REPORT: ALBION 4 BIRMINGHAM 3
- Joao Teixeira and Inigo Calderon hit two each in 4-3 win for Albion.
- David Stockdale makes two vital saves including saving Paul Caddis’s penalty.
- Leon Best and Beram Kayal made their full home debuts. Emanuel Ledesma an unused sub.
- Albion moved three points clear of the relegation zone after victory.
The Seagulls started well in an entertaining game at the Amex and had a golden chance to take the lead in the sixth minute when Beram Kayal set Sam Baldock away with a defence-splitting pass, however the forward dragged his shot wide of the post.
A minute later the deadlock was broken through Teixeira whose low shot was parried into the Birmingham net by keeper Darren Randolph.
In the 12th minute Birmingham drew level when Clayton Donaldson reacted quickest to divert Stephen Glesson’s long-range effort past David Stockdale.
Gordon Greer then found Rohan Ince, who laid it off for Leon Best on the edge of the area, but the Blackburn loanee pulled his effort wide.
Straight down the other end, the Blues had a golden chance to take the lead when Stockdale’s stinging save fell straight to Andrew Shinnie, but he failed to capitalise and fired over from eight yards.
On the half-hour mark Calderon fizzed a shot just wide of Randolph’s post before Joe Bennett tried his luck from range after a solo run on the left.
Albion continued to press and Lewis Dunk almost added his eighth of the season, but his header was blocked on the line.
In the 35th minute Stockdale came rushing out of his goal to make an excellent one handed save to deny Donaldson his second of the game.
Right on the stroke of half-time Stockdale made another excellent low save to deny Paul Caddis from the penalty spot after Bruno felled Shinnie.
This proved to be the turning point as four minutes into the second half Calderon put the Seagulls in front, tapping home Baldock’s teasing cross from close range.
In the 57th minute Teixeira added his second, finishing into the bottom corner after Baldock’s effort was parried by Randolph.
The Blues hit back with 15 minutes remaining when substitute Wes Thomas created space in the box and finished low to Stockdale’s right.
Lee Novak then almost drew the Blues level however he fired into the side netting after running onto Caddis’s ball.
With five minutes remaining Calderon gave Albion some breathing space, reacting quickest to a loose ball before finishing low past Randolph.
Novak then scored an identical goal to team-mate Thomas in added time to set up a nervy end, but Albion deserved the three much needed points.
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Goal Time 8 min