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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 25 Apr 15 at 17:34 PM

Birmingham City 1 Charlton 0

Olly Groome reports from St Andrew's Stadium

Charlton’s final away trip of the 2014/15 season ended in defeat as they were beaten 1-0 by Birmingham City at St Andrew’s on Saturday. 

Blues took the points from an altogether forgettable affair in the West Midlands thanks to Lloyd Dyer’s late winner.

And the result was, in truth, a fair reflection on the game with the Addicks struggling to make an impact in the final third, while the hosts missed a host of opportunities of their own before finally netting the all-important winner. 

Guy Luzon made three changes to the side which beat Leeds United seven days earlier as Joe Gomez, Alou Diarra and Chris Eagles made way for Jordan Cousins, Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Roger Johnson, who was returning to the club where he lifted the League Cup in 2011. 

The hosts very nearly made an explosive start to proceedings, hitting the crossbar with just four minutes on the clock. 

Robert Tesche was the man to try his luck from distance, driving in an effort from 30 yards which Stephen Henderson did superbly well to tip onto the woodwork, adding yet another fine save to his collection. 

It had been a lively start by Gary Rowett’s men as Johnson denied the lively Demari Gray with an impressive block before Diego Fabbrini should have put his side in front with 12 minutes gone, instead pulling his shot wide of the post from eight yards following Gray’s smart ball in from the right. 

In truth, the Addicks were struggling to settle into the encounter as Blues continued to waste opportunities. 

Deigo Fabbrini was next to fire well over while Charlton enjoyed their first sniff at the other end on 25 minutes when Tony Watt forced former Valley stopper Darren Randolph into a top-drawer save, tipping over the Scot’s goalbound, dipping shot from 20 yards.

Henderson, meanwhile, had seemingly entered into a personal battle of wits with Tesche, pulling off yet another impressive stop as he got down well to tip the midfielder’s effort around the post when it looked certain to be nestling in the bottom left-hand corner. 

The second half continued in much the same vein as the first with Cotterill frustrating the Birmingham faithful with a pair of tame efforts fired well wide from long range while he forced Henderson into a stop with an equally weak shot with 57 minutes gone. 

The wide man would, however, come much closer moments later when he benefited from Gray’s silky run through the middle to bend a cute effort past the Addicks’ stopper only to see it come bouncing back off the upright. 

Charlton’s attacks were few and far between but they were always going to possess a threat up top with Watt and Vetokele and the pair combined  fantastically just after the hour mark as the Scot put through a smart ball to put his partner in around the back of the Blues defence only to see his shot beaten away by Randolph. 

Watt had a go himself on 69 minutes when he looked to round off a lightning-quick break away, but his angled drive was palmed away by Randolph and cleared away before Vetokele could follow up. 

With eight minutes remaining, however, it was the hosts who would take the lead. 

Dyer had proved a real threat after emerging from the bench and he punished the Addicks, steaming into the box from seemingly nowhere before drilling low, across Henderson and into the bottom right-hand corner for 1-0. 

The visitors did not have to wait long for a chance to draw level as Watt got on the end of a flick-on from a corner moments later, only to put his volley narrowly wide as Charlton were left to suffer their first defeat in five games. 


Charlton: Henderson; Solly, Fox, Johnson, Ben Haim; Gudmundsson, Buyens, Cousins (Diarra 88), Bulot (Eagles 63); Vetokele (Church 78), Watt. 

Subs (not used): Etheridge, Gomez,  Wiggins, Lennon.

Booked: Cousins 75 (foul on Fabbrini)

Birmingham City: Randolph, Caddis, Spector, Morrison, Grounds, Davis, Tesche, Cotterill (Dyer 71), Fabbrini (Thomas 80), Gray, Donaldson. 

Subs (not used): Doyle, Robinson, Gleeson, Shinnie, Arthur.

Goal: Dyer 82

Booked: Grounds 80 (foul on Church)

Referee: J Simpson

Att: 17,775 (1,069)

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