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Barnsley 1 Birmingham 2 – Curtis Davies scores twice as Blues avenge 5-0 loss

Barnsley 1 Birmingham 2: Davies at the double as Blues avenge 5-0 loss in September

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UPDATED:

21:42 GMT, 26 December 2012

There was a familiar ring to the name of the man who stole the show in this revenge re-match.

Only this time Birmingham’s Curtis Davies delivered the match-winning heroics to ease the pain of near-namesake Craig’s four-goal salvo in Barnsley’s astonishing 5-0 win at St Andrew’s in September.

But Barnsley striker Craig wasn’t entirely out of the spotlight, much as he would wish to have been on this occasion. For it was the Wales forward’s woeful penalty miss that turned the game and piled more pressure on his manager Keith Hill.

Head first: Curtis Davies scored both goals for Birmingham

Head first: Curtis Davies scored both goals for Birmingham

Match facts

Barnsley: Steele, Stones, Hassell, McNulty, Golbourne, O'Brien, Greening, Perkins (Done 68), Dawson, Tudgay, Dagnall (Davies 68).

Subs Not Used: Alnwick, Wiseman, Harewood, Cywka, Sinclair.

Booked: Tudgay.

Goals: Greening 38.

Birmingham: Butland, Robinson, Caldwell, Davies, Hancox, Hall (Gomis 85), Mullins, Reilly, Elliott, Zigic, Redmond (Burke 53).

Subs Not Used: Doyle, Ibanez, Morrison, Jervis, Delfouneso.

Booked: Elliott.

Goals: Davies 35, 77.

Attendance: 9,191

Referee: Carl Boyeson

Latest Championship table, fixtures and results

Davies, just on as a substitute in a return from injury, had the chance to put Barnsley in front when Steven Caldwell handled Jim O’Brien’s second-half corner with the score at 1-1.

But the hosts’ top marksman contrived to miss by an extraordinary distance – perhaps 30 yards high and 20 yards wide.

His embarrassment was compounded four
minutes later when Birmingham centre back Davies was allowed a free
header from Robert Hall’s free-kick.

That restored the lead he had given
his side from another set-piece, a near-post header from a corner also
delivered by Hall in the first half.

Jonathan Greening cracked a fine 20-yard equaliser, his first goal for Barnsley since arriving on loan from Nottingham Forest.

Birmingham manager Lee Clark felt his
continued reliance on youngsters – there were seven teenagers in the
side last weekend and five here – could be a ‘watershed’ for the club.

Warning that experienced players
might be frozen out, he said: ‘Those out will have to bide their time.
Age doesn’t matter to me. The young lads are showing great spirit and I
can guarantee passion when we go to Bolton on Saturday.’

Oakwell’s match sponsors delivered
another slap in the face to Hill – whose customary notes were peculiarly
absent from the programme – by naming David Perkins as Barnsley’s man
of the match.

Points in the bag: Davies celebrates his brace

Points in the bag: Davies celebrates his brace

Perkins had been substituted to a storm of boos directed at the bench in the 67th minute.

Hill said: ‘I can understand the
supporters and David was man of the match, no question. But he’s had
recurring injuries and I feel I made the right decision for David and
the club.’

The beleaguered manager, who was also
betrayed by a remarkable miss by Chris Dagnall, accused his players of
switching their marking duties against his wishes for Birmingham’s
second.

Hill appears to be daring his board
to sack him and this was his parting shot last night: ‘If we don’t stick
together we’ll go down.’

Barnsley 1 Birmingham 2 – Match report

Barnsley 1 Birmingham 2: Davies at the double to give Blues much needed win

PUBLISHED:

17:59 GMT, 26 December 2012

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UPDATED:

17:59 GMT, 26 December 2012

Curtis Davies settled a thrilling Boxing Day contest in Birmingham's favour against fellow npower Championship strugglers Barnsley at Oakwell.

The centre-back nodded the visitors in front amid pouring rain in the 35th minute, only for Jonathan Greening to equalise almost immediately from long range with his first goal since joining on loan from Nottingham Forest last month.

Barnsley were the better side and missed plenty of chances against a Blues outfit who were disorganised defensively, with Craig Davies, a boyhood Blues fan who scored four goals in September's 5-0 rout at St Andrew's, blazing over a second-half penalty after Steven Caldwell's handball.

