Blackpool sealed the final play-off spot in the Championship after drawing with Bristol City while their nearest rivals Swansea City failed to win.
The visitors went ahead in the 16th minute, Nicky Maynard scoring his 21st goal of the season with a spectacular 25-yard dipping volley.
Brett Ormerod headed the equaliser from Charlie Adam's free-kick on 54 minutes.
The draw was good enough as Blackpool finished the season a point ahead of Swansea, who drew 0-0 with Doncaster.
Blackpool were nervy throughout but did enough to pip Swansea to sixth in the table and clinch their place in the all-important play-offs for a chance to return to the top flight for a first time in 40 years.
They began the match unchanged from the side that had beaten relegated Peterborough 1-0 last week, while City made one change, Ivan Sproule replacing injured striker Danny Haynes.
Blackpool had an immediate chance to calm their nerves in the third minute in front of 12,296 fans, the biggest crowd at Bloomfield Road for 30 years, but Adam's drilled shot was just wide of the mark.
City were playing for pride and without the shackles of pressure went ahead with Maynard's fantastic opportunist strike.
Dean Gerken's goal-kick was headed on by Marvin Elliott into the path of Maynard, who saw Blackpool keeper Matthew Gilks way off his line and went for glory.
The hosts were stung by the goal and took a few minutes to regain their composure as City pressed to double their advantage.
But it was the Seasiders who thought they had equalised on 22 minutes when David Vaughan's corner curled goalwards, which Gerken scrambled off the goal line.
The Blackpool players believed it had crossed the line but referee Scott Mathieson waved away their appeals and television replays showed it was the correct decision.
Bristol City continued to play free-flowing football whereas at times Blackpool looked as though they were trying too hard with simple passes being overhit or going astray, although the blustery conditions did not help.
Maynard (right) opens the scoring for Bristol City
However, they were back on level terms eight minutes after half-time when Ormerod headed in from a perfectly placed Adam free-kick, swung in from the left.
The Blackpool fans were given renewed hope and so were the players as Ormerod attacked again and minutes later he was involved in a one-on-one with Gerken, with the keeper making a good save.
On the hour-mark Maynard had the chance to put City back in front but he fired his shot just over the bar in an increasingly open game.
Blackpool had the more urgency, knowing a win would guarantee a play-off place, but could not find a way past Gerken for the second time in the game although substitute Stephen Dobbie's rasping 25-yard shot was tipped over. At the other end City were always a threat on the counter-attack.
With 10 minutes to go Blackpool threw on forward Ben Burgess and midfielder Barry Bannan, on loan from Aston Villa, while Liam Fontaine came on for City.
In added time City's Jamal Campbell-Ryce's shot was pushed over by Gilks, who had hardly been pressed all game, while Burgess twice headed over the bar.
Instead, on the day 57 years ago Blackpool sealed their only FA Cup triumph in the Matthews final, they had to settle for a share of the spoils.
And the Blackpool fans, hoping for a fairytale return to the top league, started celebrating before the final whistle as news filtered through that Swansea had failed to win.
Blackpool now play Nottingham Forest over two legs, with the winner meeting either Cardiff or Leicester at Wembley on 22 May.
Blackpool manager Ian Holloway: "We've limped over the line in the end but you could see what it meant to everybody.
"I've just said that someone's got to win it, why can't it be Blackpool? There wouldn't be a better story anywhere.
"Whether we are good enough or not we'll have to wait and see, but we're in
"If I was anyone else, I wouldn't want to be playing us. That's not to say that we're better than everyone else but we've got nothing to lose."
Bristol City caretaker manager Keith Millen: "I'm proud of the commitment the lads showed in a difficult game.
"The pitch was poor and there was a swirling wind. But the lads battled through it and showed a good spirit - one we'll need next season.
"We knew they would throw everything at us in the second half and it was a strange ending with the cheer going up to signify Blackpool winning their play-off place.
"Overall both teams had chances but we're pleased to have ended on a high point and we've got something to work on for next season."
90:00+4:33 The final whistle is blown by the referee.
90:00+2:56 A cross is delivered by Brett Ormerod, Headed effort on goal by Ben Burgess from inside the penalty box misses to the right
of the goal.
90:00+2:49 The ball is crossed by Barry Bannan, save by Dean Gerken.
90:00+2:31 The ball is sent over by Barry Bannan, Louis Carey makes a clearance.
90:00+1:47 A cross is delivered by Barry Bannan, Header from deep inside the area by Ben Burgess goes over the bar.
90:00+0:43 Corner taken by Lee Johnson played to the near post, clearance made by Ian Evatt.
90:00+0:27 Jamal Campbell-Ryce takes a shot. Save made by Matthew Gilks.
89:42 Charlie Adam takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, clearance by Bradley Orr.
