Championship
Birmingham1Derby2

Birmingham City 1-2 Derby County

Tom Ince's injury-time winner was his 14th goal of the season for Derby County - and his first since Gary Rowett took charge
Tom Ince's injury-time winner was his 14th goal of the season - his first since Gary Rowett took charge

Tom Ince scored an injury-time winner at St Andrew's as Derby County manager Gary Rowett earned victory on his first return to former club Birmingham City.

Ince raced clear in the 91st minute to lob advancing keeper Tomasz Kuszczak, a result that keeps Derby within seven points of the Championship play-offs.

Derby led after three minutes when Jacob Butterfield's shot bounced in off the luckless Kuszczak's back.

Blues levelled after 69 minutes through Che Adams, but the Rams stole victory.

Birmingham, who remain 18th, six points clear of the relegation zone with five games to play, were just outside the play-off places on goal difference when Rowett was sacked in December.

But City have now won just twice in 22 matches, in all competitions, since Gianfranco Zola was appointed as Rowett's successor.

The return of the popular Rowett, who also represented both sides in his playing career, was always to prove an awkward afternoon for the hosts. And they faced an uphill battle when Butterfield's early left-foot shot hit the post before cruelly rebounding in off City goalkeeper Kuszczak.

After having a goal disallowed for a foul on Derby keeper Scott Carson when Lukas Jutkiewicz forced the ball into the net from a corner, Blues eventually got back on level terms.

From Craig Gardner's right-wing corner, Ryan Shotton got up and Adams arrived at the far post to score his first goal at St Andrew's since November.

But Derby had the last word when, with the Blues defence caught flat-footed, Ince ran through to latch onto Rams keeper Carson's excellent long clearance.

Although Sheffield Wednesday's Saturday evening win against Newcastle stopped the Rams narrowing the points gap to the all-important sixth place, the Rams climbed a place to eighth, stretching their unbeaten run since Rowett took charge of Derby to 10 points from four matches.

Che Adams
Che Adams had not scored for Birmingham City at St Andrew's since November

Birmingham City manager Gianfranco Zola:

"We are making it so difficult for ourselves. The way we are playing we do not deserve to be where we are. But the way we are conceding goals is a real brain-killer.

"The result was almost impossible to take. It was very painful considering we scored a fair goal and had a penalty which was not given.

"But we came back and looked like winning but to lose a game in this manner was very difficult. We have to understand that in a season of adversity we cannot lose our concentration for a second.

"I warned the players that the only way Derby could cause us a problem was from set-pieces and corners. Everyone was aware of this but in the last minute we went looking for the winner and it was Derby who scored."

Derby County manager Gary Rowett:

"It was a difficult game for everyone, certainly from my point of view. If I am really honest I didn't want this game because there was so much focus on me coming back.

"I have tried to keep my dignity. It was not my decision to leave. But I've shown I can win games. Derby had won one in nine games when I joined. Now we have won three in four.

"We started well but then became a little sloppy. When it was 1-1, I could not have complained but they switched off in the last minute. The only real moment of quality in a poor game was when Scott Carson spotted Tom Ince. It was a wonderful ball, Ince gambled and scored.

"This is where we have the quality. We showed it then but we will have to be better if we are to win more games."

Line-ups

Birmingham

  • 29Kuszczak
  • 31Bielik
  • 5Shotton
  • 4Robinson
  • 2Nsue
  • 7TescheSubstituted forFrei Koyunluat 65'minutes
  • 26DavisSubstituted forGleesonat 90+1'minutes
  • 12Gardner
  • 3Grounds
  • 14Adams
  • 15JutkiewiczSubstituted forDonaldsonat 80'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Legzdins
  • 6Kieftenbeld
  • 8Gleeson
  • 9Donaldson
  • 21Frei Koyunlu
  • 25Cogley
  • 33Keita

Derby

  • 1Carson
  • 12Baird
  • 6KeoghBooked at 90mins
  • 16PearceBooked at 45mins
  • 29Olsson
  • 18ButterfieldSubstituted forHughesat 64'minutes
  • 15Johnson
  • 4BrysonSubstituted forBentat 78'minutes
  • 10Ince
  • 28Nugent
  • 7RussellSubstituted forAnyaat 70'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Christie
  • 8Anya
  • 11Bent
  • 19Hughes
  • 20Camara
  • 23Vydra
  • 35Mitchell
Referee:
Andy Davies
Attendance:
19,381

Match Stats

Home TeamBirminghamAway TeamDerby
Possession
Home52%
Away48%
Shots
Home22
Away12
Shots on Target
Home3
Away5
Corners
Home9
Away3
Fouls
Home9
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, Birmingham City 1, Derby County 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Birmingham City 1, Derby County 2.

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Markus Olsson.

Attempt missed. Clayton Donaldson (Birmingham City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Kerim Frei with a cross following a set piece situation.

Krystian Bielik (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Darren Bent (Derby County).

Attempt blocked. Che Adams (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Stephen Gleeson.

Goal!

Goal! Birmingham City 1, Derby County 2. Tom Ince (Derby County) left footed shot from outside the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Scott Carson.

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Stephen Gleeson replaces David Davis.

Booking

Richard Keogh (Derby County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

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

Foul by Richard Keogh (Derby County).

Attempt blocked. Che Adams (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Richard Keogh.

Kerim Frei (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Markus Olsson (Derby County).

Attempt blocked. Will Hughes (Derby County) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Bradley Johnson.

Attempt missed. Bradley Johnson (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Nsue.

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Clayton Donaldson replaces Lukas Jutkiewicz.

Che Adams (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Markus Olsson (Derby County).

Attempt missed. Bradley Johnson (Derby County) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Tom Ince with a cross following a corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Derby County. Darren Bent replaces Craig Bryson.

Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Ryan Shotton.

Foul by David Davis (Birmingham City).

Tom Ince (Derby County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Che Adams (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Craig Bryson (Derby County).

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

Che Adams (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Ikechi Anya (Derby County).

Substitution

Substitution, Derby County. Ikechi Anya replaces Johnny Russell.

Goal!

Goal! Birmingham City 1, Derby County 1. Che Adams (Birmingham City) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lukas Jutkiewicz following a corner.

Attempt missed. Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Craig Gardner with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Johnny Russell.

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Kerim Frei replaces Robert Tesche.

Substitution

Substitution, Derby County. Will Hughes replaces Jacob Butterfield.

Attempt missed. Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City) header from the left side of the six yard box misses to the left. Assisted by Jonathan Grounds.

Attempt blocked. Craig Gardner (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Brighton41268769353486
2Newcastle41266974353984
3Huddersfield40235125046474
4Reading41227125657-173
5Leeds412261355391672
6Sheff Wed412091253411269
7Fulham4118131072522067
8Derby411711134841762
9Preston411613125951861
10Norwich411791572621060
11Aston Villa411513134340358
12Brentford41168176559656
13Barnsley411511155856256
14Cardiff411510165658-255
15Wolves40149175152-151
16QPR41148194755-850
17Ipswich411116144351-849
18Birmingham411113174160-1946
19Nottm Forest41129205666-1045
20Burton411112184155-1445
21Bristol City41128215361-844
22Blackburn41913194763-1640
23Wigan41910223551-1637
24Rotherham4145323593-5817
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