Head first: Curtis Davies scored both goals for Birmingham

Head first: Curtis Davies scored both goals for Birmingham

Match facts

Barnsley: Steele, Stones, Hassell, McNulty, Golbourne, O'Brien, Greening, Perkins (Done 68), Dawson, Tudgay, Dagnall (Davies 68).

Subs Not Used: Alnwick, Wiseman, Harewood, Cywka, Sinclair.

Booked: Tudgay.

Goals: Greening 38.

Birmingham: Butland, Robinson, Caldwell, Davies, Hancox, Hall (Gomis 85), Mullins, Reilly, Elliott, Zigic, Redmond (Burke 53).

Subs Not Used: Doyle, Ibanez, Morrison, Jervis, Delfouneso.

Booked: Elliott.

Goals: Davies 35, 77.

Attendance: 9,191

Referee: Carl Boyeson

Latest Championship table, fixtures and results

And the hosts were punished almost immediately as Curtis Davies, unmarked from another set-piece, converted his fourth header in six games to clinch matters in the 77th minute.

It was only a second win in nine games for Lee Clark's 19th-placed side and just their third away victory of the season.

The Tykes missed out on the chance to record back-to-back league wins for the first time in 2012 after Saturday's 2-1 win at Millwall ended an 11-match winless run, and they are now second-bottom in the table without a home win since September 1.

Barnsley enjoyed the better of proceedings early on, Jim O'Brien seeing an effort blocked by Curtis Davies although the visitors did force a succession of three corners in which they failed to prosper.

Birmingham's young England goalkeeper Jack Butland kept the score down at St Andrew's in September and he was twice called upon here in the opening exchanges.

First he got down low to deny Stephen Dawson before a better save kept out Marcus Tudgay's header.

Points in the bag: Davies celebrates his brace

Points in the bag: Davies celebrates his brace

Luke Steele was still to be called upon as the half-hour mark passed, with Barnsley much the stronger.

But, out of nowhere, Curtis Davies – as he did in Saturday's 2-2 draw against Burnley – headed Birmingham in front.

Robert Hall delivered another excellent set-piece, Birmingham's main threat, which Davies nodded home unchallenged at the near post.

However, the lead did not last long as Birmingham's frailties in defence were fully exposed.

Barnsley applied pressure almost straight from kick-off with Dawson seeing a strike blocked and, with the visitors struggling to fully clear their lines, the ball broke for Greening, who converted low from distance.

The soaking wet playing surface was hardly helping matters but Barnsley continued to enjoy the better of matters in the first half, despite Blues enjoying another three successive corners.

The visitors' defence was exposed again within a minute of the restart but a swift move ended when Chris Dagnall could only slide the ball behind.

Tykes defender Bobby Hassell tried his luck from fully 40 yards but Butland recovered to save comfortably.

Chris Burke was introduced off the bench for Birmingham and he added a fresh attacking dimension.

John Stones saw an effort blocked by a late Blues tackle and, with the game flowing from end to end, Barnsley were awarded a spot-kick in the 73rd minute for a somewhat harsh handball decision against Caldwell.

But Craig Davies, who had only been on the pitch five minutes, blazed his spot-kick high over the bar.

A superb stop from Butland kept out a header from fellow sub Matty Done before Curtis Davies then settled matters in the 77th minute via another inch-perfect delivery from Hall.

Blackburn 1 Birmingham 1: match report

Blackburn 1 Birmingham 1: Berg still in search of first win after tense draw on home debut

Press Association

PUBLISHED:

17:51 GMT, 10 November 2012

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UPDATED:

17:51 GMT, 10 November 2012

Henning Berg is still waiting for his first win as Blackburn boss as his home debut ended all square after an enthralling encounter against Birmingham.

Berg enjoyed many a battle with opposite number Lee Clark during their top-flight playing days and they went head-to-head in the dugout at Ewood Park in front of 14,919 fans – only 1,000 up on average from games under Steve Kean and caretaker boss Eric Black this term.

The Norwegian started his Rovers reign with one point from two away games and a draw this afternoon was the right result on the balance of play.

