Championship
Birmingham6Reading1

Birmingham City 6-1 Reading

Demarai Gray
Demarai Gray slides the ball past Adam Federici to complete his hat-trick against Reading

Demarai Gray starred with a first-half hat-trick as Birmingham City thrashed Reading 6-1 at St Andrew's.

Paul Caddis put the hosts in front with a neatly worked free-kick and teenage winger Gray doubled the lead with a run and shot from the edge of the box.

Glenn Murray's header pulled one back for Reading but Gray's solo strike and then a neat finish from a David Davis pass put Blues 4-1 up by half-time.

Andrew Shinnie's low shot and David Cotterill's set-piece sealed victory.

Birmingham had lost 1-0 at Lee Clark's Blackpool in their previous outing, but they recovered in fine style from their first defeat under manager Gary Rowett, who took over on 27 October following Clark's sacking.

After a ninth defeat in 15 games, there are now sure to be more questions asked about the future of Reading boss Nigel Adkins, whose side created numerous chances but were undone by poor defensive play and a ruthless Birmingham attack.

Hat-trick hero
Demarai Gray scored three goals in 34 first-half minutes against Reading, having netted just twice in his first 25 appearances for Birmingham City.

Jonathan Grounds set up Caddis to fire in the first, before 18-year-old Gray - making only his 10th league start for Blues - took centre stage.

Murray and Simon Cox squandered first-half opportunities to level for the visitors, who remain marooned in mid-table.

Any hopes of a Reading comeback were ended within a minute of the restart, as Shinnie cut inside from the right touchline before firing beyond goalkeeper Adam Federici.

And the Royals' day was summed up by Birmingham's sixth, as Cotterill's free-kick from wide on the left flew into the far corner.

Birmingham City manager Gary Rowett: "Demarai Gray's finishing was so clinical.

"We toyed with him this week about how many goals he's actually scored. He said 'one', and you could see on his face a look of disgust with himself so I'm really pleased for him. He's a young player and we'll keep his feet on the ground and make sure he puts a shift in as well as showing his quality.

"It was a ruthless and clinical performance in that game to others is we took virtually every chance we had."

Reading manager Nigel Adkins: "It was very, very close in terms of the game but it wasn't in terms of the scoreline.

"Goals change the complex of games, we came here to be positive, started well and their keeper made a couple of early saves. But then they scored, and from our point of view they scored goals which we like to think we should stop. We'll reflect on it."

Line-ups

Birmingham

  • 1Randolph
  • 31Caddis
  • 28Morrison
  • 4Robinson
  • 3Grounds
  • 26Davis
  • 8Gleeson
  • 22ShinnieSubstituted forMoussiat 78'minutes
  • 33GraySubstituted forThomasat 88'minutes
  • 11Cotterill
  • 9DonaldsonSubstituted forZigicat 83'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Edgar
  • 10Thomas
  • 12Novak
  • 17Reilly
  • 19Zigic
  • 21Doyle
  • 39Moussi

Reading

  • 1Federici
  • 3Kelly
  • 15HectorBooked at 18minsSubstituted forPearceat 66'minutes
  • 35Cooper
  • 2GunterBooked at 58mins
  • 12McCleary
  • 6Norwood
  • 23WilliamsSubstituted forTaylorat 80'minutes
  • 11ObitaSubstituted forBlackmanat 75'minutes
  • 10Cox
  • 20Murray

Substitutes

  • 5Pearce
  • 18Tshibola
  • 22Blackman
  • 24Cummings
  • 25Taylor
  • 31Andersen
  • 37Stacey
Referee:
Nigel Miller
Attendance:
15,240

Match Stats

Home TeamBirminghamAway TeamReading
Possession
Home35%
Away65%
Shots
Home11
Away16
Shots on Target
Home7
Away4
Corners
Home2
Away5
Fouls
Home13
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Birmingham City 6, Reading 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Birmingham City 6, Reading 1.

Jake Taylor (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Nikola Zigic (Birmingham City).

Attempt saved. Garath McCleary (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Oliver Norwood.

Attempt blocked. Nick Blackman (Reading) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Garath McCleary.

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Wes Thomas replaces Demarai Gray.

Oliver Norwood (Reading) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Nikola Zigic (Birmingham City).

Garath McCleary (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by David Davis (Birmingham City).

Foul by Jake Taylor (Reading).

Stephen Gleeson (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Jake Taylor (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by David Davis (Birmingham City).

Attempt missed. Stephen Kelly (Reading) left footed shot from the right side of the box is too high.

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Nikola Zigic replaces Clayton Donaldson.

Alex Pearce (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Clayton Donaldson (Birmingham City).

Attempt missed. Garath McCleary (Reading) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Oliver Norwood.

Glenn Murray (Reading) hits the bar with a left footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Garath McCleary.

Attempt missed. David Cotterill (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Substitution

Substitution, Reading. Jake Taylor replaces Daniel Williams.

Offside, Reading. Daniel Williams tries a through ball, but Simon Cox is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Guy Moussi replaces Andrew Shinnie.

Attempt missed. David Cotterill (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left from a direct free kick.

Foul by Jake Cooper (Reading).

Andrew Shinnie (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt blocked. Clayton Donaldson (Birmingham City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by David Cotterill.

Substitution

Substitution, Reading. Nick Blackman replaces Jordan Obita.

Foul by Glenn Murray (Reading).

Michael Morrison (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Alex Pearce (Reading).

Clayton Donaldson (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Alex Pearce (Reading) header from a difficult angle on the left is too high. Assisted by Jordan Obita with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Stephen Gleeson.

Glenn Murray (Reading) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Jonathan Grounds (Birmingham City).

Attempt missed. Garath McCleary (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Glenn Murray.

Offside, Reading. Oliver Norwood tries a through ball, but Jake Cooper is caught offside.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Bournemouth21116444242039
2Middlesbrough21116435152039
3Derby21115538211738
4Ipswich21108332201238
5Brentford2111463427737
6Watford21105638231535
7Norwich2196635241133
8Blackburn218763231131
9Nottm Forest217953126530
10Charlton2161232322130
11Cardiff218672727030
12Wolves218672431-730
13Sheff Wed2161051617-128
14Fulham2174103139-825
15Birmingham216782332-925
16Reading2174102636-1025
17Huddersfield216692738-1124
18Bolton2165102228-623
19Leeds2165102431-723
20Millwall215882331-823
21Rotherham214981626-1021
22Brighton213992129-818
23Wigan2138102128-717
24Blackpool2127121633-1713
View full Championship table

Top Stories