Blues Scrape Past Brentford
26 Oct 2010
Birmingham went through to the quarter finals of the Carling Cup on Tuesday night, but only just after Brentford pushed them all the way to penalties before Blues won the shoot-out.
It looked grim for Birmingham at one time and they looked like being the second Premier League side to be knocked out by the Bees after Sam Wood fired home from 15 yards halfway through the second half.
But the game entered stoppage time and up popped the old warhorse Kevin Phillips to break the hearts of the travelling army from London.
Blues made seven changes from the side that beat Blackpool last time out, but that`s no excuse, they should still have been strong enough to see off Brentford.
The first half produced nothing much to write home about but early in the second half Gardner forced a save out of the Brentford keeper when he fired at goal from 30 yards.
Brentford were no pushovers, they forced Ridgewell to put the ball over his own bar and then Spillane nearly opened the scoring when he sent in a shot on the volley that Michel cleared off the line.
But on 69 minutes the travelling Brentford fans went mental when MacDonalds header from a Weston cross fell for Wood and he fired home to shock Blues.
With two goals in his last two outings, Zigic was brought on to replace Derbyshire, but it was Gardner who got in the next effort that was tipped out by Lee.
At the other end Brentford could have secured the win but Woodman`s shot hit the top of the bar much to the relief of the home fans.
Zigic headed wide before Phillips rescued Blues with a goal in stoppage time after being set up by Ridgewell.
In extra time there was a couple of chances for the home side and then a late free kick for Brentford had the alarm bells ringing again but it was blocked.
The game went to penalties, Phillips, Gardner, Dann and Carr all made no mistake from twelve yards while Bowyer fired over. O'Connor, Hunt and Grabban all beat Taylor, Spillane hit the bar, before Taylor denied Woodman.
Blues through, but only just.
Blues: Maik Taylor, Stephen Carr, Lee Bowyer, Liam Ridgewell, Craig Gardner, Kevin Phillips, Garry O'Connor (Nathan Redmond, 64), Matt Derbyshire (Nikola Zigic, 77), Scott Dann, Michel (Barry Ferguson, 91), Stuart Parnaby.
Subs not used: Ben Foster, Roger Johnson, Barry Ferguson, Keith Fahey, Akwasi Asante.
Brentford: Richard Lee, Kevin O'Connor, Craig Woodman, Marcus Bean, Charlie MacDonald (David Hunt, 101), Myles Weston (Robbie Simpson, 83), Michael Spillane, Sam Wood, Karleigh Osborne, Gary Alexander (Lewis Grabban, 75), Leon Legge.
Subs not used: Simon Royce, David McCracken, Pim Balkestein, Toumani Diagouraga.