Waiting game: Henning Berg (right) is still searching for his first win as Blackburn boss

Waiting game: Henning Berg (right) is still searching for his first win as Blackburn boss

MATCH FACTS

Blackburn: Robinson, Henley, Dann, Grant Hanley, Martin Olsson,
Formica, Etuhu, Murphy (Lowe 84), Markus Olsson (Nunes 71), Rochina (Vukcevic 61), Rhodes.

Subs Not Used: Kean, Orr, Pedersen, Nuno Gomes.

Goals: Rochina 13 pen.

Birmingham: Butland, Spector, Caldwell, Robinson, Murphy,
Burke (Ambrose 90), Morrison, Mullins, Elliott, Zigic (Redmond 75), King.

Subs Not Used: Doyle, Ibanez, Lovenkrands, Hancox, Diop.

Booked: Morrison, Spector.

Goals: King 17.

Referee: Michael Naylor (Sheffield).

Attendance: 14,919

Click here for latest Championship results, fixtures and table

Spaniard Ruben Rochina handed Rovers a
deserved early lead from the penalty spot after David Murphy felled
Mauro Formica but, crucially, Birmingham pulled level almost immediately
courtesy of Marlon King's ninth goal of the season from close range.

Both sides could indeed have clinched
all three points but it was not to be, with Birmingham now 19 attempts
without victory at Ewood Park stretching back to 1968.

Blackburn were undoubtedly the dominant side from the off.

Blues skipper Steven Caldwell denied
Jordan Rhodes after Jack Butland had raced out of his area
unnecessarily, before Rochina fired wide from 12 yards when well placed.

It was no real surprise when the hosts took the lead after 13 minutes.
Full-back Murphy brought down Formica in the area and Rochina stepped up to send Butland the wrong way from the spot.

But Birmingham pulled level almost immediately with their first real attack.

Chris Burke's cross was met by a
combination of former City defender Scott Dann and Wade Elliott and the
ball fell to Nikola Zigic, whose effort came back off a post and King
was on hand to tap home from two yards.

The goal inspired the visitors and Ravel Morrison brought a save out of Paul Robinson before King fired narrowly wide.

Rovers passed up a great chance to
retake the lead from Rochina's corner as the game flowed from end to
end, with Blues very much now in proceedings.

Danny Murphy struck the side-netting
from distance on the half-hour mark before both sides saw goals
rightfully ruled out for offside.

Catch me if you can: Ruben Rochina tries to find a way past Hayden Mullins

Catch me if you can: Ruben Rochina tries to find a way past Hayden Mullins

Markus Olsson was presented with a
clear opportunity to put Blackburn in front on the stroke of half-time
but he could only fire wide.

Zigic headed wide from Burke's cross
at the start of the second half when the towering 6ft 8in Serbian should
really have done better.

Rhodes was next to threaten at the
other end as his header was cleared off the line by Blues defender Paul
Robinson in impressive fashion.

His Blackburn namesake got down well
to deny marauding City full-back Murphy, while Rovers were being
constantly dogged by the offside flag in the final third.

Formica brought a good save out of
England prodigy Butland with former Three Lions stopper Robinson showing
what he could do to turn away Burke's effort from distance.

Robinson then tipped over Hayden
Mullins' 81st-minute strike from 30 yards before substitute Nuno Gomes'
impressive effort flew over amid a breathless conclusion to proceedings.

Dann came within inches of a late winner against his former employers but a point apiece was just reward.

Birmingham 0 Ipswich 1 – match report

Birmingham 0 Ipswich 1: McCarthy works his magic as Campbell stuns former club

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UPDATED:

17:28 GMT, 3 November 2012

Mick McCarthy inspired lowly Ipswich to their first win in 13 attempts as they saw off an abject Birmingham side in a largely lacklustre encounter at St Andrew's.

McCarthy only took the reins at Town on Thursday morning but his impact has been instant, with the Suffolk outfit claiming only their second league win of the season and first since late August, although they still remain rooted to the foot of the npower Championship.

It was an immediate return to the West Midlands for the Yorkshireman, whose six-year stint at Wolves was brought to an end in February, but it was a former Birmingham striker who did the damage.

