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Second Half Fightback Wins It For City

Posted on: Thu 08 Dec 2011

The Tigers made it two home wins in five days as they beat Birmingham 2-1 at the KC Stadium on Wednesday night.

They had to do it the hard way, trailing to Chris Wood's first half opener. But goals from Robert Koren and Aaron Mclean earned City three points their performance deserved.

Nick Barmby named the same side that started against Leicester and there were no changes on the bench either.

Former City favourite Boaz Myhill started for Birmingham while ex-Tiger Marlon King also played for the Blues.

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In a quiet opening five minutes, Chris Burke dragged a shot wide for the visitors while Koren's pass was only inches away from sending Liam Rosenior through on goal.

A succession of Birmingham corners brought danger to the City defence and from one of them, Peter Gulacsi did well to push Wood's near-post header behind.

Koren brought a save out of Myhill in the eleventh minute with a low drive from 20 yards.

Good work from Cameron Stewart won the Tigers their first corner on 14 minutes. Koren delivered onto the head of James Chester, but he headed the ball down into the ground and the bounce then lifted it over Myhill's bar.

A well-timed challenge from Pablo Ibanez prevented Matty Fryatt from going through on goal while Rosenior's deep cross was just too long for the unmarked Koren at the back post.

Corry Evans went the closest to opening the scoring in the first 20 minutes with a well struck volley that flew just inches wide of Myhill's right-hand post.

Wade Elliott had a great chance to put the away side ahead on 23 minutes when he was played through by Wood, but Gulacsi was quick off his line to meet the on-rushing winger and block his shot away.

Stewart saw a near-post effort saved by Myhill and the goalkeeper regathered just when the ball was going to come loose for Fryatt. Fryatt's attempts to find the loose ball left him needing treatment but he was back on the field after a couple of minutes.

Koren was off target from 25 yards as City continued to dominate possession.

Despite all of that, it was Birmingham who took the lead in the 34th minute. The ball was nicely stood up for Wood to stride onto it and fire a low, first-time shot past Gulacsi and into the net.

Stewart went close to a response before half time with a cross-shot that drifted beyond the far post.

Half Time: Tigers 0-1 Birmingham

Myhill received a warm reception from the South Stand faithful as he took up his position for the second half, but within two minutes he was picking the ball out of his net as the Tigers drew level. Stewart got to the byeline down the right before firing in a vicious cross that was only cleared as far as the penalty spot where Koren readjusted his body to volley into the net.

Birmingham looked to respond immediately, but Gulacsi was equal to King's low effort.

Mclean picked up the first yellow card of the game after tangling with Steven Caldwell and Paul McKenna soon followed the striker into the referee's book for pulling back Wood.

City's next chance came from a Koren corner which found Jack Hobbs, but he headed over from ten yards.

The Tigers took the lead in the 67th minute. A Birmingham attack was broken up and Evans played the ball to Koren in the centre circle. The Slovenian waited patiently before sliding a perfect ball inside the Birmingham left back for Mclean, who advanced to the edge of the box before beating Myhill with a low shot inside the near post.

The visitors were almost level instantly. Elliott crossed for the unmarked Burke at the far post, but his header was brilliantly kept out by Gulacsi.

Dawson picked up a yellow card on 71 minutes for pulling back Burke.

Birmingham made a couple of changes to try and have more of an influence going forward and one of those coming on was Guirane N'Daw, who missed a fantastic chance to level on 78 minutes when he was picked out by an Elliott set-piece, but he could only head wide when afforded the freedom of City's six-yard box.

City made their first change five minutes from time as Joe Dudgeon replaced Stewart.

Four minutes of time were added with Birmingham throwing everything forward, but City stood firm to record a second consecutive home win.

Tigers: Peter Gulacsi, Liam Rosenior, James Chester, Jack Hobbs, Andy Dawson, Corry Evans, Paul McKenna, Robert Koren, Cameron Stewart (Dudgeon 85), Aaron Mclean, Matty Fryatt.

Subs: Adriano Basso, Paul McShane, Joe Dudgeon, Tom Cairney, Dele Adebola.

Birmingham: Boaz Myhill, Stephen Carr, David Murphy, Steve Calswell, Pablo Ibanez, Chris Burke (Rooney 89), Marlon King, Wade Elliott, Keith Fahey (N'Daw 77), Jonathan Spector, Chris Wood (Zigic 76).

Subs: Colin Doyle, Guirane N'Daw, Morgaro Gomis, Adam Rooney, Nikola Zigic.

Referee: Mr M. Naylor.

Attendance: 17,438.

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