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Football: Birmingham stage great escape, Brighton in play-offs

Published on May 3, 2014 10:29 PM

LONDON (AFP) - Birmingham City staged an astonishing great escape as they fought back to preserve their Championship (English second division) status at Doncaster's expense, while Brighton also left it late to snatch the last play-off spot.

On a dramatic final day in the second tier, there were incredible scenes at Bolton's Reebok Stadium, where Birmingham looked dead and buried after falling 0-2 behind, only to snatch a stoppage-time equaliser to earn the 2-2 draw which lifted them out of the relegation zone on goal difference.

With 14 minutes remaining, second-half strikes from Bolton's Lee Chung Yong and Lukas Jutkiewicz had left Lee Clark's men on the verge of falling into the third tier for the first time in 20 years.

But the Blues, who were playing in the Premier League just three years ago, were given a lifeline when Nikola Zigic headed home in the 78th minute and Paul Caddis then nodded in from close range in the final moments to spark scenes of wild celebration from Clark and his players.

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