Winner: DJ Campbell celebrates scoring for Ipswich against Birmingham

Winner: DJ Campbell celebrates scoring for Ipswich against Birmingham

Match facts

Latest Championship table, fixtures and results

DJ Campbell, who enjoyed 18 months at St Andrew's, turned and struck home his third goal in five appearances since joining on loan from QPR to secure the decisive matchwinner after just eight minutes.

Birmingham, who gave the ball away far too often, lacked spark throughout as they struggled to replicate their away form on home soil, with this now four home matches without a win for Lee Clark's side, who were booed off the pitch.

It could and should have been a point apiece but substitute Nikola Zigic wasted two golden second-half chances.

McCarthy, who replaced Paul Jewell, opted for experience over youth in his first game in charge, recalling former Blues midfielder Guirane N'Daw from the cold along with fellow midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker in favour of Luke Hyam and Josh Carson.

And after a distinctly ordinary opening to proceedings it was Ipswich who drew first blood with just eight minutes on the clock.

In charge: Mick McCarthy helped Ipswich to their first win in 13 games

In charge: Mick McCarthy helped Ipswich to their first win in 13 games

Nathan Redmond gave possession away cheaply in the middle of the park and Lee Martin's effort fell to Campbell, who turned and dispatched a fine shot across Jack Butland.

Birmingham, unchanged for a third successive match, were not at the races in the opening 20 minutes or so although Wade Elliott brought a save out of Ipswich keeper Stephen Henderson.

Daryl Murphy tested Butland with a low effort before Marlon King forced Henderson to tip over his goalbound 25-yard free-kick at the other end.

Martin was next to try his luck from distance with a shot which Butland turned behind before the first half fizzled out, with Birmingham booed off at the break.

Clark turned to Chris Burke in an attempt to inspire his side but it had little immediate effect.

Over and out: Birmingham's Hayden Mullins looks dejected

Over and out: Birmingham's Hayden Mullins looks dejected

Danny Higginbotham's header brought a good save from Butland after Blues had switched off from Ipswich's short set-piece.

King then saw his penalty appeals rejected before Clark rolled the dice again, this time turning to Zigic.

Elliott blasted wide for the home side when well placed before Zigic, in space, somehow headed wide from King's inch-perfect cross when he really should have scored.

The towering Serbian striker wasted another great opportunity moments later when he fired straight at Henderson when clean through.

Ravel Morrison's deft chip found the roof of the net before Curtis Davies blasted over in injury time as Blues continued to push for an equaliser, but Ipswich held firm to claim their first three points at St Andrew's since 1986.

Under fire Clark calls for more bravery from Birmingham players after latest home loss

Under-fire Clark calls for more bravery from Birmingham players after latest home loss

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UPDATED:

19:31 GMT, 6 October 2012

Under-pressure Birmingham boss Lee Clark called for his players to stand up and be counted and stop hiding behind him after City were again booed off following another home defeat.

A hurt Clark cut a frustrated figure following this afternoon's 1-0 defeat to former employers Huddersfield, leaving Blues fourth-bottom in the npower Championship.

Former Sunderland and Newcastle player Lee Clark

Under the spotlight: Lee Clark is feeling the heat after another home defeat

Blues' fifth defeat from 10 games was a second successive setback on home soil in the league for the first time in 19 months, and came after the abject 5-0 rout by Barnsley, the club's biggest home league defeat in 25 years.

Reports of a player revolt were dismissed this week but Clark saw his side put in a disappointing display, especially in the first half, and felt his charges handed the initiative to the visitors from the first whistle due to a lack of competitiveness.

Jermaine Beckford's 25th-minute strike settled matters for high-flying Huddersfield, while substitute Nikola Zigic was sent off 16 minutes from time for a high challenge on Callum Woods.

Clark said: 'It's our home, it's where the majority of our fans are. They come to see us and want to see a performance. Any football fan in the world wants to see a bit of drive.

'Some good tackles are as good as a good shot, they get the crowd lifted, they get them behind the team, they drive you forward.

Jermaine Beckford of Huddersfield Town scores a goal to make the score 0-1

Twisting the knife: Huddersfield's Jermaine Beckford scores to inflict another loss on Lee Clark – this time against his former club

'Football fans are working-class people, they want to see someone having a right good go for their team, in terms of tackling, heading, competing.

'You see the size of me, I'm not a big fella but I competed, I put my head in there, I put my foot in there. Maybe seven times out of 10 the opposition came through me with the ball but I was still putting some sort of challenge in.

