It was a pleasant Tuesday evening at St Andrews’ as Football Aid rolled into the blue side of the city for the annual Birmingham City game. Former Blues Legend and Ireland international, Lee Carsley was on hand to guide the sides throughout and in the end an entertaining game went the way of the Away side, who came from behind to register a 3-1 victory.
Date: Tuesday 30th April 2019
Venue: St Andrew’s
Birmingham City (Home) vs Birmingham City (Away)
Kick Off: 19:00 pm
Legend: Lee Carsley
Match Officials: Peter Brunton-Douglas, James Brunton-Douglas, Joshua Cattell & Bradley Holland
Former midfielder Lee Carsley started the 1st half lining up for the Home side that sported Blue shirts, white shorts and blue socks in front of a lively crowd at the home of the Blues.
It was the Home side who took an early advantage as No 9, Marios Zachariou latched onto a deflected cross to stroke home the 1st goal of the evening with 9 mins played. The Home side were quick out of the blocks and when Captain Frank Ward whipped in a cross, the Away defence split leaving Zachariou to place the ball past the despairing keeper to the cheers of the crowd. Marios marking his 11th game in a row at St. Andrew's with another clinical goal for his growing collection! (1-0)
The Away side, wearing yellow shirts and blue shorts with yellow socks, looked for an equaliser and Sam Robinson went close. The midfielder lost his balance at the vital moment as a cross from Away captain Neil Heath went narrowly past his boot. A shot moments later also failed to trouble Home goalkeeper, Rich Duffy. The pressure continued to grow from the ‘visitors’ as Heath had his chance to open the Away team’s account. The striker forcing the goalkeeper into a brave low save with his feet before the defence managed to clear the rebound.
Robinson again went close to forcing a leveller, but he could only watch his curled effort hit the side netting. The crowd thought the Away team had their equaliser! Robinson continued to cause trouble for the Home defence and again had the crowd gasping. A quick lay off from Joe Hylands at an indirect free kick led to Robinson smashing an effort onto the post from close range.
Against the run of play, the Home side had an effort to double their lead when Zachariou rounded Away goalkeeper Sam Godsall but the No 9 saw his effort go back across the goalmouth and away from the danger area.
The Away team continued to dominate possession and it wasn’t long before they created another chance. The lively Forward Hylands forcing another good save from Duffy in the Home goal. Next up Neil Heath had a golden chance to lead from the front, but the captain could only watch his effort go wide. Duffy was again called into action before the break as another good save kept the Home side in front as the Half Time whistle blew in Birmingham.
The Home time led at the break after an early opening goal from Zachariou but they knew they had plenty of work to do in the 2nd half after countless Away attacks were repelled. They were also losing Legend Lee Carsley to the Away side for the 2nd half…
Half-Time: Birmingham (Home) 1 - 0 Birmingham (Away)
The Away side had work to do in the 2nd half and with Carsley at left back, immediately set about their task. Substitute Dylan Latham, sporting No 17 had attack on his mind from the get go and his dipping effort was tipped over the bar.
The pressure from the 1st half continued, and the Home defence were eventually beaten from the resultant corner. The delivery caused slight confusion in the box before the ball fell to the feet of centre half Kristian Wood. A delightful strike hammered into the top corner from inside the box and the score was level with only a minute of the 2nd half played. (1-1)
Zachariou looked to extend his personal tally but his effort was easily saved by Godsall as the Home side looked to regain the lead. Meanwhile at the opposite end, Latham seemed to be an inspired substitution as his 30 yard effort crashed off the corner of the goal frame before the keeper eventually gathered; an effort that would have been a goal of the season contender, if only.
The Away side continued to attack and looked to complete a turnaround in the game. This time it was Midfielder Liam Fitzsimmons who latched on to a through ball from Joe Hylands but his effort flew over the bar.
With 76 mins on the clock the Away side completed their comeback with another outstanding goal. Hylands broke the defensive line before a delicate chip nestled in the back of the net. The attacker outmuscled the defender before making sure his chipped effort gave the goalkeeper no chance. (1-2)
It was now a different game for the Home side as they had to look for an equaliser. Home substitute Keith Howe had a golden chance to level the scores after a clever corner routine, however the centre mid sent his effort from close range over the bar.
