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Birmingham City 2-1 Watford

Clayton Donaldson
Clayton Donaldson joined Birmingham from Brentford in the summer

Clayton Donaldson scored twice to knock Watford off the top of the Championship as Gary Rowett maintained his unbeaten start as Birmingham boss.

Donaldson turned in Stephen Gleeson's pass with a deflected shot to put the home side ahead after 80 seconds.

Fernando Forestieri brought Watford level quickly, converting Lloyd Doyley's cross at the second attempt.

But Donaldson headed in a cross from David Cotterill to seal Birmingham's second win in 26 home league games.

Despite the victory, Birmingham remain in the Championship's bottom three because of Brighton's win over Wigan.

But Rowett - who began his reign with a 0-0 draw at Wolves on Saturday - has brought about a significant improvement in a team who lost their previous home match 8-0 to Bournemouth.

Birmingham's home help
Since beating Millwall on 1 October 2013, Birmingham had won just one home league game before overcoming Watford - defeating Brighton 1-0 on 16 August

They went ahead from their first attack as Gleeson, in space on the left, found Donaldson, who stretched to beat keeper Heurelho Gomes from 15 yards with the help of a deflection.

Watford equalised as Forestieri collected Doyley's ball and side-stepped a defender to beat Darren Randolph from eight yards after the keeper saved his first effort.

The dangerous Cotterill curled a shot wide from outside the area, then struck a free-kick that forced a good save from Gomes, who also pushed away a long-range Gleeson shot.

Randolph saved well from Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney to keep the score level at the break.

There were fewer clear chances in the second half, with Gleeson volleying wide and Watford midfielder Daniel Tozser making an important block to deny David Davis.

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Rowett on Birmingham v Watford

But Donaldson won it with five minutes left when he nodded Cotterill's right-wing cross past Gomes to end Watford's nine-match unbeaten run.

Birmingham manager Gary Rowett: "I certainly think we shouldn't play with any fear here. You could see the pressure on one or two at some stage but I felt they overcame it very well.

"The crowd will get behind you but only if you give them something. They were ready to grab something and that performance will have encouraged them."

Watford head coach Slavisa Jokanovic: "I am disappointed because it wasn't a good result for us. We tried to take control of the game and we had possession of the ball but we played slowly.

"We made some changes because we had some injured people and Fernando didn't start the last game. It's not an excuse, I don't believe my team was tired."

Line-ups

Birmingham

  • 1Randolph
  • 31Caddis
  • 28Morrison
  • 4Robinson
  • 3Grounds
  • 8Gleeson
  • 26DavisBooked at 51mins
  • 11Cotterill
  • 22ShinnieSubstituted forThomasat 79'minutes
  • 24ArthurSubstituted forGrayat 74'minutes
  • 9Donaldson

Substitutes

  • 2Eardley
  • 6Edgar
  • 10Thomas
  • 13Shea
  • 17Reilly
  • 21Doyle
  • 33Gray

Watford

  • 1Gomes
  • 14Paredes
  • 6Ekstrand
  • 31Hoban
  • 12Doyley
  • 10McGugan
  • 8Tozser
  • 21Anya
  • 11ForestieriSubstituted forVydraat 75'minutes
  • 24IghaloSubstituted forAndrewsat 59'minutesBooked at 81mins
  • 9DeeneyBooked at 89mins

Substitutes

  • 5Andrews
  • 15Cathcart
  • 16Murray
  • 18Pudil
  • 20Vydra
  • 23Dyer
  • 30Bond
Referee:
Mark Heywood
Attendance:
18,309

Match Stats

Home TeamBirminghamAway TeamWatford
Possession
Home45%
Away55%
Shots
Home19
Away12
Shots on Target
Home6
Away5
Corners
Home1
Away5
Fouls
Home7
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Birmingham City 2, Watford 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Birmingham City 2, Watford 1.

Attempt saved. Stephen Gleeson (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by David Cotterill.

Foul by Joel Ekstrand (Watford).

Clayton Donaldson (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Booking

Troy Deeney (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Troy Deeney (Watford).

Michael Morrison (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Ikechi Anya (Watford) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Matej Vydra.

Offside, Watford. Troy Deeney tries a through ball, but Ikechi Anya is caught offside.

Goal!

Goal! Birmingham City 2, Watford 1. Clayton Donaldson (Birmingham City) header from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by David Cotterill with a cross.

Foul by Troy Deeney (Watford).

Paul Caddis (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. David Cotterill (Birmingham City) right footed shot from long range on the right is too high from a direct free kick.

Booking

Keith Andrews (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Keith Andrews (Watford).

Paul Caddis (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Wes Thomas replaces Andrew Shinnie.

Lewis McGugan (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by David Davis (Birmingham City).

Attempt missed. David Davis (Birmingham City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Matej Vydra replaces Fernando Forestieri.

Daniel Tözsér (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Clayton Donaldson (Birmingham City).

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Demarai Gray replaces Koby Arthur.

Attempt missed. Keith Andrews (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Troy Deeney with a headed pass.

Offside, Birmingham City. Paul Caddis tries a through ball, but Clayton Donaldson is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Lewis McGugan (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Troy Deeney.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Paul Caddis.

Offside, Watford. Keith Andrews tries a through ball, but Fernando Forestieri is caught offside.

Offside, Birmingham City. David Cotterill tries a through ball, but Clayton Donaldson is caught offside.

Attempt missed. David Cotterill (Birmingham City) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Jonathan Grounds.

Attempt missed. Daniel Tözsér (Watford) left footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

Lewis McGugan (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by David Davis (Birmingham City).

Attempt missed. Stephen Gleeson (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a set piece situation.

David Cotterill (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Fernando Forestieri (Watford).

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Keith Andrews replaces Odion Ighalo.

Attempt blocked. Paul Caddis (Birmingham City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Andrew Shinnie.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Bournemouth1693433161730
2Middlesbrough1693426121430
3Watford1685330181229
4Derby1685328161229
5Ipswich167632417727
6Wolves167632217527
7Norwich167542417726
8Blackburn167542623326
9Charlton165921918124
10Nottm Forest155732319422
11Cardiff166462121022
12Brentford156451820-222
13Reading166372226-421
14Sheff Wed164841214-220
15Huddersfield165562428-420
16Millwall164661721-418
17Leeds164571723-617
18Rotherham164571524-917
19Wigan163761719-216
20Brighton163761619-316
21Fulham154382228-615
22Birmingham163671429-1515
23Bolton1642101726-914
24Blackpool151311824-166
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