Shrewsbury Town 0-2 Birmingham City
Thomas (2′), Donaldson (15′)
Gary Rowett’s side continued their preparations for the new Championship season with a comfortable 2-0 win over Shrewsbury Town at New Meadow last night.
The Blues got off to a dream start as Wes Thomas capitalised on a weak back pass to beat Shrewsbury goalkeeper Callum Burton to the ball and finish into an empty net.
Abu Ogogo and Akpro then both threatened with long-range strikes for the hosts, before the visitors doubled their lead with a clinical break.
It was Jacques Maghoma who beat the the Shrews’ offside trap and unselfishly squared the ball for Clayton Donaldson to fire home from close range.
There was little goalmouth action in the second half until Scott Vernon beat Tomasz Kuszczak to a Shrewsbury free kick and nodded home, only to see his effort disallowed.
David Cotterill came within inches of putting Birmingham further ahead twice in a minute late on as he first saw a 40-yard lob stopped on the line, before then lashing a right-footed volley narrowly over.
Northampton Town 2-2 Birmingham
Adams (45′, 59′)
Gray (3′), Novak (68′)
Northampton Town earned a credible 2-2 draw with Blues in the pre-season clash at Sixfields Stadium last night.
On a night that saw Gary Rowett’s side play two friendlies, the other a 2-0 win against Shrewsbury Town, Blues were pushed close by a spirited Northampton side.
However it was the visitors who dominated early on as Andrew Shinnie picked Lee Novak out with a slick back-heel, who in turn teed up Demarai Gray to fire home inside the opening three minutes.
Ryan Cresswell nearly headed his side level when he met a Nicky Adams corner midway through the first half, but his effort flew narrowly over the bar.
Trialist Peniel Mlapa was the next to go close as the Borussia Monchengladbach striker just failed to get the required contact on a Novak cross.
Just as it seemed the Championship side would carry their early lead through to the interval, Adams cut inside from the right and curled a left-footed effort around Adam Legzdins to level the tie.
Things nearly got even better for the Cobblers as Lawson D’Ath had the ball in the back of the net 10 minutes after the restart, but his effort was ruled out as he knocked the ball out of Legzdins’ hands.
It was a warning shot for Blues, however, they find themselves behind when Adams finished well inside the Birmingham area on the hour mark, only for Novak to pull Rowett’s team level on 68 minutes.
Both sides had late chances to snatch the win, but it remained level at full time.
Mlapa, who featured in the game, flies back to Germany on Wednesday after a short trial period with Blues.
The striker began his career at TSV 1860 München and then moved to TSG Hoffenheim.
Here’s what Rowett had to say about him:
He is a player we have identified,” said Rowett.
“Two or three years ago he was going to be the next big thing in Germany, he scored something like 10 goals for the under-21s in 21 games.
“He had a real pedigree. He moved to Borussia Mönchengladbach for three million euros and then, perhaps typical of a young player who has done so much so soon, just lost his way a little bit.
“We contacted Borussia Mönchengladbach and said ‘we like him, we have seen lots of videos and clips’ – I’ve probably watched about 15 of his games – and we felt it was worth bringing him over if we could.
“They have been good enough to let us look at him in training for a day, look at him in a game. “I think you could see he gives you something a little bit different.
“You have to imagine if he was a lot fitter and if he was a lot more up to speed with what we’re trying to do. “But it was a worthwhile exercise.”
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