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TOWN 1 BIRMINGHAM 1

13 April 2019

Edwards on target but Town's stay in the Championship is over

Town gave it everything in the second-half but couldn’t find a winner as the Club’s stay in the Championship comes to an end.

Birmingham dominated the first-half, scored early on through Lukas Jutkiewicz and could have wrapped the game up by half-time.

Blues played on the front foot straight after the break though and levelled immediately with Gwion Edwards volleying in.

Alan Judge hit the inside of the post seconds later and then was denied by Lee Camp as Town pressed for that second goal with Edwards so close to a dramatic winner in added on time that would have preserved Championship status for another week but that goal wouldn’t come.

Blues got off to the worst possible start on six minutes, Jutkiewicz tapping home from three yards after Maxime Colin escaped down the right.

Che Adams tested Bart Bialkowski with a shot from 20 yards, then Jutkiewicz  was inches away from grabbing a second from a cross as the visitors threatened to take advantage of their dominant opening.

Kerim Mrabti could have made it two but scuffed his shot when in a great position after good work by Jutkiewicz down the right, Town responding with Myles Kenlock firing over from the angle of the box then Bart Bialkowski was at full stretch to deny Jota.

Jota threatened a second for Birmingham just before the half hour, his goalbound shot hit Jutkiewicz, his effort from the rebound cleared by Luke Chambers, then the Town skipper in the right place to stop the danger again from Adams as Garry Monk’s side continued to look a danger.

Jutkiewicz smashed a free-kick over the bar from the edge of the box, while at the other end Lee Camp tipped over Alan Judge’s free-kick from further out,  Gary Gardner way over with a speculative effort.

Chambers held firm as Gardner looked to get in, Jutkiewicz wide and over with another free-kick from 30 yards, then Bialkowski dealt comfortably with Adams’ free-kick in the last kick of a first-half that was dictated by the visitors.

Kayden Jackson replaced Andre Dozzell at the break and Town were level inside 60 seconds of the re-start, Edwards volleying in superbly at the far post from the substitute’s cross.

Judge looked to have put Town in front a minute later when he got on the end of a cross but his volley hit the inside of the post and was cleared off the line.
Collin Quaner was denied from close range, Jackson just off with a curler as Town looked a completely different side.

Bialkowski saved from Adams after good link up play with Jutkiewicz as  Birmingham got a respite from Town’s onslaught, Adams then sending a fierce effort wide of the far post.

Mrabti was just wide with a left footer from David Davis’ cross as the visitors got a foothold in the second-half, Judge whipping in another dangerous delivery that just evaded Jackson before James Collins was replaced by Toto Nsiala in Town’s second change on the hour.

Quaner diverted Edwards’ cross just wide, Connor Mahoney on for Jota as  Birmingham changed it up, Judge then going close with another effort.

Jutkiewicz headed over with a free header from a corner, Judge denied by an excellent save from Camp, then Edwards saw a strike blocked in the last minute as Town’s 17 year stay in the Championship came to an end at the final whistle.

Town: Bialkowski, Emmanuel, Chambers, Collins (Nsiala 60), Kenlock, Edwards, Skuse, Bishop, Dozzell (Jackson 46), Judge, Quaner. Subs not used: Gerken, Chalobah, Downes, Bree, El Mizouni. Booked: Edwards, Collins, Skuse, Chambers, Nsiala.

Birmingham: Camp, Pedersen, Colin, Adams, Jutkiewicz, Dean, Mrabti (Maghoma 90), G.Gardner, Jota (Mahoney 70), Davis, Morrison. Subs not used: Trueman, Roberts, C.Gardner, Vassell, Harding. Booked: Pedersen.
Att: 17, 248


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