Classic Match: Blues 3 - Notts. County 3

By Brian Cartlidge
Last updated : 29 April 2010

This they achieved, but after a breathtaking and emotionally sapping afternoon on the last day of the season.

Blues needed a point to ensure they got the third promotion spot and just under 34,000 fans were at St. Andrew's that afternoon to see the drama unfold.

Everything appeared to be going well for Blues when on 18 minutes Don Givens sent over a left wing cross and Keith Birtschin threw himself full length to bravely head the ball past County keeper Raddy Avramovic.

With Blues fans still celebrating Alan Curbishley sent them into dreamland just four minutes later.

Don Givens was fouled just outside the area and Curbishley smashed the direct free-kick past the flailing Avramovic.

But it was not to be the simple victory that seemed on the cards.

County came roaring back and Gordon Mair pulled a goal back on 38 minutes.

Blues then got the jitters and the St.Andrews faithful were sickened when before the break Trevor Christie made it all square when he raced onto a Mair through ball and lashed the ball past Wealands.

With the balance of the game apparently shifting, Kevin Dillon put Blues back in front almost immediately. He received a short pass from Bertschin and rifled home a hard low drive.

In the second half Blues were were nowhere near as adventerous and County pressed for an equaliser.

It came in the 72nd minute when Brian Kilcline bundled the ball in following a Don Masson corner.

Those last 18 minutes were pergatory for Blues.They had to use every last drop of energy to keep County at bay and in doing so finish above Chelsea in the table.

Jeff Wealands was the hero as he denied County with a series of splendid saves.

Blues kept right on to the end of the road and regained their place in the first division.

LINE-UP: Wealands; Broadhurst, Dennis, Curbishley, Gallagher, Todd, Ainscow, Givens, Bertschin, Gemmil, Dillon. Sub: Worthington.

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