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Wolves 1 Birmingham 0 match report:

Wolves 1 Birmingham 0: King scores at wrong end to hand derby win to Solbakken's men



19:43 GMT, 8 December 2012

Marlon King's own goal handed Wolves the derby spoils as they saw off neighbours Birmingham at Molineux.

King has bagged 13 goals for City this season, but he found the net at the wrong end in the first half to hand Wanderers their first home win in seven attempts stretching back to late September.

The striker sliced past Jack Butland when attempting to clear Bakary Sako's drilled free-kick at the front post, with Nathan Redmond also guilty of turning his back on the ball as part of a one-man wall.

Unlucky: Marlon King put the ball in his own goal

Unlucky: Marlon King put the ball in his own goal


Wolves: Ikeme, Ward, Johnson, Berra, Foley, Henry, Sako, Doumbia (Davis 74), Ebanks-Blake (Pennant 84), Sigurdarson, Doyle

Subs not used: De Vries, Stearman, Batth, Forde, Nouble

Booked: Johnson

Goal: 34 (og)

Birmingham: Butland, Caldwell, Davies, Spector (Morrison 46), Caddis, Robinson, Mullins, Elliott, Redmond (Lovenkrands 72), King, Hall (Burke 80)

Subs not used: Doyle, Packwood, Hancox, Morrison, Diop

Booked: Robinson, Mullins

Referee: Taylor

Attendance: 21,339

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Wolves put in a much-improved
performance after the break and enjoyed several chances to extend their
advantage, but profligate finishing and some superb saves from Butland
ensured the result hung in the balance until the final whistle.

It was only the second time Wolves
have won back-to-back games this season after last weekend's 4-1 triumph
at Bristol City, a result which ended a nine-match winless streak.

Birmingham went into the clash also
underperforming this term and struggling at the wrong end of the npower
Championship table, although it was they who started the better, Paul
Caddis seeing his curling effort from 20 yards well parried away by Carl

Bjorn Sigurdarson found the
side-netting for the hosts after good work down the left by Sako before
Ikeme had to be alert once again to tip over after Roger Johnson and
Jonathan Spector tussled to get on the end of Redmond's set-piece.

Blues were certainly posing the
greater attacking threat and looking the more lively, but Wolves were
steadily coming into the game more as the first half wore on.

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake saw his appeals
for a penalty waved away before Kevin Doyle put the ball into the net
only to be denied by the assistant's flag.

But Wolves did get the breakthrough just minutes later.

Ebanks-Blake went down easily under a
soft challenge from Steven Caldwell right on the byline outside the
penalty area. Sako whipped in the resulting free-kick and King could
only divert the ball into his own net at the near post when trying to

It was a goal Wolves arguably did not
deserve on the overall balance of play in the first half, but that will
not have mattered much to under-pressure manager Stale Solbakken.

Wolves have been heavily criticised of late for lethargic second-half performances, but that was certainly not the case tonight.

Sigurdarson found himself clean
through almost immediately after the restart only to fire straight at
Butland, although the assistant's flag was raised.

Doyle's driving run ended with a shot
narrowly wayward of Butland's left-hand post before Sako finished
another mazy venture forward with an effort off target as Wanderers

Stephen Ward brought a solid save out
of Butland at his near post, with Curtis Davies deflecting Doyle's shot
on to the top of the crossbar from the resulting corner.

Butland then produced a superb instinctive save to keep out Sigurdarson's header from Sako's corner, keeping Blues in the game.

But they could not force a late
leveller and Wolves were left celebrating only their third derby success
over their local rivals in 15 attempts.

Birmingham 3 Middlesbrough 2 – match report

Birmingham 3 Middlesbrough 2: King doubles up to seal comeback and end winless run



22:11 GMT, 30 November 2012

Birmingham twice fought back against high-flying Middlesbrough before Marlon King's well-taken finish claimed only a second home win in seven attempts at St Andrew's.

Boro captain Grant Leadbitter headed his first npower Championship goal of the season to put the visitors ahead before King, who had earlier hit the outside of a post, picked himself up to draw level from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time, an equaliser City scarcely deserved.

Scott McDonald capitalised on some shambolic defending from Pablo Ibanez to nudge Boro back in front just after the hour mark but, again, the home side drew level courtesy of substitute Wade Elliott's lob, which really should have been kept out by Jason Steele.

At the double: Marlon King scored a penalty and a super second

At the double: Marlon King scored a penalty and a super second

Match facts

Birmingham: Butland, Caddis, Ibanez, Davies, Robinson, Morrison (Elliott 46), Mullins, Spector, Hall (Burke 69), King, Zigic (Lovenkrands 75).

Subs Not Used: Doyle, Caldwell, Redmond, Diop.

Booked: Robinson.

Goals: King 45 pen, Elliott 66, King 81.

