Tue 12 Apr 16
at 21:38 PM
Report: Blues 1 Leeds United 2
Blues suffered a narrow but key defeat to Leeds United at St. Andrew’s on Tuesday evening
United winger Stuart Dallas struck twice for United early in both halves of the game, before Clayton Donaldson pulled a consolation goal back for Blues in the 53rd minute.
Gary Rowett elected to go with the same starting XI that did so well to beat Reading in their previous game.
And for Leeds, former Blues loanee Chris Wood started up front, with ex-Blues midfielder Tom Adeyemi on the bench.
It was a fairly cagey opening from both sides and it took until the tenth minute for the first decent chance.
That came when Gaetano Berardi fizzed a delicious pass straight across the front of the Blues goal, but it just evaded Wood who was sliding in to meet it.
But just a minute later the visitors did indeed find the back of the net through Dallas.
Leeds drove through the middle of the pitch, before the ball found its way to him on the right.
The Leeds winger cut inside before firing in a powerful low shot which beat Adam Legzdins and careered in off the post.
Having succumbed to such an early goal, Blues were really struggling to get any sort of foothold in the game and it was Leeds that were having the vast majority of the play.
After altering their formation, Blues finally began to look an attacking threat and started to get more balls into the Leeds box.
On two of those occasions, Donaldson appeared to be fouled by a Leeds defender, but the referee waved away his appeals for a penalty.
With 42 minutes gone Jonathan Grounds tried his luck with a fierce shot from the left hand side of the area but it flew well wide of the target.
Then at the other end of the pitch Legzdins was forced to pull off a neat save to deny Lewis Cook at his near post.
Half-time: Blues 0 Leeds United 1
Blues made a bright start to the second-half and won two corners in quick succession with their attacking play - the second of which found its way to Ryan Shotton, but his tame effort was easily saved by Marco Silvestri.
Against the run of play the Blues fans were stunned into silence as Dallas doubled his side’s lead with a fine solo effort after 50 minutes.
The Leeds man left Legzdins with no chance as he drilled home a brilliant volley from 20 yards.
But it was game on again just three minutes later as Donaldson pulled a goal back for the hosts.
David Cotterill's initial free-kick was well saved by Silvestri but Donaldson was first to the ball and was able to fire it past the Leeds keeper and over the line.
With just over an hour gone, Arsenal loanee Jon Toral was introduced into the game in place of Stephen Gleeson.
The crowd really began to get behind Blues as they began to pile on the pressure and pin the Leeds defence back.
On 67 Grounds came desperately close to equalising with a header which was cleared off the line by Lewis Cook.
Lafferty then tested Silvestri with a powerful effort which the Leeds stopper parried before Toral tried his luck from the edge of the box with a curling shot that was comfortably saved.
Blues thought they had equalised after 75 when Donaldson finished well into the bottom corner of the Leeds net, but the assistant referee had raised his flag for offside against the striker.
Just minutes after joining the game from the substitutes’ bench Diego Fabbrini had a golden opportunity to score, but he somehow skewed his shot well over the bar.
As the clocked ticked on Blues desperately went in search of an equaliser and Donaldson saw his shot saved.
But it wasn’t to be despite Leeds being reduced to ten men deep into stoppage time after Alex Mowatt was sent off deep into stoppage time and a defeat all but extinguished Blues' faint hopes of closing the gap on the play-off places.