After a strong cup win in midweek, there was a need to continue the home record, facing a Bristol City side who have started the season well themselves. An unchanged side from which that began the season at Portman Road a week ago, with Jutkiewitz still injured, it was again the turn of Clayton Donaldson to lead the lineup front with the injection of Che Adams who scored a hat-trick in the cup on Tuesday, in behind him.
It was the visitors who started the game the brighter and indeed were the better of the two sides for the entire first half. Bristol City came out of the traps at the beginning of the game really well, Blues did not know what had hit them and from the whistle, Blues were under heaps and heaps of pressure. New signing Diedhiou hit a thunderous strike from the edge of the box which struck the woodwork, but that was only to be played into the feet of Bobby Reid who placed the ball into the centre of the net to steer the away team into a very quick 0-1 lead.
Blues could not get a grip on the game, so Lee Johnson’s side kept on coming. Diedhiou continued to be a real handful for the Blues defence, his strength was unreal and his skill to hold up the ball was causing all sorts of problems for the centre back pairing of Morrison and Roberts. There continued to be chances from Bristol City, they looked extremely impressive, but Blues slowly began to make their way into the game and they did, half an hour in from a corner kick, played back and on the half volley, the bluenose himself Craig Gardner struck home and levelled the game up going into half time.
I am not too sure was what said in the away changing room at half time, but it seemed to down their spirits and whatever Mr Redknapp said to the boys in royal blue worked because it was the home team who came out the traps well his time, with them piling on the pressure to the visitors. It wouldn’t have come as a surprise to many, that Blues were to come into the game; the Robins were never going to keep Blues quiet for long. Bristol City’s chances on goal in the second half didn’t harm David Stockdale, whereas ours troubled Frank Fielding. Che Adams came into the game more and began to cause problems for the Bristol City back four, just as Diedhiou did for Blues in the first half. Chance after chance for the Blues and it seemed to be the good old phrase used of a game of two halves which in all fairness it was… Something had to give!
David Cotterill came back into the fold in the cup in midweek, and he was brought on as another sub which was forced by injury, just like David Davis and Grounds were at the beginning of the second half; this time it was Che Adams who is a hugely critical part of the Birmingham side. Cotts bought a bit power into the team, and delivered a helping hand to Emilio Nsue on the right-hand side who was sometimes having to deal with Calum O’dowda and Diedhiou, who smuggled his way onto the wing to try and cut in and take a shot at Stockdale.
It was nearing the last fifteen minutes of the game and the pressing, paid off in the 74th minute, when a run out wide from Jaques Maghoma, who took the ball past three men to shoot it home from just outside the box, to stick the Blues 2-1 to the good. You’d have thought that would have been it for action, Blues would just sit back and park the bus, but instead we went for it to try and kill the visitors off. Then a pickup pass by O’dowda wasn’t received so well from Mikael Kieftenbeld, who flew in and what looked like two-footed fouled the Bristol City number eleven. Everybody in the stands were convinced it was going to be just a yellow card, but the referee made a controversial decision to send the Blues number six off immediately, to the anger of Stephen Gleeson who got booked by the referee… It was all action and a really exciting second half!
Blues were down to ten men, and with Bristol City playing well, you still had that nervous bone in your body which was telling you they were going to make it 2-2, but they didn’t. They did however come very close a minute from time with an effort smacked against the woodwork by goalscorer Bobby Reid, but Blues held firm for their first win of the season and kick started their season and now sit with three points from two. The away side, on the other hand, shouldn’t be too disheartened as they played well and at times there was a look of menace in the side; mainly in the first half.
An all round good performance and a game of two halves.
Have a watch of our Fan Cam below:
RB Nsue , CB Morrison , CB Roberts , LB Grounds
CM Gardner , CM N’doye
RM Davis , CF Adams , LM Maghoma
RB Pisano , CB Wright , CB Hegeler , LB Bryan
RM Brownhill , CM Smith , CM Pack , LM Paterson
RS Reid , LS Diedhiou
Possession – Blues 40% , Bristol City 60%
Shots – Blues 18 , Bristol City 25
Shots on target – Blues 8 , Bristol City 3
Corners – Blues 2 , Bristol City 10
Fouls – Blues 15 , Bristol City 15
Yellow Cards – Blues 1 , Bristol City 2
Red cards – Blues 1 , Bristol City 0
NEXT UP: Bolton at Home Tuesday, KRO!