Meanwhile, at the opposite end the visitors looked to finish the game off strongly with Hylands letting go from distance. His effort forced another great save from Duffy after an exquisite through ball set up the chance. The Home team thought they were safe in this instance, however Neil Heath had other ideas. The Away captain connected emphatically with the rebound to acrobatically volley home into the top corner with his left foot; surely a contender for the goal of the season!! The Away side now had a two goal advantage after two quick goals in the space of 2 mins. (1-3)
The Home side had all the work to do now and Tony Sewell looked to have cut the deficit before Godsall made a smart save after an inviting cross.
The bloopers DVD was nearly called upon at the opposite end a few minutes from the end however when Home GK Rich Duffy saw his goal kick cannon back off the Away striker and so nearly into the top corner of the keeper’s net for a comical goal…. The goalkeeper’s quick reactions came to the rescue though.
The following goal kick nearly caused trouble at the other end; the kick running all the way through to the Home striker who could only agonisingly watch his chipped effort clear the crossbar in a hectic few mins.
Despite the late pressure from the Home team it was to be the Away side’s day after their impressive 2nd half comeback, Legend Lee Carsley showing his worth by winning both halves of the game! The noisy audience were treated to three 2nd half goals of outstanding quality, that proved just too much for a spirited Home side that defended well throughout the 90mins.
As the lights were turned off at St Andrew’s, the players had one last effort to put in; the climb up the stairs in the main stand to the post match awards (and food!).
Full-Time: Birmingham City (Home) 1 - 3 Birmingham City (Away)
Man of the Match Home: Jim Hughes
Man of the Match Away: Kristian Wood
Moment of the Match: Rich Duffy & Neil Heath
Home Team: Rich Duffy, Colin Revell, Lee Carsley (1st half), Tony Sewell, Chris Moody, Jim Hughes, David Heason, Declan Terry, Marios Zachariou, Tyrone Dawes, Frank Ward (C), Keith Howe, David Greive, Neil Wall
Home Mascot: George Revell
Away Team: Sam Godsall, Jack Robinson, Lee Carsley (2nd half), Kristian Wood, Alan Robinson, Liam Fitzsimmons, Nick Wilkes, Sam Robinson, Neil Heath (C), Andrew Allen, Joe Hylands, Clive Moreland, Tyler Williams, Dylan Latham
Away Mascot: Ellie-mae Heath
Match Report written by Ben Waite.
Official photographs are available to order from Matt Nuttall’s website here >> www.footballaidphotos.com. You can also contact Matt on Tel: 07793 818021 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you'd like to order a DVD of the match please contact – Chillpics' Shane Wilkinson, Freelance Cameraman & Photographer on Tel: 07306 789002 or E-mail: email@example.com
AFTER MATCH FEEDBACK
“A great thanks to you and your team for organising the match on Tuesday 30 April, 2019 between a "home" team and an "away" team from Birmingham City supporters. Many of us dream what it was be like to play for our club. You have a well organised system that creates that very situation and it was great to see all the minor details had been included. It was great to see all the players took the game very seriously and played the game in a very fair sporting manner. It’s great to see previous players give up their time and come along and join in adding to the whole occasion. Supporters, players & mascots are all well looked after and I am sure thoroughly enjoyed the experience using the corporate facilities that were made available. What is really important for this once in a lifetime experience all monies raised go to a variety of suitable charities. It was a very special day, not one I will ever forget. It will be an honour to hopefully return next year”.
“Huge thanks to Birmingham City for the event. These games are always at their best when the clubs get into the spirit of the event and I thought Birmingham were fantastic. Providing the tannoy to announce the teams and the goal scorers was a great touch which made it really feel special. The pitch was great, changing rooms were spot on and it was a good one to be part of. Thanks to all involved”!
“Thank you again for another great night, really enjoyed the game. Good to catch up with you and Rich. Hope the rest of the games go as well as last night. See you next year”.
“And it didn’t disappoint! Also a pleasure to play with @lecarso - top man. Thanks again to Football Aid for a fantastic night 🙌”