Sam Gallagher won the big battle of Southampton’s loanees on the final day of the Championship season, as Birmingham beat Matt Targett’s Fulham to ensure survival.
Both players started the game, at St Andrews, with the Cottagers chasing automatic promotion while Blues were looking to avoid slipping into the third tier.
Targett and Fulham, starting the day in third and looking to leapfrog second-placed Cardiff, had come into the game on the back of a 23-match unbeaten run, but they were left having to settle for a play-off spot – they will face Derby in the semi-finals – after a 3-1 defeat.
Lukas Jutkiewicz fired the hosts in front on 15 minutes and, after Gallagher had gone close with a header, Blues doubled their lead two minutes before the break when former Saints youngster Harlee Dean converted after Fulham failed to properly clear a corner.
Chasing the game, Fulham took off Targett at half-time, while Gallagher departed for Birmingham on 71 minutes.
Tom Cairney’s late goal for Fulham set a few pulses racing, but Che Adams added a third for Birmingham in the 89th minute.
Elsewhere in the Championship, Harrison Reed finished his season with Norwich, as they were beaten 5-1 at Sheffield Wednesday, with the Saints midfielder playing the full game.
The result means the Canaries concluded their campaign in 14th position.
In League Two, striker Marcus Barnes was an unused substitute, as Yeovil drew 1-1 at Lincoln to finish in 19th place.
Up in Scotland, goalkeeper Harry Lewis came off the bench to help Dundee United advance past Dunfermline into the semi-finals of the Scottish Premiership play-offs.
Lewis replaced the injured Deniz Mehmet just after the hour mark, with the score 1-1 in the second-leg tie, after the Championship sides drew 0-0 in the first, making a vital save shortly after coming on.
Sam Stanton’s goal on 70 minutes sealed victory for the hosts, who now advance to play Livingston in the semi-finals.
Abroad, Jordy Clasie was an unused substitute for Club Brugge, as they suffered a 2-1 home defeat to Anderlecht in the play-off section of Belgium’s top-flight.
It means their lead at the top of the standings is down to just two points, with Anderlecht second, ahead of the final three matches.