Carlton Cole's brace helped West Ham defeat Hull City at Upton Park, but it was not enough for the Hammers to secure automatic promotion.
Sam Allardyce's side were beaten to second spot by Southampton,
who hammered Coventry 4-0,
and will now face Cardiff City in the play-offs.
The first leg will be played in Wales on Thursday, with the second leg at Upton Park on Monday, 7 May.
Semi-finals first leg
Cardiff v West Ham (1945 BST)
Blackpool v Birmingham (1945)
Semi-finals second leg
West Ham v Cardiff (1630)
Birmingham v Blackpool (1945)
Corry Evans scored a late consolation for Hull after a defensive mix-up.
Southampton's victory meant the match turned into an anti-climax, with the only positive for the Hammers being the momentum they will take into the play-offs from their display against the Tigers.
There was only ever going to be one winner once Cole headed home a corner in the 36th minute, and Hull only came back into the game once the Hammers started to conserve energy.
Cole doubled the lead when he peeled away from his marker and fired home from Henri Lansbury's pass four minutes after half-time - and the England striker was substituted moments later as Allardyce began to prepare for Thursday's semi-final first leg.
The Hammers dominated possession, looking to have banished memories of their seven-game winless stretch at home, but a mistake at the back allowed Hull back into the game.
A poor header from defender Guy Demel let in midfielder Evans, who nodded the ball home for his third goal of the season.
Richard Garcia thought he had won a point for Nick Barmby's men, but his late diving header was disallowed for offside.
However, anything but three points would have been harsh on the Hammers, who could have won by a greater margin if Lansbury and Kevin Nolan had showed better finishing earlier in the game when their shots failed to trouble Hull goalkeeper Vito Mannone.
Full Time The referee blows his whistle to end the game.
Matt Fryatt takes a shot. Winston Reid gets a block in.
Henri Lansbury takes a shot. Blocked by James Chester. Inswinging corner taken by Mark Noble, save made by Vito Mannone.
Gary O'Neil takes a shot. Vito Mannone makes a comfortable save.
Cameron Stewart is caught offside. Robert Green restarts play with the free kick.
The offside flag is raised against Richard Garcia. Robert Green takes the free kick.
Effort from outside the penalty box by Paul McKenna goes wide right of the target.
Shot by Henri Lansbury from a long way out goes over the target.
80:07 Goal scored
Goal! - Corry Evans - West Ham 2 - 1 Hull Corry Evans scores a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. West Ham 2-1 Hull.
Foul by Gary O'Neil on Paul McKenna, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Vito Mannone.
Gary O'Neil takes a shot. Save by Vito Mannone. Corner taken left-footed by Matthew Taylor, clearance made by Liam Cooper.
Shot from outside the penalty box by Robbie Brady goes wide right of the goal.
Corry Evans takes a shot. Save by Robert Green. Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Robbie Brady, clearance by James Tomkins. Corner taken by Corry Evans.
Cameron Stewart takes a short corner.
Substitution Kevin Nolan goes off and George McCartney comes on.
Substitution Robbie Brady joins the action as a substitute, replacing Tom Cairney.
Andy Dawson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Nicky Maynard. Matthew Taylor crosses the ball in from the free kick.
Corry Evans takes a shot. Save made by Robert Green.
Sam Baldock challenges Vito Mannone unfairly and gives away a free kick. Vito Mannone takes the free kick.
Corry Evans produces a right-footed shot from long range which goes wide right of the goal.
Substitution (West Ham) makes a substitution, with Nicky Maynard coming on for Ricardo Vaz Te.
Gary O'Neil has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the goal.
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Mark Noble from the left by-line, James Chester makes a clearance. Corner taken by Matthew Taylor, clearance made by Paul McKenna. Corner taken by Mark Noble, Tom Cairney manages to make a clearance.
Handball decision goes against Tom Cairney. Guy Demel takes the free kick.
Guy Demel concedes a free kick for a foul on Andy Dawson. Free kick taken by Andy Dawson.
Vito Mannone takes the direct free kick.
Substitution Sam Baldock comes on in place of Carlton Cole.
Booking Kevin Nolan receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
Liam Rosenior fouled by Kevin Nolan, the ref awards a free kick.
Assist on the goal came from Henri Lansbury.
48:25 Goal scored
Goal! - Carlton Cole - West Ham 2 - 0 Hull Carlton Cole fires in a goal from close in to the bottom left corner of the goal. West Ham 2-0 Hull.
The ball is sent over by Henri Lansbury,
Paul McKenna gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Henri Lansbury. Gary O'Neil takes the free kick.
Kevin Nolan is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Vito Mannone takes the indirect free kick.
Mark Noble produces a right-footed shot from long distance which goes wide right of the goal.
The referee gets the second half underway.
Substitution Cameron Stewart replaces Joshua King.
45:00 +1:14 Half time
Half Time The first half comes to an end.
Mark Noble has shot on goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
Corner taken right-footed by Mark Noble from the left by-line, clearance made by James Chester.
Richard Garcia has an effort at goal from long range that goes wide left.
Liam Rosenior challenges Gary O'Neil unfairly and gives away a free kick. Matthew Taylor takes the free kick.
Corner taken by Matthew Taylor played to the near post, Liam Rosenior makes a clearance. Mark Noble takes a shot. Blocked by Liam Cooper.
Matthew Taylor provided the assist for the goal.
35:54 Goal scored
Goal! - Carlton Cole - West Ham 1 - 0 Hull Carlton Cole finds the net with a headed goal from close in. West Ham 1-0 Hull.
Corner taken left-footed by Matthew Taylor from the right by-line, Vito Mannone makes a save. Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Matthew Taylor,
The ball is crossed by Matthew Taylor.
Matthew Taylor produces a cross, Vito Mannone makes a save.
The referee penalises Andy Dawson for handball. Direct free kick taken by Mark Noble.
Corner taken right-footed by Mark Noble, Liam Cooper manages to make a clearance.
The offside flag is raised against Carlton Cole. Vito Mannone takes the free kick.
Shot from inside the area by Henri Lansbury clears the bar.
Unfair challenge on Henri Lansbury by Richard Garcia results in a free kick. Mark Noble crosses the ball in from the free kick.
Inswinging corner taken by Mark Noble from the left by-line.
Matthew Taylor takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by Tom Cairney. Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Mark Noble, Unfair challenge on Liam Cooper by James Tomkins results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Vito Mannone.
Effort from inside the area by Liam Rosenior misses to the left of the goal.
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Mark Noble.
Richard Garcia is caught offside. Robert Green restarts play with the free kick.
The referee penalises Carlton Cole for handball. Vito Mannone takes the free kick.
Long range shot by Kevin Nolan goes wide right of the goal.
The offside flag is raised against Matt Fryatt. James Tomkins restarts play with the free kick.
Unfair challenge on Joshua King by Kevin Nolan results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Vito Mannone.
Header from close range by Ricardo Vaz Te misses to the right of the target.
Matt Fryatt challenges Winston Reid unfairly and gives away a free kick. Robert Green takes the free kick.
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