Burnley 1 Birmingham 3: Mutch too much as King sets up Blues victory

If fortune continues to smile on Birmingham like this, Chris Hughton and his players must fancy their chances of returning to the Barclays Premier League via the play-offs next month.

A two-goal margin flattered the visitors at Turf Moor but that will matter little to Hughton as he studies the table on Wednesday morning.

Although Birmingham are still in fourth place, they kicked off their game in hand on Tuesday night level with the three teams below them - including Middlesbrough, outside the play-off places in seventh - and finished it three points clear of the pack. With six games to go, who knows how vital this win could be?

‘We had to ride our luck a bit, but over 90 minutes we just deserved it,’ said Hughton. ‘There’s so much football to be played, so many ups and downs to come, you have to take advantage when you can.’

Mutch too good: The Birmingham midfielder celebrates his strike

Mutch too good: The Birmingham midfielder celebrates his strike


Burnley: Grant; Trippier, Duff, Edgar, Wallace; Marney (Stanislas 59), McCann, Bartley; McQuoid, Austin, Ings.

Subs not used: Jensen, Howieson, Hewitt, Fletcher.

Goal: Ings 74.

Birmingham: Myhill, Ramage, Davies, Caldwell, Murphy, Burke, Elliott, N'Daw, Zigic, King, Mutch.

Subs not used: Doyle, Huseklepp, Townsend, Gomis, Redmond.

Booked: Mutch, Zigic.

Goals: King 16, Mutch 75.

Referee: Jock Waugh (South Yorkshire)


Birmingham were ahead inside the opening quarter of an hour and there was certainly an element of good fortune about Marlon King’s 16th goal of the season.

David Murphy’s throw-in on the left was flicked on by Nikola Zigic, and King held off the challenge of David Edgar before rifling in a shot from 10 yards. Lee Grant dived to his right and got a hand to it but the ball deflected on to the goalkeeper’s head and rolled over the line.

Burnley had already gone close on several occasions in the second half, notably when Danny Ings and Charlie Austin both hit the bar from close range within a matter of seconds, before Ings equalised in the 74th minute, heading in a cross from the left by substitute Junior Stanislas.

They were level for little more than a minute, however, as King cut the ball back for 20-year-old Jordon Mutch to steer it beyond Grant from 15 yards and claim his first goal for Birmingham.

Mutch also had a hand in the third late on when Grant failed to hold his free-kick and Murphy turned the ball in from close range. But there was still time for Ings to hand Hughton’s side another let-off as he blazed over from point-blank range.

Burnley boss Eddie Howe said: ‘We bombarded them in the second half and that was never a 3-1 game. It’s tough when you work so hard to get back in the game and concede straight away.’

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