Birmingham 4-2 Bristol City- Match Report

Clayton Donaldson's hat-trick lifts Birmingham to victory over Bristol CityClayton Donaldson notched a first-half hat-trick as Birmingham continued their impressive unbeaten start to the season with a 4-2 victory over shell-shocked Bristol City 4-2 at St Andrew's.The former Brentford striker opened the scoring after 10 minutes, doubled his tally after 20 and completed his treble from the penalty spot four minutes before half-time.The visitors were woefully weak in defence, but showed plenty of promise in attack as Frenchman Jonathan Kodjia scored twice (32 and 66) to keep them in the game before Jonathan Grounds notched Birmingham's fourth goal in the 77th minute.Donaldson took full advantage of a woefully weak visiting defence and his second hat-trick for Birmingham was well merited, and gave a good indication of the midlands club's potential under Gary Rowett.Bristol City were eager to atone for their disappointing start to the campaign - something which was reflected in their initial attacking policy, which saw Luke Freeman frequently involved.The Robins failed to create an early breakthrough and they were often caught wanting against Birmingham counter-attacks.Demarai Gray demonstrated his rich potential when he took on Liam Moore with some trickery before creating space to push over a long cross from the left to Dave Cotterill.Cotterill had lost his marker Nathan Baker and slipped the ball low back into the middle for the unmarked Donaldson to tap home from close range to give Gary Rowett's side a 10th-minute lead.The goal undoubtedly highlighted why Bristol City went into the game with the worst defensive record in the Sky Bet Championship.Freeman's creative skill kept the Robins in the game but there was always the threat of Birmingham on the sudden breakaways.This was demonstrated in dramatic style in the 20th minute when the talented Jon Toral jinked his way past a bemused away defence to provide a scintillating low pass into the path of Donaldson, who flashed first time past goalkeeper Frankie Fielding.Unfortunately for Bristol City, Kodjia failed to display the same goalscoring instinct when he completely mistimed his shot in front of an open goal and ball skidded wide off his swinging leg.The alarming gaps in the visitors' defence was almost an open invitation for further goalscoring opportunities for Birmingham's eager attack.Baker, recruited on loan from Aston Villa, operated wide on the left in a defensive formation which looked very shaky under pressure.Often throwing caution to the wind, Bristol City always looked for an attacking opportunity and were rewarded on 32 minutes when Joe Bryan succeeded in producing a low cross which Kodjia, on this occasion, made no mistake in converting from a couple of yards.Birmingham's two-goal lead was restored in the 40th minute when Toral was impeded by the struggling Baker in the penalty area.Donaldson was accorded the honour of completing his first-half hat-trick by converting the penalty with a low shot into the middle of the net, with Fielding having dived to his right.The second half became a little untidy with five bookings

Birmingham lost their composure as Kodjia hooked home his second goal in the 66th minute.But Birmingham restored their two-goal advantage when Grounds rose high to head home Cotterill's left-wing corner in the 77th minute

Source : PA

Source: PA