Report: Blues 2 Kiryat Shmona 0

Jacques Maghoma celebrates as he gives Blues the lead.

A goal in each half put Harry Redknapp's side in control at the Stegersbach Stadium in Austria.


Jacques Maghoma and Kerim Frei got Blues up and running in pre-season.

A goal in each half put Harry Redknapp's side in control at the Stegersbach Stadium in Austria.

But the evening’s work was marred when Clayton Donaldson was sent-off in stoppage-time – just seconds before the final whistle went – as matters erupted in controversy.

Donaldson reacted very angrily to the actions of an opponent who followed up a late tackle by treading on his ankle.

A skirmish broke out near the main stand and matters calmed, Donaldson was shown a straight red and the referee then ended the contest.

It was a sour note to end on for Blues, who were left fuming at the late events.

Every player bar Adam Legzdins got a run out in the friendly, which brought to a close Blues week-long preparation tour.

The Israelis were first to show when Ahmed Abed got down the right and found Shoval Gozlan in the area, but his effort fizzed past the near post.

Blues got into their stride on a difficult pitch that cut up easily, with Craig Gardner firing a 25-yard pot shot not far wide.

The next action of note saw Blues open the scoring, courtesy of a smart finish by Maghoma (18 minutes).

The opportunity came from a free-kick, earned by Che Adams, 25 yards out.

Gardner lofted it in to the area where Lukas Jutkiewicz nodded it back across.

A defender half-cleared into the path of Maghoma who took a touch, dropped his shoulder and curved a low sidefooter just inside the post from 10 yards.

Blues lead was almost wiped out immediately when Nigel Hasselbaink - nephew of Jimmy Flloyd - cracked a stinging effort that cannoned  off the crossbar.

Didi Brusso, in plenty of space on the follow-up, planted a volley well wide - a glaring miss.

Then, in the 33rd minute, Tomasz Kuszczak pulled off a superb save, at full stretch tipping a shot from range by Shlomi Azulay onto the post.

Blues should have had a penalty when they broke from a long ball down the channel by Josh Dacres-Cogley.

Adams muscled away from one defender, bustled into the box, and seemed to be shoved on his way as he attempted to set for a shot - but no penalty.

Half-time: 1-0

At the interval Blues changed nine players with David Stockdale making his first bow in pre-season.

Diego Fabbrini played up top alongside Donaldson and Frei was stationed wide on the left, again Blues in a 4-4-2.

There was lots and hustle and bustle from both teams in the opening 15 minutes of the half but the ascendancy could not be grasped, until some short, sharp play by Blues forced another goal.

Donaldson had a penalty claim waved away when he tried to wriggle his way past a defender on the left of the area and went down.

From a short corner, Fabbrini weaved past his challenger with a body swerve to set up an opening, but his short pass to the front post was just behind Donaldson, who was off balance as he tried to turn it on target.

On the hour, Blues doubled their advantage, with a neatly-worked goal.

Dacres-Cogley and Frei worked nice angles deep on the left, near the corner flag.

When the ball came into Donaldson on the left of the area he produced a backheel flick into the oncoming Frei's path and a thumping first time shot, which took a deflection, flew past the goalkeeper at the front post.

That was the cue to bring on Cheick Keita for his first action of pre-season and also new Cheikh Ndoye.

Blues thereafter saw out the game in relative comfort to secure a pleasing win, their first in the warm up period of matches.

Blues: Kuszczak (Stockdale ht), Dacres-Cogley (Keita 61), Grounds (Nsue ht), M Morrison (Shotton ht), Roberts (Robinson ht), Davis (Kieftenbeld ht), Gardner (Ndoye 61), R Morrison (Gleeson ht), Adams (Fabbrini ht), Jutkiewicz (Donaldson ht), Maghoma (Frei ht). Not used: Legzdins