Championship
Birmingham2Nottm Forest1

Birmingham City 2-1 Nottingham Forest

Paul Caddis
Caddis's winner against Nottingham Forest was his third goal of the season

Birmingham City maintained their revival under new manager Gary Rowett as Paul Caddis's late penalty proved enough to beat Nottingham Forest.

David Cotterill's stunning 20-yard strike gave Blues an interval lead.

Britt Assombalonga then headed Forest level six minutes from time.

But the Forest striker was sent off for handball on the line - a decision given by fourth official Nigel Smith from the touchline - and Caddis slotted in the winning 89th-minute spot-kick.

Under the gaze of former Blues and Forest favourite Trevor Francis, who had been invited along to receive an honour as one of the Midlands' all-time top celebrities, the biggest crowd of the season at St Andrew's were treated to a classic contest.

The Blues-Forest game was marked by a half-time presentation to legend Trevor Francis, who became the latest local Midlands celebrity to be welcomed into the Birmingham Walk of Stars.
The 52-times capped former England international made his name with Blues before moving in 1979 to Forest, for whom he netted the European Cup winning goal in 1979.Although he originally he hails from Plymouth, he became an adopted Midlander, and a Blues idol, from the moment that he burst into the scene at the age of 16 at St Andrew's as a teenage scoring sensation.
He netted 133 goals in 329 appearances in a decade at Blues before becoming this country's first million-pound footballer when he moved to Forest.
He returned to Blues as manager almost two decades later to lead the club to the League Cup final and so nearly to the Premier League, only to repeatedly miss out in the play-offs.

A fifth successive game without defeat under Rowett moves Blues up two places in the Championship table to 17th - just six points behind Stuart Pearce's promotion-chasing Forest, who had won their previous two matches.

An already competitive encounter truly erupted into life on 10 minutes when Cotterill cut in from the right to curl home an exquisitely-struck left-foot shot off the underside of the bar - by far from being the recently-recalled Wales international's first spectacular long-range strike.

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Pearce on Birmingham v Forest

Blues then went close to a second on 31 minutes when right-back Caddis's attempted cross took a big, looping, deflection off Danny Fox before bouncing off the top of the bar.

But, in the end, they had to be indebted to a fine save by home keeper Darren Randolph to stay a goal clear at the break.

Blues old boy Chris Burke's chargedown sent him clear on goal, but his right-foot shot from the edge of the box was parried by Randolph, who got down well to save low to his right.

It needed an even better save from Forest keeper Karl Darlow, however, to keep out Clayton Donaldson's powerful right-foot shot as the home side dominated after the break.

That came either side of two dangerous headers at successive corners from on-loan home defender Michael Morrison. And Cotterill was only just too high with an outrageously cheeky 60-yard chip from just inside the Forest half.

Forest then sneaked a late equaliser when Michail Antonio's deflected cross was headed home at the far post by Assombalonga - followed by protests led by Blues skipper Paul Robinson.

But, just when it seemed as if Darlow's brilliant one-hand save had denied sub Lee Novak's volley to wreck hopes of claiming all three points, Blues had one last shout.

Morrison's goalbound header was kept out on the line by Assombalonga. And, after mass protests from the Blues players, following a touchline consultation with Mr Smith, and now sparking great anger in the Forest dug-out, referee Geoff Eltringham gave the penalty - and Caddis sent Darlow the wrong way from the spot.

Birmingham City manager Gary Rowett told BBC WM:

"It was controversial the way it happened. The referee gave a corner, the linesman gave a corner and it was the fourth official who said it was handball.

"The referee took his time and conferred with him. And, as galling as it must have been for the Forest bench, it was the right decision.

"You can argue whether he should make the decision from that far away, but you can't argue with the fact that it was the right decision in the end.

"I wasn't 100% clear until I'd seen it again but, having seen the replay, it was without a shadow of the doubt, the right decision."

Nottingham Forest manager Stuart Pearce told BBC Radio Nottingham:

"It took a while for the decision to be made but eventually the right one was and we accept that. We'll never be a football club that bemoans the match officials.

"I saw Britt handball it and so did the fourth official behind me. I'm not quite sure how the referee and his linesman, who were closer, could not see that but fair play to the referee. He has admitted he couldn't see the incident.

"We've got a lot of hard work to do before the Charlton game next week. The players need to show me they're up for the fight.

"We're not going to use the penalty as a smokescreen or an excuse for why we haven't taken something from this game. We didn't play well enough. That is the bottom line."

