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Birmingham up to third as Redmond strike sinks Pompey
Published : 07 Feb 2012 22:46:44Rss feed
Nathan Redmond enhanced his burgeoning reputation with a superbly-taken late volley which fired Birmingham up to third in the npower Championship thanks to a 1-0 win over Portsmouth.
The highly-rated 17-year-old substitute was brought on to bring much-needed life to City's attacking play and he did just that, with his 86th-minute swivelled volley seeing off a Portsmouth side who had appeared set for a battling point.
Fellow promising youngster Jordon Mutch had not long gone closest for City with a 25-yard strike which hit the outside of a post, but Blues, who have now found the net 20 times in the final nine minutes of games, produced yet another late show to move within two points of the automatic promotion places.
It was Chris Hughton's side who started with the greater purpose, Marlon King's pull-back just failing to find a blue shirt before Keith Fahey tested Stephen Henderson from distance.
Marko Futacs wasted a great chance to test Boaz Myhill when he blazed over from 12 yards out from Kelvin Etuhu's low cross.
The encounter fell into a lull through the middle part of the half but Joel Ward went the closest to an opener when he produced the first real save of the game in the 40th minute, Myhill getting down well to his right to parry the midfielder's shot from 10 yards.
Hughton turned to teenage sensation Redmond on the hour in a bid to add some spark and he certainly raised the home support on a bitterly cold night.
Portsmouth's experienced full-back Tal Ben-Haim played a misplaced back-pass straight into the path of Adam Rooney, who saw his close-range effort smothered by Henderson.
Then from the resulting corner, the ball broke kindly for Curtis Davies but the five-goal centre-back could only flick narrowly wide from six yards.
Midfielder Mutch then struck the woodwork with a low strike from distance before Redmond struck. Steven Caldwell's diagonal cross was flicked on by Davies and Redmond did the rest to extend Birmingham's unbeaten record on home soil this term and make it 12 matches unbeaten in all competitions.