'There were four of five players in the first half who never did that. They've got to stand up and be counted.

'Okay, I'm responsible but I can't keep saying that. Can they start taking responsibility

'I'm getting the flak from supporters, no problem I can take that. But I'm not sitting in the dressing room telling them not to tackle, to pussyfoot around, telling them to mis-place passes.

'They can't just hide behind me all the time, they've got to come out fighting.'

Huddersfield boss Simon Grayson backed Clark to turn things around at St Andrew's after watching his side end a run of back-to-back home defeats with a third successive win on the road.

It takes Town – who were impressive here, more so in the first half – up to sixth in the table.

'I think deservedly we got the win, getting any points in the Championship is never easy,' Grayson said.

'We started the game very well, very brightly, pressurised Birmingham when we needed to, played in the right areas with purpose and created some good opportunities. I'm delighted from that point of view.

'The back end of the game when Birmingham had nothing to lose we were resilient and withstood some pressure.

'To come here and get a result is satisfying from my point of view after two tough previous defeats.'

Birmingham 0 Huddersfield 1: Match report

Birmingham 0 Huddersfield 1: Zigic sees red as Beckford piles more pressure on Clark

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UPDATED:

16:32 GMT, 6 October 2012

Lee Clark tasted defeat against former employers Huddersfield to increase the pressure on both him and his struggling Birmingham side.

Jermaine Beckford netted a first half winner as fourth-bottom City were booed off the pitch as the home faithful watched back-to-back league defeats at St Andrew's for the first time since March 2011 – coming after the abject 5-0 rout by Barnsley, the club's biggest home league defeat in 25 years.

Reports of a player revolt were dismissed this week but Clark, who insisted pre-match he held no grudges against the club who sacked him in February, watched a disappointing display here, shaky in defence and short of bite in attack, particularly in the first half.

Flying: Jermaine Beckford bagged the decisive goal for Huddersfield

Flying: Jermaine Beckford bagged the decisive goal for Huddersfield

MATCH FACTS

Birmingham: Butland, Hurst (Mullins 63), Caldwell, Davies (Hancox 80), Robinson, Burke, Spector, Fahey (Zigic 46), Redmond, Elliott, Lita.

Subs Not Used: Doyle, King, Ambrose, Lovenkrands.

Sent Off: Zigic (74).

Huddersfield: Smithies, Hunt, Peter Clarke, Gerrard, Woods (Dixon 90), Southern, Norwood, Clayton, Vaughan (Hammill 67), Beckford, Ward (Novak 85).

Subs Not Used: Bennett, Scannell, Wallace, Robinson.

Goals: Beckford 25.

Att: 18,437

Ref: Andy D'Urso (Essex).

Click here for the latest npower Championship results, fixtures and table

Huddersfield were good value for
their half-time lead, with Beckford's first goal since joining on loan
from Leicester putting his side ahead.

Nathan Redmond, Blues' brightest
spark, crashed a curling effort against a post in the first half, but
Blues' task was made even harder by the 74th-minute dismissal of
substitute Nikola Zigic for a high challenge on Callum Woods.

Clark applauded both sets of supporters prior to kick-off but he almost saw his new club fall behind inside the opening minute.

Beckford turned Curtis Davies, who
later hobbled off, far too easily and fed James Vaughan, whose spin and
shot from 10 yards went wide.

Town certainly started on the front
foot and Peter Clarke headed over from a corner before both Redmond and
City debutant James Hurst soon went close at the other end.

Davies came to Blues' rescue after 17
minutes with a superb sliding challenge to nick the ball off the toes
of the shooting Keith Southern.

Birmingham's defending was at sixes and sevens and they finally got punished after 25 minutes.

Adam Clayton found Vaughan in acres
of space down the right and he crossed for Beckford, who eased ahead of
Steven Caldwell, to sweep home from close range.

Blues were in need of inspiration and
Redmond tried to do just that with sweet curling effort against the
inside of the far post from 20 yards.

But Huddersfield were looking strong
and long-range efforts from Danny Ward and Oliver Norwood both brought
good saves from Jack Butland before the interval, which was greeted with
boos from the home faithful.

