Despite putting in a stirring performance at St. Andrew’s, Blues were knocked out of this season’s FA Cup with Budweiser by Premier League Swansea City.
Blues arguably played the better football and looked to heading into the fifth round draw after Lee Novak had given his side a first-half lead. But two late goals in the space of two minutes from Swansea substitute Wilfried Bony gave his side the victory.
Lee Clark made four changes to his starting XI. There was a debut for new Manchester City loan signing Albert Rusnak in place of Nikola Zigic. Will Packwood moved into the centre of defence for Hayden Mullins and Shane Ferguson replaced Brian Howard. Colin Doyle took the goalkeeping slot instead of Darren Randolph.
The build-up to the game saw St. Andrew’s pelted with hail, with thunder and lightning in the sky overhead. Fortunately by the time the game kicked-off the terrible weather conditions had eased off somewhat.
Blues had the first opportunity after five minutes when Rusnak cut in from the left and shot towards the goal, but his attempt was deflected behind for a corner by Chico Flores.
They deservedly took the lead with 14 minutes on the clock. Paul Caddis swung in a peach of a cross to the far post, where Lee Novak put a glancing header on the ball and steered it past a diving Gerhard Tremmel.
It could easily have been two just minutes later, but Rusnak saw his shot cleared off the line by Ashley Williams with the keeper stranded.
It was not until midway through the first half that Swansea had their first sight on the Blues goal, but Pablo Hernandez blasted the ball over after it had reached him at the far post.
Following that rare attack from the visitors, Blues were soon back on the offensive themselves and Chris Burke’s low drive flew just the wrong side of the post. Reece Brown then tried his luck from 25 yards out but was just off target.
With half-time approaching Swansea missed a golden opportunity to level the scores after Jordi Amat somehow lifted the ball over the bar from inside the Blues six-yard box.
Then two minutes into stoppage time at the end of the half Mitch Hancox tested the Swansea keeper with a rasping effort that was tipped behind for a corner.
The second half started at quite a frantic pace, with Swansea piling on the pressure in the opening stages.
It took a last ditch challenge from Mitch Hancox to deny Wilfried Bony with the Swansea front-man looking odds-on to score.
Bony then tested Doyle with a sharp low shot, which the Blues stopper saved at his near post.
The powerful striker was not to be denied for much longer though as he levelled the scores after 67 minutes when he met Roland Lamah’s cross and drilled the ball home from ten yards out. With Blues still reeling he gave his side the lead just two minutes later when he finished from a similar position in the Blues box, but this time he placed it.
Despite the setback Blues did not allow their heads to drop and were doing their best to get back into the contest.
Chris Burke’s shot was scooped over his own bar by Bony and then Britton was forced to send the ball behind his goal with Adeyemi ready to pounce.
But Swansea stood firm in the remaining minutes and it is Welsh outfit that will be looking forward to Sunday’s cup draw.