High drama as Hull City promoted to Premier League
Paul McShane on target for Tigers as late Leeds goal sends Watford to play-offs
Paul McShane is congratulated by his Hull City and Republic of Ireland team-mate David Meyler after scoring against Cardiff City at the at KC Stadium. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images
Hull City 2 Cardiff City 2: Hull have been promoted to the Premier League for just the second time in their 109-year history on a dramatic afternoon at the KC Stadium in which they were forced to wait 20 minutes before their fate was determined.
Steve Bruce’s men were unable to secure the three points against the champions which would have guaranteed them second spot, yet they had a helping hand from Yorkshire rivals Leeds who beat third-placed Watford 2-1.
With just minutes to go in the Tigers’ game, they were heading up against the 10-man Bluebirds yet an incredible finale with one red card, two penalties and a mini pitch-invasion left the door open for Gianfranco Zola’s 10 men at Vicarage Road.
However, with their clash delayed due to an injury, they were unable to score the goal which would have sent them into the top flight and it was Ross McCormack who scored instead to give Leeds a 2-1 win and send the Tigers into delirium.
Former Hull loanee Fraizer Campbell had threatened to derail the Tigers’ hopes by breaking the deadlock just after half-time, but two goals in five minutes through Nick Proschwitz and Republic of Ireland international Paul McShane looked to have turned Hull’s entire season back around.
Andrew Taylor was then sent off before Proschwitz had a penalty, which would surely have guaranteed promotion, saved.
Instead, Nicky Maynard earned Cardiff a share of the spoils from the penalty spot although matters at Vicarage Road would ultimately transpire in Hull’s favour.
McShane and his team-mates had watched the end of the game at Vicarage Road before breaking into celebrations at the final whistle.
“I thought it was over and was thinking of the play-offs,” said the Wicklowman.
“I couldn’t have written this better. We made it hard but we saved the best until the last day.”
At the other end of the Championship, Peterborough were relegated after losing 3-2 at Crystal Palace and Wolves were relegated for the second year in a row following a 2-0 defeat at Brighton .
Palace secured fifth with goals from Glenn Murray, Kevin Phillips and Mile Jedinak.
Peterborough had led twice through Lee Tomlin and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing but their efforts were to prove in vain.
A Kazenga LuaLua double after nine and 39 minutes earned Brighton a 2-0 win to give them fourth place and a play-off spot as Wolves went down to League One with Peterborough and Bristol City.
Barnsley led twice at Huddersfield and despite being pegged back did enough to stay up with a 2-2 draw.
Chris O’Grady and Jason Scotland twice put Barnsley in front but Jermaine Beckford and James Vaughan scored the equalisers.
Leicester sneaked into the play-offs with a 3-2 win at Nottingham Forest with goals from Matty James, Andy King and Anthony Knockaert.
Forest, who scored through Republic of Ireland striker Simon Cox and Elliott Ward, lost out along with Bolton who were held 2-2 at home by Blackpool .
Matt Phillips and Ludovic Sylvestre put Blackpool in charge before Chris Eagles and Craig Davies gave the home side hope but it was in vain.
Sheffield Wednesday made sure of their status with a 2-0 home win over Middlesbrough thanks to goals from Steve Howard and Leroy Lita and Derby beat Millwall 1-0 with a late goal from Irish striker Conor Sammon.
Charlton defeated already relegated Bristol City 4-1 with Yann Kermogant (2), Jonathan Obika and Johnnie Jackson getting the goals, Bobby Reid scoring for Bristol City.
Burnley defeated Ipswich 2-0 with goals by Junior Stanislas and Martin Paterson.
Birmingham drew 1-1 with Blackburn with the goals coming from Ravel Morrison for the home side and Jordan Rhodes.