American Exports: No EPL return for Spector, B'ham

Jonathan Spector of Birmingham City

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AMSTERDAM — The promotion drive of Jonathan Spector and Birmingham City was halted at home on Wednesday, with the Brums falling short of a furious comeback in a 2-2 draw with Blackpool.

The US international started in central midfield, but was removed just before halftime with what the club's website described as a thigh injury. Seconds later, the visitors doubled their 1-0 first-leg advantage with a corner-kick scramble goal.

Birmingham leaked another goal just out of intermission to fall three behind. Midway through the second half, though, they hit twice inside 10 minutes to make a late game of it.

It wasn't to be, however, and the promotion semifinal loss means the St. Andrews crew will spend consecutive seasons in the Championship for the first time since 2002.

Over in Israel, Bryan Gerzicich worked all 90 minutes in midfield as champs Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona dropped their final home game of the season, 1-0 to Maccabi Haifa.