Championship
Nottm ForestNottingham Forest1BirminghamBirmingham City3

Nottingham Forest 1-3 Birmingham City

David Cotterill
Birmingham's David Cotterill opened the scoring and then set up the second goal

A brace from striker Clayton Donaldson helped revitalised Birmingham secure a 3-1 win over Nottingham Forest at the City Ground in the Championship.

David Cotterill's free-kick opened the scoring before Donaldson diverted in the midfielder's cross for the second.

Donaldson tapped home his second just on half-time and Britt Assombalonga headed a late consolation for Forest.

Birmingham, who have lost just twice in 10 games under Gary Rowett, are level on points with 10th-placed Forest.

The Blues have been in good form since Rowett took over from Lee Clark in October following a club record 8-0 home defeat by Bournemouth.

Their latest loss came two days ago - a 4-0 reverse at home to Derby - but Rowett resisted the temptation to freshen up his side and stuck with the same XI for the fourth game in a row.

The visitors started with a flurry of chances but when the opener eventually came, it was against the run of play.

Cotterill's low free-kick from the left after 35 minutes caught the Forest defence flat-footed and bobbled into the far corner of Karl Darlow's net with nobody getting a touch in a crowded penalty box.

The second goal came just three minutes later and was almost identical.

Cotterill, who also scored the opening goal in a 2-1 win against Forest last month, delivered a low, bouncing cross into the box but this time Donaldson, 30, stuck out a leg to divert the ball into the far corner.

The third goal capped a terrible 10 minutes for Forest as Andrew Shinnie's shot from the edge of the box was parried by Darlow, hit his own defender and dropped perfectly for Donaldson to poke home his second of the game and eighth for the season since signing from Brentford in the summer.

Forest rallied as Robert Tesche rattled the woodwork and, after the break, Jamie Paterson shot into the side-netting, Eric Lichaj fired over the bar and an unmarked Tesche headed inches wide.

Stuart Pearce's side continued to press but Assombalonga's far-post header in added time came far too late for Forest, who have won just one of their last eight games at home and are slipping out of the play-off picture.

Nottingham Forest manager Stuart Pearce: "We had enough efforts on the opposition goal to win a couple of games, never mind one. But we conceded three horrible, horrible goals and paid the price for that.

"We are lacking leadership and confidence. We spoke to the players after the game and said: 'It is time to roll our sleeves up, gentlemen, and man up.'"

Birmingham manager Gary Rowett on Clayton Donaldson: "He was trying to claim all three goals, but I don't think even Father Christmas would give him that.

"I think all the players worked hard, but he has a difficult role up there, on his own. He plays it as well as anyone, because he is mobile, he has the size to win headers and he does get goals. He does everything well and, even if he does not score, he deserves his place in the team."

Line-ups

Nottm Forest

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Darlow
  • 2Lichaj
  • 4Mancienne
  • 16Lascelles
  • 13FoxSubstituted forVeldwijkat 76'minutes
  • 21PatersonSubstituted forBurkeat 60'minutes
  • 32Tesche
  • 10LansburyBooked at 34minsSubstituted forOsbornat 90'minutes
  • 18Antonio
  • 7Fryatt
  • 9Assombalonga

Substitutes

  • 14Veldwijk
  • 17Hunt
  • 20Laing
  • 24Vaughan
  • 27Burke
  • 29de Vries
  • 38Osborn

Birmingham

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Randolph
  • 31Caddis
  • 28Morrison
  • 4Robinson
  • 3Grounds
  • 26Davis
  • 8Gleeson
  • 11CotterillSubstituted forZigicat 79'minutes
  • 22ShinnieSubstituted forReillyat 71'minutes
  • 33GraySubstituted forMoussiat 87'minutes
  • 9DonaldsonBooked at 74mins

Substitutes

  • 6Edgar
  • 10Thomas
  • 17Reilly
  • 19Zigic
  • 21Doyle
  • 24Arthur
  • 39Moussi
Referee:
Simon Hooper
Attendance:
26,212

Match Stats

Home TeamNottm ForestAway TeamBirmingham
Possession
Home64%
Away36%
Shots
Home26
Away18
Shots on Target
Home2
Away10
Corners
Home9
Away9
Fouls
Home12
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Nottingham Forest 1, Birmingham City 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Nottingham Forest 1, Birmingham City 3.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Guy Moussi.

  4. Goal!

    Goal! Nottingham Forest 1, Birmingham City 3. Britt Assombalonga (Nottingham Forest) header from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ben Osborn with a cross following a corner.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Paul Caddis.

  6. Post update

    Attempt saved. Clayton Donaldson (Birmingham City) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by David Davis.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Ben Osborn replaces Henri Lansbury.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. Guy Moussi (Birmingham City) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by David Davis with a cross.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Karl Darlow.

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. David Davis (Birmingham City) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Nikola Zigic.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Birmingham City. Guy Moussi replaces Demarai Gray.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Matty Fryatt (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Lars Veldwijk.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Demarai Gray (Birmingham City) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Nikola Zigic.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Michail Antonio (Nottingham Forest).

  15. Post update

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

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Michail Antonio (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Lars Veldwijk.

  17. Post update

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

  18. Post update

    Foul by David Davis (Birmingham City).

  19. Post update

    Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Michael Mancienne.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Matty Fryatt (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Henri Lansbury.