89:29 Seamus Coleman decides to take the corner short.
86:25 John Akinde is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Matthew Gilks restarts play with the free kick.
84:09 Nicky Maynard takes a shot. Save by Matthew Gilks.
82:15 Free kick awarded for a foul by Ben Burgess on Gary Sawyer. Lee Johnson delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed
from left wing.
80:56 Substitution Liam Fontaine comes on in place of Paul Hartley.
80:56 Substitution Ben Burgess is brought on as a substitute for Gary Taylor-Fletcher.
80:56 Substitution Barry Bannan joins the action as a substitute, replacing David Vaughan.
79:42 The ball is delivered by Marvin Elliott.
78:56 Stephen Dobbie takes a shot. Blocked by Bradley Orr.
77:53 Free kick taken by Matthew Gilks.
77:53 Booking John Akinde is cautioned.
77:44 Foul by John Akinde on Ian Evatt, free kick awarded.
76:34 Free kick taken by Alex Baptiste.
76:34 Booking Paul Hartley booked.
76:24 Seamus Coleman fouled by Paul Hartley, the ref awards a free kick.
75:30 Alex Baptiste challenges Jamal Campbell-Ryce unfairly and gives away a free kick. Paul Hartley delivers the ball from the
free kick right-footed from left channel, Gary Taylor-Fletcher manages to make a clearance.
73:32 Louis Carey concedes a free kick for a foul on Brett Ormerod. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Seamus Coleman.
72:39 The ball is sent over by Keith Southern, Dean Gerken makes a save.
72:06 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Charlie Adam from the left by-line, clearance made by Lewin Nyatanga.
71:50 Stephen Dobbie takes a shot. Save made by Dean Gerken.
70:31 Stephen Crainey produces a cross, save by Dean Gerken.
67:45 Free kick awarded for a foul by Paul Hartley on Keith Southern. Direct free kick taken by Charlie Adam.
66:23 David Vaughan gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on John Akinde. Paul Hartley takes the free kick.
64:41 Corner from left by-line taken by Charlie Adam.
64:32 Centre by Stephen Crainey, Jamal Campbell-Ryce gets a block in.
63:11 Charlie Adam produces a cross.
61:05 Substitution Ivan Sproule leaves the field to be replaced by John Akinde.
59:46 Charlie Adam crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from left channel.
59:46 Booking Ivan Sproule is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.
59:38 Free kick awarded for a foul by Ivan Sproule on Charlie Adam.
59:05 Shot from deep inside the area by Jamal Campbell-Ryce goes over the bar.
58:32 Outswinging corner taken by Stephen Dobbie from the left by-line.
58:23 Brett Ormerod takes a shot. Blocked by Dean Gerken.
57:24 Louis Carey fouled by Gary Taylor-Fletcher, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Paul Hartley.
56:40 Shot from outside the box by Stephen Dobbie misses to the left of the goal.
56:04 Stephen Crainey delivers the ball.
55:50 The ball is swung over by Stephen Crainey, Gary Sawyer makes a clearance.
54:35 The ball is sent over by Gary Taylor-Fletcher, clearance made by Bradley Orr.
53:49 A cross is delivered by Brett Ormerod, Dean Gerken makes a save.
53:03 Assist by Charlie Adam.
53:03 GOAL - Brett Ormerod:Blackpool 1 - 1 Bristol City Brett Ormerod scores a headed goal from deep inside the penalty box. Blackpool 1-1 Bristol City.
52:16 Centre by Charlie Adam,
52:16 Booking Louis Carey booked.
52:11 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Brett Ormerod by Louis Carey.
51:01 Corner from the right by-line taken by Stephen Dobbie, Gary Sawyer manages to make a clearance.
50:41 Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Charlie Adam.
49:35 The ball is crossed by Gary Taylor-Fletcher, Unfair challenge on Dean Gerken by Brett Ormerod results in a free kick. Dean
Gerken takes the free kick.
48:01 Substitution (Blackpool) makes a substitution, with Stephen Dobbie coming on for Dudley Campbell.
47:18 Marvin Elliott fouled by Ian Evatt, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed by Paul Hartley.
46:53 Free kick awarded for a foul by Stephen Crainey on Ivan Sproule. Free kick taken by Dean Gerken.
45:01 The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.
45:00+2:31 The half-time whistle blows.
45:00+1:32 The ball is crossed by David Vaughan. Dudley Campbell takes a shot. Gary Sawyer gets a block in.
45:00+1:04 The assistant referee signals for offside against Ivan Sproule. Matthew Gilks takes the indirect free kick.
45:00+0:18 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Dean Gerken by Gary Taylor-Fletcher. Direct free kick taken by Dean Gerken.
44:50 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Keith Southern by Paul Hartley. Direct free kick taken by Matthew Gilks.