Middlesbrough: Steele, Hoyte, Hines, Bikey, Halliday, Ledesma (Smallwood 67), McEachran (Zemmama 83), Bailey, Leadbitter, Jutkiewicz (Miller 67), McDonald.

Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, Thomson, Emnes, Parnaby.

Booked: Halliday.

Goals: Leadbitter 14, McDonald 62.

Att: 15,322

Ref: Roger East (Wiltshire).

But there was nothing fortunate about King's matchwinning second, a sublime low finish across Steele in the 81st minute to claim three much-needed points for Lee Clark's side, ending a four-match winless run.

Lowly Birmingham's joy came on a night in which frustrated home fans had earlier unfurled a banner which read 'Clark out, Carson out', referring to Hong Kong-based owner Carson Yeung and the club's ongoing takeover talk.

Middlesbrough went into the clash knowing victory would take them joint top of the Championship and they will have felt hard done by as they slipped to a third defeat in four games.

Boro certainly went into the clash as the more impressive side this season but history was not on their side having won just one of their previous 15 visits to St Andrew's.

Blues were first to threaten courtesy of towering Serbian striker Nikola Zigic but his header from the free-kick of loanee Rob Hall, making his full debut, went narrowly wide.

The visitors' attractive passing style was certainly easy on the eye and it was they who broke the deadlock after 14 minutes.

The ball was recycled to Andy Halliday out on the left and, with unorthodox Blues right midfielder Jonathan Spector out of position, Leadbitter, back from suspension, nodded home from six yards.

Lukas Jutkiewicz should have made it 2-0 after 21 minutes but his header from Justin Hoyte's cross flew off target.

Tucked away: King puts away the spot kick

Tucked away: King puts away the spot kick

Birmingham came within inches of a leveller soon after when Steele's fingertips nudged King's low effort on to the outside of a post following a flowing counter.

Boro were playing the ball around well, with Leadbitter and Nicky Bailey pulling the strings, but Birmingham were certainly struggling to find any kind of rhythm.

Jack Butland twice saved from Emmanuel Ledesma before, out of nowhere and with half-time approaching, the hosts drew level.

King turned Andre Bikey, who tripped the striker in the penalty area, and King himself stepped up to convert.

On his way: Middlesbrough's Scott McDonald breaks through the Birmingham defence and goes on to score, celebrating below

On his way: Middlesbrough's Scott McDonald breaks through the Birmingham defence and goes on to score, celebrating below

Scott McDonald celebrates

England prodigy Butland twice came to Birmingham's rescue at the start of the second half, saving close range from Josh McEachran's cross and then clawing away McDonald's attempted lob.

But McDonald was to beat Butland just after the hour mark, capitalising on defensive hesitancy from Ibanez before firing home in a goalmouth scramble.

Boro keeper Steele saved well from Spector but was soon at fault for Birmingham's equaliser as he failed to keep out Elliott's 25-yard lob.

And it was left for King to have the final say, finishing superbly after Boro had given the ball away to sub Peter Lovenkrands in the middle of the park.

Birmingham 1 Leicester 1 – match report

Birmingham 1 Leicester 1: Marshall's late strike saves point for Foxes as winning streak ends



16:37 GMT, 20 October 2012

Leicester's five-match winning sequence in the npower Championship was brought to a halt but substitute Ben Marshall's late strike salvaged a deserved point from an entertaining encounter at Birmingham.

The Foxes, who have now moved to the top of the table on goal difference, were aiming to record a sixth successive league win for the first time since a club-record equalling seven in 1993.

And the visitors' first-half display certainly deserved just that but they found England prodigy Jack Butland in superb form while Martyn Waghorn also blazed over a golden opportunity from close range, much to the dismay of 4,000 travelling supporters.

Pulsating: Birmingham and Leicester battle it our for a 1-1 draw

Pulsating: Birmingham and Leicester battle it our for a 1-1 draw


Birmingham: Butland, Hurst (Fahey 76), Caldwell, Davies, Murphy, Burke (Elliott 56), Spector, Morrison, Redmond, King,
Lovenkrands (Lita 63).

Subs Not Used: Doyle, Mullins, Packwood, Robinson.

Sent Off: Spector (90).

Booked: Spector, Hurst, Morrison.

Goals: Lovenkrands 45

Leicester: Schmeichel,De Laet, Morgan, Whitbread, Konchesky,
Knockaert (Futacs 82), King, Drinkwater, Dyer (Marshall 72),
Waghorn (Vardy 72), Nugent.

Subs Not Used: Logan, James, Moore, Schlupp.

Booked: Whitbread, Waghorn.

Goals: Marshall 86.

Attendance: 18,271

Ref: Tony Bates (Staffordshire).

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Birmingham, second best, duly
capitalised against the run of the play in first-half injury time as
Lovenkrands converted a great cross from Marlon King for his third goal
of the season.

