An exciting fixture for all Bluenoses to look forward to, a cup tie against premier league oposition; AFC Bournemouth. They, who have lost both of their opening games in the league, came into this in bad form, but manager Eddie Howe made eight changes to the side that lost to Watford on Saturday; Blues on the other hand made severn. The game started off like any cup tie, end to end chances, a couple from either side.
Eleven minutes in, it was the home side who struck first to open the scoring, with Maikel Kieftenbeld hitting the back of the net with a right footed shot from six yards. Bournemouth didn’t seem to be fazed by it though, they hit back at Blues quite well. Jermaine Defoe was at large making his first start back at the cherries – he was challenging the new second choice Birmingham goalkeeper Tomas Kuszczak. Blues, leading up to the twenty minute mark came back into the game with chances from out of favour midfielder Stephen Gleeson and Jaques Maghoma. Although Blues didn’t have the majority of chances, they broke Bournemouth down pretty well and stopped them from equalising and potentially taking the lead off the back of that… Hary Redknapp said in his post match interview that it was one of Blues’ best first half performances since he took charge.
You could easily spot who was the premier league team, not to disrespect the Blues, or to single them out as a weak-link but Howe’s men were having plenty more attempts on goal and caused Blues a lot of problems at the back.
There was an injury to Blues defender Emilio Nsue and also to Bournemouth’s defender Tyrone Mings; only Emilio Nsue needed to be substituted, luckily for Tyrone Mings and the visitors he stayed on the pitch. The boys in royal blue had the lead going into the break, which was to most of the St Andrews faithful’s delight.
Second half began with Blues making a change, Isaac Vassal who’d made his first start for Blues after his move from League two Luton, for fellow striker Lukas Jutkiewicz. It certainly didn’t take Eddie Howe’s words of wisdom to take shape in the minds of the Bournemouth players, as Ryan Fraser brought the away team back into the tie with an inspirational run into the box to tuck away a right footed goal to make the scoreline one a piece.
One of the three new loan signings, Cohen Brammall had his first shot as a Blues player, but that unfortunately came to nothing. Bournemouth’s pressure was seemingly mounting and started slowly to tire the home team out, which made the room for them to play the football they wanted to and winger Marc Pugh was the man who began that trend with the premier league teams second goal of the game… From then on in, Blues did not really have a say in the game with Bournemouth still plunging deep to try and find a third goal to kill the Blues off for good.
It ended like that – 1-2 to the visitors and from their second half performance, they deserved it but if the home team had of took their chances in the first half, we could have been looking at a different scoreline at full-time. So Blues exit the cup, and not to the huge disappointment to many fans, it was to tough top flight opposition who turned up for the majority of the ninety minutes. The draw for the third round will be after the final match of the round on Thursday.
CB Shotton , CB Roberts , CB Grounds
RWB Nsue , LWB Bramall
CM Davis , CM Gleeson , CM Kieftenbeld
RS Maghoma , LS Vassell
RB A Smith , CB Mings , CB S Cook , LB B Smith
RM Fraser , CM Gosling , CM L Cook , LM Pugh
RS Defoe , LS Mousset
Possession – Blues 42% , Bournemouth 58%
Shots – Blues 8 , Bournemouth 19
Shots on target – Blues 2 , Bournemouth 11
Corners – Blues 2 , Bournemouth 7
Fouls – Blues 10 , Bournemouth 9