Birmingham 1-2 Burnley- Match Report

Andre Gray scores winner as Burnley win at BirminghamBurnley stretched their unbeaten run to 19 games with a vital 2-1 Sky Bet Championship victory over Birmingham City at St Andrew's.The valuable win takes the Clarets into second place but they had a few anxious moments.George Boyd gave the visitors a lead lead which was cancelled out by Birmingham's star man, Jacques Maghoma, early in the second half.Andre Gray, who had previously been well policed by Ryan Shotton, notched the vital 76th minute winner to the delight of Burnley's 2,332 travelling fans.It was his first effort on goal to produce his 22nd goal of the campaign and it could not have come at a better time.Following Middlesbrough's earlier success at Bolton the emphasis was on Burnley to produce a positive performance

They responded with a determined attacking showing with Joey Barton quickly involved and setting up several promising attacks.Birmingham, who had lost three of their previous four games, were not prepared to lie down against the confident Burnley outfit.Maghoma, in particular, impressed in the early stages when he proved a difficult opponent for Matt Lowton.He cleverly created space for himself in the opening exchanges but his optimistic shot from wide on the left sailed high and wide in what could have been a testing situation for the Clarets.Birmingham defender Paul Caddis had an effort blocked by Ben Mee.But the home side had only themselves to blame for not taking a 22nd minute lead.David Cotterill astutely pulled the ball back into the path of the unmarked Maghoma only for the former Burton player to blast his shot wide with only Tom Heaton to beat.Burnley struck the opener in the 31st minute with devastating accuracy.Lowton's cross was blocked by Maikel Kieftenbeld only for the ball to go straight to Boyd and the former Hull player put Burnley ahead with a rasping low shot past Adam Legzdins.Boyd went close to a second goal after picking up a Barton pass only to see his effort deflected just wide of the post

Cotterill was a tireless worker for Birmingham but all his industry came to nothing despite his shot which produced a top quality save by Heaton.Barton was substituted by David Jones at half-time and he very nearly put Burnley further ahead with a a low shot which grazed the upright five minutes into the second period.Birmingham equalised in the 55th minute through Maghoma

Jon Toral put in a swerving shot which Heaton could only parry into the path of Maghoma to head home from close range.Burnley surprisingly lost their earlier composure as Birmingham seemingly sensed the chance of scoring a rare home win with Jonathan Grounds hitting the bar with a header.But Burnley continued to strive for a victory with a solo effort from Lowton whistling just wide.Gray made no mistake in the 76th minute with the Clarets' winner.Boyd lofted his cross from the left to the unmarked Gray to force the ball home into the roof of the net.To add to Birmingham's misery Toral was sent off a second booking in stoppage time

Source : PA

Source: PA