Lee Clark rang seven changes to the starting line up for tonight`s Capital One Cup. The switches also saw Blues deploy a 4-4-2 tactic. Doyle; Spector; Davis and Donaldson among the changes.
Our pre-game vote result was: 75% home win; 25% draw; 0% away win.
Demarai Gray was first to announce himself on the game. He pulled a shot wide of Chris Dunn`s goal. Cambridge replied, Harrison Dunk won possession and fired over Doyle`s goal.
Appiah then found Cunnington who failed to test Colin Doyle, a comfortable save in the end. Colin Doyle shortly after had to save a flurry of shots.
Birmingham continued on the back foot. Appiah forced a parried shot from Doyle, Cunnington was first to the ball but again could not beat Colin Doyle, great goalkeeping.
The first goal was for Birmingham. Clayton Donaldson scored from inside the six yard box after Blues pounced on a mistake by Dunk on the edge of his own box and laid it off to Donaldson. A good spot from Paul Caddis.
A cross from the right by Jonathan Spector found Wes Thomas. He got his angles all wrong and headed wide. Donaldson had a powerful shot bounce wide of the left post on the half an hour mark.
Birmingham`s Gray then found Thomas who back heeled it to Donaldson but Richard Tait cleared his effort off the line. Ryan Donaldson found a goal after a solo effort getting through Birmingham and levelling the score.
Gunning was substituted after picking up a knock. David Edgar replaced him with around ten minutes to go until half time. Appiah added to his good performance with another shot; it travelled wide, though.
The teams went in at half time on level terms. Birmingham had looked bright with Cotterill; Donaldson and Gray doing well. Defensively the team had issues to address.
Cambridge started brightly, again. Ryan Donaldson had his strike saved by Doyle. Josh Coulson`s header hit the post shortly after, as well. Birmingham again saved by Colin Doyle. Sam-Yorke through on goal and the keeper won the one on one battle.
Birmingham`s first foray in the second half was a David Cotterill shot, it was deflected wide for a corner. Lee Novak then replaced Wes Thomas.
David Davis managed to cap his debut with a yellow card. He pulled back a breakaway Cambridge attacker. The game began to go end to end at this point, Clayton Donaldson went close for Blues after Novak played it back for him.
Demarai Gray went close with a low shot from the right. Dunn got behind the ball to smother the shot. Luke Chadwick hit back for Cambridge, his shot flew over the bar after a good run from Sam-Yorke.
A change for Birmingham with a quarter of the half to go. Mark Duffy replaced Demarai Gray. Paul Caddis with his trusty right foot hit a powerful strike, blocked by courageous defending.
Birmingham were the better team in the closing stages of the second half as they applied the pressure for a second goal. Duffy`s looping effort from distance was well claimed by Dunn.
In the second half stoppage time period, Donaldson was presented with an empty net. He headed it off the post. The game finished and went to extra time.
Blues started the better side, Cotterill went close with a dipping shot. Paul Caddis then scored when a Cotterill shot was saved and pushed into his path. From 17 yards Caddis belted the ball home.
Duffy then delivered a corner from the right. Hall made it to the ball but headed wide and couldn`t affect the score. Cambridge found themselves on the back foot from their own corner. Birmingham broke and Cotterill forced a good save from Chris Dunn.
Birmingham scored from the resulting corner. However, it was disallowed for an apparent foul on the goalkeeper. It was Novak who headed in. On the stroke of half time Mark Duffy picked the ball up on the left, drove into the box and scored a deflected effort into the goal.
Colin Doyle was called into action early in the second half of extra time. Greg Taylor`s header was tipped over. The resulting corner was headed over by Taylor. Doyle again was busy, he saved a 30 yard strike from Simpson.
The game finished 3-1 to Birmingham and they can now look forward to the next round of the Capital One Cup.
@VitalBirmingham ONLY ONEEEE PAUL CADDIS!!!!
@VitalBirmingham Davis has been impressive, Cotterill has looked lively but fragile at the back
@VitalBirmingham spector is not a RB why play caddis if not going to play him in his correct place?