Che Adams fired Blues to a deserved win against Nottingham Forest.BCFC
The Blues striker found the back of the net just five minutes into the game with a neatly-taken finish.
In a much-improved performance from Steve Cotterill’s side, Blues fashioned a number of other openings and could possibly have scored more than a solitary goal.
There were two changes to the Blues starting XI with Che Adams and Stephen Gleeson coming in for Lukas Jutkiewicz and David Cotterill respectively.
For Republic of Ireland international midfielder Gleeson, it was his first start since the last week of August 2017, and his first under Steve Cotterill.
Blues made the early running and had their first sight on goal within four minutes as Jota stabbed a volleyed shot well-wide of the goal.
But they weren’t forced to wait much longer to break the deadlock as Adams fired Blues ahead just a minute later.
Maikel Kieftenbeld burst forward with the ball before laying it into Adams on the left of the area.
The Blues striker cut in, before dummying a shot and switching the ball onto his right foot.
With just Jordan Smith to beat he swept a great effort into the far corner of the net.
Blues then had a golden opportunity to double their advantage on 13 as Sam Gallagher rolled a brilliant ball across the face of the Forest six-yard box, which evaded Adams by inches.
The game was beginning to open up for both sides now, as Forest sought a way back into the contest.
But it took until the 20th minute for the visitors’ first attempt on target.
Emilio Nsue gave the ball away cheaply in his own half and it was intercepted by Tyler Walker who tried his luck with a powerful low shot, which was well-saved by Tomasz Kuszczak.
Blues then had two chances of their own in quick succession. The first saw Kieftenbeld’s attempt blocked, and then Gallagher shot from the edge of the area into Smith’s midriff in the Forest goal.
Smith needed to be alert moments later as he blocked Jota’s near post shot with his foot and deflected it behind for a corner.
Blues began to come under a sustained period of pressure and were having to rely on some last-gasp blocks and defending on the edge of their own box.
Kieran Dowell attempted a powerful shot from distance, but it was deflected behind by one of his own players for a goal kick.
At the other end of the pitch Blues won a free-kick in a dangerous position just on the edge of the area.
Jota stepped up and struck a curling shot into the wall and despite appeals for a penalty, referee Chris Kavanagh waved played on.
As the half-time whistle approached Jota let fly with a fierce drive from the edge of the area that Joe Worrall blocked with his head, and then Roberts shot into the side-netting.
Half-time: Blues 1 Nottingham Forest 0
Blues boss Cotterill made one change at the break as he replaced Gleeson with Jacques Maghoma.
Blues came under early pressure and Roberts was forced to turn Dowell’s cross behind for a corner.
Ben Osborn then curled a shot over the bar from 20 yards.
Blues were looking increasingly nervous as Forest continued to pour forward in search of an equaliser.
With 67 gone Forest made their first change of the game as they sent on Zach Clough for Ben Osborn.
A surging run by Jota resulted in him being upended just in front of the Forest ‘D’. Unfortunately, Adams struck the resultant dead ball straight into the defensive wall.
Blues continued to improve offensively and Maghoma found himself deep inside the area but made a mess of pulling the ball back and it dropped behind for a goal-kick.
Gallagher then headed over Jota’s cross just over the bar.
As the game moved into the final minutes, Blues were certainly not just sitting back and were pushing forward in an attempt to make the game safe.
But they were almost caught out with three minutes of normal time remaining as Forest burst forward on the counter-attack and Jason Cummings forced Kuszczak into fine save as he tipped the ball behind for a corner.
With the game deep into stoppage time Adams managed to take the ball round Smith as the Forest ‘keeper came running out of the box.
Adams was forced out wide, but managed to slide the ball across to Gallagher. Gallagher blasted it goalwards, but it was brilliantly blocked by Michael Mancienne deep inside his own area.
Blues will now be looking to build on this victory as they visit Middlesbrough on Wednesday.
Blues: Blues: Tomasz Kuszczak, Emilio Nsue, Jonathan Grounds, Marc Roberts, Maikel Kieftenbeld, Harlee Dean, Che Adams (Lukas Jutkiewicz, 90+3), Sam Gallagher, David Davis, Jota (Cheikh Ndoye, 86), Stephen Gleeson (Jacques Maghoma, h/t).
Subs (not used): Connal Trueman, Jeremie Boga, David Cotterill, Michael Morrison.
Bookings: Kieftenbeld (47), Dean (55).
Goals: Adams (5)
Nottingham Forest: Jordan Smith, Eric Lichaj, Michael Mancienne, Liam Bridcutt, Barrie McKay, Ben Osborn (Zach Clough, 67), Ben Brereton (Jamie Ward, 77), Kieran Dowell, Tendayi Darikwa, Tyler Walker (Jason Cummings, 86), Joe Worrall.
Subs (not used): Stephen Henderson, Matt Mills, Matty Cash, Andreas Bouchalakis.
Bookings: Worrall (13), Dowell (56).
Referee: Referee Chris Kavanagh.
Attendance: 21, 071 (2,755 Forest fans).