Line-ups

Birmingham

  • 1Randolph
  • 31Caddis
  • 28Morrison
  • 4Robinson
  • 3Grounds
  • 8Gleeson
  • 26Davis
  • 11Cotterill
  • 22ShinnieSubstituted forReillyat 70'minutes
  • 33GrayBooked at 45minsSubstituted forNovakat 70'minutes
  • 9Donaldson

Substitutes

  • 2Eardley
  • 6Edgar
  • 12Novak
  • 17Reilly
  • 21Doyle
  • 24Arthur
  • 39Moussi

Nottm Forest

  • 1Darlow
  • 2Lichaj
  • 4Mancienne
  • 16LascellesBooked at 90mins
  • 13FoxSubstituted forInceat 71'minutesBooked at 61mins
  • 27BurkeSubstituted forPatersonat 63'minutes
  • 38Osborn
  • 10LansburyBooked at 90mins
  • 18AntonioBooked at 80mins
  • 7FryattSubstituted forBlackstockat 80'minutes
  • 9AssombalongaBooked at 88mins

Substitutes

  • 6Wilson
  • 17Hunt
  • 19Ince
  • 21Paterson
  • 23Blackstock
  • 29de Vries
  • 32Tesche
Referee:
Geoff Eltringham
Attendance:
18,595

Match Stats

Home TeamBirminghamAway TeamNottm Forest
Possession
Home43%
Away57%
Shots
Home17
Away9
Shots on Target
Home7
Away5
Corners
Home10
Away2
Fouls
Home10
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Birmingham City 2, Nottingham Forest 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Birmingham City 2, Nottingham Forest 1.

Booking

Jamaal Lascelles (Nottingham Forest) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Jamaal Lascelles (Nottingham Forest).

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

Attempt saved. Michail Antonio (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ben Osborn.

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

Foul by Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest).

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

Attempt blocked. Tom Ince (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

Booking

Henri Lansbury (Nottingham Forest) is shown the yellow card.

Goal!

Goal! Birmingham City 2, Nottingham Forest 1. Paul Caddis (Birmingham City) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

Dismissal

Britt Assombalonga (Nottingham Forest) is shown the red card.

Penalty conceded by Britt Assombalonga (Nottingham Forest) with a hand ball in the penalty area.

Attempt blocked. Michael Morrison (Birmingham City) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by David Cotterill with a cross.

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Karl Darlow.

Attempt saved. Lee Novak (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Stephen Gleeson with a headed pass.

Goal!

Goal! Birmingham City 1, Nottingham Forest 1. Britt Assombalonga (Nottingham Forest) header from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Jamie Paterson with a headed pass.

Attempt saved. Michail Antonio (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jamie Paterson.

Attempt missed. Dexter Blackstock (Nottingham Forest) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Ben Osborn with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Dexter Blackstock replaces Matty Fryatt.

Booking

Michail Antonio (Nottingham Forest) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Michail Antonio (Nottingham Forest).

Jonathan Grounds (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. David Cotterill (Birmingham City) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is too high.

Attempt missed. Michael Morrison (Birmingham City) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by David Cotterill with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Karl Darlow.

Attempt saved. Clayton Donaldson (Birmingham City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Paul Robinson.

Matty Fryatt (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Stephen Gleeson (Birmingham City).

Substitution

Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Tom Ince replaces Daniel Fox.

Attempt missed. Michael Morrison (Birmingham City) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by David Cotterill with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Jamaal Lascelles.

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Lee Novak replaces Demarai Gray.

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Callum Reilly replaces Andrew Shinnie.

Foul by Henri Lansbury (Nottingham Forest).

David Davis (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Hand ball by Andrew Shinnie (Birmingham City).

Attempt missed. Michael Morrison (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Daniel Fox.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Derby19105435191635
2Ipswich199732819934
3Brentford1910453024634
4Bournemouth1996437201733
5Middlesbrough1996428141433
6Blackburn198743026431
7Watford198563122929
8Cardiff198562422229
9Nottm Forest197753025528
10Charlton1961032019128
11Norwich197662924527
12Wolves197662229-727
13Sheff Wed1951041415-125
14Reading197392530-524
15Leeds196582326-323
16Fulham196493034-422
17Birmingham195771730-1322
18Bolton1963102228-621
19Huddersfield195682532-721
20Millwall194872126-520
21Rotherham194781626-1019
22Brighton193972125-418
23Wigan193882025-517
24Blackpool1916121331-189
View full Championship table

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