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13 December 2016

Webster nets his first Town goal but it's a consolation as Blues go down at St Andrew's

Adam Webster headed in his first goal in Town colours but it wasn’t enough to stop Blues going down at St Andrew’s.

The summer signing from Portsmouth got on the end of Tom Lawrence’s excellent cross midway through the second-half to give Town a lifeline. 

Mick McCarthy’s side swarmed forward looking for an equaliser in the last 20 minutes, Christophe Berra having a header ruled out but Birmingham held on to a Clayton Donaldson first-half penalty and a Michael Morrison goal to take the points. 

Town made one change from the side that drew with Cardiff at the weekend, Myles Kenlock coming in for hamstring victim Jonas Knudsen. 

Blues started positively, Lawrence almost getting on the end of Luke Varney’s cross after Webster had released him down the right, Tomasz Kuszczak then quickly off his line to deny Grant Ward getting in.

David McGoldrick had a left foot effort deflected over from Varney’s cross as Blues started the better, although at the other end Bart Bialkowski had to be alert to clear from Maikel Kieftenbeld after Berra’s back pass lacked pace.

Berra got on the end of a Lawrence corner moments later, his header forced clear by Morrison. 

Jonathan Spector linked up well with David Cotterill down the Birmingham right but his cross evaded all and drifted to safety as the home side began to get a foothold in the game. 

More good work by Webster saw him ease through the gears from defence to attack, he then found Kenlock down the left, his cross met by McGoldrick’s header under pressure and wide.

Bialkowski did well to beat out Lukas Jutkiewicz’s snapshot in the clearest effort at goal on 25 minutes, the increasingly prominent Lawrence weaving his way to goal as Blues responded before Morrison cleared.

It was Lawrence again who provided the danger for Town, his touch and pace on the ball carving an opportunity for McGoldrick, whose shot was diverted over superbly by Kuszczak in Town’s best moment of the first-half.

David Davis headed wide from a very difficult angle before Birmingham went ahead on 41 minutes, Varney judged to have blocked Jutkiewicz’s shot with his arm and Donaldson scored from the spot.

Town looked for an immediate response, Lawrence’s free-kick headed to safety by Ryan Shotton, then Donaldson appeared to fall awkwardly and was stretchered off in the last action of the first-half.

McGoldrick flashed a shot past the right hand post as the second-half got underway, Kieftenbeld responding with a 20 yarder deflected wide. From the corner, Stephen Gleeson’s close range strike was blocked.

Gary Rowett’s side doubled their advantage on 53 minutes, Morrison left unmarked to head home from Cotterill’s corner. 

Lawrence continued to provide the main attacking threat for Blues, bursting past Spector, his shot blocked by Shotton.

Brett Pitman replaced Varney in Town’s first change on the hour, Freddie Sears and Jonny Williams soon following with Ward and McGoldrick making way. 

Town were back in the game on 69 minutes, Lawrence the architect with a terrific cross and Webster climbed above everyone to head home. 

Sears blasted into the sidenetting as Town pressed for an equaliser, Che Adams unable to take advantage as Birmingham broke at the other end.  

Berra thought he had levelled for Town two minutes from time but referee Darren Bond ruled against the Scotland international, then Jonathan Douglas went down in the penalty box in the last seconds but the official decided no spot-kick as the home side held on for the points.

Birmingham: Kuszczak, Grounds, Shotton, Kieftenbeld, Gleeson, Donaldson (Adams 44), Cotterill (Maghoma 74), Jutkiewicz, Spector, Davis (Robinson 90), Morrison. Subs not used: Legzdins, Tesche, Solomon, Cogley. Booked: Cotterill, Davis.

Town: Bialkowski, Chambers, Webster, Berra, Kenlock, Skuse, Douglas, Ward (Williams 66), Lawrence, Varney (Pitman 60), McGoldrick (Sears 66). Subs not used: Gerken, Emmanuel, Bru, Dozzell. Booked: Chambers, Berra.
Att: 15, 212

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