Bartley bags a brace and three points for Blues1
November 10, 2013 by bluenosebible
Huddersfield Town 1-3 Birmingham City
Written by: Oliver Osborn (The Bluenose Bible)
Kyle Bartley scored twice in the second half to secure Birmingham City’s first win on the road since August in a 3-1 victory at Huddersfield Town.
Nikola Zigic’s opener was cancelled out by Anothony Gerrard’s equaliser, but Bartley’s second half brace secured the three points for Lee Clark’s side.
The visitors got off to a bright start with Lee Novak almost scoring within ten minutes of the striker’s return to his former club.
Strike partner Zigic played Novak through with just the goalkeeper to beat, but Alex Smithies made a fine save to deny Novak a goalscoring return to the John Smith’s Stadium.
Another Novak effort on goal and Smithies’ save then created the opening goal of the game for Zigic to tap home from inside the six yard box.
Blues’ left back Mitch Hancox put in a low driven cross into the area which was flicked towards goal by Novak and well saved by Smithies.
However, the calm and collected Serbian reacted quickest to tap in his first goal of the season from three yards out.
Huddersfield responded with some pressure on Darren Randolph’s goal, but a couple of poor attempts from Jon Stead sailed over the crossbar.
The home side then got a stroke of luck when Zigic was adjusted offside despite being clearly onside, according to Blues’ boss and former Huddersfield manager Lee Clark.
An equaliser shortly followed for Huddersfield as a near post free kick from the left by Adam Hammill was helped into the bottom corner via the head of Gerrard.
Gerrard’s equaliser boosted the Terriers’ confidence and Mark Robins’ side could have taken the lead through Hammill and Stead just before half time.
It felt as though the half time whistle came at the right time for Blues as the interval gave the away side a chance to regroup and push on in the second half.
Although Chris Burke was taken off early in the second half, Lee Clark’s men still pushed for a winner and eventually regained the lead through an unlikely source.
The central defender on loan from Swansea City, Kyle Bartley, hasn’t had the best of starts to his season long spell at St. Andrews with inconsistent performances and no lengthy run of first team starts.
But in his eighth league start, Bartley rose the highest to head home Jesse Lingard’s corner just past the hour mark.
The same two players combined for Birmingham’s third game as another delivery from Lingard, this time from a wide free kick, found the head of the central defender to almost seal the three points.
Controversy arose during the celebrations, however, when Bartley was given a second yellow card for “over celebrating” the first brace of his career, leaving Blues with ten men for the final ten minutes of the match.
Even without the former Arsenal youngster, the visitors’ defence held strong to record just their second away win of the season.
The three points moves Birmingham City up to 18th in the table, three points clear of the relegation zone, while Huddersfield drop to 15th with just their second home defeat of the season.
Huddersfield boss Mark Robins:
“It was more than poor, it was abject. Our performance has dropped way below what we expect and we should be picking up points against sides in the bottom three.
“For whatever reason the players decided not to perform.
“We gifted them two goals. We have run out of ideas and all the work we have done on the training ground has been left on the training ground.
“It was just a bad day at the office.”
Birmingham manager Lee Clark:
“Football is an emotional game.
“Kyle hasn’t enticed the Huddersfield fans. He has gone to celebrate with his own fans and common-sense should prevail.
“Probably under the rules the referee had no option but you have to be allowed to celebrate. That’s what the fans want to see.”
Starting line up: Randolph; Caddis, Bartley, Robinson, Hancox; Burke (Shinnie 53′), Reilly, Adeyemi, Lingard (Burn 83′); Novak, Zigic (Lovenkrands 90′)
Subs not used: Doyle, Gray, Lee, Ferguson
Man of the match: Callum Reilly
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