CHERRIES’ hopes of sealing a play-off spot in the Professional Development League were further dented, after squandering a two-goal lead to lose at Birmingham City.

Strikes from Daniel Adu-Adjei and Michael Dacosta Gonzalez saw Alan Connell’s side in control at half-time at St Andrew’s.

But the hosts, who sit top of the northern section, stormed back to win 3-2, courtesy of a Romelle Donovan brace and Menzi Mazwi strike, to secure themselves a play-off spot.

Connell’s squad was strengthened by some returning loanees following the culmination of the EFL and National League regular seasons.

Ben Greenwood and Adu-Adjei came into the side, replacing Charlie Osborne and Ashley Clarke from the 2-0 loss to Sheffield United. The likes of Cameron Plain and Noa Boutin remained sidelined due to injury.

Kieran Wakefield headed a good early Birmingham chance over the bar, before Kian Tydeman and Dacosta Gonzalez went close to breaking the deadlock.

Cherries did get in front on 24 minutes after a neat team move was rounded off by Adu-Adjei, fresh off scoring the first EFL goal of his career a few days earlier, on loan for Leyton Orient.

The striker went close to adding a second, before Dacosta Gonzalez did make it 2-0, heading home from a Tydeman free-kick.

But within four minutes of the second half starting, the score was level, with Donovan and Mazwi beating Callan McKenna.

Blues had their tails up and hit the post through Laiith Fairnie, before getting in front in the closing stages, Donovan popping up again.

Cherries pushed for a leveller, Archie Harris heading wide, as the hosts held on.

Cherries at the time of writing sit fourth, three points off a top-two spot, with two matches remaining, both at home, against Fleetwood Town and Crewe Alexandra.

Cherries: McKenna, Tonks, Kinsey, Harris, Greenwood, Brown (Rees-Dottin, 89), Williams (Stuttle, 78), Dacosta Gonzalez, Sadi, Tydeman (Landa, 69), Adu-Adjei.

Unused subs: Osborne, Allan (g/k).