Match Reports

Birmingham City 3-1 Albion

A photo of Grady Diangana in 2023/24 home colours battling for the ball at St. Andrew's against Birmingham City

Albion were beaten by Birmingham City at St. Andrew's on Friday night. 

Despite taking the lead through John Swift's sixth goal of the campaign, efforts from Juninho Bacuna, Dion Sanderson and Gary Gardner ensured the Baggies' five-game unbeaten run came to an end.

After a tense, close start to proceedings under the lights, the confidence running through the in-form Swift showed five minutes into the contest.

It was a welcome start for the visitors as Grady Diangana was allowed to drift in from the right flank and pick out space for Swift to run onto - which he used to devastating effect, curling a strike around home keeper John Ruddy and in via the post.

Albion were a goal ahead, but John Eustace’s men weren’t about to let it go unchallenged - with only the side netting preventing Koji Miyoshi rifling in a response just minutes later from a corner.

Miyoshi was then involved in the first half’s major talking point as, following what seemed a 50-50 challenge between Cedric Kipre and the Japanese international inside the box, referee James Linington pointed to the spot.

Bacuna stepped up and confidently rolled the resulting penalty into the bottom corner to level the scores at 1-1.

The momentum with them, City made their confidence count when an inviting cross into the box found the run of unmarked defender Sanderson, who comfortably guided a header past Palmer to edge Blues in front at the interval.

In light of the setback, the Baggies began the second 45 by putting together some good passing exchanges and, from one of them, they came agonisingly close to a leveller.

Terrific work by Matty Phillips down the left forged time to get an inviting cross into the area. Every Birmingham player missed the delivery, presenting Furlong with the opportunity to hit the target.

Sadly, his connecting strike into the ground flew narrowly past the post with Ruddy left stranded in the City net.

And despite seeing plenty of the ball during the closing exchanges, Albion were undone at the other end by a Gardner free-kick six minutes from time, which ensured all three points went home with Blues.

Albion: Palmer; Furlong (Pipa 81), Bartley, Kipre, Pieters (Pieters 45); Yokuslu (Chalobah 65), Mowatt; Phillips, Swift (Fellows 73), Diangana; Wallace (Thomas-Asante 65).

Subs not used: Griffiths, Ajayi, Taylor, Molumby.