Lowly Blues subsequently found a
new-found confidence amid a quieter second half, but Leicester – who
looked set to draw a blank for the first time this season – drew level
in the 86th minute when Marshall's 30-yard effort crossed the line off
the inside of a post.

To make matters worse for Birmingham, Jonathan Spector was given his marching orders in injury time.

Ravel Morrison, whose attitude had
again been brought into question since his season-long loan arrival from
West Ham, was handed his first Birmingham start since August amid four
changes and duly impressed, the Foxes also included three new faces from
last time out before the international break.

Birmingham boss Lee Clark spoke
pre-match about the need for his side to start positively but he would
have been furious at the way in which they gave possession away straight
from kick-off, conceding a free-kick on the edge of their area which
was comfortably saved by Butland.

Blues, having got a better foothold
on proceedings, saw on-loan full-back James Hurst escape punishment
following a challenge on Lloyd Dyer in the penalty area before Waghorn
forced a solid save from Butland.

Dyer did find the net only to be
flagged offside as the Foxes posed a more dangerous threat in the final
third, Butland producing a routine stop to deny Anthony Knockaert from
distance before Andy King lashed narrowly wide.

Off: Jonathan Spector (left) was red-carded late in the game, but Birmingham still managed to clinch a point

Off: Jonathan Spector (left) was red-carded late in the game, but Birmingham still managed to clinch a point

Leicester's best opening of the first
half arrived in the 33rd minute yet Waghorn somehow fired over Andy
King's cross from six yards.

Birmingham were providing very little
threat in attack, with Kasper Schmeichel finally forced into action to
save from Nathan Redmond in the 38th minute.

Butland then twice kept out talented Frenchman Knockaert, the second a superb stop just before half-time.

But there was still time for the home
side to take the lead. Marlon King latched on to Hurst's pass and fired
a great cross into the area which was expertly converted by

Schmeichel denied King when clean through early in the second half before Redmond blazed a free-kick off target for Blues.

Butland continued his heroics with
another super stop to keep out Waghorn, but chances were coming at a
premium compared to the opening 45 minutes.

Substitute Wade Elliott tested
Schmeichel as the game entered the closing stages before Marshall drew
Leicester level out of nowhere, his shot from distance going in off the
inside of a post.

Spector then saw red for what
appeared to be a second yellow card offence, and there was still time
for Butland to produce another great stop to keep out Marshall's
goalbound free-kick.

Tussle: James Hurst (left) and David Nugent battle for the ball in a hotly contested affair in Birmingham

Tussle: James Hurst (left) and David Nugent battle for the ball in a hotly contested affair in Birmingham

Cardiff 2 Birmingham 1: Craig Bellamy sends Bluebirds top of Championship

Cardiff 2 Birmingham 1: Bellamy and Hudson send flying Bluebirds top



21:01 GMT, 2 October 2012

Cardiff went top of the npower Championship following a hard-fought victory over battling Birmingham.

Keen to maintain their impressive 100 per cent home record from the start, the Bluebirds went in search of an early goal and after only three minutes a speculative effort from 20 yards by Craig Bellamy cleared the crossbar.

Craig Noone then tried his luck from distance, but again with the same result from his 18-yard effort.

Raining goals: Craig Bellamy (right) celebrates with Heidar Helguson

Raining goals: Craig Bellamy (right) celebrates with Heidar Helguson

The hosts were making all the early running but Lee Clark's side almost broke the deadlock after 14 minutes when a free-kick was floated into the danger zone by Keith Fahey and Leroy Lita's header brought a parried save by Cardiff keeper David Marshall.

The striker wasted another opportunity four minutes later after shooting tamely over the bar when well placed only 12 yards from goal.

Birmingham gradually grew into the contest as the half progressed and the hosts were reduced to shooting from distance, with a Mark Hudson effort sailing wide.

Match facts

Cardiff: Marshall, McNaughton, Taylor, Hudson, Connolly, Whittingham, Gunnarsson, Noone (Kim 84), Bellamy (Cowie 79), Mason, Helguson.

Subs Not Used: Lewis, Kiss, Turner, Velikonja, Conway.

Booked: Hudson,Bellamy.

Goals: Bellamy 39,Hudson 57.

Birmingham: Butland, Caldwell, Davies, Spector, Robinson, Burke,
Elliott, Fahey, Packwood (Hurst 52), Lovenkrands (Redmond 74), Lita (King 66).

Subs Not Used: Doyle, Mullins, Ambrose, Zigic.

Booked: Davies.

Goals: Lita 54.

Attendance: 20,278

Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire).

Latest Championship results, fixtures and table

The Bluebirds came closer 10 minutes from the break when Aron Gunnarsson brought a straightforward save out of Blues keeper Jack Butland.

And Cardiff got their noses in front after 39 minutes when Gunnarsson's cross was met by Mark Hudson and Bellamy did the rest from 12 yards out.

