Blues Down Gulls in nervous tie
Blues: Maik Taylor, Melchiot (Bruce 76), Martin Taylor (Painter 82), Upson, Gray, Pennant, Kilkenny, Clemence, Dunn, Jarosik, Forssell.
Subs Not Used: Vaesen, Heskey, Sutton.
Goals: Jarosik 61, Forssell 81.
Gulls: Marriott, Lawless, Lloyd, Lockwood, Sharp, Phillips (Connell 66), Sako (Garner 53), Woods (Hewlett 85), Kuffour, Bedeau, Hill.
Subs Not Used: Hockley, Villis.
Ref: K Stroud (Hampshire).
Torquay’s big following and the management team were up for a Cup shock and their Chairman had been on Sky an hour before the kick off saying that he expected to win. In the end the Devon side had nothing to back up their arrogance that had so infuriated Blues manager Steve Bruce. True they acquitted themselves well and showed they would not be overawed by the occasion but apart from a free kick well hit by the giant Sako in the first half Maik Taylor had little to cause him any anxiety.
Birmingham for their part were probably more fearful of the Gulls than they needed to be. Although enjoying a large share of possession as usual Blues final ball found know one as crosses were met by even the smallest defender or drifted aimlessly wide. Eventually Blues manufactured an opening and Jarosik fired a left foot screamer which Marriott pushed away. Forssell was just unable to turn the rebound home.
Forssell then neatly took a Gray cross and switched feet before lashing a left footer against the post. The ball rebounded back into the goal mouth but again no-one was on hand to prosper.
The second half was much the same as the second with crosses and passes going astray. Eventually a Pennant cross was half cleared by Marriott and Kilkenny fired a volley at goal. Jarosik side footed the ball into an empty net. The celebration that followed defied belief as the Czech stood motionless and almost embarrassed to have scored. True he was having a stinker but one would have thought that a goal was worthy of some reaction.
Bruce took off Melchiot at this point, presumably to save him for Saturday’s fixture, and sent on his son Alex. As soon as the Dutchman was sat down Martin Taylor turned an ankle and had to go off. Such is Blues luck with injuries and you would have thought Brucie would have learnt his lesson by now.
Painter came on and as they re-grouped Blues came under a little pressure. The organisation was soon restored as the youngsters adopted a no nonsense approach.
The move of the night saw man of the match Pennant fire in yet another glorious cross and Forssell met it perfectly and left the keeper grasping at thin air.
Game over for the minnows and Blues go on to visit Reading in the 4th round.
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