-0 BIRMINGHAM (Lukas Jutkiewicz)

75 minIs that Birmingham City relegated?! Just after they had been given a lifeline by Donny conceding, they let in a second against Bolton that is surely sending them down. It will be six defeats in a row to end the season for Lee Clark's side. Dear oh dear.

78 minGOAL! Bolton 2-1 Birmingham (Nikola Zigic)

78 minOr are they down? The Blues respond straight away as Zigic gets up and heads back across goal into the far corner!

82 minGOAL! Blackpool 0-2 Charlton (Callum Harriott)

1.54pmAll happening at the bottom but let's not forget about the race for the playoffs. A Brighton goal now will put them into the top six.

84 minGOAL! Blackburn 4-2 Wigan (Jordan Rhodes)

84 minRhodes gets on the scoresheet and Blackburn are set to agonisingly miss out on the top six. Just one point keeping them out of the playoffs.


2pmWill there be late drama? Or will table stay how it was at the start of the day in terms of those getting into the playoffs and going down? Not long to go!

87 minGOAL! Blackburn 4-3 Wigan (Nicky Maynard)

87 minGOAL! Watford 0-4 Huddersfield (Ward, hat-trick)

88 minBolton almost confirm Birmingham's relegation but Jutkiewicz is denied by Darren Randolph.

90 minGOAL! Blackpool 0-3 Charlton (Harriott, hat-trick)

89 minSo close for Brighton! Inigo Calderon with the shot and he's denied by Dorus de Vries.

90+1 minSIX minutes of added time at the Reebok! Plenty of time for Birmingham to score a leveller that will keep them up.

90 minGOAL!!!!! Bolton 2-2 Birmingham (Paul Caddis)

90 minOh my giddy goodness!! Brighton go up into the playoffs as Birmingham score an injury-time equaliser that is set to keep them up. Doncaster going down as it stands, Reading to miss out on the playoffs!

2.09pmALL OVER at the Madejski Stadium and now Reading need a Forest equaliser.



2.13pmOh my word! It looked for most of the afternoon like things would stay as the started with Reading getting the last playoff place and Birmingham going down. However, late goals in the games at the City Ground and Reebok mean that it's Brighton who finish sixth and Doncaster who drop into the bottom three. They go down with Barnsley and Yeovil Town.

2.15pmWhat an incredible afternoon! As mentioned below, Brighton will take on Derby in the playoffs while it'll be QPR up against Wigan in the other. Those games take place next weekend.

2.18pmI wouldn't want to be the first person to interview Paul Dickov this afternoon. Surely the Donny boss is fuming with the penalty that Leicester were awarded. In the end, it proved to be the goal that sent Rovers back to League One after just one year back in the Championship.


2.25pmFULL-TIME SCORES: Barnsley 3-2 QPR, Blackburn 4-3 Wigan, Blackburn 0-3 Charlton, Bolton 2-2 Birmingham, Ipswich 2-1 Sheff Weds, Leeds 1-1 Derby, Leicester 1-0 Doncaster, Millwall 1-0 Bournemouth, Notts Forest 1-2 Brighton, Reading 2-2 Burnley, Watford 1-4 Huddersfield, Yeovil 1-4 Middlesbrough

2.30pmAnyway, that's us all done here. We hope you enjoyed that as much as we did. Here's how the final table looks:

Stick around on Sports Mole for the final day of League One and League Two, as well as Premier League action and much, much more!

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Matt Gilks of Blackpool during the FA Cup Third Round match between Bolton Wanderers and Blackpool at the Reebok Stadium on January 4, 2014
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