Birmingham Bruise Cork City at Canter
Turner's Cross Stadium
08 July 2014/18:45
Birmingham City began their pre-season preparations with a friendly against Cork City today. Hundreds of Blues fans packed out the away end on this Tuesday evening to see their team run in a comfortable pre-season victory.
Cork City fielded a much changed side in preparation for their league that restarts on Friday. They had many changes according to local media in order for their manager to get a good luck at who could be in contention for their league team. Blues fielded two separate outfield teams, possibly to give Lee Clark an early look at everyone.
Birmingham started comfortably with Stephen Gleeson crossing from the left only to be headed wide from Donaldson. Reece Brown just a few short minutes later turned in the box to shoot over the crossbar.
Cotterill caused Cork problems down the left hand side, one chance saw him cut inside to have a curling short bounce past the post. Three minutes later Cotterill`s cross met a committed header from Paul Robinson to put Birmingham in front (1-0).
Blues were keeping the ball well and controlling the game as it slowed towards the halfway point. Further trouble down the left hand side would follow, Cotterill`s freekick was headed off the post from Jonathan Grounds and another attempt from 30-yards would flash wide.
As the end of the half neared, a Cork reminder that they were still in the game. Rob Lehane played in Andrew Neville for a strong shot, saved by Doyle. Half time and Blues class keeping them comfortably in front; although they had given away a few lose balls within their own half unpunished.
Ten changes took place at half time as Lee Clark changed everyone but goalkeeper Colin Doyle.
Birmingham started the second half on the front foot, Paul Caddis rattled the post with a crashing shot early on and Colin Doyle claimed an early Cork City corner. Shortly after, the game slowed to a familiar friendly pace.
Just as you thought not much was happening, another Caddis moment with a quickly taken shot that whistled just wide. Despite the slowing pace Birmingham continued to look dangerous.
The Blues continued to threaten as Duffy picked up the ball in the centre of the field, no Cork city player in sight the player drove forward but couldn`t drive his shot past the keeper as the shot was saved.
Gray was putting in some hard work in midfield winning the ball back and feeding it out to Mark Duffy. David Edgar also had a good intervention as Cork went through with pace but the defender muscled in and retrieved the ball.
The second half certainly saw a calmed display from both teams; the Blues fans took it upon themselves to knock the ball around amongst themselves in the stands. It could be said Blues were less effective without Cotterill on the field, although Caddis was certainly playing with licence to get forward.
Birmingham continued to pepper the Cork goal, Paul Caddis curled a shot from the edge of the area, it curled into O`Brien`s gloves with 20 minutes to go. It wasn`t for another ten minutes until Blues next chance. Spector picked up the ball from a half clearance and his shot went just wide, opposition keeper not getting there.
A sensational cross/shot from Caddis then flew into the top corner (2-0 83`). The right-back just as surprised as everyone else, he held his hand up in appreciation as O`Brien in goal couldn`t get to it.
During the last ten minutes, Cork blocked a few shots that led to a corner. Following the corner the ball bounced around in the area, Gleeson`s effort bounced to Novak who finished with a very close range 6 yard box(3-0 89`).
Full time, Cork City 0-3 Birmingham. Birmingham outplayed their opponents in the end, totally unworried by their lower classed opponents but they were well organised and up for the match. The final score line probably not a total reflection of the game but certainly not undeserved by the Blues. A good run out all in all as Blues finish off their Irish opponents 3-0 in the end.
Do leave your thought on Blues first run out below!
Birmingham's first half team: Cotterill
The Blues new boy had a great first half, really troubling the opposition down the left hand side. It was his corner that was headed in by Robinson and Blues missed him second half.
Second half team: Paul Caddis
In a friendly game that was slowing down, Caddis certainly took plenty of chances to let off his shot and helped kept Blues dangerous. His shot was a right looper, but if you don't buy a ticket you won't score a fluky goal.