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Match Report


Posted Sun 28 Dec 14 at 14:00 PM

The Report: Nottingham Forest 1 Blues 3

Birmingham City responded to their disappointing Boxing Day defeat in superb fashion and stunned Nottingham Forest with three goals in ten first-half minutes.

A David Cotterill free-kick and a brace from Clayton Donaldson saw Blues seal the win at The City Ground in their final match of the year.

Blues started the match brightly, allowing the hosts to have the ball at their leisure, with Gary Rowett's side looking dangerous on the break.

Two minutes in and Michail Antonio got the better of Jonathan Grounds but his driven cross was dealt with by Darren Randolph, whose clearance started a counter-attack leading to David Cotterill firing wide at Karl Darlow's near post from the edge of the area.

Demarai Gray then went close minutes later when his deflected shot nearly looped over both Darlow and the covering defender Danny fox, before the 'keeper tipped over.

After the quarter of an hour mark, Matty Fryatt had the hosts first clear opportunity. Antonio's cross from the right finding Fryatt at the back post, but his header went narrowly over the bar.

As the half went on, it was Forest who started to look the stronger side, dominating possession and creating more chances. After 32 minutes Britt Assombalonga got to the byline, but his low effort was saved by Randolph, however the rebound fell to Henry Lansbury on the edge of the box but his volley was well blocked and deflected wide for a corner. From the resulting corner, skipper Michael Mancienne beat Randolph to the ball but his header flashed inches over.

Typical of the beautiful game, following Forest's growing dominance it was Blues who went ahead after 35 minutes. A David Cotterill free-kick evaded everybody in the Forest penalty area and nestled in the far corner.

That started the ten minute blitz. Three minutes later and Blues' lead was doubled. A quick corner found Cotterill, and his shot was turned home by Clayton Donaldson.

The hosts tried to respond quickly, firstly appealing for a penalty for a foul on Antonio, not given, and then Fryatt tried his luck from the edge of the area but Michael Morrison threw himself in front of the shot and deflected it out for a corner.

On the stroke of half-time, Donaldson netted his second of the game. Andy Shinnie burst into the box and his curling effort was saved by Darlow, but Donaldson was on hand to prod home to put Blues in a very commanding position.

In stoppage time at the end of the first period, Robert Tesche rattled the underside of Randolph's crossbar as Blues went into the break 3-0 up.

Forest came out fighting in the second half and threatened very quickly.

Tesche again went close to pulling one back for his side, this time the midfielder rising highest from a Lansbury corner, his header flashing inches wide of the Blues goal.

In similar fashion to the first half, Blues were happy for Forest to dominate possession and look to catch them on the counter attack. Cotterill went close, after good work from himself and Davis down the right wing, but the Welshman's effort was easily saved by Darlow.

With 15 minutes remaining, Gray went close, after a smart turn which wrong-footed the Forest defence, Gray worked a yard of space on the edge of the area, but again the Forest 'keeper equal to it.

Blues defence had defended brilliantly all afternoon, but after a second half of absorbing Forest pressure the defence was eventually breached when Assombalonga nodded home in injury time .

A stunning first half performance from Blues sealing the three points. Rowett's side showing their ruthlessness to secure the win in their final match of the calendar year.

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