Bellamy then saw a 30-yard free-kick clear the bar as the Bluebirds went for a crucial second just before the break.

The hosts continued where they had left off after half-time and Heidar Helguson connected with Noone's cross only to see his effort pass over the bar.

It looked like proving a costly miss after 54 minutes, when Wade Elliott's cross was turned home by Lita from six yards out.

It was no more than the visitors deserved after their considerable efforts to restrict the Bluebirds.

But they found themselves behind again within three minutes when Hudson latched onto a Peter Whittingham cross to net from close range.

Cardiff went on the trail of a decisive third and after 61 minutes Joe Mason's 12-yard effort was again too high to trouble Butland.

It was Mason again who saw an 18-yard attempt blocked by Birmingham's Steven Caldwell, but at the other end Andrew Taylor was forced into decisive action to get in the way of a Keith Fahey effort.

The impressive Mason saw an effort brilliantly tipped around the post by Butland as Cardiff looked the side most likely to add to their tally.

Bellamy went close again with 14 minutes left, Butland again coming to the rescue for the visitors by clawing his effort away from goal.

Brighton 0 Birmingham 1: Chris Burke scores winner

Brighton 0 Birmingham 1: Blues stun leaders to bounce back from Barnsley drubbing



19:11 GMT, 29 September 2012

A wonderstrike from Chris Burke ensured Birmingham bounced back from the humiliation of last weekend with an away win over Brighton in the npower Championship.

Burke put the Blues ahead on 27 minutes and his side were able to withstand considerable pressure from the hosts to hold on for the win.

Birmingham fell to a 5-0 home defeat at the hands of Barnsley a week ago, but their defence, bolstered by the addition of new signing Paul Robinson, managed to keep the Seagulls out at the Amex.

Great Scot: Burke (second right) is mobbed after his goal

Great Scot: Burke (second right) is mobbed after his goal


Brighton: Kuszczak, Calderon, Greer, El-Abd (David Lopez 61), Bridge, Hammond, Dicker, Bridcutt, Barnes, Dobbie, Buckley (LuaLua 72).

Subs Not Used: Ankergren, Dunk, Harley, Painter, Agdestein.

Booked: Greer.

Birmingham: Butland, Spector, Caldwell, Davies, Robinson, Burke, Packwood (Mullins 81), Elliott, Fahey, Lovenkrands (Redmond 69), Lita (King 88).

Subs Not Used: Doyle, Ambrose, Zigic, Hancox.

Booked: Elliott.

Goals: Burke 27.

Attendance: 26,121

Referee: Oliver Langford

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Brighton will feel they should have got
something from the match after dominating for much of the second half,
but were unable to unlock the visitors' defence and were denied their
sixth straight league win.

Both teams struggled to get a foothold in the match in the early stages,
but a 20-yard left-footed volley from debutant Stephen Dobbie gave the
encounter a much-needed injection of life after 23 minutes – his effort
drifting wide of the mark.

However, it was Burke who broke the deadlock for Birmingham in the 27th
minute with a superb 25-yard volley into the top-left corner of the

Leroy Lita could have doubled the Blues' lead almost instantly, but the
striker, on loan from Swansea, scuffed his shot and goalkeeper Tomasz
Kuszczak collected.

Brighton continued to look bright for the remainder of the half, despite
going behind, and a dangerous Buckley ball across the six-yard box in
the 36th minute was unable to find a team-mate.

Buckley looked a threat throughout the first half, but will have been
ruing his judgement of Birmingham's defensive line as he was punished
for being offside on four occasions in the first 45 minutes.

Eyes on the ball: Wayne Bridge (right) is challenged by Will Packwood

Eyes on the ball: Wayne Bridge (right) is challenged by Will Packwood

The Amex Stadium descended into darkness at half-time as a power cut
forced the players to return to the changing rooms after emerging for
the start of the second half.

Normal service was resumed after a 25-minute delay and it was Brighton
who carved out the early chances following the extended break.

Dobbie went close with a headed effort from a Wayne Bridge cross on 51
minutes, before the Scot had a 25-yard strike saved by Blues goalkeeper
Jack Butland.

At the other end, Kuszczak had little to do for much of the second half
as the hosts subjected Birmingham to lengthy spells of sustained

Wade Elliott became the first player to enter the referee's book in the
66th minute after a foul on Bridge, while Gordon Greer earned Brighton's
only booking for dissent seven minutes from time.

Brighton kept pressing for an equaliser, but the visitors' defence held
firm to keep the Seagulls at bay and come away with a much-needed

Birmingham 0 Barnsley 5: Craig Davies hits four as Tykes romp to first away win

Birmingham 0 Barnsley 5: Davies hits four as Tykes romp to first away win of the season



18:55 GMT, 22 September 2012

Craig Davies scored four goals as Barnsley produced a sensational second-half display against Birmingham to earn their first away points of the npower Championship season at St Andrew's.

