Sunderland Triumph at St Andrews
27 August 2014 19:45
Attendance: 11,245 (1,997)
A rotated Birmingham team took on Premier League opposition in what proved to be a very tightly contested affair; for the most part.
The first moment of note came from Paul Caddis. His long ball forward was pushed wide of the post by Pantilimon. Wes Thomas then sent a ball across the Sunderland box that flew wide.
Sunderland did force a corner but it was comfortably dealt with by Blues. Larsson also had a free kick swinging cross caught by Colin Doyle.
David Cotterill had a cross cleared away from the back post after a positive run at Sunderland. Johnson then delivered a ball in from the left which Altidore missed, the striker then headed over Larsson`s return cross.
Eardley was an early casualty for Blues as he was taken off for Spector on the half hour mark. Duffy produced the most clear cut chance for Blues, a promising ball put wide from just six yards out, by Donaldson.
Sunderland`s Connor Wickham was next up to try and break the deadlock, his shot fizzed over. Blues responded by hitting the post, a scramble in the box lead to Cotterill drilling it goalwards only to see it strike the post.
The teams went in at half time both feeling they may have been able to open the scoring. Blues had held their own against Premier League opposition.
Blues were the first to make a change in the second half, Clark brought on Lee Novak for Mark Duffy. Panic temporarily set in for Blues with some goal mouth danger before it was scrambled clear, following a corner.
Sebastian Larsson swung in a corner hoping to break the deadlock, Wickham couldn`t manage a finish and he sliced it wide. Gleeson then went close with a right-footed effort just wide of the goal.
A great effort then broke the deadlock. Jordi Gomez fired beyond Doyle from around the 25 yard mark, a solid drive to put the visitors ahead. Donaldson then got a shot away which was saved by Pantilimon. A long ball forward was headed forward for him.
Donaldson again tried to grab one back, an overhead kick from a corner went wide. From a counter attack Altidore had his shot saved before Johnson tapped in the rebound. Blues were again caught on the counter attack as Wickham raced away and slotted home for 3-0 to Sunderland.
The game finished 3-0 to the Premier League visitors in a score line that probably didn`t really tell the full story. Birmingham were always in it right up until the very end. Lee Clark`s men will now turn their attention back to the Sky Bet Championship.