Sat 09 Jan 16
at 17:00 PM
Report: Blues 1 Bournemouth 2
Blues bowed out of the Emirates FA Cup to Premier League side Bournemouth but only after a brave and determined effort.
It was a tale of two penalties – one taken by the visitors and another missed by the hosts – and a succession of other opportunities for Gary Rowett’s side before the top flight club pinched victory late on.
Michael Morrison headed Blues in front towards the end of the first-half but the teams went in all-square courtesy of Lee Tomlin’s spot-kick.
Blues couldn’t convert their own penalty after the break as James Vaughan blasted over and Jacques Maghoma also hit the woodwork as the home team laid siege on the Cherries’ goal.
But then Glenn Murray was in the right place to force the ball home five minutes from time to send Eddie Howe’s charges through to round four.
Blues made seven changes to the side that beat Brentford, Vaughan one of those to be recalled 24 hours after the striker’s return to the club.
At the other end of the pitch, Legzdins was given an opportunity between the posts.
The hosts were straight onto the attack with Viv Solomon-Otabor breaking clear down the left within the opening seconds, the younger winger careering into the box, his cut-back prodded over the bar by the outstretched leg of Andy Shinnie.
Shinnie was in the thick of the action again on seven minutes when he found space on the left wing and drove in a fierce cross that flew across the goalline and away to safety.
Blues continued to dominate the early proceedings and it wasn’t until the 19th minute that Legzdins was called into action for the first time.
Mark Pugh created some space for himself on the edge of the area but his shot flew straight down the throat of the Blues keeper.
Pugh turned creator soon afterwards with a purposeful run and cross to the far post that was met by Yann Kermorgant and his header crashed back off the bar.
The ball bounced down back in the direction of the Frenchman but his follow-up header dropped comfortably into the arms of Legzdins.
The Premier League side had woken from their slumbers and went close again with Shaun Macdonald curling in an effort from the edge of the area that veered narrowly wide of Legzdin’s left-hand post.
Pugh caused the Blues defence problems again with another mazy run and shot that Legzdins was forced to turn around the post.
The tricky winger continued to carve out opportunities as he latched onto Tokelo Rantie’s lay off but crashed his shot high and wide from 10 yards.
Rantie had to leave the action soon afterwards to be replaced by Matt Ritchie and the substitute found himself part of a trailing side within seconds as Blues went in front five minutes from the interval.
Tomlin had handled wide on the Blues right. David Cotterill produced a delightful free-kick delivery that swung invitingly into the box, Morrison powering his header into the bottom corner from 10 yards.
But Rowett’s side led for just four minutes as the visitors drew level from the penalty spot.
Eunan O’Kane went down in the area under pressure from Jonathan Grounds and the referee deemed it as a foul.
Tomlin stepped up and fired his spot-kick low into the middle of the goal.
Blues made two changes at the break with Neal Eardley and Cotterill replaced by Shane Lowry and Maghoma, the former dropping into centre-back with Jonathan Spector switching to the right of defence.
It was the visitors’ turn to start a half on the front foot with Tomlin’s early effort deflected wide.
Macdonald also had a chance but his flick from Pugh’s cross drifted well wide of the target.
Blues were given a fantastic chance to regain the lead on the hour when the official again pointed to the spot.
O’Kane was involved again but this time he was his side’s villain as he tripped Maikel Kieftenbeld after the Dutchman powered past him on the right side of the area.
Vaughan took the penalty but the forward passed up the opportunity to record his first Blues goal as his effort from 12 yards flew well over the bar and into the ranks of home fans behind the Tilton Road goal.
The striker looked to make amends with a determined run to the edge of the box but he was eventually crowded out by several Bournemouth defenders.
Blues made their final change midway through the half with Jon Toral coming on for Solomon-Otabor.
The hosts missed another golden chance to go in front on 75 minutes when Bournemouth right-back Baily Cargill was caught in possession by Maghoma.
With the goalkeeper well off his line, the Blues sub took the ball into the area but, with the goal gaping, his curling shot bounced back off the far post.
Another defensive error from the visitors, Jordan Lee sloppily giving the ball away, presented Vaughan with a shooting opportunity but the loanee went for power and his effort veered wide of Adam Federici’s left-hand post.
Blues were made to rue those missed chances as the Premier League side went ahead on 85 minutes.
Steve Cook’s cross was headed goalwards by O’Kane and although Legzdins kept out the initial effort, he couldn’t hold onto Pugh’s follow-up and Murray forced the ball home after a close range scramble.
Howe’s side could have made the game safe on 88 minutes but Ritchie’s header from 10 yards bounced back off the post.
Blues then made a determined effort to get back on level terms with Vaughan powering in a shot from the right of the area that Federici beat away and then David Davis having a shot deflected wide.
Rowett’s team penned their opponents inside their own half during a frenetic four minutes of stoppage-time but just couldn’t find a way through a resolute visiting backline.
Blues were cheered from the pitch by the home fans that appreciated their side’s valiant endeavours.
Rowett’s men will now refocus their attentions to the league and this Tuesday’s trip to Nottingham Forest.