Zigic was brought on by Clark at the interval to add a different dimension to Blues and it worked.

Chris Burke saw a 55th-minute effort tipped over by Alex Smithies before curling just wide from the resulting corner.

Clayton blasted wide from Norwood's corner while Clarke, despite being pulled up for a foul, headed against the crossbar.

Blues were rightly reduced to 10 men
with 16 minutes remaining when Zigic was shown a straight red card for a
high challenge on Woods.

Butland denied Beckford with a great
save before Wade Elliott somehow headed straight at Smithies in injury
time with the goal at his mercy.

It was enough to see Town, in the
first league meeting between the two sides since 2001, secure their
first three points against Birmingham since 1996.

Brighton 0 Birmingham 1: Chris Burke scores winner

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

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UPDATED:

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

MATCH FACTS

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

Latest Championship results, fixtures and table

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
goal.

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
pressure.

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
victory.

Nottingham Forest 2 Birmingham 2: Harding hits late leveller to maintain unbeaten start

Nottingham Forest 2 Birmingham 2: Harding hits late leveller to maintain unbeaten start

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UPDATED:

16:33 GMT, 15 September 2012

Nottingham Forest fought back from 2-0 down to preserve their unbeaten start to the npower Championship campaign.

All the goals came in an entertaining second half at the City Ground.

After having the better of the first half, Forest found themselves behind courtesy of goals from Hayden Mullins and Marlon King in the space of three minutes.

Substitute Simon Cox quickly pulled one back for the hosts with a superb effort after 73 minutes before another sub, Dan Harding, levelled things up with four minutes remaining.

On target: Hayden Mullins celebrates hitting the opener

On target: Hayden Mullins celebrates hitting the opener

Match facts

Nottm Forest: Camp, Hutchinson, Halford, Ayala, Collins, McGugan, Gillett (Majewski 80), Guedioura (Harding 74), Reid, Blackstock (Cox 60), Sharp. Subs not used: Darlow, Moussi, Moloney, Coppinger.

Booked: Ayala, Hutchinson, Collins, Cox.

Scorers: Cox 73, Ibanez 86 og.

Birmingham: Butland, Caddis, Caldwell, Ibanez, Murphy, Burke (Redmond 70), Mullins, Spector, Lovenkrands (Elliott 49), King, Lita (Fahey 79). Subs not used: Doyle, Davies, Morrison, Zigic.

Scorers: Mullins 69, King 71.

Referee: Mark Halsey.

Attendance: 22,738.

With Cox only fit enough for the bench following a foot injury sustained while on international duty with the Republic of Ireland, fellow summer signing Billy Sharp made his full debut for Forest alongside Dexter Blackstock in attack.

Leroy Lita was handed his Birmingham debut. The striker arrived on loan from Swansea last week and replaced Wade Elliott in the Blues' starting line up.

The hosts started brightly with Blackstock heading over from a corner following some early pressure.

A mistake by Jack Butland almost presented Sharp with his first Forest goal after 13 minutes. Butland spilled Sam Hutchinson's cross but Sharp's shot on the turn was straight at the England goalkeeper.

Butland was more assured soon afterwards when he did well to deal with a superb delivery into the box from Lewis McGugan.

A swift break by Forest should have seen them take the lead midway through the first half but Sharp, McGugan and then Adlene Guedioura could not capitalise after an almighty scramble in the Birmingham box.

After being on the backfoot for much of the opening 30 minutes, Birmingham nearly went ahead against the run of play.

Lita set up striker partner King but Lee Camp was quickly off his line to make a block. It was a brilliant piece of goalkeeping by the Northern Ireland international.

Daniel Ayala then denied King again from the resulting corner.

Frantic afternoon: Birmingham boss Lee Clark shouts instructions from the dugout

Frantic afternoon: Birmingham boss Lee Clark shouts instructions from the dugout

The final chance of the first half saw Andy Reid's free-kick from the edge of the area scooped over the crossbar by Butland five minutes before the break.

Birmingham boss Lee Clark made a change four minutes into the second half with the largely anonymous Peter Lovenkrands making way for Elliott.

Elliott got straight into the action, almost catching out Camp with a long-range shot but the Forest keeper held on to the ball at the second attempt.

Forest continued to get themselves into good positions but first Reid and then Greg Halford saw dangerous balls into the box narrowly elude team mates.

