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- BIRMINGHAM 1 ALBION 0
- Thomas heads winner (52)
- Blues edge drab contest
- Teixeira makes debut off the bench
- Six pages of coverage in The Argus on Monday
Birmingham ordinary beyond belief but still good enough to sneak a first home Championship win in 19 attempts. #bhafc— @AndyNaylorArgus 16 August 2014
Albion had an attack deep in four added minutes but Chicksen’s cross was too high for Calderon coming in from the far post.
And with that Birmingham had their first home league win in almost 11 months.
Teixeira has seen a lot of the ball, mainly out on the left, and tried a few tricks to get through a massed defence.
But the only effort of any note was a deflection by Chicksen of a cross – which sent the ball looping over.
Any hopes of a comeback were almost well and truly ended when Stockdale dropped a Cotterill shot. Greer, though, responded quicker than Donaldson and poked the ball away.
Then Albion had a free-kick, 25 yards out and centrally placed. Teixeira left no one in any doubt that it was his and curled about a yard over, right-footed.
Before the goal kick was taken, Albion sent on Fenelon for Mackail-Smith and Blues replaced attacking player Novak with defender Robinson.
As Will Buckley went on for his Premier League debut a few miles away at West Brom, this Albion so nearly fell two down at St Andrew’s.
Greer looked a bit unfortunate to be penalised for a challenge centrally placed just outside the box and Cotterill curled the free-kick narrowly wide.
Teixeira has the no.17 shirt.
Birmingham replaced injured midfielder Davis with ex-MK Dons man Stephen Gleeson - again, like for like.
Teixeira has slotted into LuaLua's role behind the front two.
A combination of their own increased urgency and some Birmingham nerves have led to the Seagulls coming more into the contest.
Calderon was bundled over five yards outside the Blues box just to the right of goal.
Forster-Caskey curled the free-kick left-footed over the wall and Randolph was well placed to tip over.
The ball was not in the top corner but was heading just under the bar.
Albion sent on Teixeira for LuaLua moments later.
Cotterill’s cross for the goal was one of the few bits of quality in a drab affair so far.
Bruno and Calderon combined nicely down the right a few minutes ago to win a corner but it was cleared.
Then Bruno chipped a free-kick towards Calderon’s run and his header back across goal caused a few problems until Mackail-Smith volleyed high and wide from a near impossible angle.
Remember Birmingham have gone 18 league games at home without a win.
Att: 14,955 (1,018 away)
Birmingham take the lead! 1-0 up v Brighton, Wes Thomas scoring. Warren Aspinall says: "Too easy. From one end to the other. 10 seconds."— @BBCSussexSport 16 August 2014
Within seconds of the restart, Albion work O'Grady into the Blues box but Spector saves his side with a last-ditch tackle.
A cross comes in from the Birmingham right and THOMAS is in space to bury a header past Stockdale from close range.
Albion's best effort so far comes from a corner won by Mackail-Smith down the right.
LuaLua delivers an accurate flag kick into the path of O’Grady’s run towards the near post and his glancing, downward header is saved by Randolph.
But then Blues go ahead....
Early second-half action sees Randolph catch a cross at one end and Ince head one away at the other.
Albion now attacking the goal closest to the away fans' section.
H-T Birmingham 0-0 Brighton. "We've had the best chances attacking-wise," says Warren Aspinall. "But more quality needed in final third"— @BBCSussexSport 16 August 2014
Dear old Frank W on the mike. By the sounds of him he has been enjoying the hospitality! #bhafc— @AndyNaylorArgus 16 August 2014
Birmingham fans around us clapped their team off.
I'd imagine Albion supporters in the far corner did likewise.
But it was a half lacking in quality.
Action involving two players of whom we had not seen enough – O’Grady and Randolph.
The former is released to the left of goal and tries to slide a shot across the latter, who dives low to his left and holds. LuaLua provided the pass to create that situation of a little promise for the Seagulls.
And that’s half-time....
Former #BHAFC and #BCFC star and HT guest Frank Worthington has just walked round the side of the pitch, to applause from both sets of fans.— @OfficialBHAFC 16 August 2014
Chicksen has just shown good awareness to prevent a potential moment of crisis for the Seagulls.
They failed to deal with a high ball into the box and, as it dropped towards Novak in front of goal, Chicksen was sweeping across behind his centre-backs to slide in and knock it away from the oncoming Blues striker.
Better now from Birmingham and Stockdale has two saves to make around the half-hour mark.
Routine saves, first low down from Caddis and then above his head from a powerful Spector shot when most of us expected a cross.
But saves all the same and enough to encourage home players and fans alike.
There was also a terrific run by Donaldson which took him away from Ince but was ended by a perfect tackle from Greer just outside the box.
Remember David Lopez’s volley into the Tilton End goal two seasons ago?
Bruno maybe does as he has just tried a volley of his own at that end – but it flew well over from outside the box.
He hit it first time after a poor Forster-Caskey free-kick had just been as poorly cleared!
At the other end, oohhs and aahs as the hosts are just unable to get on the end of a tempting low cross.
RT @casadelfutbol: Ulloa, el fichaje más caro de la historia del Leicester, estrenando su cuenta con la igualada ante el Everton. 1-1 http:…— @LBernat1 16 August 2014
Ulloa scoring for Leicester well played lad 👍 #bhafc— @MaxCumbes 16 August 2014
Home fans have just really found their voices as their side harried, hassled and hurried the Seagulls in possession.
It was tenacious stuff and the home supporters loved it as Albion were forced all the way back to Stockdale.
Albion, though, successfully kept the ball all that time, kept passing and eventually won a corner – from which Mackail-Smith’s back header dropped just over the bar.
Birmingham look marginally the brighter team so far.
Although he started on the left, Novak is a central striker and could potentially offer an additional threat.
He gravitated into a central position and let fly with a 25-yarder which went wide with Stockdale covering that post.
Stockdale earlier earnt applause from Albion fans when he came a long way to safely hold a free-kick hung up into the penalty area.
Here we go first @BHAFC_ away game at Brum @BrightonTogs http://t.co/xVISjb6n1L— @simondackpix 16 August 2014
It has been a subdued spectacle so far but Birmingham lifted their supporters momentarily with a move down the right which led to Davis forcing a corner which Bruno hacked clear.
We have pretty much a midfield diamond from Albion but LuaLua, at its most forward point, seems to have freedom.
He has drifted wide to the left a couple of times already.
No incidents of note as yet.
Albion had to clear an early cross rather hurriedly but Stockdale has just given a great example of his distribution skills with a drilled 50-yard pass to LuaLua.
The Seagulls fans have one half of one end, that closest to Stockdale's goal in the first period.
And we're under way...
Only mini-surprise is Chicksen starting, bearing in mind what Sami said in his press conference. But his overall options are limited. #bhafc— @AndyNaylorArgus 16 August 2014
As the teams walk out - with Albion in their NEw red and black away strip - a reminder of the Seagulls line-up (with confirmed formation).
CALDERON GREER HUGHES CHICKSEN
With Mr Blue Sky blasting out of the loudspeakers and echoing around the stands, what better time to start the live report from Birmingham?
The sun is coming out to brighten a very chilly, grey day here at St Andrew's - just as it as when Albion kick-started their season here a year ago.
That was their third league game of the campaign. This is their second.
But, like their hosts, Albion have yet to register a point this term. Both sides will see this as a good chance to change that.