43:52 Louis Carey concedes a free kick for a foul on Gary Taylor-Fletcher. Charlie Adam crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed
from left wing.
42:32 Jamal Campbell-Ryce challenges Seamus Coleman unfairly and gives away a free kick. Matthew Gilks takes the free kick.
41:58 Dudley Campbell has an effort from just inside the box that misses to the left of the goal.
41:53 Seamus Coleman sends in a cross.
40:27 Dudley Campbell produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide left of the goal.
39:10 The ball is sent over by Bradley Orr, clearance made by Seamus Coleman.
39:01 Gary Sawyer crosses the ball, clearance made by Stephen Crainey.
38:47 Gary Sawyer delivers the ball, blocked by Alex Baptiste.
37:28 The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Matthew Gilks.
36:25 Jamal Campbell-Ryce has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide right of the goal.
34:52 Dudley Campbell challenges Jamal Campbell-Ryce unfairly and gives away a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed
by Paul Hartley from left wing.
33:48 Centre by Brett Ormerod, Lee Johnson makes a clearance.
31:41 Seamus Coleman produces a left-footed shot from just outside the area that goes wide left of the goal.
31:19 Centre by Stephen Crainey.
30:32 The offside flag is raised against Nicky Maynard. Matthew Gilks takes the free kick.
30:03 Foul by Seamus Coleman on Jamal Campbell-Ryce, free kick awarded. Lewin Nyatanga restarts play with the free kick.
29:21 Seamus Coleman takes the free kick.
29:21 Substitution Lee Johnson comes on in place of Cole Skuse.
29:21 Free kick awarded for a foul by Marvin Elliott on David Vaughan.
28:09 David Vaughan crosses the ball, save by Dean Gerken.
27:59 Unfair challenge on Gary Taylor-Fletcher by Louis Carey results in a free kick. Charlie Adam takes the free kick.
27:33 David Vaughan has a shot on goal from outside the box which misses right.
26:55 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Charlie Adam, Shot by Alex Baptiste. Clearance made by Paul Hartley.
26:43 Brett Ormerod produces a cross, Louis Carey manages to make a clearance.
23:53 Jamal Campbell-Ryce gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on David Vaughan. Free kick taken by Seamus Coleman.
22:50 Shot from just outside the area by Marvin Elliott misses to the right of the target.
22:36 Keith Southern gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Nicky Maynard. Nicky Maynard takes the free kick.
22:07 Corner taken by David Vaughan from the right by-line, Dean Gerken makes a clearance.
22:03 Brett Ormerod sends in a cross, Paul Hartley gets a block in.
20:57 The ball is delivered by Bradley Orr, clearance by Stephen Crainey.
19:55 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Paul Hartley from the right by-line, Charlie Adam makes a clearance.
19:41 Ivan Sproule crosses the ball, Stephen Crainey gets a block in.
18:10 Centre by Bradley Orr, Ian Evatt manages to make a clearance.
17:49 Jamal Campbell-Ryce delivers the ball, blocked by Stephen Crainey.
17:07 David Vaughan concedes a free kick for a foul on Paul Hartley. Paul Hartley takes the direct free kick.
16:29 Brett Ormerod takes a shot. Save by Dean Gerken.
15:36 GOAL - Nicky Maynard:Blackpool 0 - 1 Bristol City Nicky Maynard finds the net with a goal from outside the penalty box to the top right corner of the goal. Blackpool 0-1 Bristol
15:05 Keith Southern produces a right-footed shot from long distance which goes wide right of the goal.
Correction - 11:07 The ball is sent over by Seamus Coleman.
11:07 The ball is delivered by Seamus Coleman.
9:30 Nicky Maynard takes a shot. Stephen Crainey gets a block in.
8:26 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Charlie Adam by Louis Carey. Free kick crossed left-footed by Charlie Adam from
left channel, Cole Skuse manages to make a clearance.
6:49 The ball is delivered by Stephen Crainey.
6:00 Ivan Sproule is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Matthew Gilks takes the free kick.
5:15 Foul by Gary Taylor-Fletcher on Lewin Nyatanga, free kick awarded. Paul Hartley takes the free kick.
3:23 Ivan Sproule produces a left-footed shot from just outside the area that goes harmlessly over the bar.
2:38 Charlie Adam produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
2:24 Brett Ormerod crosses the ball, Gary Sawyer manages to make a clearance.
1:40 Inswinging corner taken by Paul Hartley, save made by Matthew Gilks.
1:15 Corner taken by David Vaughan from the right by-line played to the near post, Gary Sawyer manages to make a clearance.
0:37 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gary Taylor-Fletcher by Louis Carey. Charlie Adam sends in a cross, Ian Evatt
takes a shot. Louis Carey gets a block in.
0:00 The match begins.
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