After a dull first half in which the visitors dominated possession, a soft goal from Stephen Forster started the goal-rush just after half-time.

Davies then took centre-stage, grabbing four goals in 19 minutes to give Lee Clark's Blues an evening to forget and send the Tykes above their opponents in the table.

Awesome foursome: Craig Davies is grabbed by Stephen Dawson

Awesome foursome: Craig Davies is grabbed by Stephen Dawson

Match facts

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Barnsley, who had taken the lead in
their previous two fixtures only to be pegged back, started brightly
with a series of attacks which caused problems for the home defence.

Despite the away team's greater share
of possession and superior play going forward, the first half-hour
passed without either side having a shot on target.

However, Chris Dagnall did just that
for the visitors on 34 minutes, stinging Jack Butland's palms with a
long-range effort before latching onto a through-ball four minutes later
only to be thwarted by the Birmingham goalkeeper again.

Aside from a handful of misplaced
crosses and a speculative drives from Wade Elliott, Barnsley goalkeeper
Ben Alnwick was a spectator for much of the first half as the Blues
struggled to get into their stride.

The teams went in all square at the
interval. Barnsley boss Keith Hill would have been the happier of the
two managers by far, but his day was about to get a whole lot better.

Hill's men continued to dominate
after the break and Forster made the pressure count on 50 minutes as he
gave his side a deserved lead.

After a miscued clearance by Jonathan
Spector gave the Tykes a cheap corner, the resulting set-piece eluded
the whole of Birmingham's defence, allowing Forster to poke the ball in
at the far post.

Things went from bad to worse for
Clark's men four minutes later as Barnsley exposed gaping holes in the
hosts' defence and Davies nudged the ball home from close range to put
the Tykes two up.

In what was fast becoming a superb
day at the office for Barnsley, Davies extended his team's lead with a
tremendous solo effort. The Wales international received the ball on the
edge of the area before beating two Birmingham defenders and firing the
ball beyond a fully-stretched Butland.

Davies then claimed the matchball by
sealing an 11-minute hat-trick with a strike from inside the area,
before adding to Birmingham's misery by getting his head to a Chris
Dagnall cross to put his side 5-0 up with 15 minutes to play.

Marlon Harewood came on for Davies in
the 85th minute, the four-goal hero leaving the field to
richly-deserved standing ovation from the Barnsley faithful.

Birmingham 2 Bolton 1: Match report

Birmingham 2 Bolton 1: King's spot kick sinks travel sick Trotters



23:46 GMT, 18 September 2012

Bolton's miserable form on their travels continued as they were beaten by Birmingham, for whom Leroy Lita scored on his home debut.

Marlon King's 48th-minute penalty, awarded when assistant referee Steven Copeland flagged for a foul by Marcos Alonso, proved decisive in an action-packed encounter after a stunning free-kick from Chris Eagles had cancelled out Lita's early opener.

Owen Coyle's side now boast the unenviable record of four defeats from as many away matches this term, while Birmingham have lost just one of their last 26 league games at St Andrew's.

Spot on: Marlon King scores his side's second goal from the penalty spot

Spot on: Marlon King scores his side's second goal from the penalty spot


Birmingham: Butland, Caddis (Davies 54), Caldwell, Ibanez, Murphy, Burke (Redmond 71), Mullins (Fahey 46), Spector, Elliott, Lita, King.

Subs Not Used: Doyle, Lovenkrands, Morrison, Asante.
Booked: Caldwell.

Goals: Lita 16, King 48 pen.

Bolton: Bogdan, Mears, Mills, Knight, Alonso, Lee (Petrov 59), Mark Davies, Spearing (Andrews 17), Eagles, Ngog (Afobe 59), Kevin Davies.

Subs Not Used: Lonergan, Ricketts, Sordell, Pratley.

Booked: Knight, Mark Davies, Lee.

Goal: Eagles 44.

Attendance: 14,693

Referee: Carl Boyeson

Lita – on loan from Swansea – was left with a simple finish in the 16th minute as right-back Paul Caddis latched on to a superb pass from the recalled Wade Elliott, who delivered an outstanding display, before selflessly sliding the ball across the six-yard box.

Eagles' curling strike from 30 yards ensured the teams went into half-time on level terms, yet King wasted little time in restoring Birmingham's advantage.

The striker was bundled over by Alonso as he looked to connect with David Murphy's left-wing cross and dusted himself down before confidently sending Adam Bogdan the wrong way from 12 yards.

Both sides showed one change from the weekend. Elliott replaced Peter Lovenkrands in Birmingham's line-up, while Bolton dropped Keith Andrews to the bench, with Chung-Yong Lee gaining a starting berth.

Bolton were given an early warning in the seventh minute when a delightful cross from Caddis picked out Lita, whose header deflected narrowly wide of the near post.

