A battling Birmingham side were unlucky to lose 2-1 to Warwick under difficult conditions at muddy Metchley on Wednesday.
The Lions were unable to reproduce their heroics away from home back in November, when they defeated Warwick 3-2, as a slow start allowed the visitors to punish the home side and take a crucial 3 points, which saw them overtake Birmingham in the league table.
The pitch was extremely muddy, which resulted in a sloppy start to the game during which Warwick’s number 11 was able to find the space to nick the opening goal. A throw in from the corner flag saw the ball find the striker on the edge of the area, who had the time to look up and accurately pick out the corner of the goal, giving the Lions keeper Freddie Filce no chance of keeping a clean sheet on his debut.
Spurred on by this opener, Warwick pressed their advantage and were able to double their lead 15 minutes in, again through their number 11 striker. This time, a headed clearance from Brum’s centre back landed at the feet of the Warwick man in the box, where he produced some admittedly impressive footwork to turn and drill the ball low into the net.
Now 2-0 down, Birmingham rallied to fight back and retain possession, growing into the game and creating a number of good chances as their confidence increased. This momentum shift led to the Lions pulling one back just before the stroke of halftime, through the spectacular strike of number 9, Moyo Adeyemi.
Some intricate passing in the midfield lead to a threaded pass reaching Adeyemi just outside the box. Man-marked, Adeyemi turned the defender, created a pocket of space and fired a powerful, low shot across goal into the bottom corner. A spectacular strike which galvanised the team into finishing the half strongly.
A particularly even and open second half followed, during which Filce made a number of solid saves to keep the deficit at just one goal. On a muddy and torn up pitch, first touches were often poor from long balls, hence the Lions switched to playing more balls on the ground in order to keep possession, a tactic which saw the lads come extremely close to equalising on a number of occasions, with Adeyemi firing just wide of the post after being released late in the second half.
Ultimately, it was Birmingham who finished the game strongest, with a flurry of late chances being blocked by a resolute Warwick defence. A disappointing day for the boys in the end, as they certainly deserved to take something from the end-to-end encounter at Metchley. Man of the Match would have to be Will Weightman, whose first touches and dribbling were impressive on such difficult turf, whilst his passing remained consistently accurate throughout the game.
The Lions thirds team take on Leicester away from home in their next fixture. Best of luck lads, here’s hoping you can bring home the 3 points!