Thursday, May 20, 1999 Published at 23:24 GMT 00:24 UK
Hornets sting the Blues
Holdsworth (far left) is sent off for a second bookable offence
Birmingham 1-0 Watford (agg 1-1)
Watford won 7-6 on penalties
Watford are a Wembley win away from a return to the top flight they left 11 years ago after a dramatic spot-kick win at St Andrew's.
But the visitors took the game to a penalty shoot-out because of their 1-0 first leg win at Vicarage Road last Sunday.
Victory there would give former England boss Graham Taylor a second successive promotion after his team came up from the second division just 12 months ago.
At that same time Bolton were dropping through the Premiership trapdoor after heartbreak on the last day of last season.
Dele early goal
In this game, City scored early on the night as a scarmble in the box resulted in the ball being played off striker Dele Adebola and into the net.
Blues came forward with menace for the next half an hour, until Watford eventually found their feet.
The former Watford player knew then he would miss out on a chance to face his brother Dean, who plays for Bolton, even if his side got through.
They held out, and were actually the stronger for the hour and seven minutes that remained despite their numerical disadvantage.
The first penalty was scored but the next two - by Birmingham's other former Hornet Paul Furlong and Watford's Steve Palmer - drew a blank.
City got back on track with their fourth and it was level pegging throughout as superbly struck kicks hit the back of the net all the way through to the 16th effort.
But Birmingham fans have argued for years that their ground is under a curse dating back to its earliest years, and it was to be the Blues' unlucky number 13 whose effort was saved after 13 successful kicks.
Former Newcastle youngster Chris Holland was the lonely, forlorn substitute whose weak kick was saved by Watford keeper Alec Chamberlain, a man who admitted he had been at fault for Adebola's goal anyway. Did he like it?
Taylor is an expert at getting teams up through the divisions, and his record of six promotions includes earlier efforts at Watford and success with Birmingham's neighbours Aston Villa in 1987-8.
"I am very pleased but in the game itself we very rarely put the ball across the face of the goal.
"That was disappointing but it's a night where we won't talk of disappointing things.
"These lads have come on, they may not be the best players but in terms of working for each other and as a team they have been excellent."
Shoot-out drama in full