Blues earn valuable win
Birmingham kept up the pressure at the top with a valuable 2-0 victory over rivals Bristol City.
Last Updated: 16/09/08 11:03pm
Birmingham kept up the pressure at the top of the Championship with a valuable away victory over rivals Bristol City.
The Blues raced into a two-goal lead at Ashton Gate thanks to a Louis Carey own goal on eight minutes, followed by a Cameron Jerome strike on 24 minutes.
Some heavy home pressure in the second half saw Lee Trundle score on 76 minutes but they could not find a way through again and Alex McLeish's side continued their unbeaten start to the campaign.
The visitors took the lead after Sebastian Larsson's teasing left-wing free-kick was unwittingly helped into the net by City captain Carey.
The hosts responded well and had a chance to equalise when Dele Adebola's flick-on released Michael McIndoe, but the Robins winger was unable to get sufficient power on his shot, and the ball trickled through to Blues goalkeeper Maik Taylor.
City then went close again through Lee Johnson's deflected free-kick, but it was Birmingham who were looking the more dangerous going forward.
The visitors duly extended their lead when the lively James McFadden found David Murphy on the left flank, and his cross was coolly slotted home by Jerome, who had been afforded far too much space in the penalty area.
McIndoe's long-range effort forced a fine save from Taylor shortly after the half-hour, but Birmingham were looking good value for their lead and almost went further ahead when Jerome's 25-yard strike flew narrowly wide of Adriano Basso's right-hand post.
The hosts were then handed a further blow eight minutes before the break when they were forced to bring on substitute goalkeeper Chris Weale for the injured Basso.
McFadden almost added a third goal for Birmingham after two minutes of the second half when he curled a left-footed shot wide of the post from 18 yards.
McIndoe remained Bristol's chief attacking threat, and he and Bradley Orr both saw shots saved by Taylor as the hosts fought valiantly to get back into the game.
Ivan Sproule came on for Gavin Williams to provide City with an injection of pace, and the introduction of the Northern Irishman seemed to spark the hosts into life.
Cole Skuse and Nicky Maynard had chances to pull a goal back, while McIndoe forced Taylor into yet another stop as the Robins piled on the pressure.
The hosts finally saw their efforts rewarded with 14 minutes remaining, as substitute Trundle fired home a superb long-range strike following Taylor's poor clearance.
However, City were unable to find the all-important equaliser, and Birmingham held on with relative comfort to record their second victory in four days.