Report: Birmingham City 1-0 Bolton
Bolton Wanderers were made to wait for their maiden away win of the campaign after defeat by a solitary goal at Birmingham City.
A scrappy game on a bitterly cold St Andrew’s evening was bereft of any real incidents of note throughout.
Clayton Donaldson was the match-winner for the hosts, striking midway through the opening period.
Whilst Bolton endeavoured to find a route back into the game, much of the contest was played out in the midfield areas on what was an ultimately frustrating evening.
Neil Lennon made two changes to the starting side that had drawn 1-1 against QPR three days earlier.
Derik Osede and Paul Rachubka were in for the injured Emile Heskey and Ben Amos, with Josh Vela reverting to a midfield role.
Whilst Bolton saw much of the ball for prolonged periods inside the opening 20 minutes.
On a couple of occasions the ball was fizzed into the feet of lone striker Zach Clough with midfielders then looking run in behind, though a final pass was snuffed out by the Birmingham rearguard.
As the half wore on it became an increasingly scrappy affair, littered with niggly fouls in the midfield area.
The first significant effort on target of the game resulted in the opening goal on the half hour mark.
Diego Fabbrini found space down the left after a quick Birmingham counter attack. He beat Dean Moxey to the byline before squaring for Donaldson who flicked the ball home with the outside of his right boot.
Bolton did respond, with Mark Davies flashing a shot on the spin into the side netting before Rob Holding rose to head over a Liam Feeney corner.
With half time imminent, pinball ensued inside the Birmingham City six-yard box following a Bolton set piece, though a Blues goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak eventually flopped on the loose ball.
Wanderers started the second period with an added impetus, as Liam Feeney’s swirling delivery from the right was almost bundled over the line at the back post by Davies.
As time begin to tick away Bolton pressed more men forward in search of an equaliser, but for all their efforts struggled to really trouble Kuszczak.
A 20-minute period came and went without any moments of significance.
Inside the final throes, Birmingham sub Jon Toral saw a tame effort from distance easily held by Rachubka.
Wellington Silva and Stephen Dobbie were introduced on 84 minutes, but no further goalmouth action followed.