Birmingham 2-1 Reading- Match Report

Cotterill inspires BirminghamDavid Cotterill inspired Birmingham City to a 2-1 win over Reading in the Sky Bet Championship after scoring one and setting up another for the Blues.The former Doncaster winger scored a fine free kick to break the deadlock and then carved out the opening from which Jon Toral made it 2-0 after 47 minutes.Nick Blackman sparked a revival for Reading with a 59th minute goal and they deserved more with only the woodwork denying Orlando Sa and Danny Williams in a pulsating finish.Birmingham goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak also had to produce heroics late on to save Sa's penalty and preserve the win

It was just the start Birmingham wanted after their harrowing spell twelve months ago when they were relegation candidates before the arrival of manager Gary Rowett.Reading were certainly more positive than Birmingham in the early stages, with some pleasing attacking moves in which newcomer Stephen Quinn was involved

They were obviously keen to wipe away the memory of last season's horror show when they crashed 6-1 at St

Andrew's.It was, however, Sa, who looked most likely to make something happen and it took some time before Birmingham were able to find some attacking form.Birmingham strikers Demarai Gray and Clayton Donaldson were struggling to make an impact as they were well-marshalled by Michael Hector and Irish international Paul McShane.There was little sign of Gray's electrifying pace, with the Royals paying particularly close attention to him after he scored a hat-trick last time out against them.It was not until the 35th minute that the game produced its first shot on target when McShane scooped in a drive which Kuszczak had to push away diving low to his left

Kuszczak was in action a minute later when he scrambled to keep out an effort from Nick Blackman.This sudden activity finally generated the opening goal when Cotterill's 40th minute free-kick was viciously deflected by Blackman past goalkeeper Jonathan Bond, who was hopelessly sent the wrong way.The goal changed the complexion of the game and Birmingham doubled their lead in the 47th minute with an excellent goal from Toral, who is on loan from Arsenal.Reading's plan to take the game to Birmingham backfired

They were caught out at the back and Toral was on hand to accurately head home Cotterill's long cross from the left.But Reading were in no mood to collapse and stormed back into the game in the 59th minute with smartly headed goal from Blackman, who was on hand to convert Chris Gunter's cross after Kuszczak had parried a long range shot.This inspired Reading to seek the equaliser and they put Birmingham under considerable pressure, creating some anxious moments for the home crowd as Sa hit the crossbar and a 73rd-minute rocket from Williams hit the underside of the bar and bounced back out.Substitute Simon Cox was brought down by David Davis in the area, but Sa's low spot-kick was easily parried by Kuszczak

Source : PA

Source: PA