Cox came on after an hour, replacing Blackstock. But it was Birmingham's substitute Elliott that had turned the game in the visitor's favour since his introduction.

And Elliott was involved when the Blues took the lead after 69 minutes. He set up King whose shot was blocked by Hutchinson before Mullins fired a first-time volley into the roof of the net from 15 yards out.

Clark brought on Nathan Redmond for Chris Burke immediately after the goal, and it proved to be another masterstroke by the former Huddersfield manager.

Redmond evaded Halford and Reid down the right and cut the ball back from the byline for King who finished brilliantly from the edge of the area.

However, Forest's sub Cox had his say shortly afterwards. The Republic of Ireland international brought down Hutchinson's long ball forward with a sublime touch but his second touch was even better, brilliantly lobbing Butland to half the host's deficit.

Forest boss Sean O'Driscoll changed his formation to play three at the back as his side chased an equaliser, and it arrived with four minutes remaining.

Halford carried the ball deep into the Birmingham half before putting a deep cross into the box where Harding finished, with the aid of a deflection off Pablo Ibanez, at the far post.

Despite having the momentum the hosts did not push for a winner and had to endure some late Birmingham pressure to hold on for a point.

Birmingham 3 Crystal Palace 1: In-form Blues continue play-off charge with third win on the spin

Birmingham 3 Crystal Palace 1: In-form Blues continue play-off charge with third win on the spin

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UPDATED:

16:48 GMT, 7 April 2012

Birmingham's late-season momentum continued as three first-half goals secured another vital victory and consolidated their place in the npower Championship play-offs.

The hosts may have been playing for the 55th time this season, but fatigue did not seem to be taking hold as they stormed into the ascendancy within the first 32 minutes.

Chris Burke opened the scoring after 21 minutes and Keith Fahey extended their advantage 60 seconds later as the visiting Eagles found themselves chasing shadows in the first quarter of the game.

Hitting form: Birmingham sealed their third win in succession to strengthen their hold on a play-off spot

Hitting form: Birmingham sealed their third win in succession to strengthen their hold on a play-off spot

MATCH FACTS

Birmingham: Myhill, Ramage, Caldwell, Davies, Murphy, Burke, Fahey (N'Daw 83), Mutch, Townsend, King (Rooney 88), Zigic (Huseklepp 46). Subs not used: Doyle, Redmond.

Booked: N'Daw.

Scorers: Burke 21, Fahey 22, Murphy 32.

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Clyne, Parr, McCarthy, Moxey, Dikgacoi, O'Keefe (Murray 81), Garvan, Ambrose (Martin 76),Easter (Scannell 66), Zaha. Subs not used: Price, Inniss.

Booked: McCarthy, Moxey.

Scorers: Garvan 45.

Referee: Geoff Eltringham.

Attendance: 21,932.

David Murphy then got his name on the
scoresheet for the home side just after the half-hour mark, but Owen
Garvan reduced arrears for Palace with a brilliant long-range strike on
the stroke of half-time.

The visitors were able to settle
after the break, but chances were few and far between in the second
period as Birmingham registered their third successive victory.

Birmingham manager Chris Hughton made
two changes to his starting XI following the 3-1 win at Burnley in
midweek. Andros Townsend and Fahey returned to the Blues' line-up in
place of Wade Elliot and Guirane N'Daw.

Palace boss Dougie Freedman,
meanwhile, handed recalls to Stuart O'Keefe, Darren Ambrose and Jermaine
Easter, as Sean Scannell and Glenn Murray dropped to the bench after
the 3-0 home defeat to Nottingham Forest last time out.

Birmingham looked threatening in the
opening exchanges, and their early control paid dividends after 21
minutes when Burke fired them into the lead.

The midfielder twisted his marker neatly on the edge of the area,
gaining himself a yard of space, and his curling left-footed effort was
too good for Speroni.

Within a minute, the Blues doubled their advantage in near identical circumstances.

Burke laid the ball into the path of Fahey who smashed a superb shot into the top left-hand corner.

Birmingham seemed to be heading into half-time out of sight, as Murphy
picked up Burke's pass to drive into the penalty area and send a fierce
shot beyond Speroni.

