Blackburn Bully Birmingham 4-2
Monday 21 April
Attendance: 17, 291
Birmingham suffered another defeat yesterday at the hands of Blackburn, a team that proved too tall for Blues in the end.
Blues started brightly with a Huws freekick headed onto the roof of the net by Will Packwood. But it was to be short lived as Birmingham were let off hugely as a ball across the box was fired well over by Rudy Gestede (6`).
Gestede got another chance though and he headed home (10`). King`s ball in and Gestede climbed above the Birmingham defenders and scored an easy header. Exactly 10 minutes later he was at it again, this time a FK delivered a good ball into the Birmingham area and it was 2-0.
Good news for the travelling fans as they only had to wait 4 more minutes before Todd Kane`s hopeful effort from distance beat Randolph as he took a step in the other direction and couldn`t correct himself. Randolph did however play well despite being unsighted by this goal.
Then on came Zigic for Brian Howard who hadn`t been able to make his mark on the game on the left side for Birmingham, Reilly behind him also struggled.
Blackburn continued to have the better of the half, King forced a good save from Randolph (41`). In additional time added on Gestede scored his hat trick of headers from Conway`s ball in.
Blackett, who struggled, was taken off at half time for Mitch Hancox. Hancox did not start through fear of further injury, this was revealed by Lee Clark after the game.
Macheda almost had Birmingham back in it as Zigic cleverly took a quick through as Macheda latched onto it, the shot was well saved by Robinson (48`).
63 minutes, Zigic placed a header into the corner of Robinson`s net after a good ball in from Reilly. Just a few minutes later Zigic again tested Robinson with an effort low to his right.
Finally Gray came on for Lovenkrands who also hadn`t been in the game to a large extent. Huws then went down with a nasty head collision with Jason Lowe (78`) Birmingham played the rest of the game with 10 men.
Gray scored his first senior goal for Birmingham, his shot lowly driven into Robinson`s net from the edge of the area (84`).
It was to finish like that as Birmingham played a good 60 minutes chasing a 4-0 advantage. Burke after the game explained how the team need to get the basics right and thanked the fans for their support.
Lee Clark questioned the work rate of the players and bemoaned their inability to play at full intensity for 90 minutes.
Your reactions on our twitter picked out several problems, Blackett at centre back was not well received as was Packwood at rightback when it seemed you wanted him in the middle. There was a general disappointment with the teams effort (this excluding Zigic, Randolph, Hancox and some others).
Gestede took his chances well and advantage of a shy Birmingham back line who sunk further and further into their box early on.