Blues Behind After First Leg
Birmingham City were left playing catch up after the first leg of the Carling Cup semi final in which they went down 2-1 to West Ham.
After going a goal down to a strike from Mark Noble, things got better for the Blues when Liam Ridgewell equalised and then Victor Obinna was given a red card.
But a howler from keeper Ben Foster allowed the hammers to come to St Andrews for the second leg with a narrow lead.
It was not a fitting end for Foster, he had kept Blues in the game with good saves from Matthew Upson, Jonathan Spector, James Tomkins and Obinna.
Birmingham fell behind to a great strike from a tight angle by Noble on 13 minutes, Foster seeing the ball late after Scott Dann had obscured his vision of the shot.
Blues were level in the 56th minute when Ridgewell rose to head home a Seb Larsson corner which gave Rob Green no chance.
Obinna then saw red for kicking out at Larsson in full view of referee Phil Dowd, who showed no hesitation in sending him off.
Blues pressed but they could not find a finish to ram home their numeric advantage so substitute Carlton Cole grabbed the softest of goals.
It settled the game, but Blues have an away goal for the second leg at St Andrew`s on January 26th
West Ham: Green, Upson, Spector, Faubert, Reid, Tomkins, Parker, Noble (Kovac, 89 ) , Sears (Hines, 74 ) , Piquionne (Cole, 73 ) , Obinna (sent off 59)
Subs not used: Boa Morte,Boffin,Spence,Nouble,
Birmingham: Foster, Ridgewell, Carr, Dann ( Murphy, 46 ) , Johnson, Fahey, Larsson ( Zigic, 87 ) , Ferguson, Gardner, Hleb ( Beausejour, 83 ) , Jerome
Subs not used: Taylor, Derbyshire, Mutch, Jiranek,
Referee: P Dowd (Staffordshire)
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