Birmingham 2-1 Brentford: Match Report

02 January 2016 05:34

Birmingham win again after late Maikel Kieftenbeld strike

Birmingham recorded their third successive home win with a 2-1 victory over Brentford to leapfrog the London club and boost their Sky Bet Championship play-off challenge.

For the second time in six days Jacques Maghoma was on the mark for Birmingham, his fifth goal of the season in the 55th minute a quality strike.

Brentford hit back with a deserved equaliser from Phillip Hofmann but their hopes of collecting a point disappeared when Maikel Kieftenbeld rammed home an 89th-minute winner.

Brentford had the majority of the play but in the end they slumped to a narrow defeat which means that they now have failed to win on their last eight visits to St. Andrew's.

Conspicuous by his absence was Birmingham's talented winger Demarai Gray, who is in talks with Premier League Leicester pending a possible transfer. His individual skill was badly needed as Birmingham struggled to gain the upper hand.

Ryan Woods was tenacious for Brentford in his bid to open up Birmingham and he created a good opportunity for himself only to mis-fire cutting in from the left.

It was really a battle of strength as Brentford slowly got on top midway through the first period, with the astute contributions of Alan Judge often instrumental.

Birmingham's Clayton Donaldson could make no impact against his former club and in the closing stages of the first half suffered a back injury which appeared to restrict his movement. He was subsequently replaced by on-loan James Vaughan.

Jon Toral headed just wide from a Paul Caddis cross in the 40th minute but was fortunate not to collect a red card for a strong tackle on Jake Bidwell which caused considerable disquiet among the other Huddersfield players, with James Tarkowski also booked.

Toral remaining on the field proved highly beneficial as the on-loan Arsenal player linked up with Maghoma to break the stalemate in the 55th minute.

In a swiftly executed move Toral put Maghoma in possession and the former Sheffield Wednesday player showed a clean pair of heels before scoring with a raking cross-shot.

The goal resulted in some frantic play, with Brentford pressuring Birmingham to such an extent that the midlands club often found themselves with their backs to the wall in their bid to maintain their slender lead.

They were extremely fortunate to survive as Judge collected a through pass and raced clear. With only Tomasz Kuszczak to beat, Brentford's leading goalscorer ballooned the ball high over the bar.

But in the 77th minute Judge attempted a long-range shot and this time he was on target. Kuszczak could only block the effort and the ball bounced back to substitute Hofmann to tap into an empty net.

Birmingham, however, hit back and strong running by Vaughan enabled him to square the ball across Brentford's goal for the unmarked Kieftenbeld to notch the winner from close range.


Source: PA


Trending on the forum