Birmingham move up in the table with a much-anticipated win
On a wet and windy evening, Birmingham hosted Nottingham in a bottom of the table clash which would see the winner move up and the loser fall to last place in the league. With such high stakes for both sides, it is unsurprising both failed to establish sustained possession or pressure early on.
However, as the first half bored on, Birmingham settled into the rhythm of the game and began to have more success in the offensive half; most chances came through the left back Ben Roberts and the left winger Ayo Adebayo, who both used their pace to exploit the left channel to good effect. Despite the Birmingham pressure, neither side could edge ahead and the half-time whistle blew at 0-0.
Kick-off in the second half saw an immediate shift in the tempo and attacking impetus of both sides. Unfortunately for Birmingham, caught off-guard by the initial spell of opposition pressure, the Nottingham right winger worked the ball nicely through to the striker who gratefully dispatched the pass into the right corner to break the deadlock.
However, Birmingham showed good character to win a penalty almost instantly after the restart (resulting from an admittedly contentious handball decision). The number 8 Jack Davies dispatched the penalty clinically, bringing the Lions back level in what would prove to be a pivotal period of the tie.
The following 30 minutes was a cagey affair with both sides providing good creativity in the final third and testing the opposition keepers. Birmingham finally overcame their opponents in the last 15 minutes of the game with a right-sided cross into the box which was tapped in convincingly from close range.
The win marked a very successful evening for the Lions who, on the balance of play, were good value for the victory. This results means Birmingham finish fourth in the Premier North division, leapfrogging Stirling who they beat 7-1 back in November. In all, a much needed and much deserved victory by a spirited and resilient Birmingham side.