Birmingham City

Championship: Blues back in second


Franck Queudrue‘s late header secured Birmingham a 1-0 win against Bristol City and moved the club back into the automatic promotion places.

FOOTBALL Birmingham City's Franck Queudrue celebrates v Bristol City - 0

A much-improved Blues side dominated their fellow promotion hopefuls for large spells of the encounter at St Andrew’s but looked set to rue a series of wasted opportunities.

Centre-backs Radhi Jaidi and Martin Taylor both hit the crossbar, while Lee Bowyer headed wide from close range and saw goalkeeper Adriano Basso produce a superb stop to deny him in the opening stages.

It was nothing less than the hosts deserved, but it could have been so different had former Blues striker Dele Adebola not wasted a great chance after only two minutes, dragging his shot across goal and wide after being sent clear.

The victory, coupled with Birmingham’s win at Ashton Gate earlier in the season, meant Blues became the first side to record a league double over Bristol City since their promotion to the Championship in 2007.

Alex McLeish must have been wondering how many chances his side needed to break the deadlock when an unmarked Bowyer flashed his header wide from merely four yards shortly after the hour mark.

But the scene was set for Queudrue to powerfully head home Bowyer’s corner with just minutes remaining and send the home crowd into raptures.

Sheffield United set a new club record of 12 away league games unbeaten with a 2-1 victory over rivals Coventry at the Ricoh Arena.

But more importantly for Kevin Blackwell’s side, the three points kept their play-off challenge firmly on track and moved them up to fourth in the table – just four points away from an automatic promotion spot.

The Blades took the lead in controversial circumstances in first-half injury-time through Leigh Bromby.

Television replays showed that the defender’s effort did not cross the line.

But there was no argument in the 54th minute when captain Chris Morgan powered home a header to double his side’s advantage.

City skipper Scott Dann replied with a headed goal midway through the second half to set up a tense finale but United held on.

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~ by awbroady on March 6, 2009.

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