Report: Birmingham City 0-1 Millwall

ALAN Dunne headed a second-half winner as Millwall finally ended their Birmingham hoodoo.

The Lions had not beaten the Blues at St Andrew's since 1968 but Dunne nodded in the rebound after his initial effort was saved to steal the points.

Millwall defended for their lives as the clock ticked down but Lee Martin and Lee Gregory both went close to adding a second goal.

The Lions are now level with fourth-bottom Brighton and within striking distance of Charlton and Rotherham after they both lost their midweek fixtures.

Michael Tonge's inclusion was one of four changes made to Millwall's starting XI by Ian Holloway.

Tonge, signed on loan from Leeds United, made his debut alongside Shaun Williams in midfield as Jimmy Abdou was dropped to the bench.

Ed Upson and Magaye Gueye were also named among the substitutes, with wingers Martin and Martyn Woolford recalled to the side in their place.

There was also an alteration to the back four as Nottingham Forest loanee Dan Harding replaced Mark Beevers at left back.

Martin, who had missed Saturday's defeat to Huddersfield with a rib injury, drilled the first chance of the match wide after a half-cleared corner broke kindly to him 20 yards out.

Diego Fabbrini then scampered through the heart of midfield before playing a pass to Maierhofer, but the striker was flagged offside as he went to pull the trigger.

In the 15th minute, Woolford and Martin exchanged passes before the latter fired in a cross which Fabbrini acrobatically hooked towards goal, but Randolph saved comfortably.

The Lions' best opening of the half followed soon after as Woolford played a one-two with Maierhofer before lifting the ball over Randolph but onto the underside of the bar.

Debutant Tonge blasted wide from 30 yards and Harding tested Randolph again after running from inside his own half to the edge of the box as Millwall continued to press.

But after the Lions' dominant start, the game began to even out after the half-hour mark as Birmingham saw more of the ball.

The Blues almost hit Millwall with a sucker punch when Clayton Donaldson wriggled past Alan Dunne and Jos Hooiveld to set him through on goal but David Forde thwarted him with a fingertip save.

Maierhofer and Shaun Cummings shot wide from distance and David Davis and David Cotterill both had efforts on goal as the sides exchanged half-chances before the half-time whistle.

Maierhofer and Tonge had pot-shots from range in the opening stages of the second half before Donaldson headed tamely wide of the far post after being picked out by Cotterill.

But it was the Lions who took the lead in the 51st minute when Dunne met Martin's free kick and forced the ball home at the second attempt after his initial effort was parried.

Martin almost added a second goal when he shifted the ball into his left foot before drilling a shot hard and low at Randolph, who got down quickly to parry the ball away.

The hosts chucked on £5million-rated youngster Demarai Gray after falling behind and Forde had to be alert to tip his dangerous cross-shot behind for a corner, which Millwall cleared.

Jonathan Grounds hit the bar for the Blues with a powerful back-post header in the 74th minute as the Lions survived a major scare.

But sub Lee Gregory went agonisingly close to making it 2-0 when he got a toe to Cummings' low cross, drawing a fine point-blank stop from Randolph.

Birmingham's last notable effort on goal was Gray's rising drive that sailed over the bar in the 86th minute.

Play went on for 60 seconds beyond the five additional minutes that were signalled at the end of normal time but Holloway's men dug deep to protect their slender lead.

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

72 thoughts on “Report: Birmingham City 0-1 Millwall

  • February 10, 2015 at 21:51
    Permalink

    I wasn't expecting that! EIO!!!

    Like (31)
    Dislike (2)
    • February 11, 2015 at 23:43
      Permalink

      @southlondon1885: hopefully when that loan window opens and we fingers crossed sign chris wood then i think mid table will be us for this year!

      Like (1)
      Dislike (0)
  • February 10, 2015 at 21:54
    Permalink

    Always confident after Saturday, Life with the Lions!

    Nothing else compares

    Like (19)
    Dislike (1)

You must have an active subscription to view further comments and leave your own.