Championship
BoltonBolton Wanderers0BirminghamBirmingham City1

Bolton Wanderers 0-1 Birmingham City

Birmingham defender Paul Robinson
Paul Robinson's winner lifted Birmingham above Reading into second

Birmingham City moved into the Championship's automatic promotion spots as Paul Robinson's header kept his former club Bolton at the bottom.

Robinson had not scored a league goal for eight years before last weekend - but now has two in two games after converting Demarai Gray's free-kick.

He helped Blues clinch three points by clearing Gary Madine's close-range shot off the line after the break.

Bolton's first home defeat this season leaves them two points from safety.

Birmingham are four points behind leaders Brighton, who fought back to clinch a late 2-1 home win against Bristol City.

Robinson, 36, scored his first league goal since playing for West Brom in 2007 in Saturday's win at QPR and netted again as Gray's inswinging set-piece from the left flank evaded the home defence.

Wanderers dropped to the foot of the table following a 2-0 loss at Burnley on Saturday and manager Neil Lennon's response was to start ex-England striker Emile Heskey alongside Madine for the first time.

Heskey has only scored once for Bolton - on his debut on Boxing Day last year - but came close to doubling his tally when he almost connected with Jose Manuel Casado's free-kick.

Only some desperate Blues defending prevented Bolton equalising shortly after the restart, Robinson brilliantly hacking away Madine's effort, before skipper Michael Morrison blocked Darren Pratley's follow-up shot.

And Wanderers had few other opportunities as they were unable to score for a seventh time in 12 matches.

Bolton manager Neil Lennon:

"I think it's apparent there is a lack of quality at times; we're relying on players to improve and make the most of the opportunities that come their way.

"We'll have to bring someone in, we need to do something very quickly to make us better.

"I think there's goals in us. We're missing easy chances, there's nothing I can do about that. Again, it's composure. There's a lack of composure throughout the game at important moments. That's what makes the difference in games."

Birmingham manager Gary Rowett:

"We've started well but we've got to keep working and stay very, very humble.

"In this league, if you take your foot of the gas for a second it doesn't matter who you are or how hard you work, you'll come unstuck.

"I'm pleased at the moment, it's a good start and we're enjoying our football at the moment."

Line-ups

Bolton

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Amos
  • 15Derik
  • 4DerviteBooked at 23mins
  • 31Wheater
  • 20CasadoBooked at 63mins
  • 7Feeney
  • 16Davies
  • 21PratleyBooked at 34minsSubstituted forDannsat 68'minutes
  • 22WellingtonBooked at 42minsSubstituted forClaytonat 43'minutes
  • 14Madine
  • 19HeskeySubstituted forWooleryat 76'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Gouano
  • 6Vela
  • 12Clayton
  • 13Rachubka
  • 18Danns
  • 23Dobbie
  • 30Woolery

Birmingham

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 29Kuszczak
  • 31CaddisBooked at 37mins
  • 28Morrison
  • 4RobinsonBooked at 72mins
  • 3GroundsBooked at 15mins
  • 8Gleeson
  • 6Kieftenbeld
  • 19MaghomaSubstituted forSolomon-Otaborat 85'minutes
  • 22ShinnieSubstituted forSpectorat 73'minutes
  • 7GraySubstituted forToralat 88'minutes
  • 9Donaldson

Substitutes

  • 1Legzdins
  • 17Solomon-Otabor
  • 18Brown
  • 20Toral
  • 23Spector
  • 25Lowry
  • 44Brock-Madsen
Referee:
Geoff Eltringham
Attendance:
13,703

Match Stats

Home TeamBoltonAway TeamBirmingham
Possession
Home58%
Away42%
Shots
Home16
Away14
Shots on Target
Home6
Away8
Corners
Home6
Away4
Fouls
Home22
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Bolton Wanderers 0, Birmingham City 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Bolton Wanderers 0, Birmingham City 1.

  3. Post update

    Mark Davies (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Viv Solomon-Otabor (Birmingham City).

  5. Post update

    Corner, Bolton Wanderers. Conceded by Michael Morrison.

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. David Wheater (Bolton Wanderers) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kaiyne Woolery with a cross.

  7. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Clayton Donaldson (Birmingham City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jon-Miquel Toral.

  8. Post update

    Dorian Dervite (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Clayton Donaldson (Birmingham City).

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Birmingham City. Jon-Miquel Toral replaces Demarai Gray.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Gary Madine (Bolton Wanderers).

  12. Post update

    Paul Robinson (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Birmingham City. Viv Solomon-Otabor replaces Jacques Maghoma.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Kaiyne Woolery (Bolton Wanderers).

  15. Post update

    Paul Robinson (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Kaiyne Woolery (Bolton Wanderers).

  17. Post update

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

  18. Post update

    Offside, Birmingham City. Demarai Gray tries a through ball, but Jonathan Grounds is caught offside.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Paul Robinson (Birmingham City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high following a corner.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by David Wheater.