Birmingham produced an attacking masterclass to comfortably defeat Northumbria 4-1 on a cold afternoon at Metchley 3G.
It was Northumbria who emerged victorious the last time the two teams met with Birmingham losing 1-0 away from home in the opening game of the season. However, after a chastening 4-1 defeat last weekend, Northumbria never looked likely to win the game especially as a strong performance by Birmingham ultimately overwhelmed them.
The Lions were clearly looking for revenge as they burst into the game from kick-off with a goal in the opening minutes. Birmingham’s winger cut inside to drill the ball in low past the keeper.
Following this early lead, Northumbria composed themselves and grew into the game, matching Birmingham for possession and stringing passes together well in the midfield. Their momentum allowed them to equalise in the 27th minute as a cross-turned-shot was deflected off the line by Birmingham’s defenders, only for the ball to land at the feet of Northumbria’s number 10, who smashed it into the top corner from close range.
Mere minutes later, Northumbria’s striker clattered into the Lions’ keeper, a dangerous challenge that lead to the keeper having to be substituted just before the end of the first half. Down at the other end, a mix up in Northumbria’s defence caused their keeper to accidentally punch one of his own defenders as he rose to meet the ball, calling for yet more medical assistance before the break.
Following the very open and even first half, Birmingham controlled the second, regaining their lead. In the 50th minute a shot deflected off the post, setting up UoB’s number 14 to tuck away the rebound. The lead extended to 3-1 20 minutes later by an own goal as a cross whipped into the box and dipped through the crowd, only to connect with the leg of a Northumbria defender and dribble into his own net!
Already leading the game by a comfortable margin, in final 10 minutes Birmingham’s determination created chance after chance to score. One notable break saw the winger, number 18, send a curling effort over the keeper only to be denied by the crossbar. This late dominance saw the Lions increase their lead in the final minute of the game with a cross from the left hand side finding number 16 Robbie Paratore produce an accurate finish. The ball settled comfortably in the bottom right corner to see Birmingham victorious by 4-1.
An excellent overall performance from the lads who move to the top of the table with 8 points from their first 6 games. They face Durham at home next time. The Man of the Match has to be Nitin Mishra. The captain controlled the midfield well and drove the attacks forward with an impressive range of passes. Best of luck next week boys not that you’d be needing it if you continue like this!