Wolverhampton 0 Birmingham 1: Elliott floors Wolves – Dreary tie settled by winger's odd strike
Wade Elliott provided late entertainment for Birmingham fans and a derby victory in the FA Cup for Chris Hughton — and all while lying on the ground.
The winger settled this replay with a scrambled goal 16 minutes from time as a much-changed Wolves team surrendered their spot in the competition.
Elliott scored from just a yard while flat on his back as Hughton’s Championship team bloodied the nose of their Premier League rivals with a gutsy showing.
Cup of joy: Wade Elliott celebrates his winner
Wolves: De Vries, Doherty (Ward 83), Stearman, Berra, Elokobi, Hammill, Jonsson (Guedioura 67), Milijas, Hunt, Doyle (Fletcher 72), Ebanks-Blake.
Subs Not Used: Hennessey, Henry, Keogh, Forde.
Birmingham: Doyle, Spector, Caldwell, Davies, Murphy, Redmond (Burke 76), Elliott, Mutch, Gomis (Fahey 90), Beausejour, Rooney.
Subs Not Used: Butland, King, Zigic, Valles, Gnahore.
Goals: Elliott 74.
Referee: Howard Webb
‘If we can come to a side like Wolves
and get a result, that gives us the confidence to take into our league
campaign and the belief that we can go out and get results anywhere,’
‘They’re a strong side, but I don’t
think we nicked it. I thought we moved the ball well and it felt like a
deserved win. It’s always nice to get through in the Cup.’
Indeed, Birmingham enjoyed by far the
better of this replay, but it looked like their efforts would come to
nothing as the game entered its final stages.
Then 17-year-old winger Nathan
Redmond combined with Jean Beausejour to force a corner. Jordon Mutch’s
centre was met by David Murphy and Elliott fell over as he helped the
ball towards goal. His effort hit the post, but when Murphy pushed the
ball back, the 33-year-old poked it into the net.
It was justice for Birmingham who
clearly wanted the fourth-round date with Sheffield United.For Wolves,
only Christophe Berra was retained from the side that battled to a point
at Tottenham and they offered little in terms of application or method.
Breakthrough: Wade Elliott scores the winner for Birmingham
In it goes: Elliot sends Birmingham through
Apart from a couple of sweetly struck long-range efforts, Wolves did not threaten until the final moments.
Birmingham’s second-choice keeper
Colin Doyle had pulled off a fine double save in the first meeting. And
he needed to produce the same trick in the dying stages, denying Steven
Fletcher and Stephen Hunt.
Tough battle: Eggert Jonsson battles with Jordan Mutch
That, really, was the sum of Wolves’
efforts. Birmingham, in contrast, should have scored in the opening half
when Berra horribly misjudged a lofted ball, allowing Adam Rooney a
clear run on goal.
The forward hesitated, though, allowing George Elokobi to recover the situation with a tackle that bordered on a foul.
Sport hurts: Jean Beausejour lies on the floor after a clash with teammate Stephen Caldwell
Bodies on the line: Adam Rooney goes down from the challenge of George Elokobi
Until the late drama, the game had
fallen short of the feast of football ITV bosses had hoped for when they
decided to air this replay. The first game had been abject. For a long
time, the highlight of the evening was the exchange between ITV
presenter Adrian Chiles — a West Bromwich Albion fan — and Wolves
legend Steve Bull before kick-off.
The Molineux favourite held up a
Tesco carrier bag — the derogatory term Wolves fans use to describe
their neighbours. Bull had little else to crow about.
Getting there first: Adam Rooney beats Elokobi to the ball
‘I’m livid,’ said hosts’ boss Mick McCarthy, ‘I’ve got loads of complaints but not one of them is directed against Birmingham.
‘I’ve said my piece in the dressing
room. I didn’t want to lose tonight. Some of the changes were forced
upon me, others weren’t.
Warm embrace: Birmingham City captain Steven Cadwell hugs Steven Fletcher at the final whistle
Not part of the plan: Wolves manager Mick McCarthey reacts to getting knocked out of the FA Cup
‘But winning games creates a winning mentality. They are all Premier League players. But they didn’t show me that tonight.’
Hughton has inherited a difficult situation at St Andrew’s. His calm and sensible manner has undoubtedly settled everyone down.
The fact that his squad will now play
a minimum of 58 games this season has not been lost upon him, either.
‘I’ve got a group that likes playing football,’ he said, ‘and this was a