Birmingham City 2-1 Bolton Wanderers

  • September 18, 2012 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton's miserable run on the road continues as they fell to defeat yet again, this time going down 2-1 to Birmingham City at St Andrew's.

The hosts took the lead against the run of play in the 16th minute, with Leroy Lita tapping the ball into the net from close range after neat build-up play from Paul Caddis.

Chris Eagles brought Wanderers level just before the break, as he smashed in his fourth goal of the season with a free-kick from 30 yards.

Owen Coyle's side fell behind again as Marlon King converted a penalty within three minutes of the restart and that was how the game ended, meaning Bolton have now lost all four of their away outings so far this campaign.

Bolton made one change to the side that beat Watford at the weekend, with Chris Eagles taking the place of Keith Andrews, who had struggled with a slight injury in the build-up to the game.

The visitors had the best of the early possession and thought they had taken a 10th minute lead courtesy of David Ngog, but the Frenchman had been ruled offside prior to putting the ball into the Birmingham net.

Ngog was involved again moments later, but this time fired wide of the target after latching on to a pass from Kevin Davies.

At the other end, Lita was causing problems for the Trotters backline and he headed wide of the target with 15 minutes gone. Little over a minute later, however, the one-time Bolton target had the ball in the net as the Blues took the lead.

Paul Caddis sneaked forward from right-back and after feeding a superb cross into the Wanderers goalmouth, Lita was on hand to tap the ball past Adam Bogdan from two yards.

The goal came as a double blow for the visitors, with Jay Spearing being forced off the field with what looked like a suspected knee injury. Andrews was introduced as his replacement in the centre of midfield.

Chung-Yong's FA Cup goal at St Andrew's in March of last year is still fresh in the memory of Bolton fans and he came close to scoring on the same ground at the midway point of the half. Kevin Davies flick picked out the South Korea international, who was inches away from making the contact that would surely have resulted in a goal.

Shortly afterwards, Ngog was picked out inside the Birmingham box, but he could only succeed in sending a free header straight into the arms of Jack Butland when it looked easier to score.

At the other end, Chris Burke looked set to double the host's lead, but Bogdan raced out of his goal to produce a fine save and keep the score at 1-0.

That interception would prove to be a pivotal part of the match, with Wanderers pulling themselves level just 60 seconds before the break.

Steven Caldwell's challenge on Ngog was deemed illegal by match referee Carl Boyeson and Eagles stepped up to smash the resulting free-kick into the corner of Butland's goal from fully 30 yards, meaning the two sides went in level at the interval.

Two minutes after the restart, the hosts were awarded a penalty as Marcos Alonso was adjudged to have fouled King inside the Bolton box, with Bogdan holding the ball in his hands.

Despite appeals from the Bolton players, the referee's decision stood and King converted from the spot to restore Birmingham's advantage.

Clark's team would then go in search of that killer third goal and they would have got it, had Bogdan not been in top form to deny Caddis from long range. Lita would then scuff a shot into the side netting from close range after capitalising on a poor backpass from Knight.

Coyle made a double substitution on the hour mark, with Martin Petrov and Benik Afobe taking the places of Chung-Yong and Ngog.

Petrov was soon in the thick of the action, as he send a stinging volley narrowly over the top of the crossbar, before Eagles also shot over the top from a similar position to the one he had earlier scored.

Wanderers desperately pressed forward for an equaliser in the final 15 minutes of the game, but Butland made three superb saves to deny Andrews, Eagles and then a stunning 20 yard volley from Alonso.

A swift counter attack from the hosts almost resulted in Nathan Redmond adding a third for the Blues, but with neither side managing to find a breakthrough in the closing stages, Bolton were left to reflect on yet another defeat on their travels.

It doesn't get any easier for Coyle and his team, with their next match also away from home. Bolton return to action on Saturday afternoon when they face Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.

Birmingham City: Butland, Caddis (Davies 54), Caldwell, Ibanez, Murphy, Burke (Redmond 71), Mullins (Fahey 46), Spector, Elliott, Lita, King
Subs Not Used: Doyle, Lovenkrands, Morrison, Asante
Booked: Caldwell
Goals: Lita 16, King 48(pen)

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Mears, Mills, Knight, Alonso, Chung-Yong (Petrov 59), M Davies, Spearing (Andrews 17), Eagles, Ngog (Afobe 59), K Davies
Subs Not Used: Lonergan, Ricketts, Sordell, Pratley
Booked: Knight, M Davies, Chung-Yong
Goals: Eagles 44

Referee: Carl Boyeson
Attendance: 14,693

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
15 Shrewsbury Town 26 30
16 Cambridge United 25 30
17 Bolton Wanderers 25 29
18 Lincoln City 25 28
19 Fleetwood Town 25 28
View Full Standings >>


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