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Match Reports

BIRMINGHAM 2 TOWN 2

29 September 2018

Town denied after Nolan and Pennington first-half strikes

A second-half double from Lukas Jutkiewicz denied Town a first win of the season at St Andrew’s.

Jon Nolan and Matt Pennington scored their first goals for the Club to put Blues in command at the break.

Jutkiewicz got the home side back in the game early in the second-half and the levelled things up midway through the half with a close range finish.

Pennington was dismissed for a second booking late on and it took an excellent save from Dean Gerken to deny Che Adams a winner in the last seconds of the game.

Town stayed with the same side that drew with Bolton last week, with Gerken making his 100th appearance for the Club.

Birmingham started on a positive note and Trevoh Chalobah cleared the danger from Jota’s free-kick, then the Chelsea loanee was in the right place to stop Maxime Colin getting in.

Gerken twice came to Town’s rescue in quick succession as Adams threatened an early opener, with Gary Gardner rattling the post from 20 yards in a flurry of activity around Blues’ goal.

Grant Ward led a counter for Town but pulled his shot well wide from distance, Nolan then releasing Jonas Knudsen with a neat ball down the left, the cross volleyed over from a sharp angle by Gwion Edwards.

It was Town who got the breakthrough on 26 minutes, Pennington did well defensively and then attacking wise to feed Kayden Jackson down the flank and Nolan arrived in the box to find the far corner with a terrific finish.

Nolan almost released Jackson with a pass inside the Birmingham rearguard as Town looked for a quick fire double, Jutkiewicz headed wide after Michael Morrison had forced on a free-kick, then Gerken held on from Jacques Maghoma’s cross.

Birmingham were inches away from an equaliser when Morrison thumped a header from Jota’s free-kick past Gerken but Knudsen came out of nowhere to hook the ball off the line and soon after Town doubled the lead, Ward’s corner forced in by Pennington with his left foot.

Toto Nsiala cleared from Adams as the home side looked for a response before the break, Knudsen doing likewise as Jota looked to get in, while at the other end Lee Camp was quickly off his line as Jackson looked to get on the end of Ward’s lofted pass over the top.

Birmingham made a change at the break with Maikel Kieftenbeld replacing Gardner.

Pennington won an early free-kick for Blues with a driving run, Nolan fizzing a free-kick a yard wide but within three minutes of the restart, Jutkiewicz got Birmingham right back in the game with a cool finish from Jota’s pass.

Chalobah covered superbly to put the ball behind after Maghoma and Jota had combined down the left, Pennington then yellow carded after Nsiala had lost possession but Town held firm from the free-kick.

Ward couldn’t get any power with his finish after Chalobah had fed the ball into the box, Edwards then dancing around the home defence but his cross evaded Ward at the far post.

Charlie Lakin made way for Connor Mahoney in Birmingham’s second change, Gerken then producing an excellent save to keep out Adams’ shot, Morrison then seeing his header hit the top of the bar.

Knudsen was penalised for a challenge and Garry Monk’s side took full advantage on 68 minutes, Town failing to clear from Jota’s free-kick and Jutkiewicz buried his shot in the top corner.

Mahoney was allowed to weave his way deep into Town’s box, his shot forced behind as Birmingham pressed for a third, Jota firing over from the edge of the box.

Freddie Sears replaced Ward for the final 10 minutes, Mahoney curled a left footer wide, Sears and Edwards so close to a third for Town after Jackson had beaten the offside flag.

Pennington was shown a red card after a second booking, with Janoi Donacien immediately replacing Edwards and both sides could have won it in the final moments, Sears denied at one end, then Gerken producing a terrific save to keep out Adams with the last kick of the game.

Birmingham: Camp, Pedersen, Colin, Adams, Jutkiewicz, Dean, Maghoma, Gardner (Kieftenbeld 46), Jota, Morrison, Lakin (Mahoney 65). Subs not used: Trueman, Roberts, Bogle, Soloman-Otabor, Harding.

Town: Gerken, Pennington, Chambers, Nsiala, Knudsen, Edwards (Donacien 88), Skuse, Nolan, Chalobah, Ward (Sears 80), Jackson. Subs not used: Bialkowski, Downes, Dozzell, Edun, Graham. Sent-off: Pennington. Booked: Pennington, Skuse.

Att: 21,612


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