By James Burch
Birmingham City slumped to their fourth defeat of the season after turning in another ‘Jekyll and Hyde` performance losing 2-1 at home to Fulham. Second half goals from Tim Hoogland and Hugo Rodallega gave The Cottagers their first three points of the season after David Cotterill opened the scoring for Blues.
Off the back of last Saturdays draw away at Norwich, Clarks only change was to bring winger Mark Duffy into the side in place of Paul Caddis. The game started in a scruffy and turgid fashion with both teams getting to grips with the pace of the game and a lack of confidence and quality could be seen in both teams. Birmingham`s first proper scoring opportunity came in the 27th minute when David Cotterill ,who was a real thorn in Fulham`s side in the first half sent in a lovely cross that should have been finished by Clayton Donaldson in the area . The same happened in the 33rd minute when a ball from the Welsh international was put wide of the post by David Edgar.
Birmingham made the deserved breakthrough in the 38th minute through a stunning goal from the aforementioned winger Cotterill. A marauding run from Demerai Gray sent the ball to Callum Reilly who quickly spread the ball across to the left flank finding the feet of the Welsh man who after one touch sent the ball into the right hand corner of the goal past Fulham keeper Bettinelli; Sending The Blues into half-time one goal to the good.
The second half started with Blues on top again and half-time substitute Brek Shea was unlucky not to add to the score after his powerful strike was pushed over the bar for a corner. However as the St. Andrews faithful have begun to realise this year, a one goal lead is never enough and in the 63rd minute Fulham grabbed their equaliser. The visitor`s corner was unsuccessfully cleared by Blues defence and the ball somehow fell to Fulham defender Tim Hoogland who managed to put the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the net past Darren Randolph`s flailing dive.
Fulham who in the first hour of the game had hardly entered Blues half were given great confidence by their equaliser and ten minutes later scored the goal that sent them on course to their first win of the season courtesy of Hugo Rodallega. A calamitous mix up between Jonathan Spector and keeper Randolph turned the ball into the path of Rodallega who took the ball to the left of the goal and fired in from a tight angle to the dismay of the Blues crowd. Fulham nearly scored again in the final minutes of the game but Randolph saved smartly and the game ended 2-1 in Fulham`s favour to the boos and jeers of St. Andrews. The loss sent Blues down another place to 21st in the table piling more pressure on Lee Clark and the Blues team.
Full-Time Birmingham 1-2 Fulham
Birmingham now go into Tuesdays away game against Millwall knowing that the teams below are circling and as we learnt from last year when you enter the bottom three it is very hard to get out of it.
Birmingham City: Randolph Grounds Edgar Spector (Caddis – 94′ ) Robinson Duffy (Shea – 45′ ) Davis Cotterill Gray (Thomas – 72′ ) Reilly Donaldson
Unused Substitutes: Gleeson Hall Johnstone Doyle
Bettinelli Amorebieta Burn Bodurov Hoogland Christensen Parker Hyndman (Stafylidis – 45′ ) Ruiz (Woodrow – 66′ ) McCormack Rodallega
Kiraly Smith Roberts Williams Kavanagh
Fulham Off the Ground
By James Burch