Championship
Birmingham2Brentford1

Birmingham City 2-1 Brentford

Blues midfielder Jon Toral went closer than anyone to breaking the first-half deadlock at St Andrew's
Blues midfielder Jon Toral went closer than anyone to breaking the first-half deadlock at St Andrew's

Birmingham City beat Brentford to claim their third straight home win at St Andrew's and climb to within two points of the Championship play-off places.

After Jon Toral set up Jacques Maghoma to burst into the area and fire a 55th-minute opener, Brentford then levelled.

Philip Hofmann followed up after Blues keeper Tomasz Kuszczak failed to hold onto Alan Judge's long-range effort.

But midfielder Maikel Kieftenbeld struck on 89 minutes from close range, turning in James Vaughan's cross.

It was the Dutchman's first goal for Blues since his summer arrival from FC Groningen, to add to fellow midfielder Maghoma's second goal in successive matches - and his fifth of the season.

Brentford had the majority of the play but ended up suffering only their second defeat in eight games since Dean Smith's appointment as boss on 30 November.

Hofmann might have had another when he side-footed over the bar from Maxime Colin's cross shortly after his 77th-minute equaliser.

Brentford top scorer Judge also ballooned over when put through with only Kuszczak to beat. And, in added time, Kuszczak did well to punch away Judge's dangerous near-post free-kick.

That allowed Gary Rowett's Blues to leapfrog the Londoners into eighth, back to within two points of the play-off places.

Could Blues lose Demarai Gray?

Birmingham City's highly-rated teenage winger Demarai Gray was conspicuous by his absence at St Andrew's.

Gray, the subject of several offers leading up to £5m from Bournemouth a year ago, is reportedly in talks with Premier League high fliers Leicester City pending a possible January transfer window sale.

Blues were further hampered by the half-time loss of top scorer Clayton Donaldson against his former club.

He suffered a back injury after falling heavily in an aerial duel and, after having initially tried to stay on, his movement was restricted and he was replaced at the break by on-loan James Vaughan.

Birmingham manager Gary Rowett:

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Rowett on Birmingham v Brentford

"We have won three games, drawn two and lost one in the last six games and are now only three points behind one of the really big teams in our division.

"We are massively punching above our weight but we now have the opportunity to strengthen our attacking options as we have not scored enough goals recently.

"Without coming under too much pressure we showed great resolve to go for the winning goal after Brentford obtained their equaliser."

Brentford boss Dean Smith:

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Smith on Birmingham v Brentford

"It was a compliment to us how deep Birmingham played. They certainly frustrated their own supporters in the first half and they probably scored against the run of play on a counter attack.

"Birmingham were happy to play for a point after our equaliser - but that is not our style.

"They were lucky to have 11 players on the pitch in the second half after Toral's tackle on Jake Bidwell. For me it was a red card as he was certainly out of control when he made that tackle."

Line-ups

Birmingham

  • 29Kuszczak
  • 31Caddis
  • 28Morrison
  • 4Robinson
  • 3GroundsBooked at 84mins
  • 8Gleeson
  • 6KieftenbeldBooked at 11mins
  • 17Solomon-Otabor
  • 20ToralBooked at 45minsSubstituted forShinnieat 83'minutes
  • 19MaghomaSubstituted forDavisat 75'minutes
  • 9DonaldsonSubstituted forVaughanat 45'minutesBooked at 63mins

Substitutes

  • 1Legzdins
  • 15Vaughan
  • 22Shinnie
  • 23Spector
  • 25Lowry
  • 26Davis
  • 44Brock-Madsen

Brentford

  • 27Button
  • 2Colin
  • 6DeanBooked at 17mins
  • 26TarkowskiBooked at 45mins
  • 3Bidwell
  • 20Diagouraga
  • 15Woods
  • 47CanosSubstituted forGogiaat 80'minutes
  • 18Judge
  • 19SwiftSubstituted forMcEachranat 70'minutes
  • 21VibeSubstituted forHofmannat 64'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Saunders
  • 10McEachran
  • 11Hofmann
  • 16Bonham
  • 22O'Connell
  • 24Gogia
  • 28Yennaris
Referee:
Graham Scott
Attendance:
17,555

Match Stats

Home TeamBirminghamAway TeamBrentford
Possession
Home37%
Away63%
Shots
Home10
Away15
Shots on Target
Home3
Away3
Corners
Home0
Away5
Fouls
Home14
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Birmingham City 2, Brentford 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Birmingham City 2, Brentford 1.

Toumani Diagouraga (Brentford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by David Davis (Birmingham City).

Jake Bidwell (Brentford) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by David Davis (Birmingham City).

Goal!

Goal! Birmingham City 2, Brentford 1. Maikel Kieftenbeld (Birmingham City) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by James Vaughan.

Attempt missed. James Vaughan (Birmingham City) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Andrew Shinnie.

Foul by Harlee Dean (Brentford).

Jonathan Grounds (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Jonathan Grounds (Birmingham City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Akaki Gogia (Brentford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jonathan Grounds (Birmingham City).

Hand ball by Alan Judge (Brentford).

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Andrew Shinnie replaces Jon-Miquel Toral because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Jon-Miquel Toral (Birmingham City) because of an injury.

Maxime Colin (Brentford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jon-Miquel Toral (Birmingham City).

Attempt saved. Akaki Gogia (Brentford) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Alan Judge with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Brentford. Akaki Gogia replaces Sergi Canos.

Corner, Brentford. Conceded by Paul Caddis.

Goal!

Goal! Birmingham City 1, Brentford 1. Philipp Hofmann (Brentford) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal following a set piece situation.

Attempt saved. Alan Judge (Brentford) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Maxime Colin.

Alan Judge (Brentford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Paul Robinson (Birmingham City).

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. David Davis replaces Jacques Maghoma.

Attempt missed. Maikel Kieftenbeld (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Attempt blocked. Viv Solomon-Otabor (Birmingham City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jonathan Grounds.

Attempt missed. James Vaughan (Birmingham City) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is just a bit too high. Assisted by Jon-Miquel Toral with a through ball.

Attempt missed. Alan Judge (Brentford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Toumani Diagouraga with a through ball.

Attempt missed. Philipp Hofmann (Brentford) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Toumani Diagouraga.

Substitution

Substitution, Brentford. Josh McEachran replaces John Swift.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Jacques Maghoma (Birmingham City) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Alan Judge (Brentford) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Sergi Canos.

Attempt blocked. Sergi Canos (Brentford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jake Bidwell with a cross.

Attempt missed. Jacques Maghoma (Birmingham City) right footed shot from long range on the right misses to the left. Assisted by Jon-Miquel Toral.

Attempt blocked. Alan Judge (Brentford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Brentford. Philipp Hofmann replaces Lasse Vibe.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Middlesbrough24164436122452
2Derby25139337172048
3Hull25145636181847
4Brighton25111133125644
5Burnley25119534231142
6Ipswich2511863430441
7Sheff Wed2510963628839
8Birmingham2511683027339
9Cardiff2591063026437
10Brentford2510693735236
11Wolves259793232034
12Reading2596103028233
13Leeds2571172628-232
14Nottm Forest2571082524131
15Preston2571082122-131
16QPR257993033-330
17Blackburn2461082221128
18Huddersfield2577113036-628
19Fulham2569104043-327
20MK Dons2565142133-1223
21Rotherham2563163044-1421
22Bristol City2549122244-2221
23Charlton2548132142-2120
24Bolton25211121939-2017
View full Championship table

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