Opening up: Leroy Lita scores the first for Birmingham

Opening up: Leroy Lita scores the first for Birmingham

David Ngog had the ball in the net for the visitors soon after, but the linesman's flag had long since gone up for offside.

Caddis and Lita duly linked up to good effect to put Birmingham ahead following Elliott's defence-splitting pass, and Bolton were forced into a substitution prior to the restart, with Andrews replacing the injured Jay Spearing.

After a brief lull, another fine through-ball from Elliott put Chris Burke in the clear, but Wanderers goalkeeper Bogdan stayed big to make a vital save.

Lee and Ngog saw subsequent chances go begging, but the visitors grabbed a deserved leveller a minute before half-time through Eagles' fourth of the season.

Friendly welcome: Fabrice Muamba a former player of both Birmingham City and Bolton goes on the pitch

Friendly welcome: Fabrice Muamba a former player of both Birmingham City and Bolton goes on the pitch

There was warm applause during the interval when guest of honour Fabrice Muamba, who played for both clubs before being forced to retire on medical grounds, was welcomed on to the pitch.

Birmingham introduced Keith Fahey in place of Hayden Mullins and made a flying start to the second half; after King's spot-kick, Caddis tested Bogdan with a powerful shot from distance and Lita fired wide after latching on to a poor header from Zat Knight.

The impressive Caddis was withdrawn soon after, having landed awkwardly on his shoulder during a Bolton attack that saw Jack Butland deny Matt Mills.

Feeling down: Owen Coyle looks dejected at the final whistle

Feeling down: Owen Coyle looks dejected at the final whistle

Coyle subsequently introduced Benik Afobe and Martin Petrov, and both substitutes went close, the former with a thunderous volley, either side of Elliott curling a 65th-minute shot wide for the hosts.

There was still time for Birmingham substitute Nathan Redmond to bring a fingertip save from Bogdan following a sensational solo run, while Butland remained alert to pull off a host of late stops as Bolton piled on the pressure.

Crawley 2 Bolton 1: Nicky Ajose nods late winner

Capital One Cup second round round-up: Crawley nick late win over Bolton

Janine Self


22:46 GMT, 28 August 2012



22:49 GMT, 28 August 2012

When it comes to Cup upsets then Crawley can claim to be masters.

Bolton went the way of Derby, Bristol City, Hull and Millwall as the League One side knocked Owen Coyle’s team out of the Capital One Cup.

Benik Afobe put Bolton into the lead but two goals in the final eight minutes turned the tie on its head.

Substitute Billy Clarke then scored one and made the other for Nicky Ajose, who clinched the 2-1 win in the dying seconds.

On target: Nicky Ajose nods Crawley's second

On target: Nicky Ajose nods Crawley's second

Managerless Coventry found something to smile about as they dumped npower Championship neighbours Birmingham 3-2 after extra time.

A topsy-turvy match saw Peter Lovenkrands put Birmingham into the lead before goals from Cody McDonald and Kevin Kilbane handed Coventry the advantage.

The League One side sacked Andy Thorn on Sunday after three successive draws but caretaker boss Richard Shaw did himself no harm in the bid to become his successor.

Having seen Jonathan Spector send the tie into extra time, Carl Baker scored the winner after Kilbane’s cross was not cleared.

Hammer blow: Carl Baker hits Coventry's third

Hammer blow: Carl Baker hits Coventry's third

Nicky Wroe struck twice to help League One Preston to a shock 4-1 victory over Championship strugglers Crystal Palace. Akpo Sodje and Jeffrey Monakana were the other scorers with Aaron Wilbraham netting for Palace.

Leeds United strolled through and spoiled Oxford’s perfect start to the season.

Jamaican Rodolph Austin scored his first goal in in English football, teenager Sam Byram doubled the lead and a Tom Lees header in the second half cemented an 3-0 win against the League Two leaders.

Luke Chadwick scored twice to dump out lacklustre Blackburn and send MK Dons into the third round.

Chadwick netted two close-range finishes before David Goodwillie nodded in an 83rd-minute consolation goal for Rovers as the Dons claimed a richly-deserved giant-killing victory.

Sheffield Wednesday 3 Birmingham 2: Rodri scores on his debut

Sheffield Wednesday 3 Birmingham 2: Debut boy Rodri makes his mark

Sportsmail Reporter


21:12 GMT, 21 August 2012



21:12 GMT, 21 August 2012

New signing Rodri marked a stunning debut with a goal as Sheffield Wednesday defeated Birmingham in the npower Championship at Hillsborough.

After Reda Johnson capitalised on a handling error from England goalkeeper Jack Butland to head the opener, the tricky forward – signed on loan from Barcelona B on Monday – rewarded manager David Jones for handing him his first start with a well-taken finish.

The former Spain Under-21 international should have converted Wednesday's first attack of the match, but made up for his miss six minutes before half-time by wrong-footing Steven Caldwell and firing in Wednesday's second.