But Palace finally found their feet, and Garvan drilled a sensational
effort past Blues keeper Boaz Myhill just before the break to offer the
visitors some scant hope.

The Eagles came out after the interval intent on pulling themselves back
into the game and O'Keefe's powerful effort was parried by Myhill.

But Birmingham remained resolute and Mutch's long-range free-kick forced
Speroni into a decent save as the Blues seemed comfortable protecting
their two-goal lead.

Goalmouth action came at a premium in the dying stages of the match but
Hughton and his players will be more than happy as they remained fourth
in the table.

Birmingham 1 Cardiff 1

Birmingham 1 Cardiff 1: Hudson makes his Mark as Bluebirds rescue point

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UPDATED:

13:26 GMT, 25 March 2012

Birmingham moved into the npower Championship play-off places despite being held to a 1-1 draw by promotion rivals Cardiff at St Andrew's.

The hosts, who were poor in the first half, took the lead through Erik Huseklepp's second goal for the club – a neat close-range finish – shortly after Marlon King had seen a penalty saved by David Marshall.
Making his Mark: Hudson celebrates after drawing Cardiff level

Making his Mark: Hudson celebrates after drawing Cardiff level

But Cardiff levelled with a goal
from nothing as Mark Hudson fired in a cross from Peter Whittingham and
Blues could not find a winner.

Birmingham boss Chris Hughton made
four changes to his line-up, with Jordon Mutch, Wade Elliott, Huseklepp
and Pablo Ibanez coming in.

The visitors named an unchanged side following their 2-2 draw at home to Coventry in midweek.

MATCH FACTS

Birmingham: Myhill, Ibanez (Gomis 72), Caldwell, Davies, Ramage, Burke, N'Daw, Mutch, Elliott, King, Huseklepp (Townsend 69). Subs Not Used: Doyle ,Zigic, Redmond. Goals: Huseklepp 68.

Cardiff:
Marshall, McNaughton, Hudson, Turner, Taylor, Whittingham, McPhail
(Miller 84), Gunnarsson, Cowie (Gestede 72), Mason, Lawrence. Subs Not Used: Heaton, Earnshaw, Blake. Goals: Hudson 78.

Att: 17,704

Referee: Andy D'Urso (Essex).

Cardiff started brightly but Joe Mason screwed a shot horribly wide while defender Hudson cleared the crossbar with a header.

Lifelong Birmingham fan Ben Turner
thought he had opened the scoring on the quarter-hour when he found
space in the box and tried to bend the ball around Boaz Myhill but his
shot went inches wide.

A fluid counter-attack from Blues
resulted in a corner which was not dealt with by Cardiff and when the
ball fell to Guirane N'Daw he let fly from 30 yards but his shot was
comfortably gathered by Marshall.

The Bluebirds were dominating as
half-time approached and the lively Mason was close to converting a low
cross from Don Cowie before the same player flashed a shot past the left
post.

Minute's applause: Former Blues star Muamba was given a rousing reception at St Andrews

Minute's applause: Former Blues star Muamba was given a rousing reception at St Andrews

Fabrice Muamba

Fabrice Muamba

Birmingham had failed to impress in
the first half but looked much better at the start of the second and
they were handed a great chance to break the deadlock.

Chris Burke played the ball through
to Mutch who was fouled in the area by Cowie. King stepped up to take
the resulting penalty but his low effort was turned away by Marshall.

Football League blog

From their next attack, Blues found Huseklepp one-on-one with the keeper but Marshall saved well with his legs.

The opening goal did not take much
longer to arrive, with Norwegian Huseklepp getting the better of
Marshall from close range after a superb solo run from Burke on the
break.

But, just as Birmingham looked set to go on and secure three points, Cardiff snatched an equaliser out of nothing.

Whittingham's cross fell to defender Hudson and he volleyed the ball into the bottom corner.

Blues were straight back on the
attack, though, and only a great save from Marshall denied Burke as his
shot on the turn looked destined for the top corner.

Cardiff responded through substitute Rudy Gestede but his right-foot volley from the edge of the box was straight at Myhill.

Marshall was almost embarrassed by a
weak Burke shot which hit a bobble on the pitch and looped up but he
clawed the ball away.

The Bluebirds almost stole the points at the death as Gestede came close with a header.