Match Report : 05/10/2013

Report: Birmingham 1-2 Bolton

Bolton Wanderers secured their first three points of the season with an impressive away showing at Birmingham City.

Jermaine Beckford’s first league goal set Bolton on their way after the striker capitalised on a mistake by Dan Burn to slot the visitors into an early lead.

Beckford came close to doubling his tally in the second half as his close range header rebounded off the crossbar following fantastic wing play from Man of the Match Liam Feeney.

Soon after, on loan midfielder Neil Danns doubled Bolton’s advantage after goalkeeper Darren Randolph misjudged a cross from the right hand side by Feeney.

The Blues pulled a goal back before the full time whistle courtesy of striker Nico Zigic but Wanderers held on to claim their 50th victory over their counterparts.

Dougie Freedman named an unchanged starting eleven for the first time this season for the televised clash at Birmingham City with loan trio Liam Feeney, Kevin McNaughton and Neil Danns all starting.

Welsh international forward Craig Davies was named on the bench for the game against the Blues after his recent absence from first team duty due to injury.

Meanwhile, the Blues, unbeaten in their last four home outings, handed a start to former Bolton Wanderers full back Paul Robinson.

Wanderers began the game well in the Midlands sunshine, passing the ball around confidently as they looked to test the attributes of Republic of Ireland international goalkeeper Darren Randolph.

Hosts Birmingham City, who hit four goals past Milwall on Tuesday night, created their first opportunity in the 11th minute when David Murphy’s inswinging free-kick from the right hand side was punched away by Adam Bogdan.

Two minutes later and the men from the Reebok took the lead in B9 through a confident looking Beckford.

A clearance from Feeney inside his own half was misjudged by Birmingham defender Burn on the half way line allowing Beckford to race through on goal and slip the ball underneath the body of Randolph.

The Blues engineered their best goal scoring opportunity six minutes before the interval as Callum Reilly tried his luck from 25-yards with a curling effort but the ball was expertly turned around the post by Bogdan.

Birmingham picked up the pace in the second half with Jesse Lingard, on loan from Manchester United, weaving past two Bolton challenges before being brought down by centre half Matt Mills.

Soon enough, Freedman’s men settled back into the contest at St Andrew’s and Beckford came only a coat of paint away from doubling his tally as his close range header cannoned off the crossbar after good work from Feeney on the right.

Looking for an equaliser in order to continue their impressive form at home, Blues boss Lee Clark introduced strike duo Zigic and Lee Novak.

Zigic’s impact was immediate and the Serbian’s physical presence was giving the Wanderers backline a different type of threat to contend with in contrast to the pace of youngster Lingard.

Despite the alterations by Clark, Wanderers took one step closer to their first three points of the season when Feeney whipped a dangerous cross from the right hand side catching Randolph off guard.

The Birmingham shot stopper could only parry the ball straight into the path of the Danns, leaving the Leicester loan man to head home in front of the travelling supporters.

With 22 minutes remaining, the Blues pulled a goal back to set up a nervy finish in the Midlands when Chris Burke curled a free-kick to the back post for Zigic to tower above the Bolton defence and direct a looping header beyond Bogdan.

Bolton boss Dougie Freedman responded immediately by introducing club captain Zat Knight from the substitutes bench to man mark giant forward Zigic.

Resisting a wave of Birmingham attacks, the visitors held out for their first three points of the season and will return to action in two weeks time against Sheffield Wednesday at the Reebok Stadium. 

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