Dream start: Rodri celebrates scoring the second goal for Sheffield Wednesday

Dream start: Rodri celebrates scoring the second goal for Sheffield Wednesday


Sheff Wed: Kirkland, Buxton, Llera, Beevers, Reda Johnson, Jermaine Johnson, Semedo, McCabe, Antonio (Maguire 90), O'Grady (Pecnik 81), Rodri (Madine 61).

Subs Not Used: Bywater, Mattock, Prutton, Coke.

Booked: Rodri.

Goals: Reda Johnson 14, Rodri 39, Jermaine Johnson 89.

Birmingham: Butland, Redmond, Caldwell, Davies, Elliott (Zigic 46), Murphy, Burke, Mullins, Spector, Ambrose, King.

Subs Not Used: Doyle, Ibanez, Lovenkrands, Morrison, Gomis, Packwood.

Booked: Zigic.

Goals: Zigic 78, King 90 pen.

Attendance: 25,379

Referee: Geoff Eltringham

Check out all the latest, stats, facts and table from the Championship

Blues manager Lee Clark introduced
Nikola Zigic, the scorer of his side's equaliser against Charlton on
Saturday, at half-time and the tall striker reduced the deficit 15
minutes from time with a tap-in at the back post.

But Jermaine Johnson netted a late
third and, although Marlon King converted a last-gasp penalty, the
victory preserved Jones' unbeaten competitive record as Owls boss since
taking over at the helm from Gary Megson last season.

With just three minutes on the clock,
Rodri almost made an immediate impact. Jose Semedo received the ball
down the left from Johnson and provided a cut-back from the byline to
Rodri, who could only guide his side-footed effort wide of the post.

Birmingham started to settle and,
after a free-kick on the right from the lively Chris Burke found its way
into the path of Caldwell unmarked at the back post, the defender stung
the palms of Chris Kirkland.

It was Wednesday who deservedly took
the lead after 14 minutes when Olympian Butland, under no real pressure,
let an outswinging Semedo cross slip through his hands and onto the
head of Johnson, who nodded into the empty net for his second goal in as
many matches.

Blues midfielder Darren Ambrose –
making his 300th career league appearance – found space on the edge of
the box, but could only send a shot high over Kirkland's bar.

Wednesday made their dominance count
after 39 minutes when Rodri latched onto a well-timed through ball,
fooled the backtracking Caldwell with a clever step-over and fired the
ball left-footed beneath a helpless Butland into the bottom corner.

The visitors came out firing after
the restart, with Zigic leading the line, and King had a half-volley
tipped over by Kirkland, who denied the striker again after Burke fired a
glorious chance wide moments earlier.

Rodri was given a standing ovation
when he was withdrawn on the hour mark, but Blues gave themselves a
lifeline 15 minutes later when Zigic latched onto a David Murphy cross
to poke home at the back post.

However, Johnson raced clear within
two minutes remaining to fire past Butland before King's penalty, after
Burke was dragged down in the area, proved to be a consolation.

Birmingham 0 Chelsea 2: Juan Mata and Raul Meireles seal FA Cup replay win

Birmingham 0 Chelsea 2: Life without AVB starts with win thanks to Mata and Meireles

If anyone is mourning the loss of Andre Villas-Boas, they are hiding it well. 'Roman Abramovich, he sacks who he wants,' sang Chelsea fans last night with more than a hint of glee as their campaign shuffled towards Wembley.

Two goals inside six second-half minutes from Juan Mata and Raul Meireles ended the Birmingham's resistance and set-up the six times FA Cup winners with a quarter-final at home to another Championship team.

Beat Leicester on Sunday week and Roberto di Matteo could be leading Chelsea back to Wembley, where they have won the trophy three times in five years since the national stadium was rebuilt.

Juan-nil: Spain midfielder Mata celebrates after putting Chelsea ahead at St Andrew's

Juan-nil: Spain midfielder Mata celebrates after putting Chelsea ahead at St Andrew's


Birmingham: Doyle, Spector, Ibanez,
Davies, N'Daw (King 72), Redmond, Mutch, Gomis, Elliott, Rooney (Burke 59), Zigic.

Subs not used:
Myhill, Valles, Reilly, Jervis, Packwood.

Booked: Zigic

Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, Bertrand, Ramires (Lampard 75), Mikel, Meireles,
Kalou (Sturridge 59), Torres, Mata (Essien 89).

Subs not used: Hilario, Drogba, Lukaku, Terry.

Goals: Mata 54, Meireles 60

Booked: Torres

Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)

Attendance: 21,822

Villas-Boas can only look on from a distance as the team who rebelled against his leadership find an extra gear as they respond to Abramovich's ultimatum to prove their worth before the end of the campaign.

Di Matteo stepped in and gave the squad a shake but much of what unfolded was roughly the same. There with no hint of the relentless power or energy which was once the trademark of the team from Stamford Bridge until Mata had opened the scoring in the 54th minute.

