BirminghamBirmingham City6ReadingReading1

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."



Formation 4-2-3-1

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


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


Formation 4-4-2

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


  • 5Pearce
  • 18Tshibola
  • 22Blackman
  • 24Cummings
  • 25Taylor
  • 31Andersen
  • 37Stacey
Nigel Miller

Match Stats

Home TeamBirminghamAway TeamReading
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Birmingham City 6, Reading 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Birmingham City 6, Reading 1.

  3. Post update

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

  4. Post update

    Foul by Nikola Zigic (Birmingham City).

  5. Post update

    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.

  6. Post update

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

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Birmingham City. Wes Thomas replaces Demarai Gray.

  8. Post update

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

  9. Post update

    Foul by Nikola Zigic (Birmingham City).

  10. Post update

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

  11. Post update

    Foul by David Davis (Birmingham City).

  12. Post update

    Foul by Jake Taylor (Reading).

  13. Post update

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

  14. Post update

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

  15. Post update

    Foul by David Davis (Birmingham City).

  16. Post update

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

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Birmingham City. Nikola Zigic replaces Clayton Donaldson.

  18. Post update

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

  19. Post update

    Foul by Clayton Donaldson (Birmingham City).

  20. Post update

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