By James Burch
Birmingham City lost their first game since the recent dismissal of Lee Clark going down 1-0 to Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park. Blues who played the last half hour of the game with ten men, went a goal down to a Ben Marshall strike just after the interval and failed to recover meaning that they slipped into the bottom three after other results went against them.
The home side had the better of the first half possession but Blues did seem to be refreshed under the part-time management of Richard Beale and tested Blackburn goalkeeper Jason Steele with a few good attempts.
With only ten minutes of the game played Birmingham City could have easily been one nil ahead after forward Clayton Donaldson was agonisingly close to adding another goal to his goal scoring tally. Youthful midfielder Koby Arthur played the former Brentford frontman through on goal, on the left hand side, Donaldson made advances on the home side`s goal and sent the ball inches wide of the goal.
Under the management of Beale, Birmingham went into the second half quietly pleased and the fact that Ewood Park was left so subdued was testament to the way the away side set up.
Blues were impressive in the first half and their main threat Jordan Rhodes was kept under wraps. Paul Caddis thought he had given his side the lead just after the half hour mark with a sweetly struck half-volley that was just saved preventing the opening goal. The Scotsman was on the edge of the area and thought he had scored, however Steele somehow tipped the ball over the bar for another Blues corner.
Blackburn Rover`s only real chance in the first fourty five came through leading scorer Rhodes. The Scottish international came close to goal just before half-time as he cleverly spun and sent a strong left foot shot flying past the post in Colin Doyle`s goal and the sides went into half-time level.
Blackburn Rovers 0-1 Birmingham City
Blackburn came out for the second half with a real urgency and a crowd of nearly 13,000 saw the home side go one goal up through a Ben Marshall goal. The Blackburn winger was given far too much room and it was too easy for him to fire in a shot. Blues full back Neal Eardley kept back tracking and Marshall fired past Doyle`s goal via the post from inside of the area to give the Lancashire side the lead.
This opening goal was a real setback for Blues as they had been the better side all game. The chance of overturning the victory decreased when defender Neal Eardley was sent-off with a second yellow card. A cynical trip by Eardley on the goalscorer Marshall gave the referee no chance but to send the defender off and leave Blues to play the final half hour with only ten men.
Despite being a man down and being over ran, especially on the left hand side. Blues still had their chances going into the final twenty minutes of the game as Wes Thomas was brought on for Demarai Gray to add more bite upfront. Thomas had a few chances in the game but the lack of support halted Birmingham`s attacks and they all fell apart in the final third.
Blues threw defender Jonathan Grounds upfront for the final ten minutes of the game and nearly grabbed the equalising goal against the run of the play through a stunning Andy Shinnie effort. The effort signified Birmingham`s luck in recent matches. Shinnie sent a powerful shot towards the goal that rattled off the crossbar and the ball bounced away from goal and a minute later the whistle blew to signify Richard Beale`s first game in part-time management of the club ended in a loss at Ewood Park.
10 Men Birmingham Lose
By James Burch