Horrific snowy conditions at St. Andrews for a game which was pretty much do or die for Birmingham City. The fans still made the effort to come and support their club and St. Andrews was practically a sell out; you must give the Hull fans credit as well for making the trip down the M1.
It was a huge game in a bid to stay in the league, before kick off, Hull sat 9 points above the bottom three which Birmingham guarded, whilst a win for the Blues would put them level on points with Barnsley knowing they had lost to high flying Millwall in the early kick off.
A win for Monk’s side and you’d say they have a fighting chance of survival with eight games still to go. Young Blues prospect Wes Harding started at right back but didn’t get off to the best of starts with a harsh yellow card given to him for a challenge on Harry Wilson, but from then on he kept his position tight and performed quite well.
The game then started off in quite good fashion for Blues, who came out the blocks better than Hull. Che Adams and Jaques Maghoma looked threatening and so did Jota, it was all hands to the pump for the home side. Garry Monk had saw his team come out on the the wrong side of two results in his opening two matches as Blues boss, but his team started well and he knew this was there for the taking, even if Hull had won their last two games scoring seven goals.
The blizzards were getting worse and at one point you thought the game was going to get called off but the players carried on and Blues took a very early lead, record signing Jota the scorer. From then on it was total Blues domination, the Tigers were second best throughout the entire match. Craig Gardner was substituted early after injuring himself, so Monk made a risky sub and on came Cheick N’Doye to the worry of the home faithful.
To the surprise of many, N’doye had a sterling game, headstrong in collisions with away midfielders and clearing danger when needed. He also made a few good passes, it was as if he has turned into a new player under Monk. Former Blues favourite Sebastian Larsson was moving well on the ball for Hull passing into space and looked like the only player for the away team who was putting a shift in, but Hull still couldn’t find an opening.
Liverpool youngster Harry Wilson looked sharp on the ball, but even he couldn’t come up with anything for the visitors. A slight glimmer from the Tigers when Jackson Irvine took it round a couple of the blues defenders but it was whiskers wide. The conditions the players were playing in were terrible and Nigel Adkins’ side were never going to be playing good football if they are second best.
Blues had many chances to go into the break three, or maybe four nill up. An over head kick by Che Adams saved and a good effort from Lukas Jutkiewitz which was also saved by Allan McGregor, who was keeping Hull in the game for sure. One early second half goal would do for the Blues to secure the win because throughout the entire first half Hull offered nothing and David Stockdale had virtually nothing to do. Whether he meant it or not is for a different time, but Blues’ lead was doubled by the ever growing striker that is Che Adams. He went to put the ball into the box, had no room so took it round the defender and what looked like an attempted cross, ended up in the back of the net and Blues went two to the good before fifty minutes.
It wouldn’t stop there as the solid blues defence turned straight into attack when Jota and Maghoma ran at the Hull defence, who frankly couldn’t handle the Blues pressure. Jota was through on goal after an assist from Che Adams to score his second of the game and that put Blues out of sight for good. Lukas Jutkiewicz then had a chance to make it four, but the flag was raised and he put a shot wide from quite close range. Delight then all the way round St. Andrews, apart from the away end, as Garry Monk’s side were lead to their first win under him in their third game and surely this meant a survival brewing. With Sunderland, Burton and Barnsley all losing things were looking up for once for Birmingham fans. Level on points with Barnsley, is the survival beginning? I think so!
RB Harding , CB Morrison , CB Dean , LB Colin
RM Jota , RCM Gardner , LCM Kieftenbeld , LM Maghoma
RS Adams , LS Jutkiewitz
RB Aina , CB Dawson , CB Mazuch , LB Clark
RCDM Larsson , LCDM Irvine
RW Bowen , CAM Henrikson , LW Wilson
Possession – Blues 38% , Hull 62%
Shots – Blues 13 , Hull 6
Shots on goal – Blues 8 , Hull 1
Corners – Blues 8 , Hull 5
Fouls committed – Blues 14 , Hull 8