Blues claimed a thoroughly deserved three points at St. Andrew’s this afternoon as they beat Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0.
Wes Thomas was the goalscoring hero for Lee Clark’s side after he powered home a second-half header.
Blues were excellent from first minute to last and the narrow scoreline probably wasn’t a fair reflection of their dominance.
Clark elected to make three changes to the side that beat Cambridge United on Tuesday evening, with Darren Randolph, David Edgar and Lee Novak in for Colin Doyle, David Edgar and Demarai Gray.
Blues made a bright start and largely pinned the Seagulls back in the opening stages thanks to their positive pressing football.
But it was almost a quarter of an hour before either side had an attempt on goal and that fell to Novak who shot wide from distance.
Brighton’s first chance finally arrived after 27 minutes when they were awarded a corner, from which Craig Mackail-Smith headed the resultant dead ball a yard over the bar.
Blues were really beginning to dominate the possession and Paul Caddis had a low shot saved and then Jonathan Spector had a powerful effort collected at the second attempt by David Stockdale.
In a rare foray forward by Brighton just a minute before half-time, Chris O’Grady tried his luck with a low shot, which was comfortably saved by Randolph.
Less than a minute into the second-half Jonathan Ground’s put a teasing ball deep into the box, which Wes Thomas just failed to dig out from under his feet with the goal beckoning.
But Blues weren’t going to be denied for long as they took a deserved lead after 49 minutes.
Blues broke on the counter-attack and the ball found Edgar on the right. The winger put in a peach of cross for Thomas who rose high and headed a powerful effort past Stockdale.
The goal seemed to wake Brighton out of their slumber and they began to play with more urgency.
They had an excellent opportunity after 63 minutes when they were awarded a debatable free-kick just outside the Blues box. Jake Forster-Caskey curled a fine shot in, but Randolph was equal to it and pushed it over the bar.
Clark was forced into making his first change of the afternoon when David Davis limped off and was replaced by Stephen Gleeson.
Blues came close to doubling their advantage after 74 minutes when they won a free-kick just over 20 yards out. David Cotterill stepped up and curled it just wide.
Three minutes later Paul Robinson was brought on for Lee Novak, after he appeared to pick up a strain.
With less ten minutes of normal time to go, Blues continued to attack and Cotterill tried his luck with a right-footed curler, which Stockdale just about managed to palm away.
Brighton threw almost everyone forward in the remaining minutes, but the Blues defence stood firm.