REPORT: Blues V Derby

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Blues continue to stay unbeaten after a 1-1 thriller at home to Derby County.

After an entertaining game on Friday night under the lights at St. Andrews it saw both teams record 19 plus shots on goal. Both teams are currently unbeaten in the league and also looking for promotion back to the Premier League. The game was televised live on Sky Sports and fans were not disappointed after a very end to end game.

Blues lined up in their typical 4-2-3-1. Kuszczak in the net, Caddis, Morrison, Spector and Grounds at the back. The midfield consisted of Gleeson, Kieftenbeld, Cotterill, Toral and Gray with Donaldson at lone striker.

First half

The game was seen in front of 18,000 fans. The game started very well for the home side, when a ball came up to Clayton Donaldson who tee’d it up perfectly for Demarai Gray who’s half-volleyed shot was saved well low by Carson. Another great opportunity came to Blues when Gleeson beautiful swinged in cross met Donaldson who’s header went just wide. Derby finally woke up after a slow start. The Ex-Villa man Darren Bent found the ball come to his feet from a tipped header but saw his shot saved well from Kuszczak.

The Rams really started to press the Blues when their best chance came from their record signing Tom Ince, attacking down the flank with a quick cut inside to see his fired shot ricurshay of the post. Minutes later England youngster Demarai Gray, found himself at the corner of the box where he cut inside to make a great attempt on goal, forcing the goalie to make a great save. The deadlock was finally broken in 45th minute when Stephen Gleeson’s first goal for the club which came from 35 yards saw a slight deflection off Chris Baird which was able to find its way into the Derby’s net. This had the home side heading into halftime up 1-0.

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Second half

The second half saw Derby look more threatening to level the score. 10 minutes in saw Birmingham’s goalie pull of a double save, first from Craig Forsyth’s powerful bending shot which bounced out to Chris Martin, who’s header was saved. Suddenly the game went to the other end has Gray had the ball, delivered it in well to Donaldson who’s blocked shot went to Toral, six yards out but the spaniard stretch out leg to shoot went just wide. It should of been 2-0 Blues which would of put the nail in the coffin.

That chance haunted Birmingham big time in the 61st minute as Derby’s winger Russell sprinted past the older Paul Caddis who’s thundered shot went in, leveling the score at 1-1. Blues seemed doomed as Derby thought they won a penalty but referee Lee Mason blew the whistle for diving. As time went on Derby looked certain to score when Tom Ince’s cross met the head of Darren Bent which tipped onto the top of the cross bar. Derby had another great opportunity when Andreas Weimann weak shot was deflected from Morrison which seemed to be going in when Kuszczak made a save to push it onto the post. Both teams fought to the end not lowering the high energy tempo. Once the final whistle blew a point each was well deserved. The draw adds to Derby’s fourth draw in the league.

Blues played very well against a strong side who are still looking for their first win. Blues also stay unbeaten at home in 11 games. Their next game comes this Tuesday at home in the 2nd round of the league cup against Gillingham.

Here’s Rowett’s thought’s on the game:

Are you pleased with Blues’ unbeaten streak? What are your predictions for this week’s cup game against Gillingham?

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