Fernando Torres found himself a figure of fun. When one Birmingham fan fluffed his big moment during a half-time shoot-out. 'Worse than Torres,' he declared. Then, after he was tripped to win a penalty in the second half and Mata stepped forward, the crowd chanted: 'We want Torres.' Mata's effort was saved.

The game had barely kicked off when more than 3,000 Chelsea fans chanted the name of Jose Mourinho but made it known they did not want Rafa Benitez. So much for the FA Cup legend on the touchline, who had ditched the tracksuit in favour of a smart overcoat, slacks and skinny tie.

Predator: Mata pokes home from inside the box after Ramires's cross caused pandemonium

Predator: Mata pokes home from inside the box after Ramires's cross caused pandemonium

Through the crowd: Raul Meireles (second left) strikes to double Chelsea's advantage

Through the crowd: Raul Meireles (second left) strikes to double Chelsea's advantage

Di Matteo, picking his first team since sacked by West Bromwich 13 months ago, made five changes to the Chelsea team beaten at The Hawthorns on Saturday in what was to be the last game of the brief Villas-Boas era.

On the bench were Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba, although they were apparently assured by the caretaker manager that this was a decision made with the next two fixtures – homes games against Stoke and Napoli – in mind.

John Terry was among the substitutes, too, less than a fortnight after a knee operation which was expected to keep him out for up to eight weeks.

On the touchline: Chelsea caretaker boss Roberto Di Matteo (right) gives his orders

On the touchline: Chelsea caretaker boss Roberto Di Matteo (right) gives his orders

Di Matteo made a tweak to the usual Chelsea shape. The 4-3-3 became a 4-2-3-1 formation with Raul Meireles and John Mikel Obi deployed as deep midfielders. Ramires and Salomon Kalou started wide with Juan Mata in the hole behind Torres and, within two minutes, the Spaniards had combined well.

Torres dropped, turned and released Mata, who was thwarted by Colin Doyle, the goalkeeper who saved his penalty in last month's drawn game at Stamford Bridge.

Spring in his step: But Chelsea's misfiring striker Fernando Torres did not score yet again

No spring in his step: Chelsea's misfiring striker Fernando Torres did not score yet again

The inability of Villas-Boas to make Torres function effectively played a significant part in his downfall, not to mention the implied criticism of a comparison with Andriy Shevchenko and Mateja Kezman in an interview last week.

This was a 50th Chelsea appearance for Torres and despite his understanding with Mata, there were still moments when his touch deserted him in front of goal. The 50million striker looked timid and hesitant at the times when instinct ought to kick in. When a clear chance dropped on his left foot in first-half stoppage time, he screwed it wide.

Group hug: Chelsea congratulate Meireles (centre) on his goal

Group hug: Meireles' Chelsea team-mates congratulate him (centre) on his second-half strike

Chelsea arrived at St Andrew's having lost their last three away games, scoring only once, but dominated against a depleted Birmingham team playing for the 47th time this season. Kalou, starting for the first time in club colours since October, was bright on the left, ahead of Ryan Bertrand, deputising for the injured Ashley Cole.

Ramires sliced wide but Chris Hughton's makeshift defence resisted well and Doyle was rarely tested in the first half. Yet, when defending counter-attacks and set-pieces, Chelsea did not look comfortable and Petr Cech was forced to scramble backwards and turn a diving header from Nijola Zigic over before the interval.

Packs a punch: Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech stretches to repel a Birmingham cross

Packs a punch: Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech stretches to repel a Birmingham cross

Zigic had stitches in a cut above his left eye, after taking a boot in the face from David Luiz. Zigic was clearly unhappy and sought retribution but it was on Gary Cahill and earned the first booking of the night. It was his header from Jordan Mutch's cross which nearly embarrassed the expensive central defensive partnership.

The breakthough came from Mata. Ramires stole the ball from Mutch on the right and Kalou fought down his cross in the goalmouth. It spilled to Mata who adjusted quickly and poked a shot inside the post.

At full stretch: Birmingham's Serbian striker Nikola Zigic controls the ball under pressure

At full stretch: Birmingham's Serbian striker Nikola Zigic controls the ball under pressure

Mata then headed narrowly wide and Meireles soon pounced to score a wonderful second. Again it came from a move down the right and Ramires eased a short pass into his path and the Portuguese midfielder lashed a right-footer into the top corner.

He refused to celebrate, pushing his team-mates away. It seems someone is after all mourning the loss of AVB.

Torres was fouled for a penalty but Mata, having shrugged off Sturridge, saw his kick saved by Doyle, just as in the first game.

On the spot: Mata saw his penalty saved once again by Birmingham keeper Colin Doyle

On the spot: Mata saw his penalty saved once again